Shandaken

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 Weddings.

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

Mountainside Welcomes Noted Woodstock Artist

Stop by lobby of Mountainside Residential Care Center to view the works of Michael Heinrich.  Half the proceeds from sale of Mr. Heinrichs art will benefit the residents Sunshine Fund.

For information contact Michelle Powers, MRCC Activities Director, by calling MRCC 845-586-1800 Ext. 3341 or email [email protected].

 

Where to eat on Fighting Hunger Friday

If you’re planning to eat out today — Friday, May 1 — think of dining at one of the 23 Catskills restaurants in Delaware and Ulster counties that are participating in Fighting Hunger Friday, a fundraiser for the Margaretville’s Community Food Pantry, based in Arkville.

The restaurants, listed below, are accepting cash donations from diners that they will pass on to the food pantry. Leave your donation in a brown paper bag on your table at any participating eatery.

Some of the eateries are offering special menus and matching donations. The Arkville Bread and Breakfast is serving fried chicken and waffles tonight from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., with all proceeds going to benefit the food pantry. The owners of the Crazy River Café in Margaretville will match every donation to the pantry that is made in their restaurant today.  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

Letter to the Editor: Friends of the Catskill Mountain Rail Trail congratulate NYC DEP on trail

To the editor:

The Friends of the Catskill Mountain Rail Trail congratulate New York City’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) on moving forward with plans to support the construction of a publicly accessible multiuse trail along the northern border of the Ashokan Reservoir. This action was endorsed unanimously (with one abstention) last week by the members of the Ulster County Trails Advisory Committee, who prepared the following statement to be sent to Ulster County’s Economic Development and Tourism Committee: "Based on last week's offer by the Commissioner of New York City's Department of Environmental Protection of considerable financial and other support for converting 11.5 miles of rail corridor along the Ashokan Reservoir to a multi-use rail trail, with parking and other amenities designed to create a world-class tourism attraction, with year-round free access to the rail trail without permit, the Ulster County Trails Advisory Committee strongly urges the Ulster County Legislature to authorize the Ulster County Executive to execute an agreement to further this plan."  Read more

Spring Open House

Visit a Catskills chocolate factory

Chocolate melting at Lucky Chocolates. Photo by Julia Reischel.

Bryan Graham, the owner of Fruition Chocolate (3091 Route 28, Shokan, 845-657-6717, tastefruition.com) grinds his own cocoa beans, then turns them into simple, small-batch craft chocolate bars in flavors like brown butter milk chocolate and rustic crunch (cocoa nibs, cinnamon and vanilla).

Fruition's chocolate has won national awards—a gold from the Good Food Awards and two silvers from the International Chocolate Awards in 2013 alone. You can visit Fruition's storefront and chocolate factory in the Ulster County hamlet of Shokan, just off Route 28 in an unassuming strip mall.

In a long, narrow storefront in Saugerties, Lucky Chocolates (115 Partition St., Saugerties, 845-246-7337, luckychocolates.com) produces 45 flavors of truffles and other chocolate treats in back, in a Willy Wonka-like chocolate factory filled with delicious smells and busily churning mixers. On every wall, racks of chocolate cooling in pans wait to be sliced by the confectionary guitar.  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

Think green...the green fairways of Golf

Not too soon to Save the Date for the Margaretville Health Foundation 2015 Golf Tournament at College Golf Course in Delhi taking place Thursday, August 6th. 

For a list of Business Sponsorhip Levels please call 845-586-2631 Extension 3181 and speak to Liz Warren or email [email protected]

The bikes are back in town! Local outfitter Storehouse is bringing bike rentals back to Phoenicia

From atop the Mt. Tremper fire tower.

Since Mike’s Bikes shut down over a year ago, visitors to Phoenicia wanting to cruise around town on two wheels have been out of luck. But that all changes this summer when Tim and Jess Luby of Storehouse in Phoenicia bring bike rentals back to the village. Tim says of the decision to have the shop rent bikes, “Lots of people come up here without a car and for them, having access to a bike really opens things up. Since we’re all about the outdoors, we thought it made perfect sense for us to take bike rentals on.” Jess adds, “Really, we’re getting the bikes to enable people to enjoy attractions near Phoenicia that are just a bit too far to walk to. For instance, the trailhead to the Mt. Tremper Fire Tower and the new Long Path section are basically just a mile away. And there are a couple of swimming holes nearby, too.”

Bike rentals will cost $25 for the day and for an additional $10, bikes can be kept overnight. Rentals will be available starting Memorial Day weekend.

Storehouse
60 Main St.
Phoenicia, NY 12464
845-688-3143
Facebook.com/storehouse


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