If you’re into hiking, or just want to give it a shot, here’s some hiking daytrips that we regularly do in the area. First, the hike at Giant Ledge in Big Indian is well worth the trek. It’s just a little over an hour to the top, where surreal views from multiple giant ledges await. Afterward, head to Peekamoose to refuel. Kaaterskill Falls is another good one; a short hike takes you to the highest two-tiered waterfall in New York State. In the summer, you can swim in it’s chilly mountain water. Doing this hike will take you through Tannersville, the “painted village in the sky.” Check out the Deer Mountain Inn, a luxury Twin-Peaks-ish lodge with a full bar and restaurant, while you’re in the area. Last, Overlook Mountain is one of the most spectacular hikes in all the Catskills because of its many facets. The trail takes you through the ruins of an turn of the century grand hotel, a fantastic overlook at the summit, and a firetower with incredible 360º views. It’s just ten minutes past Woodstock, so if you do this hike stop into Shindig for a post-hike meal and pop into the shops around town. If you don’t have a car, there’s a great trail in town called Tanbark Trail, whose top viewpoints overlook the town of Phoenicia and the surrounding mountains. The trail is located just behind the post office; look for the big field with the playground equipment. The trailhead is right in back of that.
If you’re visiting in the summer, Phoenicia is known as the “tubing capital of the world,” and you’d be crazy not to want to try it. The adventure begins with a school-bus ride up Route 28, where you’re dropped off into the Esopus Creek’s icy cold water. Don’t expect a lazy river ride–the creek is full of rapids, which are just enough to scare the shit out of you without ruining the experience. During winter months, you can ski, snowboard or snow-tube nearby at Bellearye mountain.