Why You Need to Visit Belleayre Mountain Ski Center This Winter

Snowboarder at Belleayre Ski Center

When you go to Belleayre Mountain Ski Center on Galli Curci road in Highmount NY, one of the iconic sights is Jimmy’s Belleayre Ski Shop. You better get any last-minute items there before hitting the ski area. After that, be ready for the trails. Belleayre Ski Center has over 60 trails of beautiful New York snow to play on which will keep you busy all day.

Read on to discover everything you need to know and get an overview of Belleayre Mountain Ski Center.

Highlights of Belleayre Mountain Ski Center, Highmount, NY

Do you love the stats? Some of the highlights at the ski area include- 

  • 64 trails including the parks & glades
  • 1,404 feet of vertical drop
  • 175 skiable acres
  • Summit elevation of 3,429 feet

Where is Belleayre Mountain Ski Center Located?

Belleayre Mountain Ski Center is located in Highmount, New York. It is centrally located and better than heading out to the western Massachusetts resorts. Why? Well, coming from most places in New York, it will be less of a drive and often a better mountain. Here are some places within driving distance to Belleayre – 

  • Albany, NY – 1 hour and 30 minutes, 81 miles
  • New York, NY – 2 hours and 29 minutes, 135 miles 
  • Poughkeepsie, NY – 1 hour and 15 minutes, 63 miles 
  • Middletown, CT – 2 hours and 42 minutes, 159 miles
  • Springfield, MA – 2 hours and 27 minutes, 147 miles

What is Belleayre Mountain Ski Center?

Trails at Belleayre Mountain Ski Center.
Trails at Belleayre Mountain Ski Center. Photo Credit: sOOneron (Flickr CC)

Belleayre Mountain Ski Area is a Catskills Mountain gem.  The ski area started in the 1940s as a way for people to get out of the city and enjoy some winter skiing. That was just the start. Now Bellayre spans over 175 of skiable terrain and has riding for all levels. They even have evolved to running the Catskills Thunder Gondola to shuttle riders back to the top of the mountain.

Lodging Near Belleayre Mountain Ski Center

The Catskills of New York have always been known as a place to retreat. That makes it pretty easy to find lodging near Bellayre Mountain Ski Area. From vacation rental by owners to the Catskill Seasons Inn, Roxbury Experience and Urban Cowboy Lodge, there are some neat options to check out.

If you instead want a hotel near Bellayre Mountain, the closest one will be back in Kingston. There is a Hampton Inn which is about 50 minutes away. You have to remember you are in the Catskills. It will be much easier to find a cabin, cottage or lodge.

One More Option: 

Want a spa experience? Emerson Resort & Spa is 20 minutes from Bellayre Ski Area. It’s not a cheap cabin but if you want a luxurious experience, the Emerson approached lodging with that in mind.

Does Belleayre Mountain Ski Area Have Snowmaking?

96% of Belleayre Mountain Ski Area trails have snowmaking capabilities. Like we said, they have been skiing Belleayre since the 1940’s. It has only evolved ever since then.

What’s the News on the Bellayre Mountain Ski Resort Avalanche?

You might have heard the news. In 2020, an avalanche tore through the Overlook Lodge, breaking the windows and messing up stuff on the inside. So can it happen again? It can but it is rare.

Even at a mountain like Bellayre, it is something you need to have in the back of your mind. Essentially that one off avalanche was caused by a rainstorm drenching a heavy pack of snow.

The Best Time to Visit Belleayre Mountain Ski Center

The best time to visit Belleayre Mountain Ski Center is in the mornings. Take advantage of the freshly groomed trails and fresh blown powder from the night before. If you really want best time than go during the week in the morning. It will be less crowded and you can even beat some of the renters out to the trails if you take your own gear.

Does Belleayre Mountain Ski Center Have a Ski Shop?

You’ll pass Jimmy’s ski shop on the way in but Belleayre has a retail shop as well. It is mainly more suited for accessories, winter clothes and souvenirs. If you really need something that the retail shop doesn’t have, you might have to head back to Jimmy’s ski shop.

Belleayre Mountain Ski Center Terrain Park

 There is a big of freestyle terrain for all skill levels at Belleayre. There is the expert freestyle terrain on Area 51 but then beginner freestyle terrain in the terrain garden. You can also take Lower Roaring Brook to the X course and link up to Ashokan.

The park crew rotates features over the season but does a good job to keep a mix of boxes, rails, and jumps.

Is Belleayre Mountain Ski Center Good for Beginners?

You are going to love Belleayre Mountain if you are a beginner. The way that most of the trails south of Longhouse Lodge are beginner trails is super helpful to new riders. In fact, the learning area is at the base of the mountain. Take a lesson and you can quickly progress up to more of the mountain and graduate to more progressive trails.

Trails at Belleayre Mountain Ski Area – What to Know 

Black Diamond at Belleayre Mountain Ski Center
Black Diamond at Belleayre Mountain Ski Center. Photo Credit: sOOneron (Flickr CC)

So we have talked a little bit about there being beginner trails, terrain parks and even mentioned there are some glades. Having an idea of the breakdown of the trails might help so here it is –

  • 22% Beginner
  • 58% Intermediate
  • 20% Advanced

Some of the best riding is on the west side of the mountain. Trails like Dot Nebel, Dream Catcher Glade and Deer Run need to be on your must-ride list if you are skilled enough.

Other Winter Activities at Belleayre Mountain Ski Area 

Want something else to try at Belleayre Ski Area? There are 9.2 km of cross country trails at the base of the mountain. They are ungroomed and rely on natural snow but they are FREE. Most are beginner with a little bit of intermediate mixed in. If you have a set of nordic skis then you should probably pack them for the trip when you go.

Is There Summer Mountain Biking at Belleayre Mountain Ski Area ?

There is a mix of cross country mountain biking trails and hiking at Belleayre in the summer time. You can also use the trails in the summer but there is no lift access. Take the good with the bad but at least they let visitors on the trails.

Final Thoughts:

Belleayre Mountain Ski Center is definitely a ski area to consider if you are looking at the Catskills of New York. Overall they have plenty of trails to ride and it won’t leave you begging for anything in terms of east coast riding. Load up the car, whether it is one day or a weekend, Belleayre Ski Slopes are a great place for a winter vacation.

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