Town of the Week: Catskill

  |  October 3, 2011

For this week’s TOTW, we’re taking a look at the Greene County Seat, Catskill. Catskill, like other places we’ve covered, names both a town and a village and in this case, a region and a mountain range. Also, the village of Catskill is not really in the Catskills. Confusing? We’ll break it down for you.

The village of Catskill (population 4081) sits on west side the Hudson River, across from the town of Hudson, about two hours north of NYC via car (exit 21 on the Thruway) and train (Hudson Amtrak stop), at foot of the Catskill mountains. It’s a West Side town, so the train doesn’t cut through these frontier parts, but the Hudson train station and its lovely little town are just across the river via the Rip Van Winkle Bridge. This means two things: Catskill’s main street isn’t as developed or touristed as Hudson’s, and the real estate here is cheaper. The village’s main drag is Main Street, and it has a some local antique shops and art galleries (including frequent open studio nights), a Saturday farmer’s market, and an obsession with fiberglass cat figurines.

Like a lot of Upstate towns, Catskill was hit hard by suburban sprawl and de-industrialization, but there has been a concerted and noticeable effort to bring Catskill back and revitalize its Main Street.  Because of its positioning, the village of Catskill has a lot in its favor, making it ripe for a bigger boom: access to Hudson River and Catskill Creek water sports as well as to Catskill mountain activities, a historic downtown with lots of small business space yet easy drives to big box retailers like Loews and Home Depot, accessibility and high name recognition.  Note, though, that some Greene County locals view downtown Catskill as crime-plagued. Violent crime in Catskill is uncommon, but there is a relatively high rate of theft. Click here for crime stats.

Note too that the village of Catskill is part of the larger town of Catskill (population approx 11,000), which also includes the more rural hamlets of Leeds, Cairo, and High Falls. We’ll be showing houses in both the village proper and its surrounding hamlets this week, which represent a real range of country village and rural Upstate living.

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