Situated on 60 acres of forest, fields, and wetlands, this visitor center, tucked away from view, features nearly two miles of walking trails, a sculpture park showcasing local artisans, a covered picnic pavilion, access to the Esopus Creek, and a fine selection of local books. Three half-mile loop trails beckon exploration, including one that tells the story of the Catskills; another that ends at a picnic area; and a third that meanders along the banks of the Esopus Creek, offering stunning mountain views.
Open year-round, daily: April through mid-December, 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 845.688.3369, www.catskillsinterpretivecenter.org
Five eclectic bookstores with an informal atmosphere and friendly proprietors line Main Street in this delightful village in Delaware County. Blenheim Hill Books offers thousands of titles and hosts an annual Festival of Women Writers in September. Creative Corner Books specializes in baking and crafts; Liberty Rock Books, located in a 5,000 sq ft building, includes an art gallery with rotating exhibits. Wm. H. Adams Antiquarian Books has three floors of inventory at all price levels. And Butternut Valley Books will interest the collector and map-lover.
Open year-round (Days and hours vary per shop, so check the website before you go!) , www.hobartbookvillage.com
This 251-acre state park is a gem in our midst, taking walkers under the Mid-Hudson Bridge! The trails wind through picturesque woods and afford wonderful views, particularly in early spring when the foliage doesn’t get in the way. From the parking lot at Johnson-Iorio Park on Haviland Road, you will descend a steep staircase. A detailed map directs you to the yellow, white, and blue trails, all marked by blazes and easy to follow. There are scenic overlooks and incredible ruins reminiscent of the region’s manufacturing past — and you can make a complete circle in a little over an hour.
Open year-round, dawn to dusk.
Woodstock resident Joanne Michaels is the author of 10 books, including The Hudson Valley and Catskills Mountain: Only the Best Places and Famous Woodstock Cooks (a new edition will be published in June).