Mama’s Boy Burgers opens under Tannersville’s giant ice cream cone

Above: Mama's Boy Burgers in Tannersville on May 17. Photo by Julia Reischel.

A vacant ice cream parlor in the Greene County village of Tannersville has reopened as Mama’s Boy Burgers, a roadside grab-and-go eatery serving 26 flavors of custard and local grassfed hamburgers.

The restaurant, which has indoor and outdoor seating and an outdoor walk-up ice cream bar, celebrates its grand opening this Saturday, May 30.

But it’s already been open for several weeks to allow its staff of 10 and owner Michael Koegel, who also owns the Mama’s Boy Market coffeeshop in Phoenicia, to work out the kinks.

The building, which is topped with a giant ice cream cone sculpture, is a Tannersville icon. lt once housed Smiley’s Kosher Ice Cream, but was falling into disrepair when the Hunter Foundation bought it in 2011

  Read more

This Weekend: The Build-Fix-Grow Festival

Above: The historic woodworking machine at the Hanford Mills Museum in East Meredith. Photo used with permission.

This Saturday, the Hanford Mills Museum in East Meredith is launching a new festival, the Build-Fix-Grow Festival, to celebrate “the ingenuity and creativity of the past and the present."

The festival offers an odd and appealing combination of museum exhibits, historical reenactments, local food vendors and readings by Catskills authors.

For those who are curious about old-timey skills and crafts, there will be demonstrations of yarnmaking, blacksmithing, gravestone cleaning, cidermaking, dulcimers and old-time woodstove cooking. The museum's historic, water-powered sawmill and gristmill will be up and running for demonstrations as well. 

Meadowbrook Maple and Awestruck Ciders will be offering tastings of their Catskills-made maple syrup and hard apple cider, alongside a pie sale put on by the Charlotte Valley Presbyterian Church.   Read more

Woodstock Writers Radio with Martha Frankel and guests

Man stole planters from Coxsackie cemetery, sold them for profit, police say

A 24-year-old Coxsackie man resorted to cemetery desecration when he needed some extra cash in April, according to a press release from the New York State Police.

Kristopher K. Komaromi stole multiple concrete flower planters from grave sites in Coxsackie's Riverside Cemetery during the week of April 27, police say. He then reportedly sold the planters to local antique shops, netting himself a profit.

According to WNYT, one of those antiques dealers turned Komaromi in last week.

Komaromi was arrested on Friday, May 22 and is being charged with three counts of first degree cemetery desecration, a felony, and is being held in the Greene County Jail on $20,000 cash bail.

WNYT visited Riverside Cemetery on Tuesday, May 26 and talked to distraught relatives of the dead:  Read more

Fatal motorcycle crash leaves man dead, 12-year-old injured

A 32-year-old man died and his 12-year-old passenger was seriously injured after their motocycle crashed head-on into a car in the Greene County town of Athens on the morning of Saturday, May 23, according to a press release from the New York State Police

The crash, which is under investigation, happened at 8:19 a.m. on Leeds-Athens Road just as the Memorial Day weekend was beginning, police say.

Corey Hoag, a Valatie man who was the driver of the motorcycle, died of his injuries at the scene. The 12-year-old boy who was riding with him, who is not being identified, was seriously injured, police say. He was airlifted to Albany Medical Center.

The car that collided with the motorcycle has three passengers, all of whom were uninjured, police say.

The New York State Police were assisted at the scene by the Leeds Fire Department, West Athens-Lime Street Fire Department, Catskill Ambulance, New York State Department of Environmental Conversation and the Greene County Sheriff’s Office, according to the press release. 

Man dies in Tompkins ATV crash

A 36-year-old Long Island man died instantly after he crashed an ATV into a creek in the Delaware County town of Tompkins on Sunday night, May 24, police say.

Keith J. Stratton of Bellmore, New York had been at a family party on Apex Road that evening, the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend, according to a press release from the New York State Police.

Stratton was not wearing a helmet when he "decided to take a ride" on an all-terrain vehicle, the press release states.

While driving, Stratton failed to make a right turn and overturned the ATV into a shallow nearby creek, where he was killed on impact, police say.

Stratton was found dead in the creek around 9:34 p.m. by police. He was pronounced deceased by Delaware County Deputy Medical Examiner James Cooros at the scene, according to the press release.

