Pros: 50 trails (Green 22% -- Blue 58% -- Black 20%), High speed quad lift, good value, Over 1,200' (366m) vertical, usually not overcrowded, 4 lodges
Cons: No night skiing, no ski on/off lodging slopeside, few activities to do if you are not on the slopes, it is a bit far for me to drive 3hrs
It is about
1h40m from Albany, NY.
2 hours from city limits of NYC
2h40m from Ithaca, NY.
2h45m from Flemington, NJ.
3 hours from Worcester, MA
3 hours from Freehold Twp, NJ.
It is about 3 hours -- 200mi(320km) -- from my house in central NJ. This is about my time limit for a day trip of skiing.
Although Bellearye is not as easy to get to as some other resorts, I think this helps the ski area avoid overcrowding of the slopes that occurs at other mountains.
There are two parking areas (Overlook and Discovery). Discovery is on the bottom, closer to the green trails and rental shop. Overlook has 2 lodges, Discovery has 1 lodge and there is a 4th lodge at the summit (Sunset lodge) near the drop off point of SuperChief (the high speed detachable quad). I would not consider the lodges to be very modern. They have a nice rustic feel and are pleasant to stay inside. I really enjoyed the fireplace in the Overlook lodge. I can not speak for the food available (either quality or prices). The rental shop is in a new building. It offers Rossignol skis for rentals. Rentals are about $46/day
Bellearye is a very good ski area for people of all skill levels. It has a total vertical of 1404', but a true vertical of 1280' (according to mountain vertical). The mountain is divided into two areas: the lower part is primarily for the beginner skiers and the upper part is mainly for intermediate and expert skiers. Even though there are no green trails on the upper part of the mountain, advanced beginners willing to try should be able to ski down Roaring Brook or Deer Run – these are two of the easier blue trails. Roaring Brook at 12,024' (3,665m) is Bellearye's longest trail. There are 50 trails (Green 22% – Blue 58% – Black 20%). Some of the trails have moguls. There are some trails that go through the trees.
There are 2 or 3 terrain parks for those interested, but I do not have any knowledge of the quality of these parks. Belleayre also has programs for kids and adults to learn and improve their skiing.
The lodges are open from 8am to 5pm. The lifts work 9am to 4pm. Unfortunately night skiing is not offered. The high speed detachable quad (Super Chief) can take you to the top of the mountain in about 5m30s. The green lifts were much slower. It took about 10 minutes to travel a much shorter distance than the SC. The other lifts while slower than the SC were much quicker than the green lifts.
Lift speed was not too much of an issue since the lines were very short to nonexistent.
I found the staff to be friendly and helpful. Ticket prices are reasonable. A regular adult lift ticket is $52/day, but there are deals around that can reduce the cost to you. I found a good price through liftopia ($30). The snow quality was good during my visit throughout the entire day.
On the top of the mountain, if you look towards the northwest you can see Plattekill ski area which is about a 30 minutes drive from Bellearye. One day I'll get there and then have another review to write.