Hidden Gems of NY: Belleayre Mountain

Gregg Frantz | | Conditions ReportConditions Report

I have been trying to get to Belleayre Mountain, located in New York, for a while, I have heard so many good things about it, and Belleayre did not disappoint! The ski resort is nestled in the beautiful Catskill Mountains and is about a 2 1/2 hours north of New York City. The day I arrived at Belleayre, they had received some fresh snow from the previous day and it was still dumping snow when I arrived early in the morning.

Quick Facts and History:

  • First Opened in 1949
  • Elevation: 3,429 Feet
  • Total Skiable Acres: 175
  • Longest Trail: 2 1/4 Miles
  • Largest Vertical Drop: 1,404 Feet
  • 64 Trails
  • 8 Lifts: Including a High-Speed Gondola and Quad
  • Cross Country Trails: 9.2 k
  • Beginner Slopes: 22%
  • Intermediate Slopes: 58%
  • Expert Slopes: 20%
  • 2 Terrain Parks
  • 3 Lodges

On my first trip up the mountain, I took the high-speed gondola and had the opportunity to talk to three other passengers riding up to the summit with me. The conversation began with all of us discussing how great the snow conditions were but quickly shifting to us genuinely laughing so hard because none of us have had the opportunity to ski fresh powder all season long! It was funny because in the last few seasons in parts of the Northeast, there have not been many fresh pow days, and we have all gotten used to skiing on the mix of real snow and artificial snow that none of us were prepared for it.

I could not see the mountain when I first arrived because of the snowstorm, making it difficult to decide which trail I would want to hit on my first run. One of the passengers in the gondola was a season pass holder, and he advised me to start my day off on an intermediate trail called “Deer Run.” The trail started slow and dropped into a series of headwalls and long flat stretches of groomers topped with fresh snow. It was a nice long trail for the Northeast that took about ten minutes to get from the summit to the base.

Most of the runs at Belleayre allow you to get your bearings before you descend the trail and not just drop in, and the mountain is right in your face. Also, most of the trails gradually level off once you are about halfway down the mountain, which is geared toward beginner to intermediate skiers and riders.

Photo Credit: Gregg Frantz

My favorite run on the mountain was called “Yahoo,” a double diamond mogul run that I did not discover until later in the afternoon. It was a great run, and when I started down the slope, it looked like no one had been on it all day. It was a series of straight headwalls with moguls covered with fresh powder. I was unprepared for those moguls with 3 to 5 inches of fresh powder on them. It was the first time I had skied moguls with that much snow on top of them, and my legs were burning at the end of the run.

Belleayre Mountain has an excellent reputation throughout the Northeast as one of the better mountains to check out if you get the opportunity. It has challenging terrain for experts to hit while still having designated areas for beginners to learn in a safe environment. I would highly recommend that any skiers or riders who can check out Belleayre do it.

Travel Tip: If you plan to check out Belleayre Mountain and are driving from the Northeastern part of PA and your GPS gives you a route that is 30 mins shorter than the other routes, do not take it. The shorter route, by time, takes you through some country roads, and it took me an hour longer to arrive at the mountain than if I had just stayed on the interstate highways. The route that takes you through the country roads also has a dead zone where I drove for 23 miles straight, lost cellular service, my GPS, and even XM radio. It was a little nerve-racking because I had never been to Belleayre before, I had no idea where I was, and it was dumping snow on narrow country roads that were not plowed yet. A positive note on this is that it did take you through some stunning sections of the Catskill Mountains.


For more information on Belleayre, check out their website: https://www.belleayre.com.

Photo Credit: Belleayre Mountain

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3 thoughts on “Hidden Gems of NY: Belleayre Mountain

  1. That’s Shavertown bridge on the pepacton reservoir it’s in the video. You’re on rte 30 which is a major artery in the area. Yeah if it’s snowing or it has snowed, logically you wouldn’t take back roads. You’re in the country prepare for it. Have your gps already programmed so when you’re in a spotty area you still have directions. Coming from PA it’s a rural route. Coming from NYC area and driving on rte 28 is not as rural until you’re a half an hour from belleayre. Belleayre has cell service and WiFi. Plenty of gas stations on the way on rte 28, rte 30 not as many. Sometimes you have to go old school that’s why you come to the country to unplug. Belleayre is fantastic for families and beginners too. Also,Margaretville is a cute town with shops and a grocery store, restaurants all near belleayre.

  2. Nice report. I got lost twenty times around there, including on the same bridge as in the video, LOL. The small mountain roads are beautiful and amazing to drive on but can be surprisingly empty and remote. You need to have a real map, gas in the tank, not rely on phone service, and sometimes find your way with no road signs. Nevada is easier to drive across. If this is not fun for you, stay with bigger roads and towns. The drive won’t be much longer.

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