Town of the Week: Napanoch

  |  September 16, 2013
honk falls napanoch

Honk Falls, Napanoch, Ulster County. Via

It might be hard to tell these days, but once upon a time, the hamlet of Napanoch in southwestern Ulster County was an industrial boomtown. During the mid-to-late 19th century, the hamlet was home to a number of successful endeavors, including grist mills, tanneries, a paper mill, and a tool factory, not to mention a bustling general store. Its proximity to the Rondout Creek made it particularly attractive to entrepreneurs, but that proximity also meant flooding, which caused a great deal of damage to the Creek-side industries and homes during a big flood in 1928. Furthermore, Napanoch was a small resort town with lots of hotels playing host to NYC residents heading up north to visit other popular tourist destinations like Ellenville. These days, what remains of Napanoch’s past can be seen in the form of the old architecture still standing on portions of Main Street. The Shanley Hotel, which we’ve talked about before, is one of those remaining structures and operates as a successful hotel to this day.

Napanoch’s biggest industry these days is the Eastern Correctional Facility, which is separated from the hamlet by Route 209/55. Regardless, Napanoch is located in some beautiful surroundings, with quiet country roads lined with lovely old houses, some near the meandering Rondout, leading to Honk Lake and Honk Falls west of town. There’s not much else in Napanoch, although it does have a natural foods market, a general store, a florist, a restaurant or two, and a post office. The Valley Mall in Napanoch has a flea market and wine store, but the mall is slated to become a Wal-Mart, a proposal that, not surprisingly, was met with some controversy and public opposition. Fingers crossed that the local businesses continue to survive and thrive in spite of the super-store’s presence. The village of Ellenville is just a couple of miles away from Napanoch, and it has a more active Main Street area, with more shops, banks, gas stations, and restaurants.


downtown napanoch ny

Downtown Napanoch. Via Wikipedia.

Currently, there aren’t a whole lot of properties on the market in Napanoch, but we did find some variety within what is available there, including a couple of sweet Victorians, some decent five-figure options, and a few more contemporary homes. Most of the properties for sale in Napanoch are priced in the $100,000-200,000 range, with a handful on either end of that.

We suggest taking a drive through Napanoch if you’re in the neighborhood. The gorgeous old buildings make the trip worthwhile, not to mention Honk Falls, which you can get to via Valleyview Drive, and we believe it’s accessible to the public. Just make sure to be on the look out for No Trespassing signs. As much as we encourage exploration, we don’t condone illicit criminal activities. You’re on your own with those.

Napanoch is approximately 7 minutes from Ellenville, 40 minutes from Kingston, and 1 hours, 42 minutes from NYC. Here’s a good website in case you’d like to learn more about Napanoch’s past, including tons of old photos.

 napanoch capture


About Kandy Harris

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

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