The under-the-radar area offers upscale accommodations, locally-foraged food, and active adventures.
The towns of Hudson, Kingston, and Saugerties have had their heyday. But if you want to visit a pocket of upstate New York where you won’t run into your Brooklyn neighbors, the Sullivan Catskills, along the Delaware River, is the place to do it. A new wave of innkeepers, restaurateurs, and outdoor enthusiasts have brought life to this little sliver of New York. Here, how to get the most out of it.
Where to Stay
Foster Supply Hospitality landed on the scene just a few years ago years ago, and now local Sim Foster’s portfolio includes four expertly-curated tranquil inns and guest houses.
The company’s newest property, The DeBruce, is also the most upscale. Situated on 600 acres, the 14-room inn has chic modern furniture and Malin + Goetz toiletries. A nightly multi-course dinner, prepared by executive chef Aksel Theilkuhl, features primarily local ingredients, with many foraged on the property.Just 20 minutes away, in the sleepy town of Callicoon, there’s Nine River Road. Less formal than its sibling the DeBruce, Nine River Road has a cozy living room with abundant board games and a roaring wood stove. The riverfront location makes kayaking or rafting day trips convenient.
What to Do
...for the angler:
Head to Roscoe where some of the best anglers in the world have fished the Beaverkill, a tributary of the Delaware River known for wild brown trout. The Beaverkill Angler, a guide service operating in town since 1979, will take you out for a half-day on the river with one of its many experienced guides.
...for the hiker:
The 3.2-mile Parksville O&W Rail Trail runs along a route once used by the New York, Ontario & Western Railway’s main line, parallel to the idyllic Little Beaverkill trout stream. Today, the improved trail is a scenic spot for hiking, trail running, or mountain biking. (In winter, it’s a great area for cross-country skiing too.)
...for the culture buff:
You could easily spend all day browsing the boutiques of Livingston Manor—Nest, with its highly-curated collection of treasures from around the world, is a particular favorite—or seeking out antique stores in the area. Another option: explore Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, the site of the 1969 Woodstock Festival. Bethel Woods is also just a five-minute drive from Catskill Distilling Company, which produces a rare buckwheat-based spirit alongside a full line of whiskeys.
Where to Eat
For breakfast, head to North Branch Inn, whose motto is “always sourcing product from good people we know.” The rustic dining room opens up to a 100-year-old bowling alley, but don’t let that distract you from the farro salad topped with roasted squash and a sunny-side-up egg.
Grab lunch at Main Street Farm, a market-meets-café where locals stock up on freshly-caught trout and cheese or grab coffee and sandwich boxes before a long day of hiking. Owner Jon Westergreen dedicates himself to all things organic, local, and thoughtfully-sourced and it shows in his healthful menu of house-made soups and sandwiches. Try the Reuben with roasted portabello mushroom, onion, and garlic, with lacto-fermented sauerkraut (made in-house), and vegan dressing.
Wind down with dinner at The Kaatskeller. If the weather is pleasant, make yourself comfortable at one of yard’s many picnic tables. Otherwise, head upstairs into the retro-chic dining room. While Kaatskeller is known for its wood-fired pizzas, the local emphasis lends itself to lighter dishes, too. The cedar trout comes from nearby Beaverkill Trout Hatchery and is served with plenty of veg, fresh herbs, and a spritz of lemon. The craft cocktail menu was designed by the minds behind New York City’s Apotheke, and it offers refreshing tipples such as the Gardener’s Gimlet: vodka with fresh basil and mint, muddled with juniper berries and black peppercorns before being topped off with green chartreuse and a twist of lemon. The potent, earthy blend is just the necessary nightcap to wrap up a perfect spring day of mountain air.
Photo: courtesy of The Kaatskeller