Walden Lodge at Urban Cowboy Catskills in winter in New York

Wonderful Things to do in the Catskills in Winter (Getaway Guide + Map)

Looking for the perfect winter vacation and things to do in the Catskills in winter? We got you! Every winter we head for the hills, the Catskill Mountains that is! Located just north of New York City, this is an easy escape for us New Yorkers and those along the Northeast.

The Catskills are often teased as being the “Brooklyn in the mountains” because alof of city dwellers have second homes or have relocated for a more quiet life in the countryside set among some of the most beautiful landscapes of New York state. In fact, it’s the Hudson Valley and Catskills that have inspired creatives for centuries.

The region’s picturesque mountains, dense forests, and tranquil lakes have served as a muse for painters, writers, musicians, and other artists seeking solace and inspiration in nature from The Hudson River School painters and writers like Washington Irving, who penned “Rip Van Winkle” and “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” drew from the region’s folklore and mystique. The Catskills continue to be a retreat and the wintery landscape here offers plenty of amazing winter activities in the Catskills from outdoorsy adventures to more relaxing and rejuvenating experiences centered around winter wellness.

There are so many wonderful things to do in the Catskills throughout the year, but this is a very special time of year to visit. Which is why we like to come back year after year.

So next time you’re looking for a place to beat the winter blues, pack your bags and head to one of the magical luxury resorts or a cozy intimate cabin and enjoy all the wonderful things to do in Catskills in winter, one of the best and most beautiful places for a romantic winter getaway in Upstate New York!

Oh, and be sure to check out the handy map we included at the end of this guide to help you map out your Catskills winter getaway!

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

Things to do in Catskills in Winter

Hit the Slopes

Hunter Mountain Ski Resort in the Catskills in winter in Upstate New York

Winter in the Catskills will be incomplete without hitting up the slopes since this area is known to be home to some of the best ski resorts in New York. If you’re into snowboarding or skiing, this should be top on your list of things to do in the Catskills in winter.

During winter in the Catskills, they typically receive a substantial amount of snowfall due to the higher elevation and often accumulating over 50 inches in the season, although this varies year to year.

With lots of natural snowfall and a wide variety of mountainous terrain and options for beginners to attend ski lessons at the many winter resorts available, this is the perfect place and time to get your entire family or friends into this exhilarating winter sport or for a great winter staycation.

Aerial view of skiiers at Bellayre Ski Resort in the Catskills in the winter in New York

Some of the popular ski resorts in the Catskills are:

Hunter Mountain is located in Hunter and offers one of the most popular ski resorts in the Catskills with over 3,000 feet of vast mountain terrain and is open to both day and night sessions. You can also explore the trails from above via their year-round zipline. Sounds fun, right? Oh, and they have a 1000 ft tubing hill!

Belleayre Ski Center is located in Highmount and offers a full ski center including the highest skiable peak in the Catskills. It is also one of the few resorts that offer snowcat skiing. With over 50 trails, a highspeed gondola, and several parks available for visitors, this ski resort is sure to give you a memorable experience.

Windham Mountain Resort is in Windham which has a full ski resort and tube park! You can get up to the top of your run quickly on their high-speed chair lift.

Plattekill Mountain is another popular old school ski resort in the Catksills in the winter, located in Roxbury. This is a smaller resort that offers challenging glade skiing and has more narrow forest trails down the mountain. I struggled on this mountain to be honest, as I am a beginner at snowboarding, but this mountain seemed mostly for skiers anyway!

If you are interested in participating in cross-country skiing, be sure to check out Frost Valley YMCA, Windham Cross Country Ski, and Snowshoeing Center, Delhi College Golf Course, the Catskill Forest Reserve to name a few.

Winter Hikes & Snowshoeing

winter in the Catskills hiking at Kaaterskill Falls in New Yoork

Winter hiking is just as thrilling as hiking in any other season. By now, you are aware of the beauty that is winter in the Catskills, if not then continue on and we will convince you! Merge that with pristine, tree-lined, snow-covered trails, serene nature walks, and countless breathtaking views, and you have the perfect recipe for a gorgeous winter hike.

