The Catskills: An Unexpected Bohemian Hideaway

After our stay in The Adirondacks we headed South for the Catskills and I was not prepared for the contrast I would find, just a little more than 100 miles away. While Lake George was all about living large and glamourous, in mansions on the lake and jet skis, the Catskills area is more of a Bohemian Haven where antiques, living simply but healthy and preserving historical architecture are the priorities.

While we were in the area, we of course had to spend a day in Woodstock. Yes, I know the music festival was actually held in nearby Bethel, not here, but the residents have taken on the hippie identity and proudly carry on, what you can imagine, was the feel of that week.

From the butterfly haven wildflower gardens and musicians on the sidewalk with guitars, to homemade peace signs on every store front, they make sure to meet all your hippie feels needs. And like every good hippie community, they were super dog friendly. I mean at a level that is superior to any place I have been. They love dogs to the extend that they are allowed indoors in all restaurants, shops, ect. Due to Covid, indoor seating was still closed but it was nice to be able to spend a day there and be able to take her with me everywhere I went.

We stayed in nearby Mount Tremper at Kenneth L Wilson State Park. We got there right at the end of their season and I am glad they were still open. The park already had amazing views of the mountains and some of the most spectacular, mature trees, but being there right at the beginning of Fall also provided an opportunity to see the colors of the changing foliage. My only regret is that we couldn’t stay longer to see the leaves go through the entire process.

The park is known for having bears, which is not new for us, but it was the first time I was told to watch our for a very “friendly” bear cub who was curious about people. We did a lot of walking on the roads throughout the park and never saw any, but Bella was super obsessed with tracking something and I imagine that was it. Thankfully she did not find one, since she loves to track things but she’s not really sure what she’s supposed to do when she finds something bigger than her.

This park would be beautiful place to visit at any time. It is well maintained and provides a great mix of mature nature and landscaped areas with perennials. There were also a lot squirrels who were used to people and thought they ran the place. Luckily Bella is used to them because we have a lot in our yard that have never been scared of her, so she doesn’t chase them.

Our time in this part pf New York was only a few days because we were coming close to the end of our time allotted for the trip. If you have an opportunity to visit this part of New York I recommend planning better and giving your self at least a week to truly enjoy and appreciate the area.

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