Get Tapping this Weekend!

  |  March 3, 2015

The Maple Fest is coming to the Ashokan Center this weekend, and the whole family is invited for a day of syrupy goodness, outdoor adventuring, and swingin’ seasonal music. The idea of bringing small children to this sugar-themed event may sound risky at first, but the organizers have thought ahead and planned a slew of activities to accompany the syrup consumption. Parents can head off any hyperactivity with a good hike (or two!), and the festival agenda is not without educational opportunities – both children and parents are invited to learn how to tap a tree. If you’re looking to avoid sticky fingers, a hands-on intro to colonial crafts will also be held to round out a day of good old-fashioned fun. So rouse your sweet tooth from it’s post-holiday hibernation and book a stay at one of these charming Catskills rentals for the gang’s sweet getaway in Olivebridge:

1) Foxfire Cottage in the Catskills


Price/night: $300
Accommodations: Full house, 3 bedrooms
Max guests: 4
Min stay: 2 nights
House description:
Tim’s cottage deserves its own post, really, or possibly its own blog (eg. “Making Taxidermy Appealing Again”), but for now, we’ll have to let the luscious photos on his Airbnb profile do all the talking. As an HGTV designer, Tim is no neophyte when it comes to creating a stylish living space. His Foxfire Cottage is furnished with rustic décor, but the overall look is still sleek, not at all “Frontierland,” which is where the interiors of some mountain houses wind up if the number of animal skins is not kept in check. If you find yourself at this elegant home for a weekend or two, be sure to check up on your host’s current renovation project – if this cottage is a little taste of Tim’s eye for design, we can’t wait to see what his boutique hotel will look like!

Sample reviews:

“We could not have enjoyed our stay any more. The cottage looks exactly like it does in the pictures, if not even better. Tim and Eliza also put in the effort to make a list of the best restaurants, hikes, etc. around the area which resulted extremely helpful as we were unfamiliar with the area. We had an amazing time even though it was snowing and cold outside, it didn’t phase us one bit. It actually made it more fun. We are definitely coming back!”

“Tim’s place was fantastic! The day light that floods throughout the place is incredible, decor is absolute perfection, bed super comfortable (fire place in bedroom alert! Love), GREAT kitchen for cooking, and some beautiful woods behind the place, with a stream running through. At night you see hundreds of stars.

It was a perfect quaint and quiet weekend getaway from the city. Will definitely be back!”

2) The Love Shack


Price/night: $150
Accommodations: Full house, 1 bedroom
Max guests: 2
Min stay: 2 nights
House description:
Odds are, you won’t be getting a knock, knock, knock on the door (baby) at this romantic Catskills cottage. Nestled in the forest and sitting right in between two lakes, Diane and Pete’s rental could be your new go-to destination for a private and mellow weekend. Or, if the word “seclusion” makes you a wee bit anxious, you could take advantage of the cottage’s location next to The Country Inn and get your human interaction time in with a delicious meal on the side. But again, we’re looking at the cozy loft space and the wood burning fireplace, and we can see nothing wrong with spending a weekend off the grid and tucked away from the outside world at Olivebridge’s own “Love Shack.”

Sample reviews:

“This was our second weekend at The Love Shack and each stay is better than the last. Peter the owner makes you feel immediately welcome, while his attention to detail makes The Shack feel like a home from home. The cabin is truly delightful and is so quiet and cosy we have spent a couple of afternoons snoozing on the sofa in front of the fire. There is a beautiful view of the lake where you can watch the local wildlife and just next door is The Country Inn with great food, wines and beers, just in case you don’t feel like cooking in the well equipped kitchen. Diane bakes a mean cake and on each of our stays we were greeted with delicious fresh scones, with honey butter, and a home baked chocolate brownie that we ate in one sitting!

We’re looking forward to our next stay :)”

“The cabin is in pristine condition and decorated tastefully with old wooden beams across the high ceiling, a gas burning stove and comfy couches. We loved making French toast in the cozy and superbly clean kitchen with a country style sink, mason jars and windows looking out to the hills on the property. We rented snow shoes from EMS in Gardiner by mohonk preserve for the weekend (I highly recommend millbrook ridge trail in mohonk preserve for snow shoeing) and took a walk across the pond behind the cabin. We spent lazy afternoons reading by the gas stove. And the cabin is close to Phoenicia diner, great for lunch and stop by ashokan reservoir for a walk on the way back! The cabin has great heat and very hot showers – important when it’s -10 degrees out! And last night we checked out the country inn which is on the property for dinner – wonderful family vibe, delicious food and the best beer selection I have seen in a long time. Diane has been very helpful and accommodating to us. Just a wonderful experience all around!”

3) Accord Chalet with a View

Price/night: $200 – $350
Accommodations: Full house, 3 bedrooms
Max guests: 5
Min stay: 4 nights
House description:
Trust us on this one – you will want to see all four seasons from the vast windows of this pristine Catskills chalet. And with seven acres available for exploring, you will have plenty of vantage points to choose from! The house features twin beds along with two larger mattresses, which means you may miss out on the time-honored who’s-stealing-the-blankets argument during your family vacation in Accord. The décor is fabulous, the yard is fabulous…we’re thinking your crew may be too busy exploring to set aside time to argue, period, unless they’re fighting over who gets the first burger off the grill.

Sample reviews:

“We are a couple with a 5-yr old child and decided on a ‘staycation’. Like the owners, we live in Brooklyn and wanted a true escape. That is exactly what we got. The setting is exactly as it looks in the pictures. The house is situated on a hill (1,000 ft) with plenty of afternoon sunshine and delicious smelling fresh summer breezes. We took daily am walks around the property (and the adjacent property which is available for the owner’s guests). We also visited a number the charming towns that are close by. There is a great food co-op in High Falls where we stocked up on all sorts of local goodies. Highly recommended.”

About Elizabeth Wilson

Elizabeth Wilson is an Upstater born and bred with a generalist’s education and a specialist’s passion for the Hudson Valley. Ask nicely and she’ll make you a bagel sandwich. Ask really nicely and she’ll accompany that bagel sandwich with a Bob Dylan impersonation.

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