Sunday, November 15, 2009

Ring In Winter Close To Home In The Great Western Catskills

Winter kicked into high gear with a major storm and accumulation of fresh powder this past week. For many in the downstate New York area, there’s no better place to enjoy winter weekends than at the closest slopes in the Great Western Catskills of Delaware County.

As an early northeaster dumped over a foot and a half of snow on the ski slopes, the spirits of skiers and snowboarders have soared. At Plattekill Mountain in Roxbury, they’re busy grooming the trails and moguls, and setting up race courses.
A number of nearby lodging facilities and private home rentals have partnered with Plattekill Mountain to offer money-saving packages. The most popular offering is the Kids Ski Free option. When visitors stay with a participating lodging facility, children 17 and under will receive one free lift ticket for each paid adult ticket (limit two). For families with more than two kids or with no kids Plattekill has a great new buy one get one BOGO discount. Buy a full day lift ticket for Saturday and get Sunday’s lift ticket free. Kids under 5 always ski free.

Signing up for e-blasts from the tourism office at and from Plattekill Mountain will keep you up to date on the great offerings and ski conditions at 3000 feet above sea level. A trip to the Catskills runs 2 hours from the George Washington Bridge to Belleayre and a few minutes more to Plattekill in Roxbury. Mountain evenings are always cold and perfect for snow making. So even if it’s not snowing where you live, check out conditions up in our mountains.

Plattekill maintains its charm as a challenging mountain that is incredibly family friendly. The ski area is open Friday-Sunday from 8:45 a.m.-4:15 p.m. Plattekill will also be open daily during the week between Christmas and New Years as well as in February for the Presidents’ Week holiday. Saturday nights are especially exciting with snow tubing available from 5-9 p.m and extra nights during holiday weeks. Plattekill also offers Powder Daize – opening the day after they receive 10 inches of new powder no matter what day of the week.

Belleayre Mountain, the state run ski center, provides skiing seven days a week, and offers a children under 12 ski free program with their lodging partners. Also available is a mid week special at $49 per person rate for lodging and a lift ticket. Belleayre also has an Adaptive Snowsports program. For more information on skiing at Belleayre visit

If your winter adventure tastes are more leisurely, Delaware County has many fine cross-country skiing and snowshoeing options. Among the ideal cross-country or snowshoe routes is the 19-mile rail bed known as the Catskill Scenic Trail. Use of the trail is free. This expanse of flat terrain is maintained during the winter by the snowmobile club members who also take care of more than 300 miles of additional trails in the county. For additional information on the rail trail visit

Delaware County maintains over 200 miles of snowmobile trails on a mix of public and private lands. To learn more about the snowmobiling opportunities, visit and contact the snowmobile club closest to where you will be staying. Clubs offer poker runs throughout the winter.

When it comes to lodging options, the Great Western Catskills features accommodations that include everything from cool and hip inns, charming bed and breakfasts, full-service resorts, affordable and accommodating motels to private rental homes and cabins. If your idea of winter romance includes a crackling fireplace or hottub, a number of accommodations can offer such an amenity. For winter lodging packages visit the getaways section of the county tourism website at:

Learn more about the Western Catskills
Delaware County is located conveniently to the NYC / Albany / Binghamton areas for weekend or day trips. For more information on travel to the Great Western Catskills visit For information on events, visit