It’s easy to fall into a slump in the bitter cold of winter, but spending some time on the slopes is one sure way to perk up. There are a number of ski resorts in the Catskills and the Berkshires— ranging from local, family-friendly locales to more bustling, upscale venues. With new lifts, trails, and dining options, these ski areas continue to expand what it means to spend winter in New York. Here’s our guide to some of the best places to hit the slopes in the Hudson Valley for the 2021/22 ski season.
Belleayre Mountain | Highmount
is a family-friendly ski center and resort located in Highmount run by the Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA). With several high-difficulty runs and glade skiing, Belleayre provides skiing and snowboarding challenges for a range of experience. Talking stats, Belleayre has eight lifts, four lodges, 174 skiable acres, 50 total trails, a terrain park, 5 glades, and almost 10 kilmeters of ungroomed cross-country trails that are free to use. Belleayre’s four lodges include summit Sunset Lodge at 3,325 feet, mid-mountain Overlook Lodge at 2,542 feet, and lower- mountain Discovery Lodge at 2,035 feet. First-time skier and rider lessons, camps for the kiddos, and private lessons are all offered out of one central location: The Discovery Lodge, which has recently been revamped with increased seating, floor-to-ceiling windows, and a new patio. One feature unique to Belleayre is its Catskill Thunder gondola; Belleayre is the only Catskill resort to have this type of aerial lift.
Catamount Mountain Resort | Hillsdale
Straddling the New York/Massachusetts border, Catamount
is a family-friendly resort that caters to first-timers and snow enthusiasts alike. Now with a newly constructed 350-seat Mountain Lodge, 42 trails and park areas, and eight lifts including three Wonder Carpet surfaces, Catamount is more extensive than ever. The resort has directed a lot of attention toward snowmaking and grooming over the last 18 months, adding almost 200 snow guns, three grooming machines including a new Prinoth Leitwolf, four retention ponds, three pumps, and five miles of snowmaking pipe. For those hoping to sharpen their skills on the snow, Catamount’s SnowSports lessons are taught by PSIA/AASI-certified instructors for all experience levels, including adaptive lessons. Ski under the stars on Catamount’s 15 trails open for night skiing and snowboarding including the Bobcat and Panther terrain parks.
Windham Mountain | Windham
has undergone multimillion-dollar renovations in the past few years, increasing snowmaking and grooming, amenities and lodging, and total capacity on the ski slopes. Guests can enjoy sit-down dining at the Seasons restaurant or gaze out at 360-degree mountain views at the enclosed Umbrella Bar on the patio. Windham has also added a new ski simulator, which offers skiers the chance to virtually experience slopes across the globe. With six terrain parks, 1,600 vertical feet of skiing and riding, 54 trails, and 11 total lifts, the mountain’s 285 acres of trails is nothing to scoff at. But if the kids are looking for some fun, pop over to Windham’s snow tubing Adventure Park with six lanes of 650-feet tubing slopes.
Plattekill Mountain | Roxbury
Located in the Northwestern Catskills and independently owned by the Vatjay family for over 25 years, Plattekill
is known for its laid-back, small mountain charm. Doubling as a wedding venue in the warmer months, the scrappy ski resort includes four lifts, a terrain park, and 38 trails. From two-mile beginner cruising slopes to steep double black diamonds with 1,100 feet of vertical drop, Plattekill can entertain snow lovers of all levels. Recent operational updates include a new snowmaking pump and motor to increase snowmaking speed and efficiency. Another new feature at Plattekill includes the Platty Shack, a grab-and-go cafe with food and beverages located on the outdoor deck for skiers and snowboarders on the run. Snowtubing is also available at Plattekill, with a newly implemented Conveyor Carpet Lift that lets guests enjoy speedy downhill rides without losing their breath on the climb to the top.
Hunter Mountain | Hunter
Self-titled the “closest big mountain to NYC,” Hunter Mountain
sees its fair share of city folk as well as local skiers and snowboarding enthusiasts during its busy winter season. With four separate mountain faces, Hunter has a high concentration of difficult slopes as well as Empire Terrain Parks with jumps and rails to freestyle on. The resort’s size has recently increased, now boasting 67 trails, 13 lifts, and 320 skiable acres. Hunter Mountain covers all your food needs with the lodge’s Marketplace Food Court with several restaurants and bars such as Santini’s Pizza and Jerry’s Deli. But when guests get hungry out on the slopes, Hunter offers several quick snacking options. Stop by the Snack Shop in the snow tubing lodge for a pick-me-up before heading out to the snow tubing chutes or grab some hot chocolate and Belgian Liege Waffles at Pika’s Waffle Stop.
Mount Peter | Warwick
Located in Warwick, Mount Peter
is popularly known as New York’s family mountain. As one of the oldest operating ski areas in the state, Mount Peter has been providing wintertime fun to tourists and locals alike for over 80 years. Its particular focus is on supporting novice skiers and riders, even offering free beginner lessons at their ski and snowboarding school. New amenities at Mount Peter include their instructional Valley View beginner location serviced by a carpet lift to allow ease of motion on the slope, perfect for those who understand the basics but are intimidated by lifts. With 14 groomed trails, a terrain park, and two lodges, including the base Sunrise Lodge, Mount Peter provides fun for the whole family. Special features at Mount Peter include night skiing open each week Tuesday through Saturday and a 600-foot snowtubing run equipped with a carpet lift.