Off-Mountain Activities for Winter Fun in the Catskills

Don't ski? No problem! Enjoy winter with these fun and relaxing trip ideas.

Winter is here, and the Catskills are ready to welcome you to explore snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and winter festivities in downtowns decked for the season, and mountain towns with snow-capped peaks and trails for everything from fat tire biking to sledding. Speaking of mountains...

So you don't ski – who cares?! No one said you had to, and if strapping slippery sticks onto your feet and standing at the top of a steep mountain waiting for gravity to do its worst isn't for you, then honey, you don't have to answer to anyone.

snowshoeing in the Catskills
Snowshoeing – A Winter Adventure for the Rest of Us

However, snow is fun and the Catskills offer loads of off-hill activities that are totally adventurous, safe, and great for social sharing. For example, Windham Mountain Resort offers a series of Sunset Snowshoe Tours throughout the winter, which include a guided hike and festive dinner at SEASONS, the resort's on-site restaurant. Go for a hike, and then have a great dinner. The end. If you like snowshoeing, rent your own and explore Greene County's snowshoe trails with your buds and show 'em how it's done.

ice skating in the catskills
Ice Skating at Windham Mountain Adventure Park

Admittedly, there is nothing more iconic – and touristy – than ice-skating around 30 Rock during the holidays. However, ice-skating is really fun no matter your age, and ripe for serendipitous moments that can be both funny and memorable. The ice skating rink at Windham Mountain Adventure Park provides an ideal anti-ski activity close to the slopes, so that even if part of your posse splits off to shred the gnar, or whatever they just said, you can still get some exercise and drink hot cocoa. Bonus fire pit, warming hut, and rentals offered.

winter ziplining at Hunter Mountain
Zip Lining into Winter Like…

By now, you've probably heard of the New York Zipline Adventure Tour at Hunter Mountain. Your buds probably came back from a summer zip and were like, dude it's amazing...or not. However, it is amazing. You fly 600 feet above the ground, and can reach speeds of 50 mph. It's wild, and the experience includes multiple ziplines that start at the top of the mountain and transport you to the bottom. Oh, and you can do it in winter too. No joke, grab your goggles and warm clothes and go for a ride across a frozen landscape.

Hunter Mountain snowtubing
Snow Tubing Like a Boss

Speaking of Hunter Mountain, it's home of the largest snow tubing park in the state – with lanes nearly 1,000 feet long. Hurtle down across the snow and warm up at the fire pit. Open during the weekends, it is one of the wildest winter rides in the Catskills.

hiking in the catskills in winter
Winter Hiking Trails – Where to Go, What to Know

So, here's the thing you need to know about hiking in the winter – prepare or beware! Wear layers, bring food and water, wear grippy shoes or add microspikes or yak traks-type things to your wardrobe, and make sure you know exactly where you are going. After that, just enjoy it man. One of our favorite places to hike is along the Windham Path – it is scenic, simple and close to Windham's restaurants and bars. Or the Huckleberry Trail, it's great for snowshoeing, hiking and it's close to some really great restaurants – such as Maggie's Krooked Café in Tannersville.

spas in the catskills
Spa-ing is the “sport” you’ve been waiting for

At some point this winter, you're going to get over the magical sparkle of freshly fallen snow, the dazzle of holiday light displays, the unceasing cheerfulness of your work colleagues who spend their weekend skiing in the Catskills. But hey, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em. But, instead of heading for the slopes, head for the spa and say "Ahhhh" as you warm up in a cedar-lined sauna, or eucalyptus-scented steam room at Windham's Alpine Spa Relax. Book a massage with some of the best and most knowledgeable sports masseurs this side of the Rockies, and wrap it up with some pretty tootsies or a moisturizing facial. We guarantee that by the time the spa gets done with you, your reset button is back to marveling at the glorious, white-covered landscape. And hey, at least you're on vaca and close to some awesome restaurants. What's more restorative than a glass of wine, we ask you?

Discover the full wintry funscape of the Great Northern Catskills and start planning your Catskills winter vacation.

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Greene County Tourism
700 Rte 23B, Leeds, NY 12451
800-355-CATS | 518-943-3223
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