Brace yourselves: The Catskills are having their biggest moment since the height of the Borscht Belt resorts in the '50s.
Hudson Valley Magazine has dedicated its entire August issue to the region, declaring that "The Catskills Are Back," and featuring the pool at Phoenicia's The Graham & Co. hotel on its cover.
[T]he big story of the day is that the Catskills have seemingly overnight transformed from a sleepy, somewhat rundown region to a hip ’n happening hangout for all types of urban culture vultures and — dare we say it — hipsters.
What is this we hear? It seems that every season, at least one new boutique hotel throws open its doors — and more and more city folk flee upstate to the forest. Cultural offerings abound, gastropubs serve up farm-to-table fare, you can even stay in a luxury yurt. Yes, glamping has come to the Catskills. Read more
Outdoor recreation opportunities abound in the Catskills, running the gamut from strolling on rail trails to expert-only wilderness bushwhacks. Whatever your adventure level — or your dog’s — there’s plenty to do with a pup in tow here in the Catskills.
What to do
HIKE. Most dogs love to hike, and the many trails that wend through Catskills forests are wonderful places for you to enjoy nature: balsam firs, bald eagles, tumbling cascades and vistas that have inspired generations. Be sure to match your outing to your buddy’s current level of fitness.
Catskill Park regulations do not require dogs to be leashed at all times. Voice control is acceptable in many areas; check the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s website (dec.ny.gov) for details. Some great trails to try are Overlook Mountain (watch out for timber rattlesnakes), Slide Mountain, Giant Ledge and Rochester Hollow. Read more
Above: A design for a local Catskills currency created by members of Transition Catskills.
About two dozen people attended the first public forum of Transition Catskills, a group dedicated to making the Catskills more economically resilient, on Wednesday night at the Open Eye Theater in Margaretville.
“This was our first effort to organize a conversation,” said Jeff Tomasi, a former partner at Goldman Sachs who helped found the group.
There will be another film screening and public forum for the Transition Catskills movement on Saturday, July 26, at 4 p.m. at the Roxbury Arts Center in Roxbury.
Tomasi, who owns a second home in the Delaware County town of Middletown, also lives in London, where he first got word of Transition, an initiative that began in England around 2006 and addressed issues of oil dependence and economic instability.
“I’m not a leader, I’m a facilitator,” Tomasi told the group. “I’m not here to tell people how to live. Just here to start the dialogue.” Read more
An ongoing investigation into heroin and other illegal drug sales in Delaware County has led to the recent arrests of two local people on sealed grand jury indictments, the Delaware County Sheriff's Office announced Friday.
Arrested on Thursday, July 17 were 31-year-old Gerard Johnson of Walton, who faces charges stemming from the alleged sale of heroin in the village of Walton in June, and 41-year-old Cindy Manon of Arkville, who is accused of selling suboxone in the hamlet of Arkville. Both were arraigned in Delaware County court on Friday and remanded to the Delaware County jail without bail. Read more
Longtime Catskills wilderness guide Charles “Sonny” Somelofski has earned a few more gray hairs since this photo was taken — and caught countless more fish. Photo courtesy of
Catskill Outdoor Adventures (catskilloutdooradventures.com).
Charles “Sonny” Somelofski of Catskill Outdoor Adventures in Margaretville (catskilloutdooradventures.com), remembers when the licensing process to become an outdoor guide in New York state was a simple paper questionnaire with a $2 fee that asked whether he could swim, handle a boat, and read a map and compass.
“That was it, back then,” Somelofski says. “Bang! I was able to take people out and do it all.”
Today, being a state-licensed outdoor guide requires a bit more: taxable income disclosure forms, a physician’s statement, and certifications in first aid, CPR, and water safety. Those are the just the basics. Guides can be licensed in a number of different categories, ranging from camping and fishing to whitewater rafting and ice climbing, each with different licensing requirements.
The heart of guiding, however, has remained the same: proving to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) that you can reliably take paying customers out into the great outdoors and bring them back again in one piece. Read more
A cyclist takes a break for the panoramic view from Castle Point on the Shawangunk Ridge, at the southeastern edge of the Catskills. Photo courtesy of Riding the Catskills (ridingthecatskills.com).
Climb up and over the rocky Shawangunk Ridge to a spectacular vista overlooking the Hudson Valley. Meander along hundreds of miles of carriage lanes and trails through the Mohonk Preserve. Ride through rolling pastureland on 19th- century dirt roads, lined by mossy stone walls and shaded by tunnels of overarching trees. Travel winding country roads for hours without seeing more cars than you can count on your fingers.
The Catskill Mountains were made for cycling. And if you’re not here already, they’re easier to get to than you might think. From New York City, in less than two hours by car, you can leave urban sprawl far behind and discover a cycling utopia. You don’t even need a car to get here: Bring your bike on a scenic 90-minute Metro-North train up the majestic Hudson River to Poughkeepsie, cycle across the Walkway Over the Hudson, and you’re practically in the Catskills. Read more
Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals, one of the largest employers in Delaware county, will eliminate approximately 15 percent of the positions at their manufacturing and distribution plant in Hobart.
“Based on the ongoing evaluation of resources in Hobart, including recent changes in long-term demand, operational improvements and a change in shift schedules, we are taking action to realign and reshape our resources as part of our effort to position the Hobart Plant to be a top-performing manufacturing site,” Media Relations Manager at Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals Lynn Phillips said. “The actions we are taking will result in an elimination of positions that will impact the workforce at our Hobart Plant.”
Affected employees will be notified this week, Phillips said, and most will leave the company by early July. Those laid-off will be given severance benefits that include outplacement services.