Sunday, May 21, 2017

Kaaterskill Rail Trail

On Saturday, May 20th, the Mountain Top Historical Society held a ribbon-cutting ceremony marking the opening of a new trail connecting the MTHS directly to the renowned Kaaterskill Falls. Now it's possible to hike directly from the restored Ulster & Delaware Railroad station on the MTHS campus—along a lovely, leafy trail (liberally studded with original rail ties)—to the new falls observation platform. From there one can continue across a new footbridge and follow the trail all the way to Windham, more than 20 miles to the northeast!

The Falls of Kaaterskill, 1826,
by Thomas Cole
KRT KioskThe Kaaterskill Falls is a two-stage waterfall located between Haines Falls and Palenville (a half-hour's drive from Woodstock). With waters cascading down a jaw-dropping 230 feet, it's one of the highest falls in the eastern United States. It's also one of America's oldest tourist attractions, inspiring countless stories, poems and other works of art—including paintings by Thomas Cole and Asher B. Durand of the famed Hudson River School.

The Kaaterskill Rail Trail (KRT) was originally a footpath connecting the Catskill Mountain House and other area hotels to Haines Falls. By the 1880s the pathway had been transformed into a busy rail corridor with two competing rail lines transporting thousands of vacationers to the Hotel Kaaterskill, the Laurel House hotel and many other boarding houses and resorts in the area. Throngs of summer visitors were drawn from New York City, Albany, Boston and other urban centers to enjoy the cooler temperatures and picturesque scenery still so popular today.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

2017 Green Woodstock

The Woodstock area is welcoming visitors this spring with a festival of Earth-friendly events. On Saturday, April 29th,  The Ashokan Center ("celebrating 50 years of outdoor education") hosted the 2017 Ashokan Watershed Conference. The program included a full day of presentations and workshops for adults: "Building Sustainable Communities in a Changing Environment."

It also offered a Stream Explorers Youth Conference, geared for children ages 8 to 14:

  • Stream Dynamics: Fun with the Stream Table
  • Getting to Know Your Macroinvertebrates
  • Cathedral Gorge Hike:
  1. Gorge Exploration
  2. Water Quality Sampling
  3. Riparian Area Flora and Fauna
  4. Art of Journaling
On Friday, April 28th, Woodstock observed Arbor Day with a special ceremony on the Woodstock Village Green. And the previous Saturday, April 22nd, the Woodstock Environmental Commission partnered with Sunflower Natural Foods Market to promote Earth Day awareness about solar solutions, gardening and landscaping best practices, composting and recycling, Earth-friendly building, safe hiking and other outdoor activities, and a new repair café in Woodstock. 

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

2015 Women's Woodstock Cycling Grand Prix

Martin Ernst Bruhn and his team are bringing the third annual Women's Woodstock Cycling Grand Prix to Woodstock on Saturday, May 2.

The WWCGP is a one-day competitive cycling event consisting of two women's-only bicycle races on a national caliber course. The Pro 1/2/3 is set to begin on Saturday morning at 9:10. Cyclists will depart from Woodstock and wind 60.3 miles through the Woodstock, Saugerties and Phoenicia areas, with an elevation gain/loss of 3,096 feet. A second race, the Category 3/4, will be launched at 9:20 a.m. Saturday and go 32.5 miles.

Bruhn's mission is to "highlight the equal sportsmanship and athleticism of females in the male dominated sport of cycling." Proceeds from this event will benefit Raising HOPE, The Bowery Mission of New York City, and Play to

There is also a Family Fun Ride on Saturday morning of 6.2 miles, where the focus will be on bicycling safety and community involvement.

Course maps, further information and regular updates can be found at and

Sunday, August 11, 2013

World-Class Jazz @ the KJ

With quite the array of entertainment from which to choose last night in Woodstock, I went with Grammy-winner Roswell Rudd and his quartet at the Kleinert/James Center for the Arts. Mr. Rudd, trombonist extraordinaire, was in fine form, as were Ken Filiano on bass and Lafayette Harris on piano. Filling in for Sunny Kim, vocalist, was a very gifted Heather (couldn't quite catch her last name, but I'm sure we'll be hearing much more from her). My favorite tune of the evening was "Funky Little Sweet Thing," dedicated to Heather's son, August, who will celebrate his first birthday on 8/18.

If you missed the performance but would like to catch up with the artists, including producer Verna Gillis, check out the Roswell Rudd website.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Wild Thing at the Fair

Yesterday's annual Woodstock Library Fair, celebrating 100 years of the Woodstock Library, had much to offer attendees of all ages . . . books, of course—new and old, plus crafts, plants, a white elephant and vintage clothes tent, hat making, dress-up, face painting, live music, assorted games, and plenty of gourmet food and drink.

A special emphasis at this year's fair was placed on the young set, beginning with a parade and maypole festivities. And later, an unexpected appearance by Wild Thing.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

In Search of a Watery Eden

The Millstream swimming hole in Woodstock (photo by Danny Ghitis)
If you missed this article in The New York Times, here's the link.

"Swimming holes have always held a sort of mythical quality. Everyone seems to have heard of that one sweet secret location through a friend of a friend: the still pool of crystal water hidden at the end of a winding path, untainted by tourists, inviting a skinny dip."

Woodstock offers several wonderful swimming holes in which to enjoy the sultry days of summer.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Best Trips 2013

According to National Geographic Traveler, a jaunt to the Hudson Valley is one of the 20 best trips in the world for 2013. (Other destinations on their top-travel list this year include Bagan, Quito, Malawi, Raja Ampat, Ravenna, Thessaloniki, Valparaiso, Jarash, Bodo and Kyoto.)

In its profile of the Hudson Valley, National Geographic Traveler observes that 
"Artists of all media find their muses here. Take a drive to the newly expanded Hudson River School Art Trail to see 17 sites in New York that inspired America’s great mid-19th-century landscape paintings. 'The views that compose the art trail are a national treasure,' says Elizabeth B. Jacks, director of the Thomas Cole National Historic Site. Or visit museums such as the outdoor Storm King Art Center sculpture park to see the work of contemporary visionaries.
Some villages marry art and music famously. In the wonderfully weird and artsy Woodstock, indie performers and music icons rub elbows and grab crusty loaves at Bread Alone Bakery. Budding musicians bring their bongos to the weekly hippie drum circle on the Village Green.
Much like Rip, Hudson Valley wanderers often wake up to find this is where they long to rest their vagabond souls."

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Playhouse Summer Season

So many area events from which to choose . . . but if you're looking to treat yourself and guests, you can't go wrong with the Woodstock Playhouse. Saw The Producers last night with visitors from out of town and we all loved it!

Intermission @ The Producers
The Mel Brooks musical finishes up tonight at 8 (you might still be able to get tickets for the final performance), and then it's on to Legally Blonde (July 5 to 15), Equus (July 19 to 21) and Chicago (August 2 to 11).

Contact or (845) 679-6900.