Blog: Downstate NY
It was late morning on Saturday and by some miracle neither of my sons had any scheduled activities. I seized the opportunity to get them some exercise, a lesson in ski history and hopefully some pre-season psyche. I pried them away from the X Box to climb the ski hill at Silvermine Lake.
Silvermine Lake is one of several small bodies of water in Harriman State Park that are popular picnic spots for people from the city during the summer months. It also used to have a small ski area located near its shore. It closed some time back in the eighties I think, possibly a victim of warm winters or a lack of chair lifts.
According to Skiing in the East – Ski Trails and How to Get There, a 1930s era guidebook commissioned by the Federal Writers Project, Silvermine ski area boasted 290 feet of vertical with two rope tows, 1,800 and 2,275 feet in length.
On Monday I ventured 45 minutes to Mt Peter in Warwick, NY, with my 3rd grader. After Sunday’s ice storm turned into a gully washer, I was a little unsure of what the trails would look like when we got to the mountain.
We were pleasantly surprised to see that pretty much the entire mountain was open on deep manmade snow. We booted up in the beautiful Sunrise Lodge. It is a fully windowed post and beam building that sits almost on the trails. A great spot for familiies, it is heated and has AC for summer events.
About 20 feet away is a snack bar offering a nice variety of food and drinks including hamburgers and hot dogs. There is also a full service cafeteria, a bar and a creperie.
For the past few years, I haven’t considered it truly summer until I hike Breakneck Ridge. Rated the Best Day Hike in America by Trails.com, it’s a stunning scramble above the Hudson with views that improve as you climb each impossible notch.
Then the trail ambles back through glorious meadows and the day concludes with a burger and fireworks at the All-American town of Beacon, NY.
But Breakneck Ridge is to some degree a victim of its own popularity, and on a spectacular Saturday with a late start, I wasn’t looking forward to being the 1000th car parked down the road from the trailhead.