Skiing & Snowboarding in the Catskills
Whether you’re a pro looking to get in some epic runs or a family with first-time skiers, the array of ski mountains and resorts in Upstate New York Catskill Mountains offer something for everyone. With world-class snowmaking equipment, many Catskill ski mountains open in November. Just a few hours from New York City, Connecticut or Boston, the Catskill Mountains are an easy ski vacation destination with plentiful lodging, dining and off-mountain entertainment opportunities.
Guide to some of the best skiing and snowboarding options in New York State:
Belleayre Ski Center
Home to the highest ski slope in the Catskills, Belleayre Mountain Ski Center’s picturesque mountain trails offer some of the region’s most varied terrain. Beginners and experts alike will find their perfect run on long-crusing trails, glades, parks and steeps. Belleayre has 174 skiable acres, 50 trails, cross country ski trails, eight lifts, including a high-speed gondola and detachable quad, and four lodges. Lessons are offered at the mountain and can be purchased online. Choose from private lessons or beginner/novice group lessons for adults, teens and kids.
At over 3,000 feet, Hunter Mountain caters to skiers and riders of all abilities with four separate mountain faces and a signature terrain park with jumps, transitions and rails. A quarter of the ski area is dedicated to providing comfortable and spacious learning terrain for first-timers, while the seasoned expert will find plenty of steeps and bumps for adventure among its 67 trails. Thanks to the latest in grooming technology and a deep manmade base on all slopes, you know you’ll be riding quality trails. Feeling brave? Scope out trails from above on Hunter Mountain’s year-round zipline.
Windham Mountain Resort
Quality, personal skier experience is the emphasis at Windham Mountain with new features, such as a canopy cover over one of the beginner slope’s “magic carpet” lifts to shield new skiers from the elements. A third detachable quad lift was recently installed for shorter lines, fewer crowds and more time to ski. Windham is particularly known for its learn-to-ski program. An online reservation system makes it both easy to reserve lessons as well as line up a time to get any rental gear you might need. equipped. Snowboarders can test their skills and get serious air in the terrain park.
Plattekill is one of the best ski mountains for families and beginner skiers. Plattekill Mountain will keep a family plenty busy with 39 different trails to explore and skiing for all ability levels, including steep double black diamonds with 1100 feet of vertical drop. The mountain offers lessons and specialty kids programs on smaller learning-sized hills, to not only help get new skiers and snowboarders down the slopes but also instill a lasting passion for the sport. Lift tickets can be reserved online and both a walk-up and drive-up kiosk are on site to check in for tickets, rental eqiupment and lessons.
Holiday Mountain in Monticello is ideal for beginners to the sport. With seven trails as well as a tubing area and magic carpet lift, it’s a small ski area with a lot to offer. The Ski Club provides a safe and fun program with “bunny hills” for all ages to develop the necessary skills to excel in skiing and snowboarding. Private and group lessons are available, as well as a program specially designed for kids as young as four-years-old. Snow tubing is offered on weekends, and night skiing is available on select dates.
Snow Tubing & Off-Mountain Activities
In the Catskills, winter fun doesn’t stop when you shed the skis or drop your board. In addition to world-class skiing and snowboarding, the mountain resorts of the Catskills provide plenty of no-skills-needed, snow fun and off-mountain activities to round out a getaway.
Guide to the tubing and off-mountain activities at Catskill Resorts:
Hunter Mountain boasts one of the biggest tubing parks in New York State. The 1,000-foot-long tubing hill is a dedicated facility, meaning you don’t need to worry about watching out for skiers or snowboarders. Yet it still keeps you close to the other downhill action. When you’re ready to relax, head inside to one of two eateries for a bite to eat and browse top ski and snowboard brands in their shop. For a real treat, indulge in an exclusive self-care experience at the Mountain Club Spa and make it a round-the-clock Hunter Mountain vacation by staying at the Kaatskill Mountain Club Lodge or another one of the mountain’s signature lodging properties.
To ensure the best possible snow tubing experience, Windham Mountain grooms their tubing trail and provides conveyor belt transport to return you and your tube back up to the top of the hill! Their Adventure Park also offers ice skating and a fleet of Arctic Cat snowmobiles for kids ages between ages 6 and 13 (and under 120 pounds) to ride on a groomed oval track. For those who prefer a more even-keeled experience, Windham’s Nordic Center is the perfect place for snowshoeing. Rejuvenate your mind and body with an immersive Snowshoe/Yoga trek, a 1.5- 2 hour sojourn into the woods with a certfieid ski and yoga instructor. The trek includes breath work and stops for yoga poses, stretches and taking in the views . When you’re ready to take a break from all the action, relax and recharge with a luxurious treatment at the Alpine Spa.
All-day tubing at Plattekill Mountain is a breeze thanks to the conveyor carpet lift service. It’s all the fun of tubing without the tiring trek back to the top! When you’ve tubed up an appetite, head inside the base lodge for a bite to eat and a beverage. Visit on a live entertainment night for the full après ski experience. Villa Roma Resort and Conference Center in Callicoon also offers a variety of off-mountain activities. Warm up in their chalet before heading into the snow for tubing and ice-skating.
Snowboarding and skiing in the Catskills offer an experience to remember.