Bring together a forgiving and gorgeous winter climate, a resort history, frozen waterfalls and ponds, and almost a hundred peaks above 3,000 feet and a winter wonderland will emerge. The Catskill Region is well known for downhill skiing, offering, in close proximity to New York City, slopes such as Belleayre, Cortina, Hunter, Windham, Holiday and Plattekill that challenge seasoned experts and accommodate all levels of proficiency.
Anything you might want to do in the snow, can be done in the Catskills. Ski centers make the most of the season with broad offerings of winter pleasures; including snowmobiling, snowshoeing, tubing, winter festivals and indoor amusements. Also fun are the ice-fishing contests in the region's many ponds and lakes such as Big Pond. Belleayre's Winter Festival, Ski Fest at Windham and the Hanford Mills Ice Harvest are just a few of the major winter events that you don't want to miss.
One of the best locations in the country for ice climbing, thanks to a propensity of gorges and waterfalls, the Catskills sport vertical walls of ice perfect for ambitious climbing. Afficionados cart their gear to the "Gunks" and traverse routes such as The Notch, The Playground, Hellhole and Kaaterskill Falls.
The holidays are all done up with Catskill cheer. Gift shoppers make rare finds and good humor abounds outside of the bustle of the cities and malls. There are concerts, Victorian teas, ice carnivals and special events and the annual Torchlight Parade on New Year's Eve. Fulfill your resolutions or your deepest desires with a reviving spa weekend or a romantic Valentine's getaway.
Sampling of Winter Events:
- Hudson Valley Rail Train Winterfest, Highland, 845 483 0428
- Ice Carnival, Livingston Manor, 845 292 5100
- Ice Harvest, East Meredith, 800 295 4992, www.hanfordmills.org
- Winterfest & Ice Carving Contest, Wurtsboro, www.wurtsboro.org
- Winterfest, Roscoe, 607 498 4701
- A Christmas Carol. Ulster Ballet Company, Kingston, 845 246 4316, www.upac.org
- Holly Berry Walk, Kingston, 845 706 3473
- Sullivan County Historical Society's Annual Theme Tree Exhibit, Hurleyville, 845 434 8044
- Welcome Yule, Kingston, 845 679 8172
- Liberty Bell Drop, Liberty, 845 292 2394
- New Year's Eve Torchlight Parade, Roxbury
Sports & Recreation
- Belleayre Mountain Cup Race, Belleayre Mountain Winter Festival Week, WKNY Challenge Race, Highmount, 845 254 5600, www.belleayre.com
- Fireman's Race, Monticello, 845 796 3161, www.holidaymtn.com
- King of the Ice Fishing Contest, White Lake, 845 794 2000
- Plattekill Annual Giant Slalom Race, Roxbury, 800 NEED 2 SKI, www.plattekill.com
- Police Winter Games, Hunter, 888 HUNTER MTN, www.huntermtn.com
- Ski Fest Windham Mountain, 800 754 9463, www.windhammountain.com
- Sno-Cross, Stanford, www.cctrail.org
- Snowmobile Drag Race, Roxbury, 800 NEED 2 SKI, www.plattekill.com
- Eagle Fest, Narrowsburg, 845 252 6509
- Weekend Eagle Watching, Upper Delaware, 845 557 6162