From the beginning, they came for our fresh air, water, cool summer breezes, snowy winter slopes, and year-round spectacular scenery. Writers and influencers have found much to love in Sullivan Catskills, here’s what they have to say…
Chase waterfalls, trap trout, and sip some award-winning brews. “Hitchhike to heaven.” My guide, Joe, stuck his thumb toward the sky. I had never hitchhiked in a pair of waders before, but here I was: Thigh deep in the cool waters of the Willowemoc Creek, learning how to fly fish in Trout Town, USA—government name: Roscoe, New York.
During the first half of the 20th century, hundreds of thousands of visitors flocked in the summer to the southwestern corner of the Catskills, where resorts and bungalow colonies comprised the Borscht Belt. But by the mid-1900s, tourism to the Belt had slackened as air travel became more convenient and affordable.
The Borscht Belt travel boom helped put Sullivan County on the map starting in the 1920s. The region's new travel revival can be credited in large part to Sims Foster and his wife and business partner Kirsten Harlow Foster. Their hospitality company has been on a streak, opening six local hotels and two restaurants over the past seven years.
Last year, the pandemic and subsequent lockdown fueled a flee north to New York’s upstate region. As more and more city dwellers opted for the countryside, many towns in the Hudson Valley and Catskills saw a swelling number of permanent residents, causing real estate prices to rise exponentially in some locations.
Americans discovered the Great Outdoors during the pandemic. There were 8.1 million more people exploring state and federal forests across the country in 2020 than in 2019, according to the Outdoor Foundation, and 7.9 million more folks pitching tents and camping.