While the State Police press release stated that "alcohol was a factor in the crash," people close to Stratton insist that he had not been drinking before he got on the ATV.  Read more

Royal Meadery brings the world's oldest fermented drink to the Catskills

Above: Mumford’s Melomel, a berry mead made of honey and water fermented with black currants, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries. Made by Royal Meadery in Richmondville, NY. Photo by Greg Wilhelm.

Greg Wilhelm, who just completed his last semester at SUNY Cobleskill, is not your typical recent college grad. As he finishes his bachelor’s degree in business administration, he is starting a real business: Royal Meadery, which is on track to open in the Schoharie County town of Richmondville in June.

Left: Greg Wilhelm. Wilhelm's business plan for Royal Meadery won second place at the 2015 New York Business Plan Competition in April 2015.

Mead is not exactly a common choice for college students — at least not in this century. The wine-like beverage, created by fermenting honey with water and other ingredients, is known as the drink of either the Norse gods or the Greek gods, depending on whom you ask.  Read more

Rochester Hollow: A hidden Catskills trail

Above: Map of the Rochester Hollow trail by Liz Cruz. This map first appeared in Adirondac Magazine, the publication of the Adirondack Mountain Club, in an article co-written by Liz Cruz and and Alan Via.

A great Catskills trail is hiding in plain sight in the Pine Hill Wild Forest of Shandaken, just off of Route 28. Turn onto Matyas Road and follow it to its end to get to Rochester Hollow, a treat for hikers, snowshoers, skiers, birders, photographers, naturalists, historians and trail runners.

Travel back into time as you hike 3.5 miles and 850 feet to the high point on the old woods road, a marvel of engineering with old stone walls and culverts, carved out of the side of Rose Mountain. The photogenic stream that follows your path for much of the way is interrupted by waterfalls, their banks speck- led with a dozen varieties of spring wildflowers.

The first half of your hike passes through sections of hemlocks and hardwoods. Beyond an old stone gate, the trail passes an attractive birch and maple forest.  Read more

Introducing the 2015 Catskills Outdoor Guide

The print 2015 Catskills Outdoor Guide has hit the streets!

This year, the guide features articles about waterfall hikes in the Catskills, courses in wilderness survival, a survey of the best local endurance races, a guide to kid-friendly and accessible hikes, an introduction to the art of snowshoeing and a look at the booming trend of getting hitched in the woods. And that's just the beginning. 

New this year: We've beefed up our Catskills Outdoor Maps with 39 outdoor attractions and 36 of our favorite Catskills hikes. Also, thanks to the amazing photographers who enter our annual photo contest, the 2015 edition of the guide has four different covers, which will be revealed periodically as the seasons change.   Read more

The winners of the 2015 Catskills Outdoor Guide Photo Contest

Above: "Ashokan Reservoir" by Mark Miller, the grand prize winner of the 2015 Catskills Outdoor Guide Photo Contest. 

It's Memorial Day weekend, and our print 2015 Catskills Outdoor Guide has hit the streets! Copies are waiting at dozens of locations around the Catskills. See what it looks like and how to get one by clicking here.

Each year, we ask readers of the Watershed Post and our Catskills Outdoor Guide to send us their best photos of the Catskills great outdoors. This year, 52 photographers entered our 2015 Catskills Outdoor Guide Photo Contest  Read more

Teen arrested for setting fires in Mamakating, town where massive brush fire started

Above: The Roosa Gap brush fire burns on the Shawangunk Ridge on Tuesday, May 5 as onlookers watch from Thornton Road in Wurtsboro. Photo by Michael Wentland. 

An 18-year-old Wurtsboro man has been arrested for setting fires in the Sullivan County town of Mamakating this spring, police say. 

A massive forest fire that consumed almost 3,000 acres in Sullivan and Ulster counties during the first week of May began in Mamakating on Sunday, May 3, but police have not directly linked this arrest to that fire, which is known as the Roosa Gap fire or the Shawangunk Ridge fire.

According to a New York State Police press release, New York State Forest Rangers, who handle brush fires like the Roosa Gap fire, were involved in the investigation. They determined that "someone had intentionally set several brush fires in and around the Town of Mamakating between mid-April and mid-May."  Read more

Stocking trout for Memorial Day weekend

Above: Trout are thrown from a bucket into the East Branch of the Delaware River on Thursday, May 21. Photos by Burr Hubbell.

