Woodchuck Way: Starting from our cross-country area parking lot nearest rt 28, wander along this just-over a half-mile trail. Woodchuck Way is relatively flat and great for beginners and seasoned hikers alike. You will find some of our interpretive signs along this trail. Keep an eye out for them to learn more about the area!
Eagle Alley: This trail meanders between our other trails, a great choice for lengthening your hike. Follow the half-mile path through the forest and discover some history of the previous industry in the Catskills. Eagle Alley is an easier trail and connects to Woodchuck Way, Raccoon Ridge, and Bobcat Blvd. Sections of Eagle Alley are also a bike trail, remember when hiking that bicycles have the right of way!
Bobcat Blvd: This 0.65 mile easier trail is measured as a loop. You can start Bobcat Blvd from the Discovery Lodge or join it after hiking Eagle Alley. This trail will take you down, and up a mildly sloped area of our cross-country area. You’ll cross a stream and traipse through the trees while enjoying the peaceful scenery. This trail is not flat but earned its easier rating due to its short length and small elevation gain.
Ridge Trail: Take the leisurely half-mile walk across Belleayre’s Ridge Trail from end to end to maximize your summit views. This trail is accessed by the Catskill Thunder Gondola, Roaring Brook, or Deer Run trails. The Ridge Trail is relatively flat, with a few gentle ups and downs as well as interpretive signage describing the area and its history. Be sure to visit the Sunset Lodge and look out from the deck and see Rider Hollow and the Big Indian Wilderness behind Belleayre.
More Difficult Trails
Porcupine Path: Don’t let the name fool you, this 1.5 mile loop is far from prickly! Access Porcupine Path from the Discovery Lodge or by taking Raccoon Ridge or Eagle Alley from our XC parking. You’ll quickly find yourself immersed in hemlocks, surrounded by old stone walls, and crossing a babbling mountain brook on a log bridge. Keep an eye out for some views out into the Cathedral Glen valley as you gradually make your way up to the turn of the loop. If you’re feeling less adventurous, feel free to turn around and head back the way you came. Follow the loop around for a narrower hiking trail twisting among the trees before returning to the path you came in on. Find out why we consider this one of the most scenic trails in our lower area!
Raccoon Ridge: Start this 0.85 mile trail from the Discovery Lodge, or after Woodchuck Way from the XC parking. Descend down on either end of the trail, wandering through old-growth forests of hardwoods and hemlocks. In the middle, you’ll have to opportunity to head down to the Glen Pond, one of our snow-making water sources. This is the perfect place to have a picnic, or just a quick rest listening to the water rush by. On the lower half of the trail, expect to find fun stream crossings in the form of small footbridges and stepping stones! Keep your eye out for moss, ferns, and old stone walls from when the area was used as a sawmill and farm. Raccoon Ridge is rated more difficult, expect some gradual uphill ascents and narrow sections of trail.
Discovery Way: Hike up this 0.85 mile ski trail to start your journey from the Discovery Lodge up to the summit of Belleayre! Discovery Way is has a consistent gentle uphill slope, it is wider than a typical hiking trail. Once you are at the top of Discovery Way, you will be at the Overlook Lodge. From here, continue up Roaring Brook, the left-most trail to reach the summit.
Roaring Brook: Roaring Brook is a crowd favorite. This more difficult one-mile-long trail takes you around the Eastern side of Belleayre, from the Overlook Lodge to the summit. Take in the views behind you as you climb its moderate uphill grade. The trail will take you up towards the East and bend to the West for the final 500 meters, flattening out to meet the Ridge Trail. From the top, walk across the easier Ridge Trail for the most variety of views!
Most Difficult Trails
Deer Run: This 2-mile trail starts at the Discovery Lodge and leads you right to the summit! Feel free to pair this trail with our scenic gondola ride and hike one of our favorite skiing trails one-way. Remember to turn around and take in the views as you work your way up the mountain, crossing our skier bridge as you go. Keep an eye out for deer and other wildlife! This trail is rated most difficult due to its length and the elevation gain when hiking uphill compared to our easier trails.
Plan Your Trip
Before you arrive, here are some tips to help make your day go smoothly.
Plan Ahead & Prepare:
You’re already on our website, so consider this step well on its way! Check out our trail descriptions and maybe even print our the map. Come up with a plan that fits your group’s ability level and decide what you need to bring with you.
What to Pack:
You should always carry the basics: food and water. Once you plan your trip and how long you will be hiking you will have a better idea of what to bring.
- Hiking Gear: day pack
- Navigation: map, gps, phone
- Clothing & Footwear: weather appropriate clothing (layers), hiking boots or closed toed sneakers, raingear
- Food & Water: reusable water bottles, trail snacks, lunch, extra food, and plenty of water!
