Cycling the Catskills: From steep trails to smooth sails

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 (

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

New York Invasive Species Awareness Week

The mission of New York Invasive Species Awareness Week is to promote knowledge and understanding of invasive species to h elp stop their spread by engaging citizens in a wide range of activities across the state and encouraging them to take action. Please join in the fun and help out with the effort!  Activities of all kinds take place July 6th- July 12th. Check out and click on the logo for more information!

Antique Farmhouse, Dead-end Road, long driveway, Olivebridge

Beautifully restored 19th-century farmhouse on almost eight acres of woods and meadow in Olivebrige, NY, within Catskills Park, two hours from Manhattan. Sited at the end of a long driveway on a quiet dead-end road (unusual for an old farmhouse). High Falls, Stone Ridge, and other small towns with charming shops, farm stands, antiquing, and good restaurants short drive away. Beamed ceilings, wide-board floors, two fireplaces, four bedrooms, two full baths, eat-in-kitchen. More:

$399,000. For sale by owner, no seller’s brokers please.

(212) 463-7664

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“When Jonathan and I first happened upon The Ulster and Delaware Railroad (U & D) Depot we were not looking for a second or vacation home, but as soon as my husband saw the Depot he was convinced that this was the perfect spot for our get-a-way. At the time we lived in a brownstone in Brooklyn. This was in 1978.”

       Jonathan and Charlotte Collett, the owners of the East Meredith Depot, speak with personal pride about their accomplishments and community pride in bringing back to the community a part of its history.

       The Ulster and Delaware Railroad became known as The Only All-Rail Route to the Catskill Mountains and ran from Kingston Point on the Hudson River through the Catskill Mountains to its western terminus at Oneonta, passing through the counties of Ulster, Delaware, Schoharie and Otsego.  Read more

Horseback riding in the Catskills

Riders head out on the trail. Photo courtesy of Bridle Hill Farm.

Strapping on your hiking shoes isn’t the only way to see the Catskills: You can also hit the trail on horseback. Trail-riding companies operate throughout the region, and they offer an alternative way to enjoy the spectacular views and fresh mountain air that make the Catskills a paradise for hikers.

Novice and experienced riders alike should have a pre-ride safety check with the trail ride leader, says Laura Phoenix, a riding coach and equestrian specialist at Country Meadows Equine in Delaware County. Before embarking, beginning riders should be shown how make their mount turn left or right — and most importantly, how to stop.

As you ride, the group should set the pace at the comfort level of the most inexperienced rider, in order to ensure a successful ride for everyone in the group.

After horse and rider have gotten acquainted, it’s time to sit back and enjoy the views.

Spring is a great time to take a trail ride, Phoenix says.  Read more

Fine Upstate real estate listings, from contemporary 1 BR to sophisticated estate

Country House Realty offers a knowledgeable buyers' service and provides quality real estate listings, primarily for the second home market. Knowledgeable about the area, and with a sister company that focuses exclusively on vacation rentals (, Country House Realty is a terrific resource for the weekend home buyer and seller. 845.985.5116

This weekend: Kingston Kayak Festival

Above: Kayaks lined up on Kingston Point Beach at the 2013 Kingston Kayak Festival. Photo from Kenco's Facebook page.

Kenco's Kingston Kayak Festival returns to the Kingston Point Beach on Saturday, June 14 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. to offer opportunities for both seasoned and novice kayakers alike.

Kayakers will be able to learn new skills in beginner, intermediate and advanced lessons — on both land and water — that include instruction on kayak fishing.

Beginners will be provided with a kayak for a guided tour. Experienced kayakers are expected to bring their own.

Instructional offerings on how to pick the right paddle and kayak will also be available.

Food vendors, boating brands and exhibitors will be present, tabling products including used gear and boats.

Scheduled events will end with an auction of gear from 3 to 5 p.m.  Read more

Green Door closes

Green Door, a Liberty-based quarterly magazine about Catskills life and culture, is shutting down.

It's been a good run; in their three years and 13 issues, Green Door's founders have launched a multi-use art space on Liberty's Main Street, popularized the word "hickster," gotten a nod from the New York Times for their "Narrowsburg Not Williamsburg" T-shirts, and earned plenty of love from the local arts and business community. But, as the sage says, sometimes love just ain't enough.

Founders Ellie and Akira Ohiso announced the news on the magazine's website and Facebook page on Tuesday:  Read more

A few good Catskills paddles

Photo by Courtney Ross; submitted to the Watershed Post's 2014 Catskills Outdoor Guide Photo Contest.

Water is everywhere in the Catskill Mountains, even their name: The “kill” in “Catskills” is a Dutch word for “creek.” There’s plenty of open water to go around for kayakers, canoers, sailors and rowers — especially now that four of New York City’s vast reservoirs have been opened to recreational boating, a development in the past few years. (See our guide to boating the reservoirs.)

Another aspect of the Catskills great outdoors that’s improving: our bald eagle population. If you spend time on our rivers and creeks, you’re likely to have a close encounter with one of these fish-eating eagles, who have been brought back from the verge of extirpation over the past few decades and are now a common sight near Catskills waterways.

Catskills creeks have a tendency to be broad and shallow, and water levels can vary a lot depending on recent rainfall and reservoir releases. When preparing to go boating on running water, check out the water level, or ask a local boat rental company, to make sure there’s enough water to keep you from running aground.  Read more

Linda McRae Performs in Phoenicia Friday 6/13/2014

June 13, 2014 - 7:30pm
See video

Flying Cat Music is proud to bring Canadian singer-songwriter Linda McRae to New York's Hudson Valley on Friday, June 13, in a concert at the Empire State Railway Museum located at 70 Lower High Street in Phoenicia. The show begins promptly at 7:30 p.m. with the door opening at 7:00. Admission is $15 at the door or $13 with RSVP to or by calling 845-688-9453.

Roots folk and country recording artist Linda McRae is just out with her latest CD, Fifty Shades of Red, for her new label, Canada's premier roots music purveyor Borealis Records. To celebrate the addition of McRae to their already sterling roster, this Borealis issue offers listeners highlights from Linda McRae's four prior solo recordings. The most recent of those, Rough Edges and Ragged Hearts was nominated for the 2012 Contemporary Album of the Year by the Canadian Folk Music Awards.  Read more

845 688 9453

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