Big Indian

13 places to rent bicycles in the Catskills

Above: Bike rentals at the Roxbury General Store in Roxbury. Photo via the Roxbury General Store's Facebook page

The Catskills are a bicycler’s paradise with hundreds of miles of trails and roads perfect for bikers of all skill levels. Whether you’re into off-road mountain biking, pedaling the pavement on the scenic byways or taking a relaxing ride with your family, it doesn’t take long to find an adventure that suits your needs.

Luckily, you don’t have to haul your bike up the mountains or make a pricey gear investment for occasional use. Outfitters, bike shops and other establishments offer mountain and road bicycle rentals across the Catskills. Here are 13 places to rent bikes.

DELAWARE COUNTY   Read more

Accessible Catskills hiking, camping and outdoors

Recreation and the outdoors are not just for able-bodied people. Adults and children with physical challenges benefit from exercise and the balance that comes from nature and fitness. Here are some opportunities that allow everyone equal access to the Catskills.

TRAILS FOR ALL

With their gentle grades, rail trails — former railroad beds turned into trails — are accessible to everyone. Try the 26-mile CATSKILL SCENIC TRAIL (Bloomville to Roxbury, catskillscenictrail.org) or the 22-mile WALLKILL VALLEY RAIL TRAIL (Wallkill to Kingston, wvrta.org), which boasts the Rosendale Trestle, a soaring bridge that crosses the Rondout Creek. A .75-mile paved loop and a paved trail to the Esopus Creek surrounds the CATSKILL INTERPRETIVE CENTER (Mount Tremper, catskilliinterpretivecenter.org) which just opened last month.  Read more

Two crashes on same stretch of Route 28 in one week

Above: A three-mile stretch of Route 28 in the Ulster County town of Shandaken has been the scene of two crashes in one week. Image via Google Maps.

It's August, the very peak of the high summer season in the Catskills, and the roads are jammed with drivers. That means more crashes, especially on weekends, when the region's many visitors are in transit.

In one week, there have been two crashes on the same stretch of Route 28 in the Ulster County town of Shandaken, from the road's intersection with Route 212 south to the hamlet of Boiceville.

On Sunday, Aug. 2 at 4:17 p.m., first responders were called to a crash at the intersection of Upper Boiceville Road and Route 28, according to Rich Muellerleile, the chief of the Shandaken Ambulance Service, which was dispatched to the scene. 

A week later, another crash happened on the same stretch of road at almost the same time.

At 5:25 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 9, a three-car crash involving a rollover occurred near the intersection of Route 212 and Route 28. The Shandaken EMS, the Olive Fire Department and the Phoenicia Fire Department responded to the scene, and shut down Route 28 from Winne Road to Route 212 for about an hour and a half, according to Muellerleile.  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

Sunny Day Predicted...Join us this Thursday

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

Registration Forms Available at MHF Offices

On Thursday, August 6th, the Margaretville Health Foundation will be holding its 3rd Annual Golf Tournament at the College Golf Course in Delhi to benefit Margaretville Hospital and Mountainside Residential Care Center. Our foundation ensures that many of the significant improvements made at the hospital and residential care center are possible through the support of residents and community leaders like you. We want our supporters to know that their contributions are sent directly to the funding of that mission. The cost for participating in the tournament is $85.00 per person which includes range, golf, cart, snack and barbecue lunch. There will be limited lunch only seating available. Please call us to reserve. Liz Warren 845-586-2131 Ext 3181 or email [email protected]

MHF Golf Tournament August 6th Registration Form

On Thursday, August 6th, the Margaretville Health Foundation will be holding its 3rd Annual Golf Tournament at the College Golf Course in Delhi to benefit Margaretville Hospital and Mountainside Residential Care Center. Our foundation ensures that many of the significant improvements made at the hospital and residential care center are possible through the support of residents and community leaders like you. We want our supporters to know that their contributions are sent directly to the funding of that mission. The cost for participating in the tournament is $85.00 per person which includes range, golf, cart, snack and barbecue lunch. There will be limited lunch only seating available. Please call us to reserve. Liz Warren 845-586-2131 Ext 3181 or email [email protected]

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

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


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