2020 Hike & Event Schedule
We regret that this seasons events have had to be canceled.
April 26 Canceled Tea and Talk, “Temperance and Prohibition in the Catskills” with Sylvia Hasenkopf, a Hudson Valley Historian and research specialist, Diane Galusha, President of the Historical Society of the Town of Middletown, and Johanna Titus, Mountain Top Historical Society Board Member. This three-part presentation includes “Temperance at Twilight” – the story of two of the most prominent women in the Temperance Movement, “Leggs Diamond, Robin Hood of the Catskills” – follows Mr. Diamond in the Capital Region, and “Cat-Stills” - Prohibition vignettes and elder stories of the greater Catskills. Then enjoy Stefania Jozic’s wonderful tea buffet. Door Prizes. $ 25 per person. RSVP by Thurs. 4/23 by calling (518) 589-6657 leave a message with name, phone number & how many in your party, or leave same info by email at www.mths.org contacts page. This program will be held at the Washington Irving Inn, Route 23A, Tannersville. Seating limited.
May 2 Canceled (Sat.) 2:00 p.m. Talk – “Hotel Kaaterskill – A Vivid Look Back” – A joint presentation of the Greene County Historical Society and the Mountain Top Historical Society, by Jonathan Palmer, GCHS and Bob Gildersleeve, MTHS.
May 3 Canceled - Since this hike was meant to complement the May 2nd talk we will wait until the talk can be rescheduled. Hike – Hotel Kaaterskill grounds. We will walk along the historic roads developed in the 1880’s for the Hotel Kaaterskill to the grounds of the Hotel and trace out the location of the Hotel, its Annex, stables, and other buildings. Thanks to the stewardship of New York State much of the foundation of these structures remain to allow us to visualize this famous hotel. Meet at the Mountain Top Historical Society, Route 23A, Haines Falls. This is a moderate hike of about 4 miles round trip with an elevation gain of 400 ft. Planned return at 3:00 pm. Bring lunch and water. Sturdy shoes and long pants are recommended.
May 15 (Fri.) 7:00 p.m. Talk – N.Y. Celebrity, award winning Radio Broadcaster and Author, Chuck D’Imperio, will discuss his latest book Open House: 35 Historic Homes in Upstate NY. Chuck has written numerous books and articles about all things N.Y. Whether it’s the food or the homes, the people or their graves, Chuck never fails to inform, amuse and delight. Refreshments.
$ 5 donation suggested.
May 16 (Sat.) 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. (also June 13, 27) First session postponed until June 13 Program – Catskill Nature and Landscape Photography. Join local photographers Francis Driscoll and Elaine Warfield for some landscape, nature, wildlife, and architecture photography in our beautiful Catskill Mountains. Relatively easy walking distances. Any skill level, phones and cameras welcome. 3 dates are planned but you decide how many sessions you’ll attend. We’re planning some beautiful, out of the way spots, plus creeks, waterfalls, vistas, and maybe even some wildlife. Meet each date at the MTHS Train Station. If you choose to print any of your images, we’ll display them at a special showing during the MTHS Open House on August 22, 2020. Please use the registration instructions below, and indicate that you are interested in the Photography workshop and which date or dates. Bring lunch and drinks. Sunrise / Sunset option available depending on interest. For questions call Elaine: (518) 965-8601, or Francis: (518) 821-1339 $ 10 donation suggested.
May 17 (Sun.) 1:00 p.m. Hike – Mountain Top Arboretum. See Spring Unfolding in the Mountains. Explore the hiking trails at the Mountain Top Arboretum and the Deer Mountain Inn with Nancy Allen. Listen for the sound of peepers and observe the blossoming of spring ephemerals. Round trip about 4 miles. Easy trails with some steeper inclines. Meet Nancy at the Arboretum parking area at 1 p.m. come prepared for muddy conditions (boots that keep the feet dry) and with bug spray. Bring water and snacks. Well-behaved dogs on leash welcome. The exact route will be determined by the conditions on the day of the hike. Hard rain cancels. Registration instructions below.
