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What’s next?

I received my patch in the mail yesterday….I am now an official member of the Catskill Mountain 3500 Club #2512!  Hiking all 35 peaks is one of the most amazing ways to see this wonderful slice of paradise…I cannot recommend it enough!  I had some of the most memorable experiences….meeting fellow hikers…getting lost with my best friend…solo hiking in 6 ft. of snow…hiking with my faithful companions…Zelda, Luke and Bear.  I finally learned to read & use a compass and map…you know navigating the old fashioned way thanks to Jeff Vincent of  www.CatskillMountainWild.com.  I also learned (at the end of my hikes)  that I should leave my phone at home and just enjoy the beauty with no distractions (like snapping a pic every 5 min–I will share those I did take).  I learned that I am strong AND weak, fearless AND fearful, …but always adventurous.  What’s next?  Perhaps climbing all the peaks in winter only…it truly is my favorite time of year.  My big dream?  To hike the Appalachian Trail!

Bear and Zelda

Bear and Zelda

Zelda and Luke

Zelda and Luke

My friend Liz

My friend Liz

John Holt

John Holt

Sean, Luke & Zelda

Sean, Luke & Zelda

Liz, Charlie & Tom

Liz, Charlie & Tom

Zelda enjoying the view

Zelda enjoying the view

Balsam Lake

Balsam Lake

My niece Olivia

My niece Olivia

IMG_7076

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Warming up to a new normal?

unnamed-3So, last winter was one for the books – snow, snow, snow and cold, cold, cold. Who’d have ever thought we’d miss THAT? Well, we don’t necessarily miss the incessant freeze, must admit it’s a bit strange this year, with only one decent snow fall, that has since melted. And, with no shadow being sighted by Punxsutawney Phil, it may mean time to gear up for Spring. But wait!

The best part of winter is just happening now! This is traditionally when we’re slowing down in Woodstock, taking a breather. Finally there’s time to talk with friends and neighbors, our favorite shopkeepers and chefs. And it’s pretty exciting so many new things are happening in our area: Concerts (have you seen the Jazzstock events?); Upstate Films continues to show amazing, non-mainstream movies that engage; There are three Rambles at Levon’s place in February; Byrdcliff is hosting an artist spotlight Feb. 6 in the village and then on Feb. 18 the Woodstock Artists Association has an open potluck gathering where artists, critics and regular folks can all just get together and visit.

These are the kind of winter events we love up here! (And if you haven’t visited Woodstock in winter it’s the perfect time to get the best local experience around.)

Don’t get me wrong. We’re not just twiddling our thumbs here at the Inn. There are busy weekends and lots of surprises in store that’ll ease things when the real season starts. But in the meantime we’ll just stroll into town – yes, it is way warm enough to walk and no snow on the roads!  – enjoy a cup of coffee and simply embrace the peace – and warmth.

Hope to see you soon.

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Winter in Woodstock, NY :: Things to Do Near our NY B&B

 

So, last winter was one foWinter in Woodstockr the books – snow, snow, snow and cold, cold, cold. Who’d have ever thought we’d miss THAT? Well, we don’t necessarily miss the incessant freeze, must admit it’s a bit strange this year, with only one decent snow fall, that has since melted. And, with no shadow being sighted by Punxsutawney Phil, it may mean time to gear up for Spring. But wait!

The best part of winter is just happening now! This is traditionally when we’re slowing down in Woodstock, taking a breather. Finally there’s time to talk with friends and neighbors, our favorite shopkeepers and chefs. And it’s pretty exciting that there are so many thing to do in New York: Concerts (have you seen the Jazzstock events?); Upstate Films continues to show amazing, non-mainstream movies that engage; There are three Rambles at Levon’s place in February; Byrdcliff is hosting an artist spotlight Feb. 6 in the village and then on Feb. 18 the Woodstock Artists Association has an open potluck gathering where artists, critics and regular folks can all just get together and visit.

These are the kind of winter events we love up here! (And if you haven’t visited Woodstock, NY in winter it’s the perfect time to get the best local experience around.)

room-8a-3

Don’t get me wrong. We’re not just twiddling our thumbs here at the Inn. There are busy weekends and lots of surprises in store that’ll ease things when the real season starts. But in the meantime we’ll just stroll into town – yes, it is way warm enough to walk and no snow on the roads!  – enjoy a cup of coffee and simply embrace the peace – and warmth.

