This hamlet in upstate New York was once known as "The Saratoga Of The Catskills" as the village served as the main headquarters of the local Crystal Springs bottling company back in the 19th century. Today, visitors flock over to this beautiful hamlet located in Ulster county's Town of Shandaken. May I suggest a stopover in Pine Hill, New York where 275 year round residents enjoy seeing the vicinity and if you think this area is dormant during winter time, think again.

attachment-Pine Hill Entrance Sign

Pine Hill is a 45 minute ride on New York's route 28 from Kingston. It would take about 2 hours from our tri-state region plus it is a frequent vacation destination for those who reside in my ol' hometown of New York City. The hamlet also attracts a crowd from other notable areas including Albany, Boston and north of the border in Canada.

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(Photo image of Bellayre Mountain courtesy of Emma Ritter)


The hamlet is best known for Bellayre Mountain, a popular location where skiers can his the slopes and enjoy other winter based activities from snow tubing, to archery, hiking and rock climbing. And the FREE hot chocolate will truly warm you up at any time during your visit. The facility offers up to 50 trails for beginners and experienced skiers.

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You can also get a panoramic view of the vicinity when elevated in one of their breath taking and scenic gondola rides (bring your camera and take some awesome souvenir photos) They also offer cross country skiing and snowboarding. Check out their web site for a full list of events

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When you are on solid ground, the hamlet offers an array of places to stop over as this area is loaded with attractions including a mandatory stop at The Morton Memorial Library where you can check out a book and read from cover to cover during your stay and they are also internet accessible.

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The former Shandaken Historical Museum (now occupied by School District #14) is loaded with history where you can take a tour and educate yourself on Pine Hill's background.

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(Photo image of Smith Bros. house courtesy of Al Swearengen)

The area also serves as the home of the Smith Brothers Druggists (yes, the pair who are featured in cough drop boxes) as they perfected their medical miracles in Pine Hill.

The area may be populated by less than 300 people, but tourists and visitors add to over 5 times it's regular occupancy. There is never a shortage of places to eat as a plethora of restaurants and dining establishments await you whether you are on vacation or thinking of taking a ride up route 28, it will be worth your time as most places are also reasonably priced. Lodging is also affordable as you have your choice of various hotels and air BNB's that await your arrival.

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(Photo image of Trailways bus courtesy of

For those living in urban areas and do not own a vehicle, Trailways offers daily bus service to Pine Hill via Kingston and the hamlet is walkable from point A to point B. For a list of motor coach schedules, check out Trailways web site by going here.

BOTTOM LINE: It's a vacation or respite that will remain unforgettable so head west to Pine Hill and enjoy what winter has to offer. I'm due for for another visit soon!

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(Photo image of Walter Maxwell courtesy of

This article is dedicated to one of the nicest men I ever worked for in this business, my former boss, Walter Maxwell, who was the Station Manager and owner of WGHQ & B-94 in Kingston, New York. He ALWAYS spent his free time up in Pine Hill and was an avid skier. He is SO sorely missed and his spirit will guide you through the must-stops of this vicinity which was his second home away from home.

(Other photo credits courtesy of and

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