Even the fish are getting ready for the first big weekend of the summer season in the Catskills. 

Burr Hubbell sent us these photos of staff from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and a group of volunteers stocking the East Branch of the Delaware River with trout on Thursday, May 21 on Route 30 between Roxbury and Margaretville. 

  Read more

Crash on I-88 kills woman, ejects two young children

A 25-year-old Virginia woman died and her three passengers were injured when she crashed a car on I-88 in the Delaware County town of Sidney on Wednesday, May 20, police say.

Ericka Sa-Keema, of Lorton, Virginia, was driving a 2002 Ford east on the highway at 6:27 a.m. when the crash occurred, according to a press release from the New York State Police:

[S]he drove off the north side of the roadway on to the shoulder. When she tried to correct this she lost control of her vehicle and it travelled into the center median where it over turned and rolled over several times coming to rest on the wheels.

Two young children, two-year-old Zavion Martin and one-year-old Zamari Martin, were in the backseat of the car during the crash, and both were "completely ejected from the vehicle," police say.

Both children were taken to area hospitals with injuries. The two-year-old was transported to Wilson Memorial Hospital with a chest injury and the one-year-old was was airlifted by LifeNet to University Hospital in Syracuse for a head injury.  Read more

Reservoir boating season begins in Catskills

Above: Kayakers on the Pepacton Reservoir. Photo via NYC DEP.

Sunrise this morning -- Friday, May 22 -- marked the beginning of the boating season on four of New York City's upstate reservoirs in the Catskills: the Cannonsville, the Neversink, the Schoharie and the Pepacton. Boating on the reservoirs is allowed during daylight hours from Friday, May 22 to Monday, Oct. 12.

2015 is the fourth year that non-motorized boats have been allowed to ply the waters of the city's protected drinking supply, and there are a few new additions to the program in 2015. 

According to a press release from the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, there are now racks at some popular boat launch sites that allow avid kayakers, sailors and paddlers to store their crafts near the water all summer long.

Also, boat rental companies are allowed to rent boats on the banks of the Cannonsville Reservoir for the first time as well, which means that all four reservoirs have rental businesses right on the water.   Read more

Ulster legislature OKs deal with DEP to build trail (and no rail)

A section of the 11.5-mile rail corridor along the north shore of the Ashokan Reservoir. Photo by Kevin Smith, the chairman of the Woodstock Land Conservancy.

On Tuesday, May 19, the Ulster County Legislature voted 17 to 6 to endorse a deal between the county and the New York City Department of Environmental Protection to build an 11.5-mile hiking, walking and biking trail along the northern shore of the Ashokan Reservoir. The vote begins the process of funding and planning the trail -- and dashes the hopes of railroad enthusiasts who want to preserve the tracks along the route.

The Catskill Mountain Railroad (CMRR), which operates a tourist railroad on other portions of the old Delaware & Ulster rail corridor that runs from Kingston to Boiceville, holds a lease on the right-of-way that expires in 2016. The CMRR has not run trains on the 11.5-mile Ashokan portion of the tracks for many years, but has still lobbied fiercely to keep the possibility open.

The CMRR, Ulster County Executive Mike Hein and the Friends of the Catskill Mountain Rail Trail have been involved in a public battle over rails v. trails since 2012.   Read more

This Weekend: Memorial Day in the Catskills

Above: Princesses in Liberty's 2014 Memorial Day Parade. Photo by John of Catskills Photography, submitted to the Watershed Post Flickr pool. This year, Liberty's parade takes place on Monday, May 25 at 10:30 a.m.

Ah, Memorial Day: a bittersweet tang, part remembrance, part celebration. The scent of gunpowder from ritual muskets mingling with the fresh blooms of late spring and a whiff of barbecue sauce. The unofficial beginning of summer brings a host of wonderful seasonal things bursting open at once.

Come out and imbibe the heady mix. Here’s our five county guide to the best of the Catskills this weekend, May 23 to 25.


“It really saved me:” Survivors celebrate emergency responders

Above: Woodstock resident Joe Ali, third from right, was saved by first responders from Woodstock Fire Department Companies 4 and 5 after he went into cardiac arrest in December 2014. Ali was reunited with the people who worked to save him at Ulster County’s EMS Recognition Dinner on Friday, May 15 in Kingston. Photo by Bob Baker of the Woodstock Fire Department.

