Cornell Cooperative Extension Releases Annual List of Tree Farms

December 14th, 2015

Cornell Cooperative Extension Sullivan County has once again released its annual list of local tree farms in Sullivan County that will provide live trees for Christmas.

Each year Cornell Cooperative Extension provides Sullivan County residents a list of locations where they and their families can purchase a locally-grown tree. All offer the option to cut your own tree, with some offering the option to pick your own or purchase pre-cut trees.

“Cutting down your own Christmas tree only adds to the magic of the holiday season,” said Sullivan County Visitors Association President Robert Byron-Lockwood. “Additionally, it helps support our local agricultural businesses by purchasing a tree grown with love right here in Sullivan County.”

The list includes the following tree farms:

  • Diehl Farm & Market – Calicoon, NY
  • Friendly Acres – Cochecton, NY
  • Maplehorst Farm Nursery – Monticello, NY
  • Pine Farm – Youngsville, NY

The list is available on the Cornell Cooperative Extension Sullivan County website, along with tips for caring for a live tree, at http://sullivancce.org/agriculture/buy-local/local-christmas-trees.

 

Tree Varieties

December 9th, 2015

Courtesy of National Christmas Tree Association

Getting ready to pick out your tree for the year? How many of you put thought into what type of tree you’ll be picking up? There are quite a few varieties out there; check out these descriptions provided by the NCTA!

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Listed below are some of the more popular Christmas tree types available around the world. We invite you to learn more about these popular varieties and review our glossary of related terms.

Click each tree type for a detailed description and photo(s):

Fir Trees

Pine Trees

Spruce Trees

Cypress Trees

Cedar Trees

 
Balsam Fir White Pine Colorado Blue Spruce Arizona Cypress Eastern Redcedar
Canaan Fir Scotch Pine Norway Spruce Leyland Cypress
Douglas Fir Virginia Pine White Spruce
Fraser Fir
Grand Fir
Noble Fir
Concolor Fir (White Fir)

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SCVA Celebrates Successful 2015 at Annual Meeting

December 8th, 2015

The Sullivan County Visitors Association celebrated a fruitful 2015 at its Annual Meeting and Holiday Celebration at The Sullivan in Rock Hill on Thursday, December 4th.

The agency hosted representatives from over 180 member businesses, to whom the SCVA presented information on its successes from the past year. Those successes included an estimated revenue of $372.1 million spent by visitors in Sullivan County in 2015 to date, which generated $24.6 million in local taxes for the year.

“The success we celebrate today is the result of cooperation between the SCVA, our member businesses, and our marketing partners,” said SCVA President Roberta Byron-Lockwood.

“I think everybody in this room kept the lights on,” said Sullivan County Legislature Chairman Scott Samuelson.

The SCVA also honored local individuals and businesses for their contributions to the local tourism industry with its TOAST & STAR Awards. Honorees included:

  • Duke Devlin, Official Site Interpreter for Bethel Woods Center for the Arts (retired as of 2015)

STAR Award for Individual Achievement

  • Alan Rosenblatt & Kurt Kreider, ECCE Bed & Breakfast

STAR Award for Business Achievement

  • Roscoe Beer Company’s Josh Hughes, Shannon Feeney, and Tina Schlott

TOAST Award for Exceptional Hospitality

As a surprise for the evening, the SCVA also revealed the cover of its upcoming 2016 Travel Guide, an annual publication outlining activities and attractions throughout Sullivan County. The guide, whose cover dons a feline face with its eyes reflecting the Delaware River, is scheduled to be distributed soon.

SCVA to honor Star & TOAST award recipients at Holiday Celebration Dec. 2

November 25th, 2015

The Sullivan County Visitors Association will honor local individuals and businesses at its Annual Meeting & Holiday Celebration on Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015 at The Sullivan in Rock Hill.