June 5 (Fri.) 7:00 p.m. Talk – “Forestry in the 21st Century” Ryan Trapani, director of Catskill Forest Assoc. will discuss forest land-use history in the Catskill Mountains as well as its present condition and how it’s being managed. He will also discuss how to improve “forest quality” and make things more “fruitful” for both humans and wildlife. Ryan is an author of many articles in local publications, and host of “From the Forest” radio show on WIOX 91.3 FM. He was formally associated with the NY DEC, the U.S. Forest Service, and the Frost Valley YMCA, Ryan is a Veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves. Program at MTHS Train Station. Refreshments. $ 5 donation suggested.
June 6 (Sat.) 10 a.m. Hike – National Trails Day on the Kaaterskill Rail Trail led by Michelle Yost and Pete Sentermen. Pete will discuss the history of the railroads at the Mountain Top, and Michelle will transition into the modern day trail and its future. The KRT was first a footpath connecting the Catskill Mountain House and other hotels to Haines Falls. By the 1880’s the old footpath had made way for a rail corridor which, at its peak, saw two competing passenger rail lines following parallel tracks toward the Catskill escarpment. Thousands of vacationers arrived each summer via the newly- constructed rail lines to see the picturesque scenery and stay at the many boarding houses, hotels, and resorts such as the Laurel House. Hike will extend to the viewing platform over Kaaterskill Falls. Easy, 3 ½ miles, wear sturdy shoes and bring water. Meet at U&D Train Station at 10 am. Registration instructions below.
June 13 (Sat.) 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. – Catskill Nature and Landscape Photography, session 2 (see May 16th above for description)
June 19 (Fri.) 7:00 p.m. Talk – “The Devil Received One Vote”. Join Jonathan Palmer, Archivist from the Vedder Research Library of the Greene County Historical Society, as he presents his talk on the history of local media in the Jacksonian Period. Focusing on the history of the two major newspapers printed at the county seat in Catskill, this talk offers a window into the hyper-politicized and partisan culture that defined all strata of the government during the second half of the Antebellum Period. The lecture will serve to help local history buffs and the general public alike contextualize our community and the role it played during this extremely important era in American History, Program at the U & D Train Station, MTHS Campus. Refreshments. $ 5 donation suggested.
June 27 (Sat.) 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. – Catskill Nature and Landscape Photography, session 3 (see May 16th above for description)
July 11 (Sat.) 10:00 a.m. MTHS will hold its Annual Meeting at the Train Station. All are welcome.
July 18 (Sat.) 10:00 a.m. Hike- In the Footsteps of Sanford Robinson Gifford. Join geologist Robert Titus for a journey back into the Ice Age, whose landscapes were the subjects of the artists of the Hudson River School. This hike will locate spots along the Blue Trail where Sanford Robinson Gifford sketched and we’ll examine evidence of glacial activity at each location. Moderate, four miles. Bring water and lunch. Return by 3 p.m. Meet at Laurel House Road parking lot. Registration instructions below. Dogs welcome if owners comply with Park rules.
July 25 (Sat.) 7:00 p.m. Talk / Performance - The Justine Hommel Memorial Lecture, with Joseph Capobianco as Charles L. Beach, Proprietor of the Catskill Mountain House Hotel with Mrs. Diane Capobianco as Mrs. Mary Beach. A lifelong resident of Catskill and a lover of local history will transport you, excite, and inspire you to go back and imagine the glory days of the Catskill Mountain House. Program presented at the Twilight Park Clubhouse, Haines Falls. Refreshments. $ 5 donation suggested.
August 2 (Sun.) 2:00 p.m. Talk – Gary Lelonek, M.D. will discuss his book, The Jewish History of Tannersville, New York, A Village in the Catskills. Dr. Lelonek grew up in Fair Lawn, N.J., spending his summers in Tannersville even until 2018, lately accompanied by his wife and three children. He is a practicing psychiatrist with affiliations in the Bronx and on Long island. Kosher refreshments follow. $ 5 donation suggested.
August 22 (Sat.) 10:00 a.m. Annual Open House – The MTHS campus will be busy with things to do for all ages. The Visitors’ Center will be open for browsing maps, books, brochures, or checking out the Archives. Learn something new about local history. Come on over to the Mountain Top Historical Society’s campus on Route 23A in Haines Falls and join in the fun. Check our website as more details become available.
