Middletown

Upcoming Events in Middletown

Broadband partnership targets rural areas in three Catskills counties

Above: This map, from the Delaware County Electric Cooperative website, shows areas targeted for construction of fiber-optic data lines.

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

Five kid-friendly Catskills hikes

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

Blueberry and raspberry picking in the Catskills

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.

DELAWARE COUNTY

Blue Sky Farm & Winery
779 Charcoal Road, Stamford
607-652-4712; blueskyfarmwinery.com

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 adds dedicated drunk-driving prosecutor

Above: A police officer making a drunk driving arrest. Photo by Flickr user Jeffrey Smith.

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

Pedal mettle: Mountain biking and road cycling in the Catskills

Above: A mountain biker races in Hurley in 2013. Photo by Tim Kleeger of Fats in the Cats.

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.

The FATS IN THE CATS BICYCLE CLUB (fatsinthecats.com) has over 150 members and has been around since 1994, with rides for bikers of all abilities, including a weekly “newbie” rider group.  Read more

This weekend: The Catskills Forest Festival

Above: A rough beginning of a wood sculpture of a bear made by Samsonville wood artist Hoppy Quick. Quick will be at the Catskill Forest Festival this weekend. Photo via Hoppy Quick's Facebook page

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

BBQ in the Catskills

Above: Brisket, pulled pork, chicken and ribs at Catskill Mtn. BBQ in Grand Gorge. Photo by Julia Reischel.

Barbecue fans will drive long distances for their fix of smoked pork belly and brisket. Here’s where to get barbecue in the Catskills. 

The Tannersville version of AMERICAN GLORY BBQ (6033 Main St., Tannersville. 518-822-1234. americanglory.com) opened in August 2014, serving North Carolina-style pulled pork, brisket (chopped or sliced Texas style) and St. Louis-style ribs, all smoked over maple wood for hours.

Above: Ribs at American Glory BBQ in Tannersville. Photo courtesy of American Glory BBQ.   Read more

Delaware County's freshest batch of restaurants

Above: Clams casino at Maplehurst, a new Italian restaurant in Roxbury. Photo by Rebecca Andre.

New eateries are popping up across the Catskills -- so many, in fact, that we can't list them all in one story. In Delaware County alone, in the central and western Catskills, seven new restaurants have recently opened their doors. 

Goatie Whites 
46 Depot St., Fleischmanns

Above: A happy customer at Goatie Whites. Photo by Rebecca Andre. 

Owner Bob Zellner’s goatee is the inspiration for the name of this new ice cream parlor and café at the corner of Depot Street and Route 28 in the village of Fleischmanns. Zellner and his wife, Norika, are both longtime Delaware County locals who began serving Perry’s hard ice cream and soft-serve custard on Memorial Day.  Read more

Take a dip: Where to swim in the Catskills

Above: Belleayre Beach at Pine Hill Lake in July 2014. Photo by Jonathan Garin.

In the Catskills, there’s a secret swimming hole in almost every town. (If you ask nicely, a local may point you in the right direction.) Here are a few of the best known publicly accessible swimming spots, from lifeguarded beaches to swimming pools to blue holes in the wilderness.

SWIMMING HOLES

BIG DEEP is a beloved woodsy swimming hole with a rope swing on the Saw Kill. East of town on Route 212 in Woodstock.

Above: Peekamoose Blue Hole. Photo by Tim Cox. 

PEEKAMOOSE BLUE HOLE, an icy cold, deep blue basin, is tucked into the woods near the border of Ulster and Sullivan counties. From Route 28A in West Shokan, go 10 miles southwest on County Road 42.  Read more

Belleayre Resort gets DEC greenlight

In one of his final acts as New York State's top environmental official, Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joe Martens acted on Friday to allow the long-awaited Belleayre Resort project in the Catskills to move forward. 

In a decision enacted on Friday, July 10, Martens granted a motion from the DEC's staff to cancel the final hurdle that still lay between the project and the issuing of permits for construction: a legal proceeding called an "adjudicatory hearing."

Above: An interactive timeline of 16 years of Belleayre Resort review.

If it had been held, the hearing would have given environmental groups that successfully sought to downsize the project years ago another chance to weigh in on changes that have been made to the plans in recent years.   Read more