This year’s award recipients include:

  •  Duke Devlin, Official Site Interpreter for Bethel Woods Center for the Arts (retired as of 2015)

STAR Award for Individual Achievement

  • Alan Rosenblatt & Kurt Kreider, ECCE Bed & Breakfast

STAR Award for Business Achievement

  • Roscoe Beer Company’s Josh Hughes, Shannon Feeney, and Tina Schlott

TOAST Award for Exceptional Hospitality

“As we prepare for the opening of the Montreign Resort Casino and Adelaar, the businesses who have dedicated themselves to the promotion of tourism in our region – and have done so for many years – deserve appreciation for their efforts,” SCVA President Roberta Byron-Lockwood said. “We are entering a new chapter of tourism in Sullivan County, and we want to recognize those who helped get us here.”

This event, open to all, is free to members and one guest. Additional tickets and tickets for non-members can be purchased for $40.

Event Details:

Who: Open to all!
What: Annual Meeting & Holiday Reception
When: Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015
Where: The Sullivan, 5:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m., 283 Rock Hill Dr., Rock Hill, NY 12775
Cost: Members, NO COST; non-members, $40
RSVP: Email pla@scva.net or call 845.747.4449

SCVA Leader Recognized by NYS Tourism Industry Association

November 3rd, 2015

NYSTIA Awards Dinner October 23 2015-9416Sullivan County Visitors Association President/CEO Roberta Byron Lockwood was recently chosen by her peers to receive a New York State Tourism Industry Association (NYSTIA) Excellence in Leadership Award.

The award recognizes leaders in New York State’s tourism industry who have achieved a high level of excellence and accomplishment. The winning individuals or organizations are selected on the basis of demonstrated commitment, leadership, and accomplishment in travel and tourism. The 2015 Winners were honored at the NYSTIA Annual Meeting Awards Dinner on Thursday, October 22, 2015 at the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY.

“We have always appreciated Roberta’s exceptional qualities and leadership abilities,” stated Elaine Fettig, Co-Chair of SCVA. “It is gratifying to see the New York State tourism industry recognize her talents and dedication as well.”

“I basically live and breathe tourism,” said Byron-Lockwood. “I love the industry. To receive this acknowledgment from my peers is very rewarding.”

The New York State Tourism Industry Association (www.nystia.org) is a statewide membership-based organization for travel and tourism related businesses. NYSTIA is a 501c6, New York State not-for-profit Corporation engaged in the business of advocacy, leadership, marketing, and professional development. The historic merging of the New York State Tourism Promotion Council (NYSTPA) with the New York State Travel & Vacation Association (NYSTVA) in early 2014 has created the opportunity to grow NYSTIA into a larger, more engaging state-wide membership organization.

Pour On, Peepers! Brewery Hopping the Sullivan County Craft Beer Trail

October 28th, 2015

So, it’s leaf peeping season and you’re looking for local color?

There’s no better way to find it than to drink where, and what, the locals drink! As you plan your fall foliage travels, consider scheduling a little time to experience one – or all three – of these Sullivan County craft breweries that are making their mark on the suds-sipping world.

Each brewery along our own triangle tour of taps uses regionally-sourced, natural ingredients – including pristine Catskill mountain water (Yes, New York City, the very same delicious water we pipe down to you every day. You’re welcome!). Local pride is the not-so-secret ingredient added to give the beers their unique and satisfying flavors. Every variety, from IPAs to porters and pilsners, is represented along the way, so no palate will go unpleased.

Cheers! We’re glad the leaves got you here; we hope you’ll stay to enjoy a beer.

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ROSCOE BEER COMPANY
145 ROCKLAND ROAD
ROSCOE, NY 12776

Roscoe Beer Company debuted on the craft brew scene in 2013. It was founded by people who enjoy the great outdoors, especially fishing! Based in the trout fishing capital of the United States, the brewery’s beverages are branded to honor the town’s title of “Trout Town USA.”

