Town of the Week: Walton

  |  March 18, 2013

One of the suggestions from our reader survey was that we let readers take a stab at the town of the week, using their insider knowledge to paint us a picture of the places they’ve settled, either full- or part-time.

Voila, a wonderful reader, Charlie M., has given us a vibrant write-up on Walton, her second home of choice. If you’d like to submit a town of the week, drop us a line.

Photo from Wikipedia

Photo from Wikipedia

Walton is a quaint, sleepy, small town of about 5,000 residents located in the heart of the western Catskills. It is nestled in a valley, which provides it with beautiful mountain views from almost every vantage point in town. Walton began as a dairy community following the American Revolution. There are still a few dairy companies there today and in the surrounding area. Walton is not a tony, polished town that is merely a microcosm of New York City like many upstate Hudson Valley area towns (e.g., expensive homes, restaurants, gourmet this and that). It’s a rustic place with old-fashioned charm. The townspeople are very welcoming and earnest — the kind of folks that still make handshake deals and truly believe their word is their bond.

I was led to Walton in 2005 by a friend who had recently purchased a property there. Walton has great things to offer to weekenders regardless of their status. I purchased my home as a single woman looking for a regular place to escape with friends from the city, but I am now married with two children. We love the wide open country space, beautiful vistas, variety of outdoor activities and peace and quiet. There are activities for every season including, canoeing the Delaware River, hiking in Bear Spring Mountain Park, biking or running the Catskill Rail Trail, horse-back riding over mountain trails, downhill skiing at nearby Plattekill Mountain Resort, visiting the local prize-winning alpaca farm, and, of course, antiquing at one of several of the towns antique shops.

Photo from Wikipedia

Photo from Wikipedia

While Walton isn’t a culinary destination, as it is very lean on restaurants of any stripe, it is not too far from Delhi, Andes and Margaretville, towns with a more diverse array of eateries. That being said, Walton is home to the family-owned Stony Creek Farm which produces organic produce and meat through sustainable farming practices. The farm offers a Farm Store for purchase of its products and also offers tours and farm stays. (See NY Times article for more info). Maple Shade Farm in nearby Delhi, NY hosts many family-oriented festivals and events, including a Taste of Catskills event in the summer and a harvest festival in the Fall.

Walton is just over two hours past the George Washington Bridge. Unfortunately, there is no direct public transportation to the town. Despite that drawback, the area is ripe for the picking for anyone looking to buy a reasonably-priced property in the upstate New York area. Typically, real estate listings in Walton are categorized as “village homes” or “country homes”. Village homes are mix of old Victorian and colonial houses and newer construction, some in better shape than others. The Victorians are, of course, very large and some have been converted into floor-through apartment units. Village properties tend to sit on smaller lots. As a result of its geographic location of being essentially in a valley, in 2007, after the town was battered for days with unprecedented rainfall and a damn collapsed, many homes in the village sustained lots of flood damage, along with properties on the commercial Main Street strip. This is something to keep in mind when looking at village homes. Country homes sit on higher ground and there are many options just outside of the village. Country homes usually come with some amount of acreage. One can find a variety of homes (village or country) in the $100,000 – $200,000 range. It’s not uncommon to find small cabins or fixer-uppers for less than that.

A couple of interesting facts about Walton: the town grocery store, Big M, is quite good and boasts the largest walk-in beverage fridge/cooler in the county–at least that is what a huge sign out front indicates (the cooler stocks a variety of specialty beers as well); the Delaware County fair is held in Walton and is the largest county fair in the state; Walton is just minutes from the town of Franklin where Yoko Ono has a home (Franklin also has a golf course for those interested in that sport); the foliage is gorgeous in the Fall, but get here early, around the end of September to catch it; and if you love snow, we typically get a lot of it.

Our home is a country home that sits on two acres and is located less than three miles from town. We have well water like most country homes and an underground septic tank since we are not on the town’s water system. Our neighbors are close enough to be within our line of sight, but far enough away that we can play music on our deck in the summer without fear of being a nuisance. A few pictures of our country get-a-away are pasted below. Y’all come visit now, ya hear!

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