Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Fall Comes First to the Great Western Catskills

Labor Day weekend has tell-tale signs of fall on the mountains with isolated trees turning to their fall burgundy or deep orange colors. Cool evenings and recent rains are setting the stage for a spectacular fall foliage season. In New York State the leaves turn first up in the northern part of the Adirondack State Park, and here on the western slopes of the Catskill Park. Altitudes of 2-3000 feet and cool evenings bring on the Fall foliage season first. As the leaves turn throughout September, hikers, mountain bikers, fly-fishing fans and kayakers get their last outings during the warm days amongst the changing landscape. Farmers markets are jam packed with folks bringing home the harvest. Farm tours, workshops, and more delight locavores.

Fall pops into high gear by the last weekend of September, showing a gorgeous array of scarlet, burgundy and pumpkin mixing in to the mountainside greens. The weekend of September 24th and 25th kicks off the fall celebrations. Delhi’s Harvest Festival on Saturday showcases area crafters and music. Just down the road is a quilting workshop at the historical society. And all weekend long, Plattekill Mountain is hosting their first ever Antique Show. You’ll be able to bid on of the finest things from a bygone era by a variety of dealers. For extra fun you’ll be able to ride the chairlift and enjoy the magnificent Catskill Mountain fall foliage views. And you won’t go hungry - the full cafeteria will be open for faster appetites & a restaurant with a bar for the more refined. And there will be local musicians to entertain guests all weekend.

October is sure to please everyone looking to feast their eyes on the best fall colors – the first two weekends including Columbus weekend are resplendent in orange and gold. This coincides with the annual Lark in the Park – ten days of guided hikes and workshops in and around the Catskill Park, October 1st-10th. Easy hikes, difficult hikes, fire tower treks, kayaking and woodlands workshops will be occurring mid week and on the weekends, hosted by avid outdoors people sharing their skill and passion for the Catskill Mountains. Sometimes it’s hard to remember that the Catskill Park is here. There is no main gate to enter through and the Park itself is a collection of public and private lands. Spearheaded by the Catskill Center and the Catskill Mountain Club, this year’s choices range from easy to moderately difficult hikes – many to fire towers in the Park, bike rides, kayak or canoe paddles, and forestry workshops. As more volunteers create great events they’ll appear on the event website: www.catskillslark.org. This is a great opportunity to learn more about mother natures playground.

Columbus weekend brings the second annual Taste of the Catskills to Delhi. A joint venture lead by Quarter Moon CafĂ© and hosted on the grounds of Maple Shade Farm – this Columbus weekend event is sure to please adults and kids alike. www.tasteofthecatskills.com is the website to find out more. The area’s most talented musicians will provide entertainment all weekend. There will be lots of kid’s activities each day. Children will be able to meet the Dairy Princess and enjoy the 4-H fair. On both days children can visit the pick-a-pumpkin patch, navigate the corn maze, and pet farm animals. There will be live children’s music each day at noon.

Great Western Catskills Tourism
The Great Western Catskills is an easy weekend get-away destination for travelers – just 3 hours from the New York City metro area. To learn about great outdoor resources, Stay-and-Play Packages or camping in the western Catskills, log on to: www.greatwesterncatskills.com. For free brochures on kayaking, antiquing, public fishing access map and other literature, call toll-free: (866) 775-4425 or e-mail: info@greatwesterncatskills.com. For a bounty of great events in the area visit www.delawarecountytoday.com.