You can’t stop here without tasting the original Trout Town American Amber Ale, a true ale with toasted notes and a subtle, not-too-bitter, citrusy finish. For a perfect fall pour, try the Trout Town Brown Ale, which leaves you with rich chocolate and pronounced coffee flavors. The Trout Town Tail Ale is perfect if you prefer something a little lighter. The brewery offers six varieties, brewed on-site, from self-serve (yes, self-serve) taps!

Roscoe Beer Company is situated in a converted firehouse, in a quaint downtown surrounded by picturesque, meandering rivers; perfect for watching the leaves turn or even birding! They open to the public for tastings and tours every day at 11 am. Tours begin at noon and run on the hour; each lasts about 30 minutes.

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CALLICOON BREWING COMPANY
16 UPPER MAIN STREET
CALLICOON, NY 12723

The Callicoon Brewing Company sits tall along the banks of the Delaware, with the river valley making it a prime locale for leaf peeping. Callicoon’s small downtown is home to unique shops, riverside parks, and even an historic single-screen movie theater. Besides their two signature brews, they brewery offers a full menu – including a Thanksgiving Sandwich that is the flavorful embodiment of all things autumn – and an impressive list of NY State craft beers and ciders on tap!

Perfect for sweater weather, the Callicoon Brown Cow Porter is a rich and easy-drinking example of the style that warms your soul with its caramel and coco overtones. If dark’s not your thing, try the Callicoon Cow Pale Ale, a true-to-form and quite sessionable ale that’s light and crisp.

There are no brewery tours here, but the facility – another converted firehouse, incidentally – has a warm and inviting pub feel that is ideal for tarrying a bit along your fall foliage travels. They open at noon every day, and your designated driver gets their non-alcoholic beverages free!

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THE CATSKILL BREWERY
672 OLD ROUTE 17
LIVINGSTON MANOR, NY 12758

The Catskill Brewery looks for “every opportunity to make the best beer, share the best stories, and introduce new people to [the place they] love.” With the promise of hospitality like that, you’ve got to stop here as you hop along the Sullivan County brewery trail. The brewery’s seven ales and lagers are always fresh and on tap when you arrive.

The brewery’s Nightshine Black Lager is billed as a “full-flavored dark stranger for cold Catskill nights,” and delivers as expected with malty goodness and no bitterness. The Local is its bright tasting pale ale, made with New York-grown hops brewed within hours of being harvested. You can even celebrate the area’s agricultural heritage with a glass of Freak Tractor (Model 14), an earthy quaff with hints of tropical fruit.

Livingston Manor is home to the Catskill Arts Society, the Catskill Fly Fishing Museum, and a host of homegrown pleasures from restaurants to galleries that will delight visitors of any age and interest. The hills that rise up around “Manor” make for an impressive 360-degree backdrop of fall foliage as you stroll along. The brewery is closed Mondays, but opens 3pm Tuesday through Friday, 11 a.m. on Saturday, and noon on Sunday.

The Sullivan County Catskills Autumn Art Trail

October 21st, 2015

The hills, fields, and waterfronts of Sullivan County are a canvas for fall foliage’s fine art. As autumn’s palette continues to expand to include innumerable colors, it brings to mind the bounty of art galleries – and artists – that our county has to offer. Here, we take a quick look at five galleries that each offers something unique, from what’s hanging on the walls inside, to the masterpiece-grade leaf peeping you can do outside. Whether you’re a patron of the arts or not, you’ve got to make these locales must-stops on your next weekend in the Catskills.

STRAY CAT GALLERY
www.straycatgallery.com
Open Saturdays & Sundays: 11am-6pm

Just a cartwheel from the site of the 1969 Woodstock festival, Stray Cat Gallery showcases the talents of local artists in a lovingly restored house alleged to be the first built in the hamlet of Bethel. A charming, intimate space, the indoor gallery is home to the photographic works of Jerry Cohen, with rotating exhibitions by other visual artists throughout the year. Sculptural works are on display on the lawn. The rolling farmlands in this area make for lovely fall landscapes of tree-lined fields. Spend some time perusing the art, and set aside a little extra for a sip and a tipple at the gallery’s sister businesses, Catskill Distilling and the Dancing Cat Saloon, mere steps away across 17B.