Hope to see you soon.

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Bushwhacking the Catskills!

In my never ending (but soon to be completed) quest to hike all the 3500 peaks in the glorious Catskill Forest Preserve…my excellent friend Ms. Liz Levine and I decided to hire the amazing Jeff Vincent, a recent AT thru hiker who just started Catskill Mountain Wild (check out his website by simply clicking on our pic with him CatskillMountainWild.com)   Jeff is available to guide folks on any adventure of their choice…hike, fish, camp, paddle.  He is a local and knows these mountains like the back of his hand!  Liz and I had done a couple of the bushwhack hikes on our own but realized we had just been super lucky to find the top and the canister which you must sign.  Let me back up…of the 35 peaks about 10 of them are bushwhack hikes…meaning NO marked trail…and at the top you need to find the canister and sign the book.  After our successful sign in on top of Friday mountain…we got lost coming back down…but eventually found our way back to the car.  Yes, we had compasses, maps, etc….we realized we just didn’t know how to use them properly.  Enter…Jeff Vincent!!  Jeff took us out on the North Dome/Sherrill bushwhack and guided us to the top of both while also patiently teaching us how to REALLY use a compass and map!  What an amazing journey!

 

I was so inspired and impressed with Jeff’s expertise we have started discussions about offering packages to our guests.  Snowshoe excursions, bushwhacks and fishing trips.   One I am particularly excited about…includes backpacking from a tbd start to Echo Lake where we would do an overnight then hike the next morning down Overlook and end the second night at the Woodstock Inn on the Millstream with a fabulous dinner in Woodstock.   Check out Jeff’s website by simply clicking on our picture with him!

Stay tuned…..

 

peace,

Karen

 

image6

yours truly mimicking the strong tree arm that protruded from the side of the mountain we bushwhacked

Jeff Vincent of Catskill Mountain Wild

Jeff Vincent of Catskill Mountain Wild, Liz Levine, et moi

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You’re crazy if you don’t hike in the Catskills in the Fall!

images-2There are so many amazing, beautiful trails right here in Woodstock, and venturing into the larger backyard of the Catskills is simply wondrous. It’s always awe-inspiring to see the power of nature in action; watching flowers and streams and right now especially, the trees, change and adapt.

Fall is always a balancing act. It brings those melancholy moments thinking of passing time and impending cold, but it also brings these rapturous, beautiful sun-filled, crisp days. They beckon us outdoors as adamantly as our childhood friends would; it truly is time to come out and play.

To that end, technology has caught up with many adventures and we just have to share this web site that lists all kinds of outdoor adventures in Ulster County. Hiking, bicycling, birding, U-picks. You name it, this site lists it. Just go to the legend button at the stop of the site and explore away! This is a great cross-reference resource and we’re thrilled to share it with guests.

One of the most popular trails in Woodstock is Overlook Mountain. images-1Our friends at Catskill Mountaineer have compiled everything you want to know about this 5-mile hike to the fire tower. (And this is their picture of the ruins!) The truly hardy can go the full hike to Echo Lake, but leave plenty of time! Overlook is right in town, makes for a lovely excursion and the view will leave you breathless – both for it’s beauty and for that last quarter mile. But all well worth it.

The nearby Ashokan Reservoir has a well-maintained paved trail that offers runners, walkers – even those with strollers – and bicyclists, some great views and it’s always amazing to think that all that water will wind up in a New York City apartment – without filtration! In addition to the reservoir info, Trailkeeper list many other Catskill sites representing a variety of distances and difficulties.

And Karen, an avid hiker, is always an amazing source of knowledge about various trails and summits throughout the Catskills. It’s where she spends most of her days off, and once you see the sights, you’ll understand why. Scenery on the fall hikes is ever-changing. Literally, the leaf colors on an out and back path can change during one hike! But although ever-changing, the beauty is constant.

And remember, relaxing at the Inn is always the perfect antidote for a rigorous hike. The most important thing is to enjoy the time outdoors this Fall – it will be a whole year until you can have this experience again.