Frozen Kaaterskill Falls in winter

Add winter hiking and snowshoeing to your Catskills winter getaway plans, and you will not regret it. Some of the places you can winter hike and/or snowshoe in the Catskills include:

Willowemoc Wild Forest: With 40 miles of trails, including scenic hills, frosty woods, and vast valleys, this forest trail is definitely a top pick for winter hiking and snowshoeing in the Catskills.

Overlook Mountain: Located in Woodstock, this trail features stunning views of the region as well as ruins of an old mountain house and a fire tower, before or after be sure to check out the Karma Triyana Dharmachakra, a Tibetan Buddhist monastery located across the trailhead to Overlook Mountain.

Hudson Valley Rail Trail: Apart from having great 12-foot wide trails with paved portions that are great for walking, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, and horseback riding, this facility also offers equipment rentals for all outdoor winter activities.

Kaaterskill Falls – One of the most popular natural attractions in the region all seasons and a must add for things to do in the Catskills in winter are a visit to this remarkable two-tier drop of 260 feet, it is the highest of cascading waterfalls in New York State and not only has a viewing platform that’s a quick easy hike from the top from the Laurel House Road entrance. This is actually the only section of the Kaaterskill Falls hike that’s open in the winter!

Other places you can get snowshoe rentals for winter in the Catskills include Minnewaska State Park Preserve, Mohonk Mountain Preserve (you need a permit to enjoy a winter hike here), and Frost Valley YMCA.


Another one of the more thrilling things to do in the Catskills in winter is going on a snowmobile adventure.

With several designated snowmobiling trails and plenty of amazing sights to see, snowmobiling is the ultimate Catskill winter getaway activity for adrenaline junkies.

To join tours, drive through trails and rent snowmobiles, check out Rip Van Winkle Ranch. Located in Haines Falls, they offer sled rentals and guided tours. Their site seems to be broken, so we recommend calling them (518) 589-6215.

If you happen to have your own snowmobile, there are several snow clubs in the area including Delaware Valley Ridge Riders who have their own trails and membership.

Snow Tubing

snow tube race at Leland Snowplay

I love snow tubing! This is one of the most fun things to do in the Catskills in winter when it comes to family-friendly fun or those who just aren’t ready or able to hit the slopes on skis or a snowboard. 

Snow tubing does not require any special skills or equipment. Plop down in your tube and hang on tightly as you slide down snowy slopes feeling that cold winter breeze!

Windham Mountain has it’s own tube park, open both day and night along with concessions including a bar for the adults. This tube park also has a kids fleet of Arctic Snowcat Snowmobiles just for the young ones too.

Hunter Mountain also has a tubing hill that stretches 1,000 feet! They have single tubes and double tubes to enjoy and have a magic carpet to take you to the top.

Plattekill Mountain has a conveyor carpet lift that takes you to the top of your snow tubing run alongside the skiing slopes!

The best snow tubing in the Catksills in winter has to be Holiday Mountain Resort! They have 12 snow tubing runs with a magic carpet that gets you to the top.

This is certainly one of the more popular things to do in the Catksills in winter, every single resort and snow tubing site suggests you book your snow tubing time slot in advance as it gets very busy and can sell out, especially around holidays and weekends.

Brewery Hopping


Have you really spent winter in the Catskills if you haven’t taken a day or two to visit the top breweries and wineries in the region? Widely known for its great selection of craft beer and widely growing brewery and winery tours, brewery hopping has become a popular Catskills winter getaway activity, one you should not miss out on.

Some top breweries worth visiting are:

Westkill Brewing: Explore this 127-acre family-owned brewery. We LOVED visiting a few winters ago as it felt like we were in a snowglobe! The snow starting falling down and we were cozied up outside with one of their beers next to our own personal fire pit. It was honestly perfect and one of my favorite things we did on our Catskills winter getaway that year.