For your GPS: 2032 Route 17B | Bethel, N.Y. 12720

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CATSKILL ART SOCIETY
www.catskillartsociety.org
Open Saturdays: 11am-6pm; Sundays: 11am-3pm

The hamlet of Livingston Manor is home to the CAS Arts Center, which is located in renovated historic building, formerly the Manor Theater cinema in 1939. Headquarters of The Catskill Arts Society, the facility sits on a classic downtown main street setting. It is an elegantly appointed space that allows abundant natural light, and features tall ceilings and beautiful bamboo floors. The Arts Center’s designated fine arts gallery shows the works of established and emerging artists year round. It also hosts events in dance, music, and spoken word among its robust arts schedule. Situated near the junction of the Willowemoc Creek and Little Beaver Kill, hills rise up around the gallery to create engulfing 360-degree fall foliage views. CAS Arts Center is near some great spots to relax and dine, including the Brandenberg Bakery and the Main Street Farm Market & Café, with plenty more within walking distance.

For your GPS: 48 Main Street | Livingston Manor, N.Y. 12758

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DELAWARE ARTS CENTER: ALLIANCE GALLERY
www.delawarevalleyartsalliance.org
Open Saturdays: 10am-5pm

You can skip a stone along the Delaware River from the back of the Alliance Gallery, so you know the river’s lush banks makes for amazing leaf peeping! Located in the historic Arlington Hotel, the Arts Center features two galleries, a recital hall, and gift shop. It is the home base of operations for Sullivan County’s arts council, the Delaware Valley Arts Alliance. Alliance Gallery exhibits high quality work by professional and emerging artists in all media who live either part-time or full-time in the Catskills, Upper Delaware River, and Mid-Hudson regions. Take in the fall foliage as you stroll the unique gift shops, independent eateries, and fine spirits shops that line the waterfront street outside.

For your GPS: 37 Main Street | Narrowsburg, N.Y. 12764

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WURTSBORO ART ALLIANCE
www.waagallery.org
Open Saturdays & Sundays: Noon-4pm

Every road that leads into Wurtsboro, a Sullivan County gateway town, rises and falls through wooded terrain that appears on fire with fall colors throughout October. The Wurtsboro Art Alliance is celebrating all month long with an ongoing event entitled “Harvest.” Smack dab in the middle of the town’s main drag, The Wurtsboro Arts Alliance features a gallery space and artists’ garden where you can tarry away some time – weather permitting – sitting on a bench and taking in the hills. The community-run organization puts together member shows, featured artist exhibits, and themed shows, as well as classes. Check out paintings, sculptures, photography, pottery, prints, cards, and even jewelry by local and regional artists. A few doors down, another Wurtsboro treasure, The Canal Town Emporium, invites you to be delighted by its old-timey general store and impressive Christmas Shoppe.

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ROLLING RIVER GALLERY
www.rollingriver.net
Open Saturdays: Noon- 10pm; Sundays: Noon- 8pm

Just quick jaunt off of Route 17 in Parksville – between Liberty and Livingston Manor – is the Rolling River Gallery. Tucked in along the Little Beaver Kill, this gallery and café is a quaint and quirky spot with outdoor dining that serves you homemade fare – made organic whenever possible – right amongst the falling leaves and bright autumn colors. Eat, drink, and relax; take a minute! Enjoy a variety of paintings, photographs, books, and CDs buy local artists. Rotating exhibits change every three months. The current exhibition is entitled “The Core”, a group show that will run through the remainder of 2015.

For your GPS: 25 Cooley Road | Parksville, N.Y. 12768

Leaf Peeping for the Eagle-Eyed

October 7th, 2015

Fall is not just a time for leaf peeping, it’s also a great season to spot majestic bald eagles. In fact, it’s ideal, as eagles migrate into Sullivan County from points north to make their winter homes near the abundant fresh-water areas and undisturbed habitats the Catskills offer. So, grab your binoculars! There’s a lot more to see in these trees than just leaves. Here, we offer you a few “best-bet” spots for spotting these magnificent feathered friends amidst the fantastic foliage.

