Snow can be a lot of fun as long as you are not shoveling it. It's time to get out and enjoy the benefits of snow, instead of just complaining about having to shovel.

Whether it is snowboarding, downhill skiing or cross-country skiing, there are some really nice local ski resorts and private clubs in Western New York to take advantage of all the snow we get. Here is some information about where to go when you're in the mood for some winter outdoor fun:

Downhill Skiing

Holiday Valley, 6557 Holiday Valley Rd., Ellicottville

Holiday Valley is one of the most popular all-season resorts in Western New York. It's located in Ellicottville, which is about an hour south of Buffalo. Holiday Valley has 58 slopes and trails, with 37 of them open for night skiing. There are five terrain parks and several glades, which are accessible by 13 lifts spread over four different faces and a 750-foot vertical drop. Holiday Valley has a total of 290 acres that are available to ski, and new this year is the addition of the $12 million Holiday Valley Lounge that includes a cafe, grill, two bars, rental and repair shops and a daycare center.

Holiday Valley also offers lessons to kids and adults for both skiing and snowboarding. For more information, visit the Holiday Valley website.

Kissing Bridge, 10296 State Rd., Route 240, Glenwood

It's another popular place to go in Western New York. Kissing Bridge has a new terrain park, GRIND, which opened last winter. This park is redesigned as three separate parks: The Beginner, The Progression and the Main Park. These allow boarders of every level to ride the rails and hit the jumps at their own pace. Kissing Bridge has also added a new double lift to the North Area.

Kissing Bridge offers several daily and seasonal packages including both weekdays and nights. There are also KB Cruiser lesson packages to provide ski and snowboarding lessons to children ages 4-13. For more information, visit the Kissing Bridge website.

Buffalo Ski Club, 7414 State Rd., Route 240, Colden

The Buffalo Ski Club has been around for more than 80 years and has expanded to spread  across 300 acres with 43 trails. It includes three lodges with a nursery, a snack bar and picnic facilities. For food, you can either prepare your own meals at the commercial kitchen off the hilltop lodge or purchase meals at the base lodge snack bar.

The Buffalo Ski Club offers both private and group lessons by PSIA certified instructors. It is open to skiers ages 8-18, and during the week, it is available to non-members. Otherwise, there is an initiation fee and annual dues are required. For more information, visit the Buffalo Ski Club website.

Holimont Ski Resort, 6921 New York 242, Ellicottville

The Holimont Ski Resort just celebrated its 50th anniversary last winter. For both skiers and snowboarders, there are 135 acres available with 52 slopes and trails, terrain parks and the only half-pipe in Western New York. This year, Holimont Ski Resort has added eight new lifts and a new high-speed detachable quad chairlift that makes loading and unloading easier and faster.

It is open to non-members during the week. For more information, visit the Holimont Ski Resort website.

Peek'n Peak Resort and Spa, 1405 Olde Rd., Findley Lake

Since October 2011, Peek'n Peak has invested more than $4 million toward improvements to the infrastructure, and hotel and resort enhancements. The upgrades include suites, condominiums and 108 newly renovated hotel rooms. There is also a pool complex, sauna, arcade, play area and two new fire pits. Peek'n Peak has more than 105 acres of skiable terrain, with 27 slopes and trails and three progression terrain parks.

There are ski and stay packages available with a Splash Lagoon add-on (20 minute drive from Peek'n Peak). For more information, visit the Peek'n Peak Resort & Spa website.

Cross-Country Skiing

Art Roscoe Trail Systems of Allegany State Park, 2373 ASP, Route 1, Salamanca

This spot offers 24 miles of groomed trails for free. For more information, visit the Allegany Nordic website, or call 354-9121.

Byrncliff Resort and Conference Center, 2357 Humphrey Rd., Varysburg

Byrncliff has 12 miles of groomed and lighted trails. There are ski and stay packages available for on-site lodging. For more information, visit the Byrncliff Resort and Conference Center website.

Erie County Department of Parks, Recreation and Forestry

Cross-country ski trails are open from 10 a.m. to dusk and are free of charge at the following parks:

  • Akron Falls: 44 Parkview Rd., Akron. Ungroomed trails. 542-2330
  • Chestnut Ridge Park: 6121 Chestnut Ridge Rd., Orchard Park. Ungroomed trails. 662-3290
  • Como Lake: 2220 Como Park Blvd., Lancaster. Ungroomed trails. 683-5430
  • Ellicott Creek: 1 Ellicott Creek Dr., Tonawanda. Ungroomed trails. 693-2971
  • Elma Meadows: 1711 Girdle Rd., Elma. Groomed trails. 652-5475.
  • Emery Park: 2084 Emery Rd., South Wales. Cross-country, snowshoeing, downhill skiing, and snowboarding. 652-1380
  • Sprague Brook: 9674 Foote Rd., Glenwood. Groomed trails and warm-up hut. 592-2804
  • Bureau of Forestry: Genesee Rd. and Warner Gulf Rd., East Concord. Ungroomed trails. 496-7410

For more information on each of the bulleted parks listed above, visit the Erie County Department of Parks, Recreation and Forestry website under the "Parks" tab.

Holiday Valley and Peek'n Peak also have cross-country skiing available. The Holiday Valley trails along the bottom of the mountain are open daily until 3 p.m. and cost $10 for a two-ride cross-country lift ticket (equipment rental is $12 per day). For Peek'n Peak, cross-country skiing is offered daily throughout the ski season, and the trails are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

View Downhill and Cross-Country Skiing Spots in Western New York in a larger map

Contributed by Brandon Kilijanski and Rachel Specht

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