They are located literally on the side of a mountain, so it’s the perfect winter stop!

Woodstock Brewing: This new brewery features an exciting indoor and outdoor venue for guests, delicious food, and lots of beer to be had, we should know we came back three times on our Catskills winter getaway! And believe it or not, this is not located in Woodstock but rather Phoenicia, New York!

Hunter Mountain Brewing: Make sure to check out this brewpub. They offer a large selection on tap, including lagers, porters, and stouts. Experience a master brewer along with exquisite meals, daring spirits, and delicious brews.

Catskill Brewery: This brewery practices sustainable brewing, and they make sure to reuse, recycle and re-purpose as much as possible. Stop by at their Livingston Manor taproom and experience the delicious taste and smooth feel of their signature Honest Hardworking Beer.

Roscoe Beer Co.: Serving a year-round supply of seasonal and yearly brews, Roscoe Brewery also features a tasting room, a tasting bar, lounge area, and a beer garden with a self-serve tap wall. A perfect spot to chill after a fun hike in Roscoe, New York.

Rip Van Winkle Brewing Company: This brewery is located just a short drive outside of Tannersville near Hunter Mountain. Rip Van Winkle has great beer on draft, but it’s the food that we love here! Try their giant calzones or pizza here! The perfect way to warm up from the inside out on a cold winter day in the Catskills!

If you are a non-beer drinker, you can also check out some of the distilleries in the Catskills like Catskill Distilling Co. in Bethel and Do Good Spirits in Roscoe – who has my favorite gin!

Visit & Shop the Small Towns

colorful town of Tannersville near Hunter in the Catskills in Upstate New York

We absolutely adore the charming towns in the Catskills! These towns have adorble downtowns, full of cool antique shops, independent boutiques, some even have art galleries, and of course great cafes and eateries to enjoy as well.

Each town has their own special flare and personality, but a few of our favorites that we’ve visited during a Catskills winter getaway include the following!

The town of Roxbury is a great stop on your Catskills winter getaway, they have the most charming, small historic downtown with 19th-century storefronts. This town is actually the hometown of famous railroad magnate Jay Gould and there’s even a historic church named after him.

Check out the adorable Roxbury General store, have lunch (or dinner when they offer it) at the Fierce Grizzly, and stay at the fun, themed rooms at the Roxbury Motel!

Nearby is the adorable town of Margaretville which has more shops to check out like Kria World where you can find homemade jewelry and other fun home gifts from the artist, find kitchen supplies at Home Goods of Margaretville, or stop by Totally Good Time on the weekends for fun shopping. For nightlife, enjoy The Ark Bowl & BBQ or enjoy a great italian dinner at Locale Trattoria.

Garden Cafe in Woodstock New York in the Catskills

Don’t miss the town of Woodstock, a household name as the most famous music festival in history took place near here. You’ll find may hippie and free-spirited inspired stores selling Woodstock Music Festival memorabilia and themed products as well as cool art galleries and gift stores.

Be sure to shop up and down Tinker Street and take a peek at the waterfall downtown. For something different, you can visit Karma Triyana Dharmachakra, a Tibetan Buddhist monastery located just outside of town.

Tannersville is also a great stop for shopping, this colorful town is not to be missed in general during your Catskills in winter trip as its near Hunter Mountain and offers great antique stores, including the giant Tannersville Antiques & Artisan Center you can’t miss with the giant Rip Van Winkle mural on the side of it, and Catskill Mountain Country Store where you can find fun gifts and even dine!

Also, check out Bear and Fox Proivsions in town for a great breakfast or lunch along with their adorable shop!

We also love Phoenica, where you won’t want to miss the opportunity for breakfast or lunch at the famous Phoenicia Diner, shop downtown in the local antique shops, or stop by the Shops at Emerson for great shopping and the World’s Largest Kaleidoscope with it’s very own Kaleidoshow!

Ice Skating

ice skating at Farm Road Estate near Mount Snow in Dover Vermont

During 2020 I bought ice skates and would go to the park every Wednesday to skate around. I never got any better, in fact the next year right before our big winter trip of the season to Southern Vermont I fell and hurt my tailbone and had a really hard time with snowboarding…eek.

