Pine Hill Lake in the Catskills

December 31, 2022  •  Leave a Comment

Pine Hill Lake, located at the base of Belleayre Mountain, offers plenty of summer time fun, with a white sand beach, lifeguard-supervised swimming, rowboat and kayak rentals, large picnic pavilions and much more. It was estimated in 2018 that over 21,000 people visited Pine Hill Lake for summer recreational purposes.

 

Pine Hill Lake, located at the base of Belleayre Mountain, offers a popular summer time destination with a white sand beach and swimming for the whole family.All's Quiet at Pine Hill LakePine Hill Lake, located at the base of Belleayre Mountain, offers plenty of summer time fun, with a white sand beach, lifeguard-supervised swimming, rowboat and kayak rentals, large picnic pavilions and much more. The lake is used in the winter months for snowmaking purposes at the ski resort at Belleayre Mountain.

Pine Hill Lake, located at the base of Belleayre Mountain, offers a popular summer time destination with a white sand beach and swimming for the whole family.Pine Hill Lake in SeptemberPine Hill Lake, located at the base of Belleayre Mountain, offers plenty of summer time fun, with a white sand beach, lifeguard-supervised swimming, rowboat and kayak rentals, large picnic pavilions and much more. The lake is used in the winter months for snowmaking purposes at the ski resort at Belleayre Mountain.

 

The lake has a surface area of approximately 5.62 acres, with a storage capacity of approximately 29.4 million gallons of water. The lake is located on an impounded National Wetland Inventory (NWI) freshwater wetland.

 

Pine Hill Lake is used in the winter months for snowmaking purposes at the ski resort at Belleayre Mountain. The historical sign at the Belleayre Mountain Ski Center offers additional information about its history.

 

“Belleayre Mountain is located off of State Route 28 in Highmount, NY, just hours from New York City. From Rt. 28 in Highmount, turn west on Rt. 49A (Galli Curci Rd.). Go about 1/2 mile, look for the signs.

 

Belleayre was declared “Forever Wild” by the New York State Forest Preserve in 1885. Early on, skiers would side-step or hike their way more than 3,000 feet to be the first to make tracks down unnamed and woody trails. Since the very beginning of the American skiing experience, skiers gazed at the steep, rugged inclines of Belleayre Mountain and dreamed of refining them. In the 1940s skiing enthusiasts pressured politicians to develop Belleayre as a safe and fun mountain for families and extreme skiers alike.

 

In 1947 bills were introduced allowing New York State to create Belleayre Mountain. Construction began in 1949, and Belleayre began its premier winter season with five trails, an electrically powered rope tow, New York's first chairlift, a summit lodge, a temporary base lodge with a cafeteria and dirt floors, and parking to accommodate 300 people. It would become the center for winter sports in the region and an economic catalyst for surrounding communities.”

 

Today the Belleayre Mountain Ski Center is home to 64 trails, parks and glades, eight chair lifts including a high-speed gondola and quad and several lodges. The longest run on the mountain measures 12,024 feet. It is estimated that over 175,000 skiers and snowboarders visit Belleayre Mountain every year.

 

As for the origins of the Pine Hill name, different sources provide various details and contexts.

 

  • “This is a pleasant rural village situated upon the eastern slope of the hill from which it derives its name.” – Sylvester, History of Ulster County, p. 308.

 

  • “Pine Hill received its name from the Indian word "Kauren sinck" meaning place of the pine trees.” –Bussy, “History and Stories of Margaretville and Surrounding Area.”

 

  • “Later Cockburn was more careful in recording so-called Indian names, and on his map of 1771 of the Hardenbergh Patent, which contains many Indian names, including “Kawiensinck,” (Kuwesing, place of pine trees) at Pine Hill, he says: “The Indian names I have put down from the information of John Cantin and Sapon, two Esopus Indians, to Thomas Nottingham their interpreter to me.” – Monroe, Chapters in the History of Delaware County New York, p. 30.

 

  • An article in a 1902 issue of Harper’s Weekly about prominent village resident Henry Morton gives a small bit of doubt about Pine Hill being “a place of pine trees.” “It is the jest of the place that Pine Hill is so called because there are no pines anywhere near it. Dr. Morton did not like that, so he planted a whole hill-side with pines, and they are prospering.” – “Personal Notes.” Harper’s Weekly. Vol. 46. Harper’s Magazine Company, 1902. p. 575.

 


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