Exploring the Catskills: Mountain Golf and An Evening in Pretty Tannersville
New York State offers some of the most picturesque landscapes in Eastern North America and we usually make a stop there on our way to New York City. So on the last Saturday of August of 2015 we started heading east of Toronto towards Ganaoque, our favourite Canada-US border crossing. We got an early start, so the sun was just rising. About 7 hours later we had reached our first stop, the Thunderhart Golf Complex in the scenic Catskill region of New York.
The Catskill Region in New York State is a popular getaway destination for people from New York City, but it is also easily reached from any of the other large cities on the Eastern Seaboard. From Toronto it is quite easy to get there, and if you are a golfer you will find plenty of choice, whether you are looking for beginner courses or challenging advanced course layouts. We had a relaxing round at the Thunderheart Golf Complex, and along the way we had a pleasant encounter with a groundhog that wasn’t shy at all.
For our one night in the Catskills mountain region we had booked the Twilight Lodge, a reasonably priced accommodation in a rather pricy area. With a mountain-top location in the small town of Haines Falls, the lodge offers simple accommodation and the bathrooms are a bit outdated, but the owner, an older lady who had immigrated to the United States from Hungary, made all the guests feel very welcome and bent over backwards to make everyone feel comfortable.
In the evening we were ready to head out for dinner and we asked our hostess at the Twilight Lodge where to go. She recommended that we drive five minutes up the street to the small town of Tannersville which has several restaurants to choose from. Before we sat down for dinner I quickly zipped out and took a quick walk on Main Street. This village was founded in the 1800s and was centered around lumber mills and tanneries.
Tannersville, New York, has been a tourist destination for many years. It became a summer resort in the second half of the 19th century and experienced a boom when the railroad came into town in 1882. This was the era when wealthy residents of New York City would go to “summer” (spend their entire summer) in the nearby mountain resorts of the Catskills.
From these heydays, Tannersville experienced a decline in the early 20th century, when the automobile started to replace railway travel and people no longer spent their entire summers at these mountain resorts. Tannersville is located in the Catskill Mountains which to this day is one of the most popular getaway destinations for New Yorkers since it is only about 160 km (100 miles) northwest of the city.