Okay, so beyond that personal ancedote, I do love ice skating and still have my skates. I may not be good but it is a great time! And you better believe that one of the most fun things to do in the Catskills in winter is to ice skate!

When planning to explore Catskills in winter, be sure to explore the several indoor and outdoor skating rinks in the area. Many of the public skating rinks allow free access and some even offer casual hockey games.

Kiwanis Ice Arena is located in Saugerties, which is technically the Hudson Valley but it’s close enough, especailly if you want to ice skate in an indoor arena! You’ll want to come during one of their public sessions as there are ice hockey games here and figure skaters who practice here.

Oh, and I think that the most fun part of this ice rink is that they offer cosmic skating at night!

If you stay at Mohonk Mountain House, not only is it easy to get access to snowshoe or enjoy cross country skiing at the Mohonk Preserve, but they have a gorgeous outdoor ice rink for guests! Non-guests can get a day pass for both hiking or ice skating.

Windham Mountain Club not only has great snow tubing, but they also have ice skating!

Another way to ice skate and enjoy the fun of the season is one of the most highly anticipated things to do in the Catskills in winter in Livingston Manor! The annual Livingston Manor Rotary Ice Carnival has ice skating on Scudder Pond, ice sculpture contests, and more fun! This typically takes place at the end of January or early February at Rotary Park.

The only issue is, this event doesn’t have a great online presence, so it’s not so easy to tell when the event is and might require some online detective skills closer to the date of your winter getaway!

Relax at a Lodge or Resort

Soaking in the tub at Urban Cowboy Catskills in winter in Big Indian New York

The Catskills serve as a great city escape in the mountains due to its close proximity to New York City and with that, there are an abundance of great accommodation options from rustic and luxury lodges to B&Bs and resorts. 

There’s nothing more soothing for the soul (at least for us) than cozying up next to a crackling fireplace on a cold winter day.

With several amazing options available for you to pick from, it should be one of the first steps in planning your Catskills winter getaway. For more ideas be sure to check out our guide to where to stay in the Catskills for more options than we mention here!

Megan and Scott cozied up in our room at the Urban Cowboy in the Catskills New York

Our top picks for breathtaking, scenic lodges and resorts are:

Urban Cowboy Lodge is where we have stayed not once, but twice and makes for the perfect base for exploring all the best things to do in the Catksills in the winter on your getaway.

This is definetely for adults, but they do have a few family-friendly accommodations. This former Bavarian lodge was owned by the same family for nearly 70 years before retirement, they sold the lodge and its five standalone buildings to the creatives who brought a luxury, curated, wilderness lodge experience.

Each room has something special to offer and is individually designed and is what aesthetic dreams are made of not to mention the clawfoot bathtubs next to a fireplace next to the giant windows overlooking the snowy mountains.

Urban Cowboy Lodge is a place to unplug and unwind, rooms have no televisions, instead, bring a little speaker, turn on some tunes and soak in the tub with the view or play one of the board games they lend out, borrow their sleds and snowshoes for some outdoor fun, and unwind with great cocktails and delicious food! 10/10 recommend and we will be hoping to visit again.

The Mohonk Mountain Resort is both one of the best things to do in the Hudson Valley and Catskills as well as a place to stay. This grand resort is surrounded by 40,000 acres of pristine forest and features a luxurious spa, continental farm-to-table dishes, and tastefully decorated historic rooms, suites, and lodges all set in a Victorian castle.

This is one of the most famous mountain resorts in the region. Mohonk Mountain Resort  is also a National Historic Landmark. Oh, and they have plenty of winter activities to enjoy here for guests. Non-guests can book a day pass to enjoy the Mohonk Preserve and other amenities on site too.

Emerson Resort & Spa is another great choice in Phoenicia to base your Catskills winter getaway. Featuring spacious accommodations and make sure you book a room with a fireplace to be extra cozy.

