Friday, January 4, 2013

Let it Snow, Snow, Snow!!!

The fresh snow the Great Western Catskills got over the holidays brought extra magic to the season. Whether you ski, board, or hike you can’t beat the Catskill Mountains for outdoor fun with friends and family. With stay and play packages, convenient lodging and dining to satiate every taste, it doesn’t matter what the reason or what the season, visit just once and you’ll just keep coming back.

Craving some downhill adventure? Belleayre Ski Center has a 10” to 40” base with over 12” of pack and powder! Almost all the trails and lifts are open, with more opening daily. There are trails to meet every skill level.  Belleayre’s terrain park is a winter wonderland for snowboarders looking for half-pipes and rails for that winter time rush. There are a variety of lift ticket and rental packages no matter what you are looking for.  If you never hit the slopes before Belleayre’s “Learn to Ski or Ride” program gets you going an all-inclusive package with 3 days of group lessons, rentals and lower mountain lift tickets rentals for only $131!  If you are not feeling the need for speed, how about some good old cross country? The cross country trail is open and the weather is perfect for a glide through the wintry glens.

If you are in the mood for a small mountain vibe with a big mountain feel than Plattekill Mountain is for you. All 38 trails are open with a base of 12” to 36” and all lifts are running. They have a great combination of “easy” to “most difficult” that includes the two mile long “Powder Puff” for beginners to the challenging, 1100 foot continuous vertical “Blockbuster”. If you are up for some family fun, why not grab the kiddies and hit the tubing trail. Glide down and get a ride up. All the fun and no trudging uphill! When the sun goes down Plattekill is still bustling with night tubing until 8 PM. 

Perhaps you like your skis with a motor attached? The Catskills are a snowmobiler’s dream with over 100 groomed trails. The Catskill Forest Preserve and the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy as well as many private organizations maintain a variety of trails that weave through the mountains and valleys.
Sometimes you just need to take a short walk, you know, burn off that extra egg-nog you had at Aunt Fanny’s. Hanah Mountain Resort and Country Club lets you swap out your golf spikes for snow shoes and cross country skis. A walk in their winter wonderland will take a couple of hours and is a great way to enjoy the snow covered pines and crisp winter air.

If you come to play, you are going to love your stay! Many area hotels and B and B’s have stay and play packages suitable for every price range for individuals to groups.  The Roxbury Hotel offers a variety of stay and play packages that include free and discounted lift ticket as well as discounted rooms.  There is even one with a spa package so you can wind down after your day of outdoor adventure. Wake up and re-charge at Cassie’s Kitchen with pancakes and sausage with real maple syrup topped off with hot chocolate and whipped cream.  Done for the day? The Public Lounge is right next door to the Roxbury Hotel walk over and enjoy one of their tasty weekend specials or a decadent Chocolate Martini.

Bringing the whole family?  The Andes Hotel has a Ski-Free, Stay-Free package where under 17 stay free and ski free at Plattekill Mountain. They even have a package that discounts “Wee Ski” at Belleayre Mountain. Conveniently located right across the street is the quaint Woodie’s Country Kitchen where the coffee is always hot and the bacon always sizzling!  Stop in for breakfast but make sure to return to the hotel for lunch or dinner. With lunch, tavern and dinner menus there are choices to keep you full and happy.

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