Hidden Treasures are never easy to find. That’s the point, really – the journey to somewhere special to experience something exceptional, off-the-beaten-path, known and loved by those lucky enough to have discovered it.
So it was back in 1955, when Ben Lane (A student at Princeton University and President of the Princeton Outing Club) fell in love with Bearpen Mountain in upstate New York, and established several hiking and skiing trails descending from its 3,600 ft. summit. At that time, Skiers were shuttled from the parking lot to the summit is surplus Army Trucks.
The advent of cable driven ski-lifts led to the closure of many smaller Catskill Mountain Ski Areas during the 1960s & 70s simply because heavy snow-fall made it harder to keep the access roads open to the summit, and trucks could carry only so many skiers at a time.
FAST FORWARD FIFTY YEARS
Father – Daughter team Howard and Dominique Rennell share a dream and a labor of love as they build out their 21st Century vision of a Hidden Treasure – The undeniable destination that is Bearpen Mountain.
Just 35 miles west of the Thruway (from either Catskill or Saugerties) or 47 miles northwest from the Kingston Exit – Just as advertised in 1955 – Bearpen Mountain is 135 Highway Miles from New York City. After attending the opening day celebrations on Saturday, January 13th we are pleased to report that the journey led us through amazing vistas to an extremely special destination, and an experience was nothing short of exceptional.
Once on site, you are welcomed to a rough-cut timber and clapboard warming barn that serves as office, rental center, and base-camp as every member of your party gets to choose the adventure that’s best for them.
The Western Greene County Towns of Prattsville and Lexington are experiencing a real resurgence in the re-discovery of their natural splendor and amazing quality of life by an entirely new generation of outdoor adventure enthusiasts. Just down the road from Bearpen Mountain are two more wonderful Greene County Destinations – The Spruceton Inn (a vintage 1950s-60s motel restored to an amazingly amenable Catskills Bed & Bar, AND West Kill Brewing – a craft brewer extraordinaire whose outstanding ‘Doodlebug’ American Pislner and ‘Earn Your Keep’ American Pale Ale became available in pint cans on December 16th, 2017, (and were featured at the Bearpen Mountain Open House).
Bearpen Mountain is an easy trip from both Hunter and Windham Mountains, and provides a totally unique experience – Tubing, XC, Fat Biking, Skating, and Winter Hiking with great hospitality and just plain fun. Add this hidden treasure to your list this winter – and enjoy.
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