Read skier and snowboarder-submitted reviews on Swain that rank the ski resort and mountain town on a scale of one to five stars for attributes such as terrain, nightlife and family friendliness. See how Swain stacks up in the reviews, on and off the slopes, from skiing and family activities to the après scene. Read up on pros, cons and other comments in reviews left by fellow skiers and riders. Don't forget to submit your own Swain review! Scroll to the bottom of this page to let other travelers know about your skiing and resort experience.
Reviews for Swain
A ski resort's overall star rating displayed here is not calculated based on a simple average but takes several factors, including the age of a review, into account.
I started boarding here, used to enjoy it, and love that it's close to home except Everytime I went over the last ten years... It's just bad ice hidden under man made snow. Maybe it's bad luck but there's been a few times I only took 2 runs and went home.... Full Review
I've been skiing Swain since the 80's and I think the staff now are the friendliest you can find. You always feel welcome. It's small but I think they have the best in the area unless you want to drive another 75 minutes to Holiday Valley. I really wish they could expand and they have added a few runs in the past few years but I'd really love to see more. I think they do the best they possibly can with snow making when the weather cooperates. So far this year, well it's Dec 12 and it was 63 degrees today! So.......it could be a while until they can get up & running this year. But when they can they have the snow making in progress. We have went other places, been disappointed and in the same day drove back to Swain to finish up the day.... Full Review
For a small resort, it offers a little bit of everything. There is a great variety of trails for all levels of skiers. I have been skiing at Swain for 16 years and still have not become bored with what the mtn offers. The town is very quaint at the base of Swain. It has a slim but great selection for food/ housing services. Come hang with the awesome group of locals!... Full Review
Been skiing Swain since highschool, back when it was a good area. I've had a pass for the last 35+ years but not this year due to how bad skiing was last season. Lack of snowmaking, poor grooming and trails listed as "open" that had barely sufficient snow on them to ski the run. Late opening during the week and races every weekend which ties up the middle of the resort runs. Like a ghost town during the week, never a lift line and most runs you can have to yourself. Hope they have a better season this year. I'm skiing xc.... Full Review
I have been going to Swain since 1982. It is small compared with the major New York and New England ski areas but it is an excellent local resort for weekend skiing. Swain has good snow making and good grooming. I have participated in the adult race program for over 15 years. Cy Axtell runs a great racing program. Swain like most local resorts suffered through several mild winters that reduced the number of skiable trails and severely impacted the snow quality. That was not the resorts fault. They put forth a great effort to keep as much terrain open as possible. When the weather is favorable Swain is great.... Full Review
I wouldnt recommend this mountain for beginners. The size and steepness of the mountain is favorable to beginners, however the conditions of the terrain are not. Ive visited swain multiple times in hopes that they would redeem themselves. Every time I have been there the conditions were very icy, not to mention there were spots that werent even fully covered and undergrowth was visible and sticking out at least a foot from the ground. I am an experienced rider. I have been to various mountains, and these conditions were in my opinion unacceptable, especially for someone learning. After expressing my disappointment to the management after only 20 minutes of being there, my feelings were dismissed in a very rude manner. The manager said that they werent going to do anything about it because people were so-called raving about how great the conditions were, and were supposedly raving all over Facebook. The management didnt even express any sort of apology at the very least. They continued to lie about what people were saying. I even went as far to check their Facebook page to see the fans raving. There wasnt a post in sight about these so-called excellent conditions. Its one thing to have sub-par conditions, but to lie and be rude to a customer is another. I will never go here again. I will continue to go to the other mountains in the area which have better conditions, not to mention a pleasant staff. ... Full Review
I will never forget skiing at Swain as long as I live. That is where I learned to ski when I was just 4 years old, and I skied there continuously until the end of high school. I go back now on occasion, but do not visit much because I am able to get sharply discounted tickets at other mountains close-by.
The beginner terrain selection is some of the best in New York State, and there are three hills served by a beginner quad lift that allow you to step up in difficulty gradually. The Lower Robinson beginner run is almost as steep as the blues there and so forth. Mile Sweep is a great easier mile-long tree-lined cruise, with a little challenge at the end. The upper section had thinned-out tres on the right side, which is a great introduction to tree skiing.
Intermediate skiers will most enjoy Clark and 80-Acres, two wide cruising trails with steep upper sections, or they can venture into three "woodsy" trails: Promenade, Dozey Doe (my favorite), and Ben Blakley, or check out the NEW "The Glade," for some good tree skiing with an easy-to-moderate pitch. There are also 6 new natural intermediate trails on the west side to be installed in the past three years, the best of which being Twister and Maverick.
About 50% of Swain's trails are rated as black-diamond, so you have a ton of possibilities. The best introduction to black diamond skiing is on Rattler, which has a steep top and bottom section with rolling terrain in between, then Old Main or Wheel's Run (home to the race course, and awesome cruising). For years as a kid, I was scared of the steep pitches of Upper Brewer and Upper Robinson's Run... so be sure to check them out for some groomed (or mogulled) steeps. Then there's Last Will, the upper section being mogulled heavily and almost never groomed, with an interesting converging double fall line that deepens as you go down (carved by water running down the middle of the hill), and then the great rolling terrain of the lower section (known as "Testament"). If you want some unmarked tree skiing that is a real challenge, try the section of woods near the top between 80-acres and Rattler, but be sure to duck in some spots. Or you can try the woods between Upper Robinson's and Upper Brewer... there's a few old zig-zagging service roads in there too that are fun.
Swain provides great skiing and riding, and has a new beginner carpet lift, 3 Quad chairs, and a double-chair affectionately knows as "Turbo," because it is fast and serves the most terrain options. The lodge has one of the best set-ups in WNY, and has a very family-oriented atmosphere.
The Zero-G terrain park is located opposite Clark on Pines, with rail features on Old Main, and some other features sometimes located on 80-Acres and Upper Robinson.
You will definitely enjoy yourself at Swain, and is the BEST place in WNY to learn to ski. And come after a snowstorm... the best skiing is on the natural trails and in the woods in my opinion.... Full Review
We visited Swain (12/27/08) on the way to Niagara Falls, originally we wasn't sure if this is the right place for my two daughters (6 and 8 years old) to learn ski. After 5hrs driving, I have no choice to let them have take a ski lesson and miracle happen, instractor is wonderful (2 to 1, should say 2 instractors to 1 student), staffs from learning center are toooooo friendly, food cost is too good to believe,.... We had so much fun at this one so we went back 4 days after on return home trip, additional from previous good treatments, my daughters loved so much they took 2 leassons on the day and both of them went up to top and ski down by themself. I'm so thankful everybody from Swain, we had so much fun and my daughters will remember where they lean how to ski. ... Full Review
I went to Swain a little hesitant...small town, small area, old lifts. All that didn't matter when I started skiing. The mountain was prestine. The mountain crew worked hard to make the corduroy perfect. The grooming, the lift staff, the customer service department...all wonderful. What a great bunch of people and a great way to spend your day. The mountain is a bit small but skiis like the best around. ... Full Review
this place has so many lifts there are never any liftlines even on weekends. the lifts are a little slow. the grooming is very good. the hill skies long for 650 vertical. the lodge is state of the art.... Full Review
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