Be a Time Traveler to New York’s Cobblestone Country

Cobblestone Building

Cobblestone Building

Picture of a Cobblestone House

Picture of a Cobblestone House

By Sue Freeman, New York Outdoors Blog When early pioneers began to settle the wild frontier, they followed the Hudson River north, then the Erie Canal west, carving out a life of farming in New York State. They had to clear the forests to create farmlands. At first they built small log cabins, but as they cleared more land they found they could ship the lumber on the Erie Canal as a cash crop. The building material of choice became the glacially deposited cobblestones that rose to the surface each time they plowed their fields. The farmers developed building with cobblestones into a fine art. Initially their buildings were crude, using stones of random sizes and colors, but it evolved into sorting stones and creating buildings with stripes, herringbone patterns and all sorts of creative flairs. They built houses, churches, schools, factories, smokehouses, stores, and even tombstones. It was hard labor, taking up to 3 years to manufacture a building, including hand hewing each window and door frame, and sometimes even carting wagon loads of stones back from the shores of Lake Ontario in a sled over snow. Imagine quarrying your own materials (such as ground limestone or dolomite, sand and water) to make mortar and waiting for it to age a year under a pile of manure until it was ready to use. That was only a small part of the entire process. Fascinating historical accounts of building cobblestone buildings can be found in the guidebook “Cobblestone Quest.” This building technique came to a screeching halt with the outbreak of the Civil War, but many of the buildings still stand today as a testament to their fine craftsmanship. The buildings are clustered in the northwestern part of New York State. You can drive by them to enjoy their diversity and learn the history of each using “Cobblestone Quest – Road Tours of New York’s Historic Buildings,” (Footprint Press, Inc.).  There are also cobblestone buildings you can tour as museums, antique shops and art galleries, restaurants you can eat in, and Bed and Breakfast Inns for an evening’s repose. Travel back in time to the days when New York State was the wild frontier. Come explore New York’s unique cobblestone history. RV Campground Options:

  1. Medina/Wildwood Lake KOA, Medina
  2. Redbreeze Secluded Waterfront Campsite, Waterport
  3. Hamlin Beach State Park, Hamlin
  4. Lakeside Beach State Park, Waterport
  5. Letchworth State Park, Castile
  6. Lei Ti Campground, Batavia

Cobblestone Bed & Breakfast Inns:

  1. Captain Throop House Bed and Breakfast, PO Box 145, Pultneyville, NY, 14538, 315-589-8595
  2. Maxwell Creek Inn Bed and Breakfast, 7563 Lake Road, Sodus, NY,14551, (315) 483-2222
  3. Peppermint Cottage and Jackson Schoolhouse B&B, 336 Pleasant Valley Road, Lyons, NY, 14489, (888) 997-1998

Cobblestone Museums:

  1. Babcock House Museum, 7449 Lake Road, Appleton
  2. Hartland Historical Society District 10 Schoolhouse, 9713 Seaman Road, Hartland
  3. Cobblestone Society Museum, 14393 Route 104, Childs
  4. Alexander Town Museum in Alexander Classical School, 3323 Church Street, Alexander
  5. Livingston County Historical Museum in Geneseo District #5 Schoolhouse, 30 Center Street, Geneseo
  6. Chili Schoolhouse Museum, District #4 Schoolhouse, 2525 Scottsville Road, Henrietta
  7. Tinker Homestead & Farm Museum, 1585 Calkins Road, Henrietta
  8. Wallington District #8 Schoolhouse, 6135 North Geneva Road, Wallington

Cobblestone Restaurants:

  1. Wilson House Inn, 300 Lake Street, Wilson
  2. The Cobblestone Restaurant, 3610 Pre-Emption Road, Geneva

Cobblestone Antique Shops & Galleries:

  1. Golden Lynx Art Gallery, 16 Mendon-Ionia Road, Mendon
  2. Cobblestone Antiques, 6452 Victor-Manchester Road, Victor
  3. Cobble Ridge Antiques, 3049 Parker Road, Palmyra
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Cruising in the Catskills

By Vik Kachoria, Real Adventures

Many people think about visiting the Northeast when the leaves change in the fall. But summer can be an especially good time to escape the city heat for quaint towns and lush woods.

With lots of campgrounds, bringing your RV is a great way to save money while enjoying nature.

A good way to start your trip is by heading up route 87 North from New York City. In a few short hours, you’ll find yourself in the heart of the Catskills, with hiking, antiquing, lake swimming and a laid-back atmosphere.

Here are some ideas for your trip:

Giant sculptures and rolling fields: Driving just one hour north of New York on 87 you’ll pass the Storm King Arts Center. Visible from the highway, the estate boasts 500 acres of land nestled in the Catskill Mountains. Have a picnic on one of its lawns underneath the shade of a post-war sculpture. An all-day adult pass is just $12.

The Shawangunk Ridge: Around 45 minutes north of Storm King on 87 is the artist community of New Paltz. The town offers beautiful mountain views and local mom-and-pop stores. Drive just 10 minutes out of town to the summit of Mohonk Mountain and you have some of the best rock climbing and hiking in all of Upstate New York.

