Above: Members of Fleischmanns' summer Spinka community accompany a new Torah to their synagogue on Main Street.
Hundreds of members of the Spinka community of Hasidic Jews led by Grand Rabbi Abraham Horowitz gathered on Sunday, Aug. 9 to welcome the arrival of a new sefer Torah—a handwritten copy of the holiest text in Judaism—to a synagogue in the Delaware County village of Fleischmanns.
“It was a very special occasion,” said Yossi Green, a spokesman for the community. “All the people were wearing their Shabbos garb, something that we only wear on Saturday and high holidays, because this occasion was so special.”
Above: The Torah procession on Sunday, Aug. 9 in Fleischmanns. Contributed photo.
Portions of Depot Street and Main Street were closed to traffic as men carried the new Torah under a chuppah canopy to the community’s synagogue. A large crowd danced in the street as music.
Later that evening, a celebratory feast was held at the Belleayre Mountain Ski Center, according to Green. Read more
The Catskills are a bicycler’s paradise with hundreds of miles of trails and roads perfect for bikers of all skill levels. Whether you’re into off-road mountain biking, pedaling the pavement on the scenic byways or taking a relaxing ride with your family, it doesn’t take long to find an adventure that suits your needs.
Luckily, you don’t have to haul your bike up the mountains or make a pricey gear investment for occasional use. Outfitters, bike shops and other establishments offer mountain and road bicycle rentals across the Catskills. Here are 13 places to rent bikes.
Recreation and the outdoors are not just for able-bodied people. Adults and children with physical challenges benefit from exercise and the balance that comes from nature and fitness. Here are some opportunities that allow everyone equal access to the Catskills.
Just as the Rural Electrification Administration brought electric power to remote areas of the nation in the 1930s, a partnership between local utility companies is working to bring broadband internet access to outlying areas of Delaware County and adjacent towns.
Representatives of the Delaware County Electric Cooperative (DCEC), the Delhi Telephone Company (DTC) and the Margaretville Telephone Company (MTC) began a series of visits to town council meetings on Wednesday, Aug. 5 in
Hamden to talk about the first phase of the Delaware County Broadband Initiative – a joint effort to provide fiber-optic broadband service within the area served by the electric cooperative.
While most of the expansion is within Delaware County, it spills over into the Sullivan County town of Rockland, the Ulster County town of Hardenburgh and the Schoharie County towns of Jefferson and Gilboa. Read more
Above: Kids hiking in the Catskills. Photo by Tim Luby.
While the Catskills have a reputation for rugged, steep terrain, the region also offers plenty of short, exciting jaunts with amazing views that kids can scale.
1. VROMAN’S NOSE. 1.5 miles round trip. A mostly gentle climb, with some steep sections, that leads to sweeping views of surrounding farmland. The large, flat summit is known as “The Dance Floor.” Park on Mill Valley Road in Middleburgh.
2. TROUT POND. 3 miles round trip. A pleasant walk on an old woods road up to a scenic lake. A side trail on the way overlooks a waterfall. Great fishing and camping opportunities. Park on Russell Brook Road near Roscoe.
3. FRICK POND. 2.2 miles round trip. A level hike through forests, swamps and meadows along the shoreline of Frick Pond. Can be muddy. Park on Beech Mountain Road, Livingston Manor.
4. TANBARK TRAIL. 2 miles round trip. A climb up to impressive views of Phoenicia, the Esopus Creek and surrounding high peaks. Trailhead at Parish Field, Phoenicia. Read more
Above: Picking blueberries at Blue Sky Farm & Winery in Stamford. Photo by Jane Margolies.
Strawberry season has come and gone, but not to worry if you didn’t get your fill of luscious, locally grown berries. Blueberry season is upon us, and, thanks to the late spring rains, growers at U-Pick farms around the Catskills are reporting bumper crops of berries that are bigger and plumper than usual. Raspberries are also ripe for the picking at some farms. So grab a pail and get out your pie and cobbler recipes—and stay tuned for more updates on U-Pick offerings throughout the summer and fall.
Blue Sky Farm & Winery had its first U-Pick day July 18, and owner Russ Betz says he’ll have blueberries for the next three or four weekends (Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.). The berries are $3 per pound—and you can pick up a bottle of blueberry wine while you’re at it. Read more
Delaware County will have a full-time prosecutor for Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) cases following action of the county's board of supervisors on Wednesday, July 22.
The board adopted a resolution creating a new position in the couny district attorney's office.
The resolution states that the county “recognizes that effective and efficient prosecution of DWI offenses in the local criminal courts is needed, but is time consuming and requires specialized training and experience.” It notes that the current assistant district attorneys “have extensive caseloads relating to non-DWI offenses” and says a full-time DWI prosecutor “is necessary.” Read more
The Catskill Mountains were made for road cycling and mountain biking, with miles of paved, lightly trafficked roads and rugged mountain trails. For those who love to shred shale, the region is a mountain biker’s paradise.
Woodchips will fly in Margaretville's village park on Saturday during the Catskill Forest Festival, an annual showcase of forestry and woodsmen skills and products.
This year, the organizers at the Catskill Forest Association promise that lumberjacks will compete to show off their cutting skills, a sawmill will turn logs into usable boards and craftsmen will turn trees into sculptures. (Ulster County artisan Hoppy Quick is planning to create a few bear sculptures on the spot during the festival -- see his photos above.) Read more