- Emergency Items: first aid kit, whistle, flashlight, knife or multi-tool
- Sun & Bug Protection: sunglasses, bug spray, sunscreen, sun or bug protectant clothing
- Extras: camera, field guide, binoculars, magnifying glass, scavenger hunt activities for kids
When hiking at Belleayre you have two main options for parking.
Parking at the Discovery Lodge:
Parking at the Discovery Lodge allows you to use our facilities and grab any last-minute items you may need for your hike. Use the restrooms and fill up your water bottles before you hit the trails! Park in lots A, B, or C for an easy stroll to the Discovery Lodge. From the lodge you can easily access the top end of our cross-country hiking trail network, or start the more challenging ascents of Deer Run or Discovery Way to Roaring Brook to the summit of Belleayre!
Parking at the Cross Country Trailhead:
You can start your adventure at the bottom of the mountain, and park at our cross-country trail head. There is no lodge here, so be ready to roll! You will take the second left off of Galli Curci rd, turning at the sign saying Garage & XC Parking. Follow the signs to park in the gravel lot surrounded by flower boxes behind the Maintenance Garage.
While hiking our Cross-Country trail network keep an eye out for our interpretive signage. These signs are here to help you understand and learn the native flora, fauna, and history of the Catskill Mountains.
How many signs can you find?
Kids in the Cats
In this unique writing contest, kids submit a story about the wildlife found in the Catskills. We encourage all entries to be illustrated! Two lucky winners will have their stories published and displayed on the mountain as part of a “story walk trail” for everyone to see.
Submit your story to [email protected] or drop it off at the mountain. Please include your name, age, and contact information along with your submission. Winners will be given scenic gondola tickets to see your story along the summit of Belleayre.
We are going on a Nature Walk in the Catskills
Our summer story features all of the different kinds of animals that you could find while walking in the Catskill Mountains.
“We’re going on a nature walk in the Catskills. We’re going to see some animals. What should we look for?
I see an animal with a short, thick body, covered in……..”
While you are visiting us, check out our other hiking and interpretive trails at the mountain.
Belleayre is the perfect place to get your boots in the ground especially if you’re a budding hiker, but we are located in the middle of a hiking mecca with the Catskill Park! If you’re looking for more adventure outside of Belleayre, here’s a list of hikes a short distance away from the mountain.
These descriptions are brief overviews of each hike. Be sure to do the proper research, plan, and prepare before heading out on your next hike
Located just outside the town of Andes, Palmer Hill hosts 3.7 miles of hiking trails that are very family friendly and are a great introduction for anyone into the world of hiking! Payoff is immediate, with grand views of the central Catskills including the Dry Brook Ridge, Balsam Mountain, and more right from the parking lot, located on Finkle Rd. The trails meander through both wide open meadows and lush forests and old stone walls, giving a new flavor around every corner. It is broken up into two loops – an upper & lower, so you can choose your own adventure!
Mine Kill Falls
Right off the side of Route 30 in Gilboa, Mine Kill Falls is one of the easiest hikes to access multiple views of the falls! Just a mile round trip, you can either stop part of the way down to admire the falls from an observation deck, or get the best view by walking a bit further all the way down to the bottom.
The Rochester Hollow Trail is a “lollipop loop” trail located just down the road from Belleayre! There are three marked trails which can be stacked up, so you can choose either a 3.5 mile, 5, or 6 mile hike! The first 1.75 miles are an old road which makes for a wide and fairly flat trail. It will take you through scenic portions of forest, ruins, and a memorial to Naturalist John Burroughs.
Vernooy Kill Falls
The Vernooy Kill Falls trail is an out-and-back in the Sundown Wild Forest with a total distance of 3.3 miles from the trailhead located on Upper Cherrytown Road near Kerhonkson. An easy/intermediate hike, the primary attractions are the falls and wooden footbridge located at the far end of the trail.
The highest peak in the Catskills’ is arguably the most visited, and for good reason! While a more intermediate hike at about 7 miles round trip and 1,800 vertical feet of climbing, the payoff of all that climbing are the views you get from an outlook just past the summit of Slide. Most people hike it in a loop, to take in all the interesting nooks, crannies, and spruce tunnels found throughout the mountain!
Pakatakan Mountain/Dry Brook Ridge
While Pakatakan Mountain is more just part of the Dry Brook Ridge than a summit, it is a short and punchy out-and-back trail, covering about 1,500 vertical feet within the first 3 of 6 total miles! Starting at the roadside trailhead on Southside Road in Margaretville, work your way up to the shelter and lookout over the Pepacton Reservoir.
Tick off a 3500’ Catskills peak with Belleayre’s neighbor, Balsam Mountain! The Rider Hollow trailhead is a stone’s throw away from the mountain, and is a great loop hike with massive views from 3,600 feet of the Big Indian/Oliverea valley. The loop is a more intermediate hike, covering about 5.5 miles with about 1,630 vertical feet of climbing.