Thunder Ridge Trail Map
|Location||Patterson, New York|
|Nearest major city||Pawling, New York|
|Top elevation||880 ft.|
|Skiable area||90 acres (360,000 m2)|
19% more difficult
33% most difficult
|Lift system||3 chairlifts, 4 magic carpets|
|Terrain parks||Fawn Meadow, and Little Thunder (March Only)|
|Snowmaking||Yes, 90% coverage|
Thunder Ridge is a small ski area located in Patterson, NY. Because it is located just 75 minutes from New York City, the mountain attracts skiers and snowboarders from across the New York area. While it does not receive a lot of snowfall, Thunder Ridge does have snowmaking capabilities which can cover 95% of the mountain. Because it is open at night, Thunder Ridge is a haven for high school ski racing. The mountain hosts part of Hudson Valley League racing.In 2014 the area came under new management, after the previous managers could no longer afford to take care of the property as a result of the Great Recession.
Under previous ownership the mountain was known as Birch Hill (1957–1968), Big Birch (1968–1995), Thunder Ridge Ski Area (1995–present).
After coming under new ownership, many of the old trails were 'decommissioned' and other trails given priority. Old Map. Since 2018 around 95% of the mountain is covered with snowmaking equipment, up from 75% under the old ownership. Since 2015, equipment has gone through a major upgrade including the purchase of a new Bombardier Prinoth BR350 groomerand three new Demaclenko snow guns and Ratnik snow guns. In addition, new transformers were added allowing the mountain to produce more snow at a steady and faster rate.
Throughout the 2020–21 North American winter more trails were opened (22 at max) due to record snowfall and consistent weather. This marked the first time in almost four years where more than 20 trails had been open for more than two weeks straight.As part of the 2020–21 season, an older Bombardier groomer was revamped and upgraded, to expand the grooming capability throughout the mountain.
Thunder Ridge Ski area has 21 trails. 9 of which are accessible from the Triple Chair, 6 from the double chair, 4 from both chairs, and 5 bunny trails. It has 8 Black Diamonds 4 Blue Squares and 12 Green Circles.
|Lovers Lane (since 2019)|
|You Can Do It!|
Thunder Ridge currently has 3 chairlifts and 4 magic carpets. In 1958 a T-Bar opened at then Birch Hill- servicing the main part of today's ski area. Numerous Tows were also installed on the mountain. Sometime in the 1960s, a Borvig double chairlift was installed to the summit; it remains the area's longest and oldest lift. In about 1967, a short double chairlift was installed which today served Little Thunder. In 1986, a Borvig triple chairlift was installed to supersede and eventually replace the T-Bar lift, which it did. In the early 2000s, four Magic Carpet lifts were installed on Thunder Ridge to replace the Tows. Remnants of the tows can still be seen to this day.
During the mid-1960s the Mahopac High School ski team raced and trained at Birch Hill, as did the teams from Carmel and some other Putnam County and Northern Westchester county schools. The lodge was a simple place with a gravel floor.
Today the area maintains 7 running lifts; 4 Carpets (one open all the time (You can do it, "Toyland"), two open on the weekends, one used as a backup), a triple lift (main lift, "The triple"), a double lift (secondary lift, "The double"), and one small double lift (beginner lift, "Little Thunder"). There today remains three neglected tows (one serving the halfpipe, and one serving the terrain park, and one which servde the old terrain park). Both the triple and double were re-surfaced and gained more modern accessories and safety equipment in the late 2010s.
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