A September 2006 trip
to New York by ladyanne47
Quote: Upstate New York is the most diverse eastern state you will find. The Big Apple is a small fruit compared to the whole tree.
I know this is suppose to be a journal of information for the perspective future traveler, but how can I submit this information to the written word?
Let's start out with the late summer hay season. Colors of the green summer still hanging on before it takes its bow and allows fall to take center stage. The endless rolling hills of the northern edge of the Catskill Mountains provide valleys and narrow winding country roads to explore and enjoy. Wildlife itself is magnificent when you see a fawn, growing and learning how to fend for itself in the lush hardwood forests that are prominent in upstate New York.
And when the fall does come, it rushes in with a display of extreme color. The sugar maple trees which gives New York State its well known maple syrup industry gives the color scheme a gold prominence, with the hard maple trees a brilliant red. The oaks a deep russet brown that comes to peak at the latter days of fall. Nothing is more charming than seeing numerous red barns lined along the roads in this autumn splendor of color with crisp cool days of blue skies.
One recommended route for the explorer to take from New York's main highway I90, is to get off at the Catskill exit and follow Route 23 through Cairo, Windham, Prattsville, Grand Gorge and then Route 30 to Minekill, Blenheim, Breakabeen, Middleburg, Schoharie, then take I88 towards Cobleskill, while on I88 turn at Oneonta onto Route 28 S.E. all the way back to Kingston and get back on I90 either north or south (depending on which direction you first came). This will give you a full scope of a truly beautiful and busy trip around the Catskill Mountains of upstate New York. Give it a try... nothing to loose and lots of great miles to cover.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 6, 2006
The Backstage Bed and Breakfast
107 Tuttle Road
Jefferson, New York 12093
Restaurant | "The Red Barn Barbecue Bar and Grill"
This is pure country environment with a few "hoots and hollers" coming from the bar area. There is one serving room with a huge stone fireplace that has a long table for big families and groups. You will also find a huge indoor table shuffle board and if the weather is good you can sit outside on the deck.
Don't bother to dress up for this one, but do expect to have a great meal and not come away hungry for a great price. Summit itself is an interesting little hamlet that sits on top of a hill overlooking the vast expanse of the Catskill Mountains in the distance. Nice view. Summit is between Jefferson and Richmondville on Route 10. There is a couple of churches, post office and a gas station general store. That's about it, except for the Red Barn Bar and Grille Barbecue House that is.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 5, 2006
The Red Barn
2883 State Route 10
Summit, New York
The food is very good and always consistent in it's portions and goodness. I especially love the french fries, and the chicken fingers are tasty. One of the boys is very finicky and he always eats everything on his plate when we take him here. After we eat, we order a soft ice cream cone with the works and it them outside on the picnic tables, this way they can let it drip all they want and enjoy it.
Look for Sundies on Route 30 going or coming from Stamford, you will always see lots of cars. You can't miss it.
Sundies Ice Cream Shop and Restaurant
Route 30 Grand Gorge, New York
Restaurant | "Buck Hill Farm Maple Syrup Breakfast"
Buck Hill Farm Breakfast is unique in that it is a Maple Syrup Sap House. From October to May, they serve the best homemade breakfast in the Catskills. And they serve until 1pm, never too late to eat a huge stack of pancakes or waffles. Sausage gravy you could die for, and of course, the real maple syrup processed right there on the premises. Buck Hill also will make you great gift baskets and send them all over the country. Wonderful gifts are sold, and the environment includes eating at old kitchen tables some of them vintage metal tops, mix matched chairs and mugs and dishes also add to the charm. Go early because it is very busy serving only on the weekends. In the winter months dress extra warm because it does get a little chilly unless the doors are open to the boiling room and you can also smell the aroma of the cooking syrup.
Buck Hill Farm
185 Fuller Road
Jefferson, NY 12093
Attraction | "Leaf Peeping in the Catskills."
The number one trees for best color are the hard and sugar maples. Hard maples will show off a deep rich red, and the sugar maples compliment the reds with their wonderful golden oranges and some yellows. The poplar trees have small round leaves that look like yellow coins, and they also will introduce a lot of color to the mixture. I find the massive oak trees handsome with a deep russet brownish red, that comes a little later than the maples.
One thing for sure, driving around the Catskill Mountains and other parts of upstate New York will give you some magnificent color to see. Staying in a B&B adds to the charm of a visit, as well as stopping at some of the great vegetable and fruit stands. The kids will love picking out their pumpkins for Halloween, and Indian corn and gords will help the Thanksgiving table spirit. Stock up on some great tasting "apple cider" as well as apples for the Thanksgiving pies.
I recommend a visit to upstate New York for the fall season. You will come back over and over again.
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on November 5, 2006
Catskill, New York
Attraction | "Harvest Festival at Handford Mills Museum"
My favorite thing was sampling the freshly made apple cider and watching the children play in the warm fall sunshine. Families are everywhere trying to take advantage of the last warm days before winter starts to set in. The horse and team wagon is very busy dropping off folks at one post and then picking others up on the opposite end of the museum grounds which are built along the stream and old mill. I loved the festival and had fun stocking up on maple syrup and apples. There is also a wonderful gift shop on the grounds, with a great book section of Catskill Mountain history, etc.
The Handford Mills is located at the crossroads of county routes 10 and 12. These are backroads off of Route 23 between Stamford and Oneonta, NY. This is a sheer country delight outing which is an all day event.
Hanford Mills Museum
73 County Highway 12, P.O. Box 99
East Meredith, New York 13757
Most of the larger farms make what we call the "Shreaded Wheat" and "Marshmallow" bales of hay. I don't care for the look of them after they are finished, but you have to pay a price for progress. These are a lot more productive time wise for the farmer. After the huge rolled bales cook and dry in the sun for up to weeks long, they are then wrapped in a special white plastic that allows the hay to turn into silage right where it is left in the field or on the edge of the fields. No longer is it necessary for them to be moved into a barn before winter sets in.
The farmer can let them stay where they are until he needs more, then he can take the tractor out and with two big front forks in front and pick one up and bring it to the farm to his animals for feed.
The best part of hay season for me is just watching the whole process as you drive by in your car from week to week and how the haying process works itself into the scenery. I have included some photographs that I took through the summer. I think you will agree that it is very visual and interesting. These photos were taken in the Grand Gorge and Blenheim Hill area of upstate New York in both Delaware and Schoharie counties.
Farming is still a vital part of the rural life style in the hills and valleys of upstate New York. Milk farms are the most popular, but the smaller farms can no longer afford to operate with the control on the prices, and also the larger farms can make more profit with it's high tech machinery that is very expensive. It has been hard to see the smaller family farms die out. It was once the main way of rural families to make a living in the country. But the older children of farmers want to move away and the farming life is becoming a lost breed. Old farms are now being bought up by New York City people who want a second home away from the city for weekends and summers.
Living here and raising a family of four children has been also a challenge, because you have to drive quite a distance down and up the hills to get where you need to be, including the schools and local shopping villages and that includes the post office and churches. The villages are about 7 miles away, the towns are 35 miles away. So we spend a lot of time in the car. But the views are lovely, and the life style is pure and simple.
What else can I say, this is an area many people come to visit especially people from New York City. It is a second home retreat area and the farming lifestyle is becoming less and less active. No one can take the beauty away....and my photos are proof of that, but the farming culture is dying. I hope you enjoy!
Stamford, New York