Ulster County Winter Activities
If winter activity is a must for you, your friends and your family, Ulster County is a “must visit” as a jump off point to all that the season has to offer. For a wonderful family adventure, Windham Mountain is a family friendly resort that offers skiing, snowboarding, and snow tubing. The mountain now boasts a 98% snow making capability, so the trails are always ready to go. Travel time to the area is short, and if you are traveling from NYC, the journey is the length of a movie. Of course if you plan ahead, there are a number of local Ulster County Catskill communities where you can “jump off” and be on the slopes within minutes.
If you are a dedicated enthusiast of the outdoors, weekends year round can provide any number of opportunities for adventure in Ulster County. From our river communities such as Saugerties, one can head west to Woodstock and the Catskills to ski, bike, climb and hike.
If you’re interested in winter activities, Ulster County offers an abundance of things to do. You may want to check out:
Belleayre Mountain Ski Area
Belleayre Mountain is owned and operated by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Belleayre is a ski area in the Catskill Mountains in New York's magnificent Hudson River Valley.
Belleayre Mountain is located off of State Route 28 in Highmount, NY 12441 in Ulster County in the mid Hudson River Valley, just hours from New York City. It was declared “Forever Wild” by the New York State Forest Preserve in 1885. Early on, skiers would side-step or hike their way more than 3,000 feet to be the first to make tracks down un-named and woody trails. Since the very beginning of the American skiing and snowboarding experience, skiers and snowboarders gazed at the steep, rugged inclines of Belleayre Mountain and dreamed of refining them.
From the beginning, Belleayre was an immediate hit. Local residents still remember how skiers and snowboarders pitched tents outside the lodge to be first in line. Since the first lifts were installed in 1949 each decade brought improvements and refinements. As business increased, Belleayre expanded. Twelve trails, three lifts and a new base lodge were added in the 1950’s. Innovative snow making technology was introduced between the 1960's and 1970's. From 1985 through 1993, six million dollars was spent to upgrade machinery and equipment, assuring that Belleayre would maintain the quality and reputation of its important recreation program. From new lifts to new lodges to new trails, Belleayre strives to continually break new ground - and stay at the forefront of the ski industry - by successfully operating for over five decades with its extraordinary staff, state-of-the-art equipment and a constant vision of the future.
Belleayre now stands as a model in the ski industry. Its continued improvements allow it to be the Catskills’ only “Cat-Access” skiing and snowboarding with a widened and improved halfpipe and Area 51 Terrain Park. Skier and snowboarders visits have grown from 70,000 in 1995 to more than 175,000 skiers and snowboarders from all over the world. With 47 trails, parks and glades, 8 lifts, including our new High Speed Quad, Belleayre Mountain has certainly evolved.
Outdoor Winter Activities
Ski and ride
Ski Area Features . . .
Adaptive Snowsports Program
Lessons for children and all levels of adult skiers
Catskill Forest Preserve
The Catskill Park is a mountainous region of public and private lands in Southeastern New York's Ulster, Greene, Delaware and Sullivan Counties - the "forest preserve" counties. Ninety-eight peaks over 3,000 feet high form an impressive skyline. Its blend of public and private lands is typical of large parks in Europe, where people and unique lands have coexisted for centuries. The Catskill Forest Preserve is the state land within the Catskill Park. Since its creation in 1885, it has grown from 34,000 to 287,500 acres.
The forest preserve has thousands of acres of forests with meadows, remnants of old farmsteads, lakes, rivers, springs, waterfalls, cliffs, fire towers, bears, rattlesnakes and other wildlife, rare plants and animals. Also, there are hundreds of miles of abandoned woods roads and trails to enjoy. Today, it serves as watershed, recreation area and ecological and scenic reserve.
Things to do:
Attractions and Outdoor Activities
Hiking & Rock Climbing
Minnewaska State Park
Minnewaska State Park Preserve is located at 5281 Route 44-55, Kerhonkson NY 12446, Ulster County in the Hudson Valley. Minnewaska State Park is situated on the dramatic Shawangunk Mountain ridge that rises more than 2,000 feet above sea level. The terrain is rugged and rocky, blanketed by dense hardwood forest encircling two lakes. Clear streams cut into valleys, incising sheer cliffs and ledges and emerging in waterfalls.
Come visit Minnewaska State Park Preserve, one of the most unique and beautiful parks in New York State, featuring numerous waterfalls, three crystalline sky lakes, more cliff-edge views that we can mention, world-class rock climbing and 35 miles of carriageways and 25 miles of footpaths on which to bike, walk, hike and simply enjoy. And, all this within an hour and a half drive from New York City.