THE UPPER DELAWARE SCENIC BYWAY (ROUTE 97)

The Scenic Byway already made our list of best Sullivan County leaf peeping drives for 2015. Of particular note to birders along this route is a section known for its scenic overlooks and breathtaking views of the Delaware River and Pennsylvania. It is called The Hawk’s Nest, and you can find it by heading toward the route’s Southern Gateway toward Sparrowbush, N.Y. There are designated pull-off areas to allow birders and leaf peepers alike to enjoy the scenery comfortably and safely.

THE BASHA KILL WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT AREA

This 3,000-acre, state-owned wetland offers incredible hiking, fishing, birding, and boating. You can hear the autumn leaves fall in this tranquil setting located near Wurtsboro. The Basha Kill is among the most famous streams in Sullivan County, and its large and diverse fish population is what attracts our eagle friends to its banks and surrounding tree line. Not far from the preserve, Bashakill Vineyards serves up local wines in an equally lovely, autumn setting.

THE NEVERSINK RESERVOIR

A portion of Route 55 provides gorgeous fall vistas of this reservoir. The heavily forested area is exceptionally bright at mid-October’s peak season, when the woods that reach right up to the water’s edge create remarkable reflections on the still surface. As you travel Route 55 across the reservoir’s Neversink Dam, you stand your best chance of catching sight of a migrating eagle stopping for a meal. Note that if you plan on stopping along the roads adjacent to the reservoir, you will need to obtain a Public Access Permit from the New York City Department of Environmental Protection.

THE MONGAUP VALLEY WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT AREA

Covering 11,855 acres of land, this is another perfect place to visit for some respite along with your leaf and bird watching. The area is primarily undulating forest land, cut by streams and rivers that produce wetlands abundant in all types of flora and fauna. Eagle viewing blinds are available just off of nearby County Route 43, and are handicap accessible. A wooded access path leads to more eagle blinds situated on Plank Road at Rio Reservoir. The area occupies portions of Bethel, Lumberland, Forestburgh, and Highland in Sullivan County, and stretches into the Town of Deer Park in Orange County, where its southernmost border lies along the Delaware River.

Top 3 Sullivan County Catskills VIPeeper Drives

September 30th, 2015

Contest-2The weather’s getting cool, and leaf peeping is heating up! Grab your hoodie and get in the car; autumn’s allure demands a road trip.

It’s sad to see summer go, but getting to watch the trees burst into beautiful fiery shades of yellow and orange is easily the best part of autumn in the Sullivan County Catskills. Our acres of rolling hills and lush forests seem tailor-made for leaf peeping. Even better, our winding roads that weave through our state forests and quaint downtowns reveal a new breathtaking vista at every turn and every peak.

Leaf the planning to us; we’ve compiled this list of the three loveliest scenic drives Sullivan County has to offer.

1) The Upper Delaware Scenic Byway

Also known as Route 97, this drive is a perennial favorite on lists like these, and was recently ranked third out of 20 “Best Scenic Autumn Drives” in a USA Today Ten Best Reader’s Choice poll. The 70-mile route follows the Delaware River from its southern gateway in Orange County, in the city of Port Jervis, to its terminus in the Village of Hancock. Within the first few miles of this drive, Route 97 enters the Town of Deerpark, and travels along a stretch known as the Hawk’s Nest. This winding, cliff-side section – which has been featured in car commercials – is famous for its scenic overlooks of the Delaware River Valley and named for the raptors that nest there. Route 97 is lined with small towns and villages like Callicoon, Narrowsburg, and others that feature breweries, shops, museums, and art galleries. There’s even an internationally renowned Buddhist site, the Kadampa Meditation Center, in Glen Spey. Local restaurants are abound, many opting for locally sourced ingredients. The Byway is popular among motorcyclists for its elevation changes and relatively low traffic. This drive is not to be missed from late September through mid-October!

