If a fun day of outdoor adventure is a calling, you don’t have to cross state lines—Mountain Creek in Vernon, New Jersey, has got you covered with a four-season mountain resort with lots of activities and experiences to keep you busy every season. Whether you’re into boarding, biking, skiing, ziplining, or just want to splash around in the waterpark, this resort is spread over 167 skiable acres and transforms with the seasons. Nationally recognized as one of the “Best Places to Learn” for skiing and known as one of the “Best Bike Parks” in North America, it’s a place where everyone and every age can find their adventure groove. Scroll down for what makes Mountain Creek the perfect daycation or overnight, any time of year. (featured photo credit: istock/Zuberka)
Ski, snowboard, or SNO-GO into winter fun
From December to March, Mountain Creek is bustling with winter activities—It has a total of 46 trails, 8 lifts, and 3 magic carpets. During the day, you can hit the snow tubing park, try multiple freestyle terrain parks, or head down the mountain on a SNO-GO Bike (which is exactly what it sounds like, it’s a fusion of skiing and biking and you can bring it on all of the lifts). Night skiing is offered daily, so you can ski under the stars until the wee hours if you plan to stay over. Newbies can take a Terrain Based Learning class, or the kiddos can try Kids Camp. And no need to bring your equipment; rentals are available for skiing, snowboarding, and SNO-GOing.
Blooming with spring activities
When the winter begins to melt away, head outdoors and challenge the family with TreEscape at The Great Gorge near Mountain Creek Resort. They have ropes courses for ages 4+, an aerial obstacle course, night climbing, and a kid’s park. Golfers will also appreciate playing on one of three George Fazio-designed 9-hole courses. Do you want to see Mountain Creek from another point of view? Take a cabriolet to the mountaintop, where you can see panoramic views of the tri-state area, and then travel along a series of ziplines (ranging from 200 feet to 1,500 feet in length) suspended high above their mountaintop lake.
Wet and wild activities in the summer
Splash, slide, and summer at Mountain Creek. From Colorado River Rapids and Surf Hill to the Legendary Canyon Cliffs, your family can find thrills and fun for every age. Littles will love hanging out in the Fishing Village area with sprays and buckets of fun, and bigs who like adventure will want to try the Zero-G or the 18-foot freefall on Bombs Away. Go out of the water park for a different kind of ride–strap into the Alpine Mountain Coaster (kids can ride with an adult down the mountain in a seat) to take in the views and feel the g-forces on the way down.
Hiking and biking in the fall
Fall at Mountain Creek kicks off with its Oktoberfest, filled with live music, authentic German food, and activities for kids and adults. For the outdoor adventure family, take a hike on their hiking trails or ride in the bike park, rated one of the “Best Bike Parks” in North America. If you are an adventure seeker, there are a variety of bike trails, including freeride trails, where jumping skills are required, or there are rugged terrain technical trails for the rough rider. Want to brush up on trail biking skills? You can find lessons and rentals on site. Or if hiking is more your speed, there are guided hikes on Saturdays and Sundays, or explore the trails on your own.
Settle in and eat out
Keep the fun going and stay over at Mountain Creek at the Appalachian Hotel. This hotel is ideal if you are looking for slopestyle accommodations right at the base of Vernon Peak. It’s got everything you need to make you feel at home, with newly renovated rooms, a market, bar, pool and hot tub, fire pit, and a gym. You can also dine at Red Tail Lodge Dining, the South Lodge Dining and Schuss. Or if you want to warm up at their outdoor fireplaces and firepits, The Biergarten is a delicious spot with craft brews and bites.
What to know before you go
Mountain Creek has a variety of events all year round, like the Trick or Creek Jump Jam in the fall or the annual ULLR Fest, with a bonfire in mid-November. Keep up to date with their Event calendar any time of the year. The Mountain Report is another spot to search if you want to plan ahead with resort activities and also get a full rundown of their weather report. If you want to venture out while staying at Mountain Creek, local activities include hiking the Appalachian Trail, horseback riding, skydiving, visiting the Sterling Hill Mining Museum, Warwick Valley Winery, and visiting the Warwick Drive-In Theater.
200 Route 94
Vernon, New Jersey 07462
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