Things To Do:
Hiking / Walking
Wallkill Valley Rail Trail
The Wallkill Valley Rail Trail stretches 12.2 miles south from the New Paltz / Rosendale town line to the Gardiner / Shawangunk town line. The Wallkill Valley Rail Trail opened officially in October 1993 as the seventeenth rail trail in New York State. In 2001 it was recognized as the first Countryside Trail in the Hudson River Valley Greenway Trail System, and in 2007 it was designated a National Recreation Trail by the National Park Service and the U.S. Department of the Interior.
The trail extends for 12.2 miles from the southern border of Gardiner to the northern border of New Paltz. Along the way it passes through woods, open fields, and agricultural lands, and links the hamlet of Gardiner with downtown New Paltz. Trail users will discover a wide variety of birds and other wildlife and beautiful views of the Shawangunk Ridge and the Wallkill River. The trail surface is gravel and packed dirt, except for a section of the trail in the heart of New Paltz from Plains Road to Broadhead Avenue, which is wheelchair accessible.
The Wallkill Valley Rail Trail is a multiuse trail, welcoming hikers, joggers, bicycle and horseback riders, dog walkers, and, in the winter, snowshoers and cross-country skiers. Except for vehicles for the disabled, no other motorized vehicles are allowed on the trail. For everyone's safety, please follow the guidelines for multiuse trails and be courteous to other trail users.
Things To Do:
Explore Local History
Hiking / Jogging
Public Golf Course - Mohonk Golf Course
Mohonk Golf Course, at Mohonk Mountain House Resort, is located at 1000 Mountain Rest Road, New Paltz, NY 12561. Mohonk offers golf in its purest form. This 107–year-old historic landmark golf course was fashioned with classic late-19th-century features and a Scottish architectural influence. Each hole is a delight in itself, featuring four different height cuts of grass that add definition and challenge. Framed by spectacular views of surrounding valleys, our course reflects the ambience of Mohonk.
Envision a course fashioned after St. Andrews, set against a majestic 2,200-acre backdrop. An enchanting Victorian castle towering seven stories above the pristine “lake in the sky”, welcomes you after a day on the course. Escape to our distinctive old-world New York State golf course, and you’ll see why we have received distinctive praise. Day visitors are also welcome. Press Blue Button for rates, photos, and more information about Mohonk.
Golf Course Attractions
9-hole regulation length course
2707 yards / par 35
Course rating / slope = 33.0 / 112
Pull cart rental
Riding cart rental
Rocking Horse Ranch Resort
Rocking Horse Ranch Resort is conveniently located in the Mid-Hudson Valley region in Ulster County, just 90 minutes North of New York City. Rocking Horse's address is 600 Route 44/55, Highland, NY 12528. If using a GPS to locate us, use 13 Pancake Hollow Rd., Highland, NY 12528.
Rocking Horse Ranch is a family resort that is geared toward kids. It is a year-round getaway for active families who want the comfort of a year-round resort, and the peace of mind that comes with an affordable, all-inclusive price. Press Blue Button for year-round information about Rocking Horse Ranch resort.
"A taste of the West with a New York Flavor... One of the largest and best equipped Dude Ranches east of the West ... A full scale year round resort. Complete with everything from skiing and sleigh rides in Winter to water skiing and tennis in the Summer weather. And oh, those horses." by Daily News
Outdoor Winter Activities
Bonfires with hot chocolate & marshmallows
Horse drawn Sleigh Rides
Snow Tube Run w/Lift
Ski Area Features . . .
100% snow making and grooming
Franny Reese State Park "Scenic Hudson"
Franny Reese State Park
Highland, Ulster County
Hudson River Valley, New York State
Franny Reese is known as “the mother of the modern environmental movement”. This new park features 250-acres of impressive ridgeline just south of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Mid-Hudson Bridge.
A new scenic overlook, opened in 2009, features dramatic views of the Mid-Hudson Bridge and the new Walkway Over the Hudson . The land boasts a broad array of tree species and features carriage trails and stone walls that crisscross the acreage.
A trail leads to the property from the Town of Lloyd's Johnson-Iorio Park, located immediately north of the bridge's Ulster County side. The path takes visitors under the bridge and connects them to a carriage trail that accesses the site.
Things To Do:
Hiking / Walking Trails
Ruins of former estate buildings
Woodland Trails (2.5 miles)
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