Go explore New York’s Sullivan Catskills
If you like summer wet and wild; relaxing and refreshing; hot and hip; cool and comfortable, and filled with plenty of wining and dining, it’s time to go to the Sullivan Catskills.
Roll down the Delaware River in a raft, tube, or canoe from one of a half-dozen liveries. Take a journey through scenic splendor and foamy rapids. American dry-fly fishing was born here. Cast about in the Neversink or Delaware rivers. Or try the Beaverkill or Willowemoc Creek. You can walk or train an alpaca at Buck Brook Alpacas and buy cozy apparel. Or try yoga in the field where the Alpacas graze. If it’s raining, swim (and dine) at the Kartrite Resort and Indoor Waterpark Resort—New York’s biggest.
Get out on the trails. The Sullivan O&W Rail Trail follows the route that brought visitors here for almost 90 years. The Hurleyville segment is ADA-compliant. The D&H Canal Linear Park parallels the route that once transported regional coal and other products toward New York City. Up for something a little more challenging? The Tusten Mountain Trail is a moderate 2.9-mile loop that you and your leashed four-legged friend will like.
There is plenty of song and dance here. The 76-year-old Forestburgh Playhouse season includes Jersey Boys, Misery, and seven other productions, plus their new In the Works, in the Woods Festival. Break out your tie-dye and visit Bethel Woods Center for the Arts at the 1969 Woodstock Music and Arts Festival site. Take a virtual reality tour and learn about the ‘60s in the Museum. Then see The Chicks, Goo Goo Dolls, or Zac Brown in the Pavilion. On August 19-20, a new music festival debuts on the historic field. The Catbird Festival will feature local eats, craft beer, your favorite folk, indie, Americana artists, and jam bands.
Hungry? Foster Supply Hospitality is a “2023 James Beard Foundation’s Restaurant and Chef Awards Semi-Finalist for Outstanding Restaurateur.” Their five restaurants feature everything from a 12-course tasting menu to pop-ups in a historic inn’s two-lane, hand-set bowling alley. The Cochecton Pump House is one of the hottest new venues. This restaurant and event space was built in 1881 and re-established in 2021 as an open-air venue and offers an Asian street food-inspired menu for the 2023 summer season. You’re lucky if you’re heading to the gaming tables at Resorts World Catskills because the world-famous Monster golf course is reopening in August, and you can celebrate that Condor at Scott Conant’s Cellaio. Famous for aged, 100% Certified Black Angus steaks, Cellaio is equally renowned for a vibrant, relaxed atmosphere and warm, generous hospitality. Chef Jaime Stankevicius (who worked under the prestigious chef Jean-Georges) at the Neversink General Store creates culinary delights inspired by the land’s bounty. Named for the ecological marvel where it is located, Bashakill Vineyards is a wine-lovers paradise. Watch the eagles and sip a Black Bear. Smell the pines and sample a Wood Duck. Samara learned to cook in Italy. Try her Truffle Cheese and Mushrooms.
When you keep bees and distill spirits, you open Catskills Provisions and serve spirits with honey. Try the smokey 100% proof Bonfire Rye. The food at the Tasting Room here is sourced locally. Do Good Spirits in Roscoe and Rock Valley Spirits offer unique vodka, gin, bourbon, and whiskey. Do Good also has food, music, and merch to take home. Seminary Hill Cidery in Callicoon has been called “James Fenimore’s America with a dash of Tuscany.” The ciders are first-rate, and the Sourdough Bread with Cultured Butter and Whipped Chicken Fat is to die for. Beer lovers: the Good Taste Craft Beverage Trail is packed with breweries: 17 West, Bridge & Tunnel, Callicoon, Catskill, Roscoe, Russian Mule, Shrewd Fox and Upward.
All that outdoor fun, eating, and drinking will leave you wanting a good night’s sleep. Rest in a resort, curl up in a campground, meditate, and get your beauty sleep in a boutique inn. There’s a bed for every head, taste, and budget. Sleep well! When you visit, download the Sullivan Catskills Go app— a valuable tool to guide you to the fun. Visit SullivanCatskills.com
The author of 5 books, 3 of which are New York Times bestsellers. I’ve been published in more than 100 newspapers and magazines and am a frequent commentator on NPR.