Sandra Scott Travels: A Visit To Hunter Mountain Area Has Much To Offer

Rip Van Winkle

Rip Van Winkle

Last week I asked: Where is Rip Van Winkle sleeping?

Atop Hunter Mountain

Hunter Mountain, in the Catskills south of Albany, is usually thought of as a winter destination.

Rip Van Winkle
Rip Van Winkle

And, basically it is, but when there is no snow there are still visitors.

When John and I were there we took the chair lift to the top of the mountain for a panoramic view of the area.

There is a short trail to a Rip Van Winkle Statue.

While I was taking a picture of the statue, a group of teenagers who attended a Hasidic Boarding School stopped to ask what the statue was.

I told them it was Rip Van Winkle.

Riding the chair lift to the top
Riding the chair lift to the top

“Who was he?” one boy asked.

“Rip Van Winkle is the man who came to the mountain, fell asleep and woke up 20 years later.”

“Was he a real person?” one asked.

“No, it is a story by Washington Irving. He also wrote the ‘Legend of Sleepy Hollow.”

I was surprised to learn that they never had heard of Washington Irving or of his stories.

Seemingly, uninterested they continued on their hike.

Zip line
Zip line

I thought all school children knew the story, especially New Yorkers since the stories are tied to the Hudson Valley.

I, once again, had to learn not to assume anything.

The larger-than-life blue sandstone statue of Rip Van Winkle is just one of several in the Hudson Valley.

At Hunter Mountain there are places to stay and dine and during the non-snow season there is 4 x 4 off-road adventure, hiking and other activities plus the New York Zipline Adventure Tour, the longest, fastest and highest zipline canopy tour in North America.

The top of Hunter Mountain is also a popular place for weddings.

On my list of places to visit is Sunnyside Irving’s home in Irvington.

Kaaterskill Falls
Kaaterskill Falls

There are a lot of hiking trails in the area.

One leads to Kaaterskill Falls, the tallest two-tier falls in New York State.

There is a trail to the overlook which is the best way to view the falls to my way of thinking as the trail down to the falls can be difficult and a bit dangerous at times.

Hikers can also take the 1.5-mile trail between Kaaterskill Falls and the Mountain Top Historical Society in Haines Falls.

An easy hike is at the Arboretum near Tannersville.

snowboarder looking at Hunter Mountain
Snowboarder looking at Hunter Mountain

The public garden has 178 acres of plant collections, meadows, wetlands, and forest making is a natural sanctuary for those interested in horticulture, birding, geology (there is Devonian bedrock), along with hiking and snowshoeing.

There are trails and boardwalks and a new nature center.

When I hear the phrase “all-inclusive resort” I think of the Caribbean.

I was surprised to learn that Greene County alone has several and there are others in the Catskill area.

Just for fun tank ride
Just for fun tank ride

John and I wanted to stay at Sunny Hill Resort but didn’t have time but we did stop by to check it out.

We were impressed.

The accommodations were similar to an upscale motel but the activities were diverse to say the least.

Besides swimming and golfing (there is a separate area for dedicated golfers to stay) the day activities included trips to Cooperstown.

There are several “Just for Fun Rides” such as carnival rides, trains, carousels, and other unique vehicles, a Friday Night Lake Party, Monday Military Nights where guests can ride in a tank and other military vehicles, movies under the stars, fishing tournaments, Zumba, fencing and more.

A more relaxing golf cart ride
A more relaxing golf cart ride

You name it and they probably have it.

Great place for a no-stress, no-work family reunion.

Travel Trivia Tease™: What is a windjammer?

Look for the answer next week.

Sandra and her husband, John, have been exploring the world for decades, always on the lookout for something new and unique to experience. We have sailed down the Nile for a week on a felucca, stayed with the Pesch Indians in La Mosquitia, visited schools in a variety of countries, and — to add balance to our life — stayed at some of the most luxurious hotels in the world. Let the fun continue!