Upcoming Events in Stamford

The Catskills wedding boom

Above: At Handsome Hollow in Long Eddy, couples can say their vows in a fern-strewn clearing in the woods on the 93-acre property. Photo by JBM Photography.

Catskills weddings – especially those with an outdoorsy twist – are on the rise.

Getting hitched in hills is a booming business. Thanks to the wedding industry, there has been a recent uptick in tourism spending in the Catskills.

“We’ve noticed over the last couple years that there’s been quite an increase in country weddings in the area,” said Rick Remsnyder, Ulster County's tourism director.

“It’s a good location and the price is right. We’re 90 minutes from midtown Manhattan and the price is more affordable than the metro area.”

Cathy Ballone, a wedding planner in Greene County, owes her career to the increase in outdoor upstate weddings.

“I see a definite boom,” said Ballone, who runs Cathy’s Elegant Events out of the old Catskill Game Farm in Catskill, which she and her husband recently bought.  Read more

This Weekend: I Love My Park Day in the Catskills

Above: A poster for Cairo's Town Picnic, one of several events celebrating "I Love My Park Day" in the Catskills this Saturday, May 2.

Saturday, May 2 is the “I Love My Park Day,” a day of outdoor cleanup and volunteerism sponsored by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and the Parks and Trails of New York organization.

One of the woes of the Catskill Park is that it is not technically overseen by New York State’s parks office. Instead, the Catskill Park is a patchwork of wild forests, small state parks and wildernesses overseen by the New York State Department of Conservation.

This means that the Catskills themselves aren’t featured prominently in I Love My Park Day. But that’s not stopping towns and other organizations in the Catskills from celebrating it.  Read more

Delaware County's proposed bed tax rises again

Above: Marge Miller, the supervisor of the town of Middletown, Glenn Nealis, Delaware County's Director of Economic Development, and Jim Thomson, then Delaware County's tourism director, discuss the benefits of a county bed tax at a meeting with skeptical hotel owners in March 2014. Photo by Julia Reischel.

A year ago, on April 23, 2014, the Delaware County Board of Supervisors voted to ask the New York State Legislature to impose a 2 percent occupancy tax on room and hotel rentals in Delaware County.

But despite broad support for the so-called bed tax among the county leaders -- 17 out of 19 supervisors voted in favor of the tax last year -- the plan fizzled in at the state level, dying ignominiously in committee. (That may have had something to do with a groundswell of opposition among Delaware County hotel owners against the plan.)

Now the bed tax plan is back. On Wednesday, April 22, 2015, the Delaware County Board of Supervisors once again voted to approve a resolution asking the state legislature to approve a 2 percent bed tax in Delaware County.  Read more

Early season leads to record bear hunt in southern New York

Above: The 580-pound bear Greene County hunter Tim Meservey shot during the early season in September 2014. Photo courtesy of Tim Meservey.

Bear hunters in New York's Southern Zone killed a record 1,110 bears in 2014, according to harvest figures that the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation released on Monday, April 13. That's 12 percent more than the previous record of 983 bears taken in the Southern Zone in 2011.

The record harvest is likely due to a new early bear hunting season that ran from Sept. 6 to Sept. 21 in portions of the Catskills and the western Hudson Valley, DEC officials say.

Catskills hunters in in Delaware, Greene, Schoharie, Sullivan and Ulster counties killed 893 bears in 2014, according to an analysis of the DEC's hunt data by the Watershed Post. In the Catskills, hunters killed 294 bears during the new early season and 599 during the bow hunting, muzzleloading and regular seasons, which occur later in the fall.

The Catskills towns with the highest bear harvests are Hancock, with 34 bears killed; Wawarsing, with 32; Tusten, with 31; Rochester, with 27; and Mamakating, with 24.  Read more

Gone fishin': Anglers celebrate on a freezing opening day

Above: Boys Fishing, by Amanda Lee Popp. Submitted to the 2014 Catskills Outdoor Guide Photo Contest. 

April Fool’s day is the first day of fishing season in New York state, and it's playing a freezing cold joke on hopeful anglers vying to catch the first trout of the year.

It's a cold and icy beginning to trout season, with a high of only 38 degrees and snow falling over Cairns Pool on the Beaverkill, according to the Catskill Fly Fishing Center and Museum’s Facebook page. Nevertheless, trout were reportedly caught there today, the center reports.

Above: The ice-covered Upper Delaware River on Monday, March 30. Photo by Tony Ritter, via Twitter.   Read more

Stamford man flees police barefoot with 'limited clothing' for miles over snow-covered mountain

Above: Wooded mountain terrain on the border of Delaware and Schoharie counties where a 25-year-old man spent hours fleeing police on Friday, March 27. Photo via Google Earth.

A 25-year-old Stamford man jumped out his window and fled into the woods wearing "limited clothing" when probation officers came looking for him about a probation violation on the morning of Friday, March 27, police say.

