The hubby and I hit the open road early last Saturday for an adventurous and relaxing weekend getaway, traveling about 2.5 hours north of Manhattan into the Great Northern Catskills, the land most famously known for the legend of Rip Van Winkle, and more recently, the outdoor activity options at Hunter Mountain. The drive set the tone for the weekend, as once we were an hour into our journey, we were surrounded by lush greenery and once we drew close to the Tannersville and Hunter, New York, waterfalls greeted us on the side of the road.
Here’s some of the highlights from our most excellent Catskills weekend, which was such an easy, enjoyable trip that I’m sure we will be back before the summer is over.Kaatskill Mountain Club:
Located at the base of Hunter Mountain, this resort offers breathtaking views and luxurious accommodations, such as an outdoor heated pool and hot tubs, spa, a game room, and spacious rooms. Our room featured a jacuzzi, outdoor deck, and fireplace and overall, by New York standards, was palatial. The Kaatskill Mountain Club is perfectly situated to enjoy outdoor activities at the mountain, as well as a short drive to nearby towns such as Woodstock, NY. Midweek rates start at $150/night, while weekends start at $250.New York Zipline Adventure Tour:
You can certainly hike the trails on the mountain, but why hike when you can take it all in SO much faster, high up amongst the trees? A few hundred yards up, I had an incredible time on my first-ever ziplining adventure on the Mid-Mountain tour, conquering six ziplines with gusto while climbing onto canopied platforms and swinging bridges. Our father-daughter duo guides, Hans and Rebekah, put the 12-person group at ease, taking the right precautions so all of our moves felt plenty safe and secure, with laughs abounding amongst the affable, albeit novice, zipliners. If you want even more of a zipling challenge, the Skyrider tour may be for you, the longest in North America with one of the ziplines being a mile long! The Mid-Mountain tour is $89/person, while the Skyrider tour is $129/person on the weekends.Bailiwick Ranch & Discovery Zoo:
If keeping your feet a little closer to the ground is more your thing, take a short drive over to Catskill, New York for a trail ride at Bailiwick Ranch & Discovery Zoo. Available in thirty minutes and up to two hours, you can go for a casual stroll or more of a quickened trot with a guide through the surrounding area. Another first for me, my horse Rocky was a 22-year-old seasoned veteran and as mellow as they come, wanting to casually move along the trail and take a nibble at nearby leaves. My hubby accompanied Clyde, a regal Clydesdale who obediently followed our guide, Anita.
You can extend your ride with an overnight stay, and although we didn’t do so, there’s also paintball and a zoo on site with both domestics and exotic animals, perfect for entertaining the younger ones (ponyrides are also available). Trail rides start at $45/person for 30 minutes, and admission to the zoo is $15 for adults.Food & Drink:
Rip Van Winkle restaurant can be found at the Kaatskill Mountain Club, and there are plenty of options in the surrounding areas to check out for a bite and a a drink, such as the Windham Vineyards & Winery, Cave Mountain Brewing Company & Restaurant, and Crossroads Brewing Company. As mentioned prior, a drive to Woodstock, NY is manageable from here, and don’t miss Twin Peaks Coffee & Donuts in the morning for their delicious roasts and made-to-order cake donuts, yum!!Thomas Cole National Historic Site:
On our way out of town, we stopped by here, which if you aren’t familiar with Thomas Cole, he is an early 19th century painter, and literary figure who settled in Catskill, New York and whose home and lovely gardens and grounds have been preserved and available to view (access to the buildings is granted via tour only). Stopping here on our way back to New York City made a lovely transition to cross the Hudson and see the other side of the river, especially the lovely, and quite hip town of Hudson, New York.
Exploring the great northern Catskills this summer can be as relaxing and mellow or action-packed and adventurous as you would like, with plenty of options that cater to both the city slicker and nature-lover in all of us!
This trip was provided courtesy of Greene County Tourism.