From the moment you enter the Catskill Park’s 250,000 acres of “forever wild” forest, you can begin to unwind, soar with the breath-taking mountain views, and step back in time to another way of life.
No matter what kind of retreat you seek, Phoenicia is a great place to visit at any time of the year. In any season, there’s so much to do: enjoy the fall foliage, go camping, skiing, fly fishing, hiking, or tubing down a river, take a historic train ride, just meditate or relax in one of our retreats or resorts In the middle of it all, you can take in the beautiful mountain setting on Phoenicia’s Main Street, with its cafes and outdoor dining, boutiques, antiques, and small town charm. This is the heart of a four-season getaway.
From the late 1800’s through the 1940’s the rugged steam locomotives of the Ulster & Delaware, Catskill Mountain Railroad, New York Central, New York Ontario & Western and Delaware & Northern climbed their steep and winding mountains bringing visitors to the grand hotels and boarding houses of the Catskills Mountains. Now you can experience that ride with a visit to the Empire State Railway Museum and a ride on the Catskill Mountain Railroad.
The Catskills offer endless recreation and hiking opportunities. Belleayre Mountain, just a short ride from Phoenicia, has year-round activities for the family, with recreation, skiing and snowboarding, and a world-class summer concert series. Slide Mountain, just steps from Phoenicia, is the highest peak of the Catskills (over 4,000 feet) and has a range of hikes from moderate to challenging. Or, if you seek a spiritual retreat, find out more about the Zen Mountain Monastery, located just down the road on a 230-acre forest preserve with year-round programs for residents as well as visitors.
Phoenicia is fly-fishing paradise in the trout-filled the Esopus Creek. In the warmer months, try tubing down the Esopus instead. There are businesses in town that will set you up to enjoy the five-mile stretch that has become one of the most popular tubing adventures around, with courses for novices as well as experts. If that sounds too tame, try rappelling at Sundance Rappel Tower also in Phoenicia.
For landlubbers, check out the world’s largest kaleidoscope housed right nearby in one of Ulster County’s famous resorts. Catch the light and music show as you gaze back in time in this multi-faceted trip through American history.
And if you really want to journey back in time, pay a visit to Pine Hill, a hamlet up Route 28 in the western part of the Town of Shandaken. For many years the village was known for its bottled water and many fine hotels. It has retained much of its 19th century charm, and has preserved many beautiful landmark buildings, including the Shandaken Historical Society, with its extensive collection of local lore.
When you visit Phoenicia, you’re in the middle of nature, yet there are so many ways to enjoy yourself at any time of year. Swing by in the winter to ski, in the spring to fly fish, in the summer to go tubing and in the fall to camp and enjoy the foliage.