Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Happy Trails

It is a beautiful winter and the Great Western Catskills are glistening with fresh snow. That means it’s time to gather up the friends and family for a weekend to refresh and recharge in the crisp winter air.  Fun and adventure are waiting on the slopes or the trails and with stay and play packages, cozy lodging and wonderful dining you don’t need and excuse to get away from it all.

Catskill Scenic Trail
While the age of train rides from New York to the Catskills has been eclipsed by buses and cars the romance of the rails is not lost, just updated! The Catskill Scenic Trail, the rail path of the former Ulster & Delaware Railroad has been reincarnated in a companion project with the Delaware & Ulster scenic rail-ride. This four season trail boasts 26 miles of hard-packed base that meanders through hill and dale from Roxbury to Bloomville and several towns in between.  A hike through the fresh snow and crisp winter air is the natures cure for shaking off the post-holiday doldrums. Even better, glide from town to town on cross country skis. Check out their website for a trail map at http://catskillscenictrail.org/.

Fueling Up
Start your adventure on the Catskill Scenic Trail off right with breakfast. Staying close to Margaretville? Try the amazing breakfast offerings at the Arkville Bread and Breakfast. They offer everything from eggs over easy to airy waffles and sausage.  In Roxbury, stop in at the  East Branch Cafe where you can  fuel up with a pile of warm and fluffy pancakes with local maple syrup and a steaming cup of fresh, hot coffee.  Hit the trail and hike on down the line for lunch at the Creekside Café where homemade soups and fresh, warm made-to-order sandwiches await hungry hikers.  As the sun sets over the beautiful mountains dinner beckons.  Spice it up with enchiladas and rice and beans at La Cabana in Fleischmanns or savory, home-cooked Italian at Mama Maria’s in Stamford. No matter what you are craving there is a restaurant to satisfy those hungry taste buds.

A day out in the fresh air means a good night sleep.  Many of the local hotels and bed and breakfasts offer stay and play packages that meet every need. The historic  River Run Bed and Breakfast in Fleischmanns offers a “Taste of the Catskills” stay and play package with breakfast each morning and a special 5 course tasting dinner at the Andes Hotel with a two-night stay. Check into the conveniently located Margaretville Motel and enjoy free lift tickets for either Belleayre or Plattekill Mountains.

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