Shandaken

Upcoming Events in Shandaken

Judge: Hanover Farms must pay Shandaken $126,200 in fines

Above: The shuttered Hanover Farms farmstand in Mount Tremper. Photo by Julia Reischel.

The owners of a defunct farmstand in the Ulster County town of Shandaken must pay the town $126,200 in fees for “flagrant and egregious” violations of town law that occurred in 2012 and 2013, an Ulster County Supreme Court judge ruled on Jan. 28.

Al and Alfie Higley began selling produce on a residentially-zoned stretch of Route 28 in 2004. Hanover Farms, as their Mount Tremper farmstand was called, had a long and litigious history with the town of Shandaken before it was ordered to close by a judge in 2013.   Read more

Teachout to run for 19th district, putting political spotlight on Catskills

Fordham University law professor Zephyr Teachout ended weeks of speculation on Monday, Jan. 25 by announcing her candidacy for outgoing Republican Congressman Chris Gibson’s 19th congressional district seat, which represents the Catskills and the Hudson Valley in New York.

Left: Zephyr Teachout. Photo by Digital Media, via Wikimedia Commons. 

Teachout’s announcement puts the Catskills region, formerly a gerrymandered political backwater before a judicial redistricting effort in 2012, at the center of New York State politics.  Read more

"Not your grandfather's Catskills:" Forum crosses county lines to talk tourism

Above: Tom Joyce of Andes in Delaware County, Lisa Lyons of Livingston Manor in Sullivan County and Robert Eggleton of the town of Rockland in Sullivan County talk about a map of the Catskills at a Jan. 23 forum about tourism and economic development in the region. Photo by Rebecca Andre.

At a forum at the Catskill Center for Conservation and Development in the Delaware County town of Arkville on Saturday, Jan. 23, officials from four Catskills counties agreed that tourism is key to the economic future of the Catskills region.

"This is not your grandfather's Catskills," said Geddy Sveikauskas, who led the discussion. Sveikauskas is the founder of the Woodstock Times newspaper and a member of the board of the Catskill Center.

In front of an audience of 23 people, representatives from the town of Andes in Delaware County, the town of Hunter in Greene County, the hamlet of Livingston Manor in Sullivan County and the town of Woodstock in Ulster County brainstormed ways to work together to attract more tourists to the Catskills.  Read more

Racing with muzzleloaders and snowshoes in Shandaken's Primitive Biathlon

Above: A contestant in the 2012 Shandaken Primitive Biathlon. Image via shandakenprimitivebiathlon.net.

This Sunday, Jan. 17, buckskin-swathed competitors wearing snowshoes and carrying muzzleloading rifles will compete in the 19th-annual Shandaken Primitive Biathlon, one of the few events of its kind in the world.

In the modern version of the biathlon, competitors shoot rifles at targets while cross-country skiing. In a primitive biathlon, the concept is the same, but the tools are not: instead of a .22-caliber rifle, racers shoot antique and reproduction muzzleloading weapons. And instead of skis, they trek over the 1.25-mile course on old-fashioned wooden snowshoes.

Vermont’s Smugglers' Notch Primitive Biathlon was founded in 1995, and since then a handful of other primitive biathlons have cropped up in New Hampshire, Vermont and New York.   Read more

Zephyr Teachout greets Delaware Co. Democrats, mulls run for Congress

Above: Zephyr Teachout, right, a potential Democratic candidate for the 19th U.S. Congressional District seat, spoke with town of Andes Supervisor Bud Gladstone on Tuesday, Jan. 12 at a gathering in Delhi. Photo by Robert Cairns. 

Zephyr Teachout, the Fordham University professor who ran an unsuccessful primary campaign against Andrew Cuomo for governor of New York in 2014, is eyeing a run for the 19th U.S. Congressional District seat being vacated by Republican Rep. Chris Gibson.

Teachout, a Democrat, greeted about 50 supporters on Tuesday, Jan. 12 at the Shire Pub in Delhi. Despite a social media campaign by organizers of the event, Teachout said she had only expected to meet with Delaware County Democratic Committee Chairman Tom Schimmerling and “one or two other people.”

“I'm trying to decide whether I'm going to run for Congress,” she said.

She said, however, that she has not made that decision. “I have a timeline in my head which I'm not going to tell you, but I'll promise I'm going to decide within the next couple weeks.”  Read more

Squalls, wind and lake effect snow forecast for Catskills

Above: Radar shows a band of nasty winter weather heading for the Catskills on Tuesday afternoon, Jan. 12. Image via NWS Binghamton.

Snow squalls, lake effect snow, high winds and general weather nastiness are forecast for portions of the Catskills this afternoon, Tuesday, Jan. 12, and into tonight and early tomorrow, Wednesday, Jan. 13. 

Three to six inches of lake effect snow may fall in the Schoharie Valley between 7 p.m. tonight and 7 a.m. tomorrow, according to the National Weather Service in Albany

Wind gusts up to 50 miles per hour may hit through the Catskills region between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. tomorrow, according to NWS Albany

Snow squalls bearing gusty winds and up to an inch of snow may appear throughout the entire Catskills region tonight, NWS Albany reports

Clearly, it's not a great night for travelling. We're already getting reports of crashes and overturned vehicles on Route 28 in Ulster County. Are you seeing crashes and trouble out there? Let us know. Email us or comment on this story. 

The ABCs of snowshoeing

Above: Snowshoes at Catskill Mountain Storehouse. Photo by Tim Luby. 

