A Guide to the Forgotten Ski Mountains of the Hudson Valley

Take a look at these once popular ski mountains in the Catskills and Hudson Highlands that have since been abandoned and forgotten.

Scattered throughout the rolling terrain of the Hudson Valley is a surprising amount of abandoned ski mountains. Maybe you live near one or used to frequent one as a kid – no matter the case, they are all around us whether you know it or not. These once-booming winter hotspots have become a piece of the region’s history over time, unbeknownst to anyone who isn’t willing to gear up and hike out with a pair of skis strapped to their back to enjoy the solitude of a forgotten peak. Take a closer look at these mountains of winters past, then get planning your next winter staycation at any of these seasonal destinations.

Bear Mountain Ski Jump

Bear Mountain

 

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Today, Bear Mountain State Park is a spot for hiking, ice skating, fishing, and more outdoor fun on the northern edge of Rockland County. However, looking back at Bear Mountain in the 1930s, the state park was home to one of the area’s largest ski jumps. Countless competitions, winter games, and championship cups were held on the mountain’s ski jump, including the Doerr Memorial Cup in 1960, which attracted more than 10,000 spectators. Although the jump is mostly destroyed today, hikers can venture out to take a peek at where it once existed if they know their way around the trails.

Dutchess Ski Area

Beacon

 

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Right on the east bank of the Hudson River, Beacon is a booming little town surrounded by popular hiking destinations, notably Mount Beacon. Only few will remember the Dutchess Ski Area located on the mountain that opened in the 1960s and shut down only a few years later due to mild winter weather. The operation, though, was quite substantial with 1,000 feet of vertical drop, three chairlifts, and 10 trails and slopes. Referred to at the time as “the ski mecca of the Hudson Valley,” Dutchess Ski Area was open for both day and night skiing and came equipped with rentals, dining, and ski patrol.

Fahnestock Ski Area

Carmel

 

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While the ski area at Clarence Fahnestock State Park is still open today for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, weather permitting, the winter park also used to operate a larger skiing program. Fahnestock’s mountain was not quite as large as Mount Beacon, and therefore did not include chairlifts, but the park did run T-bars and rope tows to bring skiers to the top of the mountain to enjoy 200 feet of vertical drop. Perhaps the mild winters or gentle slope of the mountain led to its downfall, but hundreds of snow sports lovers still enjoy the park today however they can.

Millbrook School

Millbrook

In Millbrook, an even smaller ski area was popular among students at the Millbrook School in the 1970s. The ski spot included just one rope tow powered by an old car engine and two main trails that ran on either side of the slope. Although the rope tow had been at the Millbrook School for decades, the system always ran on and off based on student and faculty interest.

Mount Storm

Stormville

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In the southernmost part of Dutchess County, Mount Storm endured a tragic history throughout its 30-year lifespan. The mountain opened in the 1950s before closing in the mid-1970s and reopening soon after under new ownership. In 1987, the mountain closed for good when the lodge burned down due to arson and a member of the owner’s family died in the fire. Today, the area still remains closed due to the high cost of insurance and renovations needed. At the time of its operation, Mount Storm had three main slopes, 600-feet of vertical drop, one chairlift, one T-bar, and two tows.

Silvermine Ski Area

Ramapo

 

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Popular in the 1960s and 1970s, Silvermine Ski Area is another smaller ski mountain that fell victim to warmer winters over the years. The mountain had three main trails, two T-bars, two rope tows, a rental chalet, and a lodge. Marketed as an economical snow site where you could even ski on weeknights after work under the lights, Silvermine drew a lot of attraction in its heyday. Now, it is still a popular place to snowshoe, tube, or hike up with your skis within Harriman State Park.

Related: 15 Places for Ice Skating, Skiing, and Tubing in the Hudson Valley

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