It’s National Emergency Medical Services Week, and communities across the Catskills are celebrating memorable “saves” by their first responders from the past year.

Left: Joe Ali at the Ulster County EMS Recognition Ceremony on May 15. Photo by Bob Baker. 

In Kingston on Friday, May 15, Joe Ali of Woodstock credited the quick reaction of first responders with saving his life when he went into cardiac arrest in December 2014.  Read more

Hang glider dies after crashing into Catskills mountain


Above: A photo of Scott Trueblood hang gliding, posted on his Facebook account. 

A hang glider with a newly minted pilot's license died after crashing into a mountain in the Ulster County town of Wawarsing on Sunday, May 17, according to a press release from the New York State Police. (Update: The Daily Freeman is reporting that Trueblood received his training at Ellenville's Mountain Wings Flight School.)

Scott Trueblood, a 44-year-old man from Connecticut, was flying near an overlook on State Route 52 when he suddenly veered into the side of a nearby mountain around 6:08 p.m., according to police and press reports.

Trueblood was pronounced dead at the scene. He had a new pilot's license from the Ellenville Flight school, according to the press release.

The Daily Freeman interviewed several of Trueblood's friends and fellow pilots, all of whom are baffled by the crash:

  Read more

Tennessee congressional candidate plotted militia attack on the Catskills Muslim community of Islamberg

Above: Hussein Adams, the CEO of The Muslims of America, speaks at a press conference in Binghamton on May 18 about Robert R. Doggart's plot to attack the Delaware County hamlet of Islamberg. Photo by Julia Reischel.

Above: Video taken at a press conference held in Binghamton on Monday by the Muslims of America, residents of the Hancock community of Islamberg. Video shot and edited by Jessica Vecchione of Vecc Videography.

From February to April of this year, Robert R. Doggart, a 63-year-old Tennessee man who ran for U.S. Congress in 2014, was hatching an elaborate plan to massacre the inhabitants of Islamberg, a Muslim community in the Catskills mountains of New York, according to the FBI and federal prosecutors.

Doggart was arrested on April 10, just before he was scheduled to travel to Islamberg, which is located in the Delaware County town of Hancock, to conduct reconnaissance for the attack, according to court documents.

Left: Robert R. Doggart in a campaign photograph, via

Doggart has pled guilty to one of the charges, and is currently under house arrest in Tennessee while awaiting sentencing.  Read more

This weekend: Gardiner Cupcake Festival

Above: Cupcakes at the Gardiner Cupcake Festival. Photo via the Gardiner Cupcake Festival website

Ever since 2009, lovers of cupcakes have gathered in Ulster County for the annual Gardiner Cupcake Festival.

Now in its sixth year, the festival attracts thousands to the orchard at Wright's Farm to ogle and taste cupcakes of every variety, shape and flavor. 

Bakers, too, bring their A-game to the festival. Amateurs compete in a cupcake contest, and the pros set up stalls and sell their wares;  a dozen professional bakeries will be selling their cupcakes at the festival this year.

In addition to the cupcakes -- more than 30,000 of them -- the festival will feature a 5K, live music, a "human foosball game" and dozens of vendors selling crafts, wine and non-cupcake food. 

Gardiner Cupcake Festival. Saturday, May 16, 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. Wright's Farm, 699 Route 208, Gardiner, NY. 12525.  

This Weekend: Between the Lines Movement Fundraiser

On Saturday, the Catskill Mill on Main Street Catskill is hosting a dance performance (and a pre-performance auction and a post-performance dance party) as a benefit for the Greene County Council on the Arts.

The evening is planned with young, impecunious types in mind: tickets are on a sliding scale, and a DJ will turn the Mill into a club for the after party. (If you only come for the dance, you can get in for just $5.) Food is being provided by the Catskill Mill Food Truck. 

The centerpiece of the evening is a collaborative dance performance choreographed by a group of local dancers and accompanied by live music: 

The highlight of the evening is a collaborative dance performance inspired by sketches drawn especially for the event by Kiki Smith, and featuring live music by Michael Moss and Billy Stein. Nine dancers, a collection of seasoned pros from the area including Jean Churchill, Peggy Gould, Sondra Loring, Judith Moss, Donald Mouton, Nancey Rosensweig, Maria Simpson and Todd Whitley, will be creating and performing the piece.  Read more