Jesse E. Papas had no shoes and wore only "limited clothing," but he led sheriff's deputies, probation officers, a New York State Department of Conservation police officer and a trained police dog for miles on frozen snow over a mountain and into the next county before being caught, according to a Delaware County Sheriff's Office press release.

Ozzie, a trained drug-sniffing police dog that works with the Delaware County Sheriff's Office, was key to the chase, police say:  Read more

Six new Catskills publications cater to urban transplants

Above: An image from Catskill Made, a new digital publication. Photo of milkweed by Tom Smith.

Along with maple syrup and the first red blush of buds on the mountainsides, spring is bringing a bloom of new publications devoted to covering the culture, arts and lifestyle of the Catskills — through the eyes of flatlanders.

These days, urbanites are fleeing to the Catskills from New York City in droves. If you ask them why, they say that they're searching for something -- a kind of authenticity absent from more citifed environs.

“We yearned for a place with a slower pace of life, fewer pretensions, friendlier people, and more authenticity — something we had always experienced on our trips here," said Alecia Eberhardt, a new arrival to the Catskills who is the editor of Catskill Made, a new digital quarterly journal that launched on March 21. "So in the summer of 2013 we made the leap, and almost two years later, here we are.”  Read more

The best of the new Catskills restaurants

Above: Fresh-made donuts at Twin Peaks Coffee & Donuts. Photo by Julia Reischel.

New eateries serving fresh doughnuts, Vietnamese banh mi, baklava and cheesy grits have all opened in the mountains this past year or so. From the 2015 Catskills Food Guide, here are some of our favorites.

The doughnuts at Twin Peaks Coffee & Donuts (5950 Main St., Tannersville, 518-589-6262), which opened in late 2013, are made to order by the Doughnut Robot, a countertop machine that deploys circles of batter into bubbling hot oil while you wait. After frying, they’re dipped in flavored glazes like Key lime, pumpkin, apple cider, and caramel and sea salt. For a quarter, you can add a bacon glaze. For $4.50, you can add eggs, cheese and meat to make a true caloric heavyweight: a doughnut-based breakfast sandwich “slider.”

Above: Doughnut sliders at Twin Peaks Coffee & Doughnuts. Photo by Julia Reischel. 

Tara and Nathan Jamieson, the owners of Feather & Stone (38 West St., Walton, 607-510-4027,, which opened in September 2014, express their love of travel in their menu. One week, they’re celebrating the Midwest with fried cheese curds, and the next it’s the American southwest with Texas smoked brisket. They have a special affection for New York state dishes — the Rochester Garbage Plate is a mix of meats, chili, fries and salad — and the humble burger, seven versions of which appear on the menu.  Read more

Snow days weigh heavily on Catskills college students

Above: The SUNY New Paltz campus on March 13. Photo by Keady Sullivan.

After a brutal winter in the Catskills, college students are holding their breath, hoping for no more snow days.

College classes at SUNY Cobleskill, SUNY Delhi, SUNY New Paltz, SUNY Oneonta, SUNY Sullivan and SUNY Ulster have all experienced weather-related cancellations with more frequency than usual in 2015.

For SUNY New Paltz and SUNY Sullivan students, Monday classes have been hit particularly hard. Three consecutive Monday snow days on Jan. 26, Feb. 2, and Feb. 9 prevented classes from meeting and have significantly set back course curriculums.

SUNY Sullivan had the most official, university-declared cancellations of colleges in the Catskills region. Four whole days of classes were cancelled, and classes were either delayed or closed early on three additional days. In Ulster County, SUNY New Paltz cancelled classes six times and SUNY Ulster cancelled classes four times.

In Schoharie County, SUNY Cobleskill cancelled classes three times. In Delaware County, SUNY Delhi cancelled classes twice. And in Otsego County, SUNY Oneonta cancelled classed on one day and partially cancelled classes on another day.  Read more

Catskills sugarhouses open for Maple Weekend

Above: Maple syrup from the Catskill Mountain Sugar House in Grahamsville. Photo by Richard A. Smith

New York state produces almost a fifth of the nation’s maple syrup, and much of that comes from the Catskills. The mountains are home to many sugarhouses, from large operations with state-of-the-art evaporators that use reverse osmosis to little shacks that still use the old-fashioned boiling method.

Maple syrup is available all year long, but the tapping season lasts for just a few weeks in March, when frosty nights and sunny days get the sap moving.

The best way to watch a sugarhouse in action is to visit one. The sights, sounds and smells of sap boiling in the sugarhouse mean that sweetness, like springtime, is just around the corner. Shake off the late-winter blahs and come celebrate Maple Weekend -- actually two weekends of open houses -- in the sugar shacks of the Catskills. Listed below are events that are within the Watershed Post's coverage area; a statewide list of all 160 locations can be found at  Read more