The Catskills in a nutshell

A Review On: Belleayre Mountain

Belleayre Mountain

Rated # 5 in New York
See all 5 reviews
Review Details:
Value
Downhill Terrain
Family Friendly
Nightlife
Terrain Park
Purchased on:
Price paid: $44.00
IceCoast
Posted · 279 Views · 1 Comment

Pros: accessible, skiable terrain, family friendly

Cons: slow lifts, can be crowded

Belleayre is the quintessential Catskills skiing area. Nothing too steep or too bumpy here, so you can basically take your family all over the mountain if they're not beginners. As usual if you stay off the beaten path, there's fresh soft snow to be found. This day the conditions were great, the snow was soft, and the lift lines were short. Good day on the mountain. If you're looking for a wild challenge, look elsewhere. Otherwise, this is a decent spot to get some good turns in. 

1 Comment:

Hello IceCoast,
 
Just a few comments about Belleayre.
 
The area was originally a facility with limited lifts accessed by a ski train to the Highmount station from Kingston on the Ulster-Delaware railroad. The original trails were steep and narrow on the upper mountain and flat on the lower. The lodge is a classic stone floor big timber interior. As time passed chairlifts were added including a detachable quad.
 
It has recently changed management from Conservation Department to ORDA (the folks who manage Whiteface, Gore, and the Olympic Training Facilities). Because of that there are changes happening. ORDA fully supports competition and is putting their money where their mouth is. A new Gondola will run from the lower (Discovery)area to the true top of Belleayre. From there all trails with a bit of traversing will be available. Improvements to the lodges are planned. Although you can still see wool socks drying by the fire, the food and bar are improving. Under conservation management the area closed at 4:30. Under ORDA there is some adjustment for seasonal light. There is some thought of activating the old Highmount Ski area and dedicating it to race training to free up the popular Dot Nebel trail for public skiing.
 
When you travel to Belleayre you could go another stop or two on I87 and go to Hunter or Windham or continue another hour or so to Whiteface, but why bother? There is plenty of skiing there and it is, relatively speaking, undiscovered. Lift lines at Windham are typically 45 minutes and Hunter is like the Times Square subway station. Sure it's an antique ski area and don't expect a Guchi outlet, but if you want to ski in a family friendly resort with short lift lines and decent snow; stop by Belleayre. But please ... don't bring your five thousand friends from Manhattan. 
 
Catskill Eddie