Belleayre Mountain is one of the best ski areas in New York. Found a few hours north of New York City in Catskill Park, this Catskill Mountains resort has come a long way since it opened in the late 1940s. Before the first lifts were installed, skiers used to hike more than 3,000 feet up Belleayre Mountain before taking on tree-filled trails. These days, eight lifts carry skiers and snowboarders alike up the mountain. One of these lifts is a high-speed quad that moves fast and can carry four people at a time. There are 47 trails that cater to all levels. They are spread out over 173 acres, with the longest one being more than two miles long. When you also consider the 1,400-foot vertical drop, it becomes evident that the Belleayre Ski Area can provide skiers and snowboarders with plenty of thrills.
When you're not skiing or snowboarding on the main trails at Belleayre Mountain, you might check out the Cat-Access runs. These are mostly wooded glades that cater to those who enjoy tree skiing. Snowcats, which are machines that are used to groom ski resort trails, are the "cats" that provide access to the more wild terrain. If you aren't up for tree skiing, but you still want a challenge, the Belleayre Ski Area features a collection of single and double black diamond runs. The easier green and blue trails are also plentiful for those who aren't as skilled. Both skiing lessons and snowboarding lessons can be arranged for most ages, with the KidsCamp being ideal for youngsters who are just starting out. After a few hours of lessons, kids who enroll in the KidsCamp program are treated to lunch.
Belleayre skiing and snowboarding are available between late November and late March. On average, the resort gets around 140 inches of natural snow on an annual basis and machines are in place to make manmade snow if needed. Three lodges provide places to rest or get something to eat when you need a break from skiing or snowboarding, and a fourth offers a venue for private parties, meetings, and other special events. The lodges at the Belleayre Ski Area are open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., while the lifts run between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Belleayre Mountain is a multi-season destination that is actually owned by the state of New York. Warm weather activities include fishing, swimming, boating, and hiking, and it is also worth noting that the resort offers a summer concert series and other fun events throughout the year. Regardless of the season, Belleayre Mountain lodging offers a variety of options for those who need a place to stay. A number of budget motels, such as the Margaretville Motel and Suites and the Northland Motel and Restaurant are just a few miles from the mountain. You will also find a bunch of bed and breakfasts and a few lodges in the area. The Alpine Osteria Bed and Breakfast is among the closest B&Bs, while a nearby lodge that deserves a look is the Belleayre Lodge and Cabins. For those who have added privacy in mind when it comes to Belleayre Mountain lodging, cabin rentals are in relatively good supply throughout the area, and there are plenty of other ski resorts in the area, including Hunter Mountain.
Regardless of your budget and preference, finding a good place to stay in the area shouldn't be difficult. Plans are in the works to build an upscale resort hotel at the resort, in which case the options for Belleayre Mountain lodging are only set to improve. Any and all future improvements are intended to coincide with a more general push to re-establish the Catskill Mountains as a prime getaway destination for residents of the New York City Metropolitan Area, residents of the even closer capital city of Albany, and anyone else for that matter.