Friday, October 26, 2012

A Fall Weekend in the Catskills

Last weekend, A. and I went on a fall getaway to the Catskill Mountains. We'd been talking about it for a couple years so I was glad that we finally made it happen. Now, because fall foliage peaks at different times depending on where you go, I had been stressing over picking the right spot at just the right time. The Catskills sounded like a beautiful destination and located only two and a half hours from New York City, it'd be an easy drive up. Ideally we would've made our trip on Columbus day weekend so we could take part in the area's festivals and chair lift rides, but I couldn't be happier with our time there. Well, maybe if I wasn't sick the entire time we were away.
For our bed and breakfast accommodations, I picked the Catskill Lodge, a charming house located in Windham, NY along the northern edge of the mountains. Finding an inn that wasn't full during this time, was affordable, and didn't look like it was decorated by your great-grandma was a challenge (and truly there were so many pretty places, but they cost $140+ a night!), but I really lucked out with this pick. The seven-room house was cozy and clean and you'll feel comfortable living there almost straight away. As someone whose shyness typically keeps her from connecting with strangers during her travels, I was a bit nervous about breakfast the first morning. "There will be people eating at the table with us, too!" I whispered as I tried to stall in our room.
What on Earth was I worried about? Eating with other travelers was such a nice piece of our first stay at a b&b. We chatted through our meal with some older couples about the places we'd visited, local history, and what trails people had checked out in the area. Innkeepers Mike and Kellee Yount were absolutely wonderful. She shared stories of interesting guests they'd recently accommodated and suggested activities, restaurants, and scenic routes to check out during our stay. And with Mike throwing it down in the kitchen while we all got to know each other at the table, the second morning had me eagerly looking forward to breakfast time. (I'm still thinking about his pancakes on Sunday morning. He added in cinnamon, vanilla, and pumpkin pie spice to the mix and it was just out of this world. Delicious bacon, too.)
Because we'd arrived at the lodge late Friday night, our fall foliage viewing began with a drive down Platte Cove Road the following morning. We hiked a bit through a Long Path trail right off the road, but the rain from the day before made a stream cutting through the forest impassable without the proper foot gear. The trees were beautiful though. Many in the area had already shed their leaves, but there so many that were still basking in all their…yellowness.
As we kept driving down the road, I wished we'd made our way to the mountains a couple weeks earlier, but felt myself relaxing because the view was still so pretty and we were lucky to be able to experience it under such great conditions. Here A. and I were driving through the Catskills on a gorgeous warm fall afternoon enjoying each other's company. I was severely congested and yet completely happy.

And then the road turned a corner to reveal a clear view of the colorful expanse before us and I don't know how I didn't jump out the car window right then. I wanted to be enveloped by all that vibrancy and dance under that yellow canopy of leaves and light. You remember the double rainbow man? Well I wasn't that crazy, but I can understand how someone can be so overcome by the beauty of nature. Even now, looking at these photos, I can't believe what a show this earth can put on. If that road was all we got to enjoy during our stay in the mountains, I would've returned to the city entirely content. It was just what I had wanted.
But we kept driving on. The rain from the day before would guarantee that the nearby Kaaterskill Falls would be gushing so after sharing a sandwich and fresh smoothies at Maggie's Krooked Cafe & Juice Bar, we made our way down Route 23A for the falls. Landing a parking spot in the tiny lot off the side of the road was a nightmare, but once we did, we climbed our way through the rocky wet trail along the side of the waterfall. It was a fairly easy-to-moderate hike (and I was fighting through my illness as best I could) that took just a little over an hour to complete both ways.
Once we made our way back to the side of the road, I requested we sit on the the metal barrier so I could catch my breath, watch the hikers pass us by, and enjoy the sun starting to set behind us. But mostly, I just wanted to stop time for a while and simply absorb the moment.

That evening, we had dinner at Millrock Restaurant and while A. didn't think his salmon and penne pasta was that good, I really liked my baked shrimp. Back at the lodge, we popped open our complimentary champagne (a little bonus if you're celebrating something at the b&b) and toasted to A.'s 30th birthday and my general awesomeness.
There was no way we were going to rush back into the city and leave all this breathtaking nature behind so quickly so after bidding farewell to our hosts, we drove to North-South Lake in the Catskill Forest Preserve. It was chillier that day (so thank goodness we squeezed in all we did the previous day), but we were happy with taking the day slowly and wandering around. We walked to a lookout point and from there were treated to a view of the Hudson Valley spreading out below. We cuddled on a bench and talked about our ideas, personal wishes, and where we want our lives to take us. It's hard not to be inspired or want to take on so much more when you're sitting on top of a mountain.
My big wishes for this trip were to enjoy the fall foliage (check!), spend time with my boyfriend at a cozy bed and breakfast (check!), and stop into a local farmer's market for produce and some cider. Before we left, Kellee suggested a visit to Vinnie's Farm Market, which was conveniently located on Route 32 and on our way back to the New York Thruway. The place was filled with fresh fruits, veggies, rows and shelves of baked goods and jams, and such kind service. We walked back to the car with our arms full of cider, apples, banana walnut bread, applesauce, cider donuts, and pies filled with strawberry rhubarb (for me) and pumpkin chocolate chip (for him), satisfied with how we capped our fall weekend retreat in New York. It was the sweetest way to celebrate my favorite season.


  1. Sigh! You've gotta love the country.

    1. Now you see why it's so hard for me to leave your house when I go over for a visit. I just love all that nature and tranquility.

  2. You take such pretty pretty pictures. Thanks for taking us along on your trip. I hope one day I can witness the view in person.

  3. gorgeous! love the photos. i love staying in inns. I would love to visit the Catskills one day.


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