Nestled in the deep wilderness of the Catskills in central New York, Belleayre Mountain is a striking ski area. The Catskills are especially gorgeous in the winter and the road conditions are generally well-maintained, especially around the ski resort, which is just off of Route 28.
Families and children are extremely well-received at Belleayre and the ski instructors really care about making the best atmosphere possible for the kids. The resort works extremely hard accommodate everyone and create the best experience possible. The fact that the ski resort is state-run and located on a wilderness preserve is an added bonus because the focus remains on providing great customer service and maintaining and preserving the land, not on making tons of money.
The mountain is more than 170 acres and contains over 50 runs of varying ability levels. There is even a twp-mile green run for novices seeking a nice cruiser. The rest of the trails are divided as follows, 22% percent beginner, 58 percent intermediate, and 20 percent expert and advanced, including several black diamond trails for seasoned skiers. Another bonus for more adventurous skiers are the five ungroomed glades replete with moguls and fantastic tree skiing. For freestyler skiers, Belleayre boasts a terrain park and a halfpipe. The terrain is greatly varied and promises challenges for every level of skier. The resort also has 98% snowmaking ability when conditions aren’t at their best.
Belleayre Snow Park NASTAR Race Series has a full calendar of competitions for kids and adults. Belleayre offers gate training in slalom and giant slalom, as well as a variety of programs for competitive and recreational racers of all ages. There is also snowboarding lessons for kids, a freestyle program, a holiday training camp for children and other lessons that help hone alpine skiing skills and techniques.
The resort does not offer slope side lodging but does have an extensive array of additional services and facilities for its guests. There are several cafeterias, a first aid center, ski and snowboard rental and retail shops, a cocktail lounge and a full-service ski school available. The base lodges are basic, but warm and inviting. The resort normally teams up with accommodations in the area and offers great ski and stay packages throughout the winter.
The mountain stretches over more than 170 acres, contains 50+ runs, has 5 glades, and the only cat-access skiing in New York state. There is 98% snowmaking ability, so snow conditions will be optimal even when the whether is not. In fact, Belleayre has spent the last 60 years evolving from a humble, isolated wilderness ski area into a state-of-the-art facility for snowboarders and freestyle skiers of all ages and ability levels. Belleayre’s Learning Circle is available to teach students the basics of skiing or riding, including park riding.
There are several terrain park areas at Belleayre. There is a progression park that starts small and ends large. It has plenty of natural and manmade features for all ability levels including boxes, jibs and jumps. There is also a large quarter-pipe at the resort best for intermediate and experienced park riders. Additionally, Belleayre houses a rail garden for riders looking to brush up on skills or learn some new ones.
The Catskills is an area replete with fun winter activities. Several resorts nearby boast tubing parks, there is ice skating, sleigh rides, hiking, cross country skiing and snowshoeing. In Cooperstown baseball buffs should head to the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Rabid soccer fans will want to visit the National Soccer Hall of Fame in nearby Oneonta, New York.
There are no condominiums or hotels along the slopes and no strip development up to the base lodge. Since it is owned and maintained by New York State, development in the area is kept to a bare minimum. The lack of development is a huge advantage for guests wanting a pure mountain experience. The downside of little development is the distinct lack of nightlife which is essentially non-existent at Belleayre. There is one cocktail lounge in the main lodge and a bar or two in Highmount where Belleayre is located. There are a few lodging accommodations such as some cozy bed and breakfasts and a few small, comfortable hotels, however, that’s about it. Check out ski and stay packages in the area for additional savings.
Getting to Belleayre is easy. The resort is located near both Albany, NY and New York City. There are a variety of shuttles that pick guests up from several points in New York City, New Jersey and in Long Island. The resort is easily accessible by car off of Route 28 in Highmount, New York.