Bristol Mountain

If you are someone who enjoys skiing, the Finger Lakes has a great destination for you. And if you aren’t someone who enjoys skiing, maybe you should give it a try and learn to ski! It is a great way to love winter. Bristol Mountain is a small mountain, but a mountain none the less. It is the premier ski resort in the Finger Lakes located between Canandaigua and Honeoye Lakes. It is where I learned to ski and is my home mountain, so I have a special place in my heart for Bristol.

There are a variety of trails, from the bunny hill to a double black diamond, so there is something for every level. There is even a magic carpet on the bunny hill so it is much less work to learn how to ski or snowboard. There is no more having to grab on to the J or T bar and having it yank you up the hill. There are 35 slopes you can choose to conquer.  

There are two high speed quads, one located right in the center of the mountain running over the race trail, Comet, and another off to the right side of the mountain, called the Galaxy chair which serves mostly blue square and black diamond trails. There are also normal chairlifts that serve other parts of the mountain.


My favorite trails on the slope are Northstar, Southern Cross, Meteor and Rocket. Northstar is the trail that is furthest right on the mountain. It can be accessed from the main chair (Comet Express) but that involves having to gather quite a bit of speed to get across a relatively flat part of the mountain. I recommend going up the comet lift and taking a trail to the Galaxy lift, then accessing Northstar. Facing the mountain, the right side of the mountain is much less crowded than the left half. The left half has more beginner terrain which may be one of the reasons this is the case. Meteor and Rocket are both very fun and oftentimes challenging depending on conditions as well. Southern cross has been one of my favorites since I started skiing because of its twists and turns.

When you get hungry or cold and come inside to the lodge, be sure to check out Carver’s kitchen. There are plenty of options and most are delicious. I am a big fan of their waffle fries, but it also isn’t uncommon for me to get a brownie sundae or a sandwich.

If you aren’t an alpine skier, there are also two different Nordic trails that add up to 3 km. I have never been a Nordic skier, but I give props to anyone who is, cause that seems like a lot more work than my downhill skiing self could handle.

In the summer, Bristol Mountain runs Bristol Mountain Aerial Adventures which was just put in a few years ago. I still haven’t gotten a chance to try the course but everyone I know that has, has said it is a blast, but also quite a workout. If you get off of the Comet lift and ski to the left, you will see the course in the trees ahead.

In the fall, Bristol operates Fall Sky Rides. They have different vendors and events going on and the biggest part of the event is the actual sky ride. For a small fee you can ride the chairlift to the top of the mountain and back down taking in the beautiful fall colors of the Finger Lakes.


A picture from the parking lot during sky rides last year


If you like this article or are a skiing fan, check out my article about the struggles of an Upstate NY Skier. You might be able to relate.



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