 

 

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Hiking in Woodstock NY :: Catskills in the Fall

Hiking in Woodstock, NY :: Catskills

There are so many amazing, beautiful trails right here in Woodstock, and venturing into the larger backyard of the Catskills is simply wondrous. It’s always awe-inspiring to see the power of nature in action; watching flowers and streams and right now especially, the trees, change and adapt. The things to do in NY are endless, especially outdoor adventure in beautiful places like Woodstock NY.

Fall is always a balancing act. It brings those melancholy moments thinking of passing time and impending cold, but it also brings these rapturous, beautiful sun-filled, crisp days. They beckon us outdoors as adamantly as our childhood friends would; it truly is time to come out and play.

Hiking in Catskills

To that end, technology has caught up with many adventures and we just have to share this web site that lists all kinds of outdoor adventures in Ulster County. Hiking, bicycling, birding, U-picks. You name it, this site lists it. Just go to the legend button at the stop of the site and explore away! This is a great cross-reference resource and we’re thrilled to share it with guests.

One of the most popular trails in Woodstock is Overlook Mountain. Hiking in Woodstock, NY :: CatskillsOur friends at Catskill Mountaineer have compiled everything you want to know about this 5-mile hike to the fire tower. (And this is their picture of the ruins!) The truly hardy can go the full hike to Echo Lake, but leave plenty of time! Overlook is right in town, makes for a lovely excursion and the view will leave you breathless – both for it’s beauty and for that last quarter mile. But all well worth it.

The nearby Ashokan Reservoir has a well-maintained paved trail that offers runners, walkers – even those with strollers – and bicyclists, some great views and it’s always amazing to think that all that water will wind up in a New York City apartment – without filtration! In addition to the reservoir info, Trailkeeper list many other Catskill sites representing a variety of distances and difficulties.

And Karen, an avid hiker, is always an amazing source of knowledge about various trails and summits throughout the Catskills. It’s where she spends most of her days off, and once you see the sights, you’ll understand why. Scenery on the fall hikes is ever-changing. Literally, the leaf colors on an out and back path can change during one hike! But although ever-changing, the beauty is constant.

Woodstock, NY bed and breakfast. room 18

And remember, relaxing at our New York B&B is always the perfect antidote for a rigorous hike. The most important thing is to enjoy the time outdoors this Fall – it will be a whole year until you can have this experience again.

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Embracing the end of summer

Don’t know how the heck it’s happened. I feel as if some ghost must have fast forwarded the calendar. Is it REALLY the end of August? The summer is such a special time hkarenhikesummerere in the Catskills and this year Woodstock has been so busy and fun-filled.
The music options have been legendary – right from the opening days of Mountain Jam in June through tonight’s Kate Pierson performance at the Byrdcliffe Barn.  It never ceases to amaze our guests – and us! – how much talent resides right here in the community. Maverick’s centennial season has been appropriately celebrated by locals and visitors alike – imagine 100 years of music in the woods! How magical.
And when Karen went hiking this week on a well-deserved day off she sent back these lovely images. Too soon these mountains will be transforming into a horizon of color, a visual testimony to the time that passes us all by too fast.
Meantime,  enjoy the weekend and the memories you’ll make. They’ll keep you smiling and warm, even through the gray days of February.
Now, I need to go back and look at that calendar one more time!

FullSizeRender

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Things to Do in Woodstock, NY :: Summer in Woodstock

Don’t know how the heck it’s happened. I feel as if some ghost must have fast forwarded the calendar. Is it REALLY the end of August? The summer is such a special time here in the Catskills and this year Woodstock has been so busy and fun-filled. Woodstock in the summer is so enjoyable, there are so many things to do in New York near our Woodstock, NY B&B.
Summer in Woodstock, New YorkThe music options have been legendary – right from the opening days of Mountain Jam in June through tonight’s Kate Pierson performance at the Byrdcliffe Barn.  It never ceases to amaze our guests – and us! – how much talent resides right here in the community. Maverick’s centennial season has been appropriately celebrated by locals and visitors alike – imagine 100 years of music in the woods! How magical.
And when Karen went hiking this week on a well-deserved day off she sent back these lovely images. Too soon these mountains will be transforming into a horizon of color, a visual testimony to the time that passes us all by too fast.
Summer in Woodstock, New YorkMeantime,  enjoy a weekend getaway and the memories you’ll make. They’ll keep you smiling and warm, even through the gray days of February.

