Belleayre Mountain is located off of State Route 28 in Highmount, NY, just hours from New York City. It 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 un-named 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 1940's 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.