Now that winter has arrived in the Catskills in earnest, it’s time to break out the snowshoes. If you’ve never tried hiking with snowshoes, read on for a guide on how to choose, size and use this winter-weather hiking gear. Remember: If you can walk, you can snowshoe.

One of the first things you need to consider is the type of snowshoes to get. Snowshoes for local parks or trails or the rolling fairways of golf courses have some different characteristics from those designed for the steep terrain of mountain hiking. Forget about those attractive wooden snowshoes with the leather lacing. They belong above the fireplace in your family room or camp.

Size matters: Many retailers or online charts will ask how much you weigh and how heavy a pack you'll be carrying. That combined weight theoretically translates into the size of snowshoe you'll wear. However, unless you belong in the waif category, that formula will have you walking out of the store with a 28-inch or 30-inch pair of foot gondolas.  Read more

Where to celebrate New Year’s Eve in the Catskills

 

A photo posted by BSP Kingston (@bspkingston) on

Above: Just like Times Square, only smaller, Uptown Kingston's New Year's Eve features a ball drop, fireworks, a block party, burlesque, vaudeville, a speakeasy and fireworks. Photo via the BSP Lounge's Instagram page

Back in the day, bells rang out from town to town marking midnight and the changeover to a new year. Around the Catskills, you can say goodbye to 2015 with everything from accordions and contra dancing to sizzling soul and burlesque. There are ball drops and karaoke jams and feasts, feasts, feasts. Have a look at our five-county guide to the highlights, and see if we can’t lure you from your lair. All events take place on Thursday, Dec. 31 unless otherwise specified.

DELAWARE COUNTY

There’s a dinner buffet and DJ dance party happening at the Hanah Mountain Resort and Country Club in Margaretville, featuring prime rib for the adults, a kids’ menu and a complimentary glass of sparkling wine. Seating starts at 6 p.m.; music starts at 8 p.m. in the fireside lounge. Reservations required; call 1-800-752-6494.

O’Neill’s Shire Pub in Delhi will be rocking the old year out with specials and karaoke hosted by DJ Bangkok. The fun starts at 9 p.m. and goes on until 1 a.m. Call for reservations: 607-746-8758.

The Andes Hotel in Andes is throwing a New Year’s bash with a three-course sit-down feast and live music from Blues Maneuver. The festivities begin at 7 p.m. and continue through the “champagne hour.” You can bring the under-twelve-year-olds for half price.

GREENE COUNTY

They may be having a rather unusual season, but Greene County’s ski resorts will be kicking out the jams for the New Year.

At Hunter Mountain in Hunter, fun starts with DJ music at 2 p.m. and continues with music from the Hot Rods, a torchlight parade and fireworks. Van Winkle’s Restaurant will be serving a prix fixe New Year’s dinner--for that part of it you need to reserve by calling  518-263-4223 x3026.

Windham Mountain’s bash in Windham kicks off at 6 p.m. with kids’ entertainment at the Mountain Express Cafeteria. At 8 p.m., Screaming Broccoli will take the stage; at 9 p.m. there are fireworks and DJ Brian will keep it rockin’ after the band’s done. There’s also a Grand Dinner Buffet at Seasons; make reservations here.

Celebrate at the Bavarian Manor Inn in Purling with dinner out and/or an entire night of partying, up to and including spending the night at special holiday rates that include breakfast. There’s a dinner at 5:30 p.m. for those who don’t want to stay for the whole bash, which features the music of Nickel Candy and a free bottle of champagne for your midnight toast.

The Blackthorne Resort in East Durham will host a New Year’s Eve bash with the music of Southbound. Here, too, you can reserve a room for the night and revel to your heart’s content.

SCHOHARIE COUNTY

There will be a grand New Year's Eve Dinner & Celebration at the Bull's Head Inn in Cobleskill. Reserve your seats (call 518-234-1802) for the special four-course dinner being served from 5 p.m. until 8:30 p.m., then enjoy the live sounds of Jay “Diz” Dizacomo from 8:30 until “sometime in 2016.”

The American Hotel in Sharon Springs will be serving a five-course New Year’s Eve Dinner with seatings at 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. Call 518-284-2105 to reserve a table.

Come out and enjoy an Old World-flavored New Year’s Eve Celebration at A Taste of Europe in Cobleskill.   Read more

Finally, some snow

Above: An inch of snowy, icy slush is cause for celebration on Tuesday, Dec. 29. Photo via the Great Western Catskills Instagram account. 

After almost an entire December without snow, the Catskills got its first significant snowfall on Tuesday, Dec. 29. This is great news for the local ski mountains, which have been doing their best to make enough snow to cover the slopes on their own  Read more

Catskills ski mountains get creative during no-snow December

Above: The slopes at Belleayre Mountain Ski Center in Highmount on Dec. 16. Photo by Rebecca Andre. 

Snow guns are blazing at all four Catskills ski resorts as unusually warm weather—and a distinct lack of snowfall—puts a damper on the start of the ski season.

This year’s December has been unseasonably warm, thanks to a strong El Nino effect.

The weather is upending normal activities during beginning of winter in the Catskills, which started on Tuesday, Dec. 22. Skiers aren’t flocking to the mountains as they normally do right after Thanksgiving.

Instead, flocks of geese are floating peacefully on the unfrozen waters of the East Branch. Daffodils are sprouting, golfers are playing on snowless greens and salt piles remain untouched in Delaware County as the Highway Department concentrates on getting ahead of 2016’s tree program.

“It’s been a bleak beginning to December,” said Jesse Tolz, the communications manager for Windham Mountain in Greene County.  Read more

Shandaken Letters