Now, I need to go back and look at that calendar one more time!

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Hudson Valley, New York Breweries & Wineries

Farmers may be rushing to harvest the last of the crops before serious frosts hit, but that doesn’t mean an end to the locavore opportunities in the Hudson Valley. We are so lucky to have such amazing brewers, vintners and distillers nearby that it’s easy to see why the region has become a libation groupie’s year-round destination. A tour of the local treasures requires nothing more than planning an easy and beautiful day trip from the Inn. (Don’t forget to name the designated driver!)

HUDSON-386The Shawangunk Wine Trail is a great offering of area wineries and its Wreath Fineries at the Wineries is always a holiday hit. Held this weekend (Nov. 22-23) and the first two weekends in December (6-7 and 13-14) this event highlights the 14 wineries that call our region home. To start the day guests receive a grape vine wreath and at each winery an ornament is added, culminating with a memorable holiday wreath at the end of the tour, not to mention exploring and tasting lots of delicious varietals.

Brewery & Winery Destination in Hudson Valley, New York Certainly, as more Hudson Valley wineries are gaining national recognition for their locally-crafted selections our area is getting some deserved kudos for both reds and whites. Whitecliff’s versatile Red Trail wine is always popular – whether its part of a picnic lunch for cross country skiiers or enjoyed in front of the fireplace, its blended smoothness reflects the diversity of the area’s grapes.

Distilleries are again resurfacing in the Hudson Valley, buoyed by the state’s Farm Distillery Bill. In the past five years they’ve been partnering and working together to draw in visitors as a destination trip. Brewery & Winery Destination in Hudson Valley, New YorkCertainly, Tutilltown Spirits in Gardiner dominates the state’s microdistilling field. Its Baby Bourbon, vodkas and whiskey are all popular, but the funky tasting room and behind the scenes tours make this a popular – and insightful – stop. Additional nearby distilleries include Coppersea Distilling in West Park and Catskill Distilling Company down by Bethel, but contact them directly to schedule tours.

Brewery & Winery Destination in Hudson Valley, New York

And breweries in the region are surging, as the craft beer movement continues its popularity. Currently nine breweries are on the Hudson Valley Beer Trail and they produce a variety of beers. Keegan Ales is right down the road from Woodstock, in Kingston.The brewery has been serving up award-winning beers since 2003, including a delicious stout that the New York Times named one of the Top 10 stouts in the country. Their limited holiday offerings are also popular this time of year.

Of course, after a tough day of tastings, guests at our Woodstock, New York bed and breakfast can relax by the stream or in the gardens, sipping their favorite purchases of the day. Or choose a fireplace room, snuggle up and offer a toast to the amazing bounty within the Hudson Valley.

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The local dining scene in Woodstock village

When it comes to food, fresh and delicious reigns in Woodstock and throughout the Hudson Valley. We have our share of both celebrity chefs and special, small dining establishments. The ones within the village are within walking distance of the Inn and offer everything from five star dining to pizza slices

Here are some of our favs – and a pic to get your taste buds going:

joshua-s-restaurant-caterers

 

Joshuas: Delicious Mediterranean cuisine. Must haves include the falafels, and the coffee bar upstairs is the best for a mid-afternoon caffeine fix. $$

 

 

shindig

 

Shindig:  A menu that changes with the seasons, locally sourced and breakfast until 3 p.m. – Need we say more? $$

 

 

yumyum

 

Yum Yum Noodle Bar: Noodles of every mix, match and combination and martinis. Life is good. $-$$

 

 

catskillmtn

Catskill Mountain Pizza – Perfect solution for the family that’s about to get hangry. Great patio seating, large pie feeds the family. And the homemade gelato? Delish. Perfect summer treat. $

 

 

 

oOriole 9 – If you want to see where the locals eat, swing by Oriole 9z. The menu is varied, the staff is helpful and the intimate setting perfect for breakfast or lunch. $$

 

 
cucina heirloom tomato, fetaCucina’s quality, fresh food makes for an amazing culinary experience, however, the communal tables lend to a social experience as well. It’s often credited for the best of both worlds. $$$

 

 

 

Breadbreads Alone for the best in bagels, bakery goods and fresh sandwiches and breakfast treats, Bread Alone is the place to stop. And don’t forget their java options – Must haves for early morning outings. $-$$

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