Emerson Resort & Spa is one of the most popular and well-known luxury properties located in Phoenicia. You can also stay in and experience restoration, relaxation and the healing hands of nature in their award-winning spa and don’t miss visiting the world’s largest kaleidoscope here too! (Non guests can visit as well but have to pay admission)

Kaatskill Mountain Club Lodge at Hunter Mountain lets you stay right on the mountain! Experience lavish lodging with their different accommodation types, including studio apartments, suites, and penthouses. The location of Kaatskill Mountain Lodge is at Hunter Mountain which also has other great amenities like ski-in and ski-out access, a fireplace, steam room, health club, hot tubs, a fitness center, and a spa.

How about an extra unique stay? Stay at one of the themed cottages or rooms at the Roxbury Motel in Roxbury! We actually stayed here in the fall, but the property is so whimsical and magical that a fresh dusting of snow would make it even more so!

There are all kinds of themed rooms at this historic inn that’s been transformed into a world of wonder! From themed rooms like the Wizard of Oz, Cinderella, Dracula, and a room fit for magical Fairies! That’s just scratching the surface.

Plus they have a spa on site to really pamper yourself and some rooms have giant bathtubs, fireplaces, or other special features to keep you cozy on a cold winter day.

Take a Scenic Drive

Perrines Covered Bridge in New York

If you are still looking for things to do in the Catskills in winter, you should consider taking a drive through the many scenic routes and enjoying the amazing views. The Catskills boasts of several roadside attractions, including a good number of historic New York covered bridges not to mention the charming, small mountain towns you’ll pass through with more shops and things to do!

Some of the really fascinating covered bridges you can drive through or visit include:

Downsville Covered Bridge: One of the six covered bridges in Delaware County, this bridge is a perfect location for taking amazing pictures in the winter. It is 174 feet long and runs over the Delaware River. This bridge is the longest covered bridge in New York still in use. You can also pack a picnic basket when visiting this bridge as there is a park with picnic tables just beside it.

Hyde Hall Covered Bridge: This bridge is located near Cooperstown in Glimmerglass State Park and is the oldest existing covered bridge in the United States. Enjoy the beautiful views of the woods around, and do not forget to take pictures. Also, layer up for the cold weather, and do not forget to pack some snacks and hot drinks for the scenic drive.

Perrine’s Covered Bridge: A drive through Catskills in the winter will be even more rewarding with a visit to this historic bridge. Closed to traffic in 1930, it has since become a historic landmark. Visitors will enjoy dramatic valley views as well as the rustic town and historic buildings on the way to this bridge.

If you do plan on taking scenic drives, make sure you’re familiar with driving in the snow and watch out for black ice. Most roads are well maintained in the Catskills in winter, but use caution when driving during a snowstorm or flurry.

Catskills Winter Activities Map

Can you ski in the Catskills in winter?

There are many options for skiing in the Catskills in winter, the region is home to several ski resorts, including Belleayre Ski Center, Hunter Mountain, and Windham Mountain Resort to name a few.

How much snow do the Catskills get in winter?

The Catskills typically receive a substantial amount of snow in winter, with higher elevations often accumulating well over 50 inches. Actual amounts vary based on location and weather patterns.

Can you hike in the Catskills in winter?

Yes, you can hike in the Catskills in winter. The region offers a variety of winter trails, providing opportunities for snowshoeing and enjoying the scenic beauty amid the snow-covered landscapes.

What are the winter temperatures in the Catskills?

Winter temperatures in the Catskills can vary but generally range from around 20°F to 30°F (-6°C to -1°C). In higher elevations, temperatures can drop lower, and snowfall is common creating a winter wonderland!

If you’re looking for more winter inspiration, check our winter getaway guide to the Adirondack Mountains further upstate New York for more ideas!

Also, the Catskills are not just a winter getaway, check out our guide to Catskills in summer too!

If you liked this post to the best things to do in the Catskills in winter, bookmark for later or share the love below on Pinterest!


Similar Posts