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Great Skiing Getaways
Westchester Magazine
November, 2009

13 “Ski and Stay”cations

By: Karen Holly Berliner

In these up/down/up again economic times and with the crisp chill of winter looming in the air, why not choose a local ski getaway when planning your next vacation? The Northeast is stocked with ski areas. With so many options at your beck and call, any direction you drive will bring you right smack in the middle of a winter wonderland. Here is a list of top-notch nearby ski-trip destinations.

The Catskill Mountains: More Ski Belt than Borscht Belt

There are several ski areas in this spectacular New York State region, most within an hour’s drive of Westchester, including Hunter Mountain and Bellayre Mountain, among several others. All offer top-notch trails.

Let It Snow: Ski Hunter Mountain

Hunter is located in the spectacular mountaintop region of the Northern Catskills, unmatched for their beauty. More than 1,000 snow guns quickly blanket the entire mountain, making Hunter renowned for its snow conditions. Miles of state hiking trails lead to breathtaking views of the Hudson Valley and the surrounding peaks.

Reach the Heights: Ski Belleayre Mountain and Plattekill Mountain

Belleayre Mountain in Highmount, New York, hasn’t changed much since it opened in 1949. Early on, skiers would sidestep or hike their way more than 3,000 feet to be the first to make tracks down un-named and woody trails. It would eventually become the center for winter sports in the region, with a 3,429-foot summit and 171 skiable acres. It is the highest skiable peak and boasts the longest skiable trail in the Catskills. Skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts love Plattekill for its long and challenging runs.

That Big-Mountain Feel: Ski Windham Mountain

Since it opened in 1960, Windham Mountain has enjoyed a world class reputation by offering a wide variety of top-notch terrain for all ages and abilities. Located in New York’s Northern Catskills and with more vertical drops than the Berkshires, Windham allows for an authentic big mountain ski experience within a two-hour drive of Westchester County. Over the past three years, three new trails and four new lifts have been added to the facility as well as the Windham Mountain Adventure Park complete with a thrill seekers bungee trampoline, a rock climbing wall, and an ice skating center. Guest can take full advantage of amenities such as valet parking and direct-to-lift ski passes. The onsite ski lodge includes a Starbucks coffee, the Yokahama Mama Sushi Bar, and services such as a ski school and the Windham Mountain Sports retail shop. Its restaurant Trail’s End Tavern & Grill invites après skiers to a feast within its beautiful timber, stone, and copper space.

Local Lodging

The Roxbury Motel: The Roxbury is a new boutique motel, hugged by the Catskill Mountains in the historic village of Roxbury. Its bright, colorful whimsical, rooms (décor veers from kitschy to cosmic) manage without effort and fancy wrappings to put a contemporary spin on an old country lodging experience. “Theme” rooms inspired by famous TV series, films, or cartoons of the 1960s and ’70s are this motel’s claim to fame, and it manages to pull this off without being corny.
Roxbury, NY (607) 326-7200. Cost: $125—$335

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