2) The Quickway (aka Route 17)

If you’re coming from points south, Route 17 really begins to come into its leaf peeping own at Bloomingburg, N.Y., right as you enter Sullivan County. Its multiple lanes and wide shoulders make travel quick and easy, giving you the comfort to enjoy the expansive views on either side. The route passes every major tourist attraction in the county, including Monticello Casino & Raceway and Bethel Woods Center for the Arts (both just a short hike off the main road). You’ll also criss-cross the meandering, sparkling rivers that earned Roscoe its own nickname of Trout Town, U.S.A. Make a stop in the artsy hamlet of Livingston Manor, or pull off for a detour along the wooded shores of Yankee and Masten Lakes. This upstate drive is a must for leaf peepers, and one you’ll want to take the time to savor, despite its nickname!

3) Route 52

This 108-plus miles of highway reaches all the way from Sullivan across the Hudson River, beginning at the scenic and historic Narrowsburg-Darbytown Bridge. Route 52 takes drivers and riders through some of the Catskill’s loveliest and most peepable spots. Small towns and villages abound, including Narrowsburg, Cochecton Center, Jeffersonville, Youngsville, and others. There are acres of farmland along the route, making for some gorgeous landscapes with fall foliage climbing above the tended fields. You’ll also enjoy great waterfront driving, including stretches along Lake Huntington, Kenoza Lake, and Loch Sheldrake, not to mention the rivers and creeks that sidle up alongside the road, and intermittently pass underneath. Keep an eye out for the cool bridges characteristic of this path, including the Stone Arch Bridge Historic Park. You’ll eventually head down the mountains into Ellenville in Ulster County, where the view from the other side of Ellenville – just a short four more miles along Route 52 – is spectacular!

Check it out, but come back to Sullivan County when you’re done! Enjoy your drive, and we’ll see you on the road.

Wondering where peak leaf peeping is happening along these routes? Make sure to check our Fall Foliage Report – updated weekly.

SCVA Launches Second Annual Fall Foliage Photo Contest

September 23rd, 2015

The Sullivan County Visitors Association is pleased to announce the launch of its second annual Fall into Fun Fall Foliage Photo Contest, where visitors and residents are invited to submit their most autumn-centric photos from around the Sullivan County Catskills. Submissions are being accepted through the SCVA’s website at http://www.scva.net/fall-foliage/fall-foliage-photo-contest/.

“Because of last year’s success, this contest has already attracted some outstanding prize contributions from Sullivan County’s business community, including ticket packages to area venues, gift certificates, locally distilled spirits, and river adventures,” said SCVA President Roberta Byron-Lockwood. “We’re pleased with the enthusiasm, and expect this year’s photo contributions to really capture our artistic landscapes, those special family moments on the lake, and those flashes of autumn beauty that make Sullivan County so unique. We’re excited to see the creative ways folks capture the season this year.”

Contest participants are encouraged to submit selfies, photos that highlight Sullivan County businesses, or local landmarks in a creative way. The Fall Foliage Photo Contest will run through Oct. 25, with the winners being announced on Oct. 28.

Photos must be taken in Sullivan County during autumn 2015, and include the location, date, and photographer’s name. Entries are limited to one photo per day.

Visit SCVA.net/Fall-Foliage to learn more about the contest, the progression of foliage color in the region, and all of the autumn adventures happening throughout the Sullivan County Catskills. New this year, the SCVA has also added VIPeeper Galleries, which are updated weekly by our region’s Leaf Peepers so that visitors can get real-time views of how the foliage is changing throughout various corners of Sullivan County.

Contributors to date include Morgan Outdoors, Catskill Distillery, Forestburgh Playhouse, NACL Theatre, Lander’s River Trips, Roscoe Beer, and Trout Town Adventures.