What is the height of summer like in the Great Western Catskills? Picture this: Endless fields of fresh-mown hay, captivating “cloudscapes” and mountains reaching and rolling into the distance... Whether you are on the hunt for antiques or just a relaxing drive, Delaware County is the perfect backdrop.
Here are a few scenic and activity focused drives to consider when planning your Catskills getaway:
Miles of Smiles
Offering micro-adventures along Route 28 from Kingston to Herkimer, Miles of Smiles provides you with a listing of activities as well as itineraries. Each itinerary, or zone, is about a 25 to 30 mile section of New York State Route 28. From historic sites to u-pick farms and paintball, there is family friendly fun and the resulting smiles waiting!
Catskill Scenic Route 30
From Hancock to Grand Gorge, Catskill Scenic Route 30 follows the East Branch of the Delaware River through Hancock, Colchester, Andes, Middletown and Roxbury and their many villages and hamlets. Along the entire route, bluestone quarrying, logging and farming were historically the most important industries and are still evident today. Easily accessible via Exit 90 from Route 17 (soon to be I-86), Route 30 in Delaware County passes through 61 miles of beautiful hills and valleys, passing many historic sites, and offering many attractions and recreational activities through all four seasons of the year.
Upper Delaware Scenic Byway
The Upper Delaware Scenic Byway, New York State Route 97, traverses the western borders of Orange, Sullivan and Delaware Counties along a 70-mile stretch of the Delaware River. On scenic Route 97 and its various side-roads, you’ll find county eateries, art galleries, museums, theaters, antique shops and general stores; all surrounded by undulating hills, long valley vistas and rock cut landscapes.
Motorcycle magazines cite Route 97 as being one of the best riding roads in the Northeast Region, and portions of Route 97 are designated as Bike Route 17 for bicycling enthusiasts. The nationally renowned Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River, which largely parallels the highway, offers numerous accesses for fishing and boating.
Catskill Mountains Scenic Byway
Just this past June, the Catskill Mountains Scenic Byway received legislative approval. The 65-mile byway runs along Route 28 from the Ulster County town of Olive to the Delaware County town of Andes, with short jogs along Route 212 and Route 42, through Shandaken, Middletown and Andes. Soon the Byway’s logo will mark the way along Route 28 from Olive to Andes. In the meantime, you can download the audio driving guide to accompany you and provide guidance on history, landscape, food and attractions.
If you are heading west on State Highway 28 into the Catskills, don’t miss the newly open Catskill Interpretive Center, which offers visitors guidance for finding and enjoying all the natural, cultural and historic treasures of the region.
Get out and drive, post your photos and don’t forget to tag them #greatwesterncatskills, #delawarecountyny and #somethingshappeninghere!