Olivebridge, a tiny hamlet in the town of Olive in Ulster County, has a bit of a sad history. At the turn of the century, thousands of people who had made the Esopus Valley their home were displaced, their homes and business submerged and gone forever, in order for the Ashokan Reservoir to be built to supply New York City with drinking water. The town of Olive then became the proving ground for aggressive measures in watershed management and water quality protection, and in 1996, the town stood up to New York City with regards to their attempted acquisition of thousands of acres of watershed lands (there’s a good read on the history of Olive and the construction of the reservoir here).
Now, Olivebridge is an area comprised mostly of wild, natural space. Situated within the Catskill State Park and the Catskill Forest Preserve and just south of the Ashokan Reservoir, it’s stunningly beautiful and a paradise for outdoor recreation, making it a popular area for seasonal residences.
The hamlet of Olivebridge is really nothing more than a post office on Route 213, but it’s 30 minutes to Kingston, and there are a host of little landmarks around the town of Olive itself, including Winchell’s Corner, home to one of the best pizza joints in Ulster County, Winchell’s Pizza (Reservoir Rd & Rte 28, 845-657-3352). The Pineview Bakery (Rte 28, 845-657-8925) is also a required stop. Not only do they have amazing, cheap breakfast and lunch, Pineview Bakery has a dazzling, head-spinning selection of house-made baked goods.
There are plenty of amazing houses for sale in Olivebridge, many of them tucked in amongst the greenery and scenery of the Catskill Forest Preserve. At last check, the median price of Olivebridge, NY real estate hovered around $299,000, with the bulk of homes resting between $300,000 and $400,000. It’s hard to find luxury accommodations here (although, of course, we’ll try for Friday).