Friday, July 2, 2010

A Roundup of What’s New in the Western Catskills.

Everyone wants to know what’s new in the mountains each year. We long for a reason to take a back road to a main street that hasn’t been visited in too long a while. Our quirky main streets continually beckon the intrepid business owners and shopkeepers to open their doors. Here is a roundup of the news we’ve heard of all around Delaware County.

Harpersfield is boasting a new horseback trail riding facility – the Circle A Ranch. Just south of that, Stamford gives rise to recreational opportunities indoors and out. Jam’s Indoor Golf lets folks with a hankerin’ practice their swing any time of the year. The Michael Kudish Nature Preserve pays homage to mother nature, featuring guided hikes, workshops, storytelling and more this summer – as well as great wild blueberry picking. Stamford is also home to miles of trails on private land that are open to the public for hiking. Access is easy from the village parking lot. Four different trail segments, many of which are suitable for beginner or novice hikers, make up the trail system. On the other side of Town, Roses Brook Road is host to new antique store Lyon Mountain Blue Barn Antiques.

Roxbury’s big news is that it has it’s own radio station - WROX. This spring saw the opening of a new art gallery – the Martin Lerner Gallery. This fall will see the opening of an expanded Roxbury Motel. Down the road in Margaretville, Harry and the Hippie Chic have moved down the block with their NY Rican meals. Pair this with Mi Lupita now serving prepared food in Fleischmanns and your tastebuds will never be wanting in the Catskills for ethnic flavor. The parking in the village across from Freshtown is finished and makes for a wonderful river walk with sitting benches. Most folks don’t know but this is also the kick off point for hiking with a trail running from the parking area up into the Catskill Park on the Millbrook Trail.

Andes has two new stores this summer – Andes Books and the Catskill Connection at Blink featuring jewelry. Tay Home has expanded with a Tea Bar and has been joined by Living Tree Botanical and their line of hand blended beauty products made with many local ingredients.

The Fisk Barn Antiques has expanded into Delhi and joins the Tractor Supply store at the main crossroads. Cross Roads CafĂ© is now serving dinner and soon will have a liquor license. Andes Hotel owners have their second location in Delhi. O’Neills Shire Pub is set to open early summer in the old Vastas’ location. Just down the road in Hamden is a new B&B Moonshadows and Memories in a lovely renovated, main street Victorian.

Franklin Stage Company is on hiatus this summer, but is still hosting smaller productions and music at Chapel Hall. There are new owners at the Beehive so remember to keep Franklin on the map for great food and entertainment. Stone and Thistle Farm in East Meredith has added a B&B suite so folks can stay at the farm and opt into one of their many programs, such as Farmer For a Day, or feast at their four course Saturday dinner at Fable featuring local foods.

Walton’s antique businesses now number 13 and make the main street here the place for great finds. Walton is becoming a destination for antiquing, especially with the Robinson’s Auction in town too. To entertain the shoppers and shop owners, Danny’s Restaurant has expanded with live music on Wednesday nights with their Rock the Lot events. Also stepping up to the live music plate is the Rainbow Lodge with their Rock the Dock on Friday nights. The lovely Stony Creek farm – veggies and livestock sustainably raised – is doing farm tours Saturdays at 11am.

Hancock will be home to a first ever two week long, world class, music festival at the West Branch International Music Festival and Academy. The festival begins July 18 and runs through August 1, 2010, with performances held in the main room of the West Branch Resort’s River Run Restaurant, whose 30 foot vaulted ceilings and hardwood and stone surfaces provide superb acoustics. Orchestral programs will take place at the lovely Hancock Area High School auditorium. Repertoires will include Grieg, Mozart, Sibelius and more.

With so many choices you can spend the entire summer checking them all out for yourself. Information on all these businesses and phone numbers or website links can be found on our website, as well as a new feature - select dining location menus are now available off the website.

Great Western Catskills Tourism
The Great Western Catskills is an easy day trip from Albany or Binghamton and a great weekend getaway or vacation destination only 3 hours from the New York City metro area. To learn more about outdoor resources, equipment rentals, great dining, affordable local lodging, Stay-and-Play Packages and great events going on in the western Catskills, log on to: For free travel literature like our fishing map and antique and art gallery directory can be mailed out to you - call toll-free: (866) 775-4425 or e-mail: