Town of the Week: Copake

  |  July 1, 2013

Copake, via Wikipedia


Every town has its ups and downs, and the town of Copake, located in southeastern Columbia County, is no different. It’s not a big town, with a total population of around 3,500, and it’s surrounded on the north and east sides by ponds. Copake Lake is north of the hamlet of Copake, and it’s well-known these days as a popular second-home community. Back in 2004, the town surveyed its residents in an effort to suss out what direction the town needed to take in the future. The answers that the townspeople provided were eye-opening, to say the least, and it helped provide us with an understanding of Copake that a quick drive through town just can’t provide.

more after the jump…

You can read the survey in its entirety here on the town’s website, plus a multitude of comments on what the residents like best and least about the town, which you can read here. The results of the survey showed that Copake suffers from many of the same ills that befall lots of other rural communities in upstate New York (and other parts of the country, we suspect): A lack of jobs, which leads to a faltering local economy. High taxes. The threat of over-development (take, for example, the residents’ vigorous and vocal opposition to the proposed Copake Green development several years back; the development eventually fell through due to lack of funds). A run-down town center with empty, dilapidated building. Small town politics. A shortage of amenities. However, the residents of Copake love their town fervently, and they’re quick to tell anyone listening just what they love about it. They love the warmth of the people who live there. They love the beauty of the natural surroundings. They love the small-town feel where everything runs at a slightly slower pace. Most importantly, they see the town’s massive potential around every corner, and so do we.

In terms of the real estate market, we also see a town with lots of great houses, including an original Blu Home, currently for sale for $1.6 million. You’ll find a bargain if you look for one, but most of the homes are situated in the $300-400,000 range. Lots of multimillion dollar fancies, too, many of them around the Copake Lake area, which is also where the Copake Country Club is located.

6 peartree lane copake ny

An original Blu Home in Copake

Residents of Copake have to leave in order to get the basics, like groceries and health care, but Columbia County is known for its dedication to arts and culture, with a variety of theaters, live music venues, and art galleries places like Hudson, Chatham, and Ghent. Copake, too, has its own theater company. Furthermore, Copake is just a hop and a skip from the Massachusetts state line, where you’ll find Bish Bash Falls (word of caution: You can’t swim there, which is a downright shame, particularly after the long sweaty hike to get there). There are also many options for camping (Camp Waubeeka), biking, fishing, swimming, and golfing. Regardless of Copake’s challenges, its positives outweigh its negatives, and we’re looking forward to exploring all the area has to offer.

Copake is approximately 2 hours from NYC, 3 hours from Boston, and 30 minutes from Hudson.

copake ny



About Kandy Harris

Kandy is a writer and musician/music teacher living in Saugerties, NY.

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