For a great day of hiking head to the Mohonk Mountain House, which is located at the summit of Mountain Rest Road. The sprawling hotel sits over a glacial lake and has roughly 85 miles of hiking trails. Look here for a list of good hikes.

Nearby New Paltz is Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp-Resort at Lazy River. You can park your RV and enjoy the convince of on-site laundry, free cable TV and a general store. The site also has a pool, basketball courts and fishing. To get there, just take Route 44/55 seven miles toward Gardiner.

Summer of Love: 30 minutes north of New Paltz is a small town that has grown to represent an entire generation. Woodstock lies about 20 minuets west of 87 at Exit 19.

The town has amazing views, eclectic food and shopping options. Walk by the village square and check out the characters who look perpetually stuck in the 60s.

Drive up Meads Mountain Road to the top of Overlook Mountain to visit the Northeast’s largest Tibetan monastery. Then hike up to the top of the mountain for a 360-degree view of the Catskill Mountains. Be sure to check out the Overlook Mountain Trail for an interesting hike.

Sunday Drive: Head west out of town on Route 212 for a scenic drive on curving country roads. Stop at Cooper Lake where you can ride bikes around the water’s edge.

The drive will leave you at Route 28, where you can continue west toward Phoenicia or head back toward 87.

If you continue west on 28 toward Phoenicia, you’ll come to Slide Mountain, which is the largest peak in the Catskills and offers great hiking. Drive through Phoenicia and take a left on County Road 47. Follow the route 9.4 miles until it turns into Frost Valley Road – the parking area will be on the left side of the road.

Hudson River School: Continue up 87 to NY 23A. Head west on the road until you see signs for Kaaterskill Falls. The double-tiered waterfall is a quick hike off the road and offers one of the most dramatic views in all of New York State.

The falls were one of the original attractions of the Thirteen Colonies and made famous by Hudson River School painters, who were inspired by its natural beauty.

With so much to do and summer already upon us, you’ll want to start planning your trip soon!

About the Author

Vik Kachoria combined his love of travel and photography to found Real Adventures. He has traveled around the world mining opals, delivering luxury vehicles, biking, snorkeling and meeting people where he went. His passion for hiking trips and hiking tours is reflected by the trips found at http://realadventures.com/hiking-trekking.htm.

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Dog Friendly Vacation at Canine Country Getaway on 175 Acres

Many thanks to our friends at Glen Highland Farm’s Canine Outdoor Adventures in Morris, NY for the following…

The Canine Country Getaway location is an extended part of Glen Highland Farm acreage set aside for people who like to vacation with their dogs. The land was once home to the Iroquois Indians who lived near the beautiful Butternut Creek, a huge curvy stream filled with trout, abundant wildlife, endangered butterflies and birds. The Creek winds through 175 acres of rolling meadows and winding trails and our 2-acre spring-fed pond, all perfect surroundings for you to enjoy a great vacation at the same time your dog enjoys an outdoor adventure.

We have 2 small cabins nestled high up on the Ridge, secluded amidst tall pine trees with a scenic vista below. Each cabin is furnished with two comfy cots, storage shelves, lanterns, rugs, chairs and a heater (for cooler weather). Each cabin provides plenty of room for two people plus their dog or one person with multiple dogs or for anyone who wants to enjoy the cabin fully for themselves and their canine companion(s). The solitude and fresh air will easily make sleeping a joy for you and your dog! Guests will need to bring their own pillows, bed linens or sleeping bags and blankets. See Guest Info for what to bring.

Situated below the Ridge, are 2 spacious large cottages, each with two “large-man” cots, dressers, lanterns, rugs and chairs. The peaceful setting gives you plenty of privacy and also quick access to nearby trails. The views from the windows are gorgeous! The large cabins easily sleep two to four people with their dogs. They are perfect for friends vacationing together or for a couple who want lots of space to unwind. Guests will need to bring their own pillows, bed linens or sleeping bags and blankets.

The Farm RVs are a real home away from home and wonderfully situated at the foot of a 30-acre meadow. With 5 standard RVs or 1 deluxe RV to choose from, visitors opt for RVs for access to full electricity complete with heating or air conditioning. RVs all have a separate bedroom (with full, queen or king accommodations), the convenience of a private bathroom, lots of storage cabinets, an eat-in kitchen equipped with stove, refrigerator and freezer, microwave and coffee maker. Kitchens are stocked with basic cookware, glasses, mugs, dishware and utensils. If you feel like cooking out, feel free to use the gas or wood burning grills and prep space in the outdoor dining pavilion. Living areas have a comfy sofa (dog approved!) with throw blankets and pillows and also VCR/DVD and stereo. While RVs have their own bathroom with toilet, sink and shower, many guests opt to use our separate full size bathroom and shower facilities. You will need to bring your own bed linens, pillows and blankets.

Have your own RV or RV rental? Load up the dogs and come on over! We have RV hookup sites for you to rent.

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