August 29th (Sat.) 10:00 a.m. Hike - Ceremonial Stone Landscapes (CSL). Join NYS DEC outdoor guide Glenn Kreisberg from Overlook Mountain Center in Woodstock, NY, for a hike to visit a Manitou Hassennech (spirit stones) site in Spruceton Valley. These landscapes consist of dry stacked stone cairns, stone rows, effigies and alignments, all possible expressions of an ancient, sophisticated Native American belief system linking the world above with the world below. Moderate, two miles, wear proper footwear and clothing for a late summer hike and appropriate for the weather. Consider sunscreen and bug repellant. Bring lunch or a snack and water. Meet at MTHS Visitor Center. Car Pool to trail head. Call (845) 417- 8384 for more info.
Sept. 19 (Sat.) 10:00 a.m. – 12 noon. Talk and Walk – The Mountain Top Arboretum and the Mountain Top Historical Society present a two-day event with Dr. Michael Kudish, expert in forest history. Dr. Kudish will discuss “Burn Index: A New Way of Looking at the Catskill Land Use History”. The program will begin with a lecture at the Arboretum’s Education Center, followed by a walk into Spruce Glen as an example of non-burn forest composition. One mile, easy. See below for continuation of program. Suggested Donation $5 for MTA and MTHS members, $ 15 for non-members.
Sept. 20 (Sun.) 9:00 a.m. Hike – Dr. Michael Kudish will lead a hike on the escarpment trail at North/South Lake to a Pitch Pine stand as an example of burned forest composition. Meet at Mountain Top Historical Society’s parking area. ~ 1 mile, moderate – some elevation change. Bring water and snack. No Dogs.
Sept. 26 (Sat.) 10:00 a.m. - 3 p.m. 9th Annual Postcard Show & Talk – at the U&D Train Station. MTHS campus. Food will be available. The MTHS will also be selling ephemera from its attic in a special sale. A $3 entry fee will be charged at the door.
Oct. 10 (Sat.) 9 a.m. – 7th Annual Hikefest – Join us for a fun day, as part of the larger Catskills “Lark in the Park”. Hikes/Walks in the morning to several destinations followed by lunch and entertainment. Stay tuned to our website and Facebook page for more information. $ 8 per person for lunch.
MTHS does not require membership for hike participation however, we encourage you to join as a member or make a donation to the MTHS to support our programs. We do request that you register for each hike or program as indicated.
Instructions for registration - Participants can register on the contacts page of our website www.mths.org or by calling (518) 589-6657. Please leave your name, phone number, # in your party, and day of hike or program. Schedule subject to change. The latest information is available on our web site http://www.mths.org. Notification of changes, including cancellations due to weather will be made on the web site up to the day of any given hike.
Do You Think That's Thunder?
The Society’s Puppet theater has hosted the story of Rip Van Winkle since it was built for us by the Platte Clove Community in 2007. Modeled after the Punch and Judy style theater used at Rip’s Retreat in the 1950’s it has been standing outside our train station summer and winter for twelve years and was showing serious signs of wear and decay. By this summer it had become unusable.
That has changed. Board member Dick Haines, took the initiative to oversee it’s restoration. Board Member George Haines replaced all of the decaying wood with weather resistant materials and Dick called on the Platte Clove Community to repaint it.
According to Dick:
Our puppet theater hasn't looked this good since the day it was put there. Our thanks to Reseph, his daughter and his sister, Leon and two of his children. They did a great job. My thanks to Joann who stopped by to give them a well deserved pat on the back.
Now, thanks to all involved we can expect to see and hear the Rip Van Winkle story each summer for many more summers at our summer events.
Do you think that’s thunder?
Thanks to our 2021 business sponsors:
Brookside B&B, P.C., Bruce Feml, Central Hudson, Craig Bates Trucking & Excavating Inc, Gordon Hunter Mountain Realty, The Mansion House at Alfie's, Messina's Restaurant Inc, Mountain Propane Inc, Pancho Villas Mexican Restaurant, Pure Mountain Yoga, Snow Bird Ski Shop, Thorpe GMC Inc., Tops Friendly Market, Warfield Logging, Wellness Rx LLC, Woodstock School of Art
The links below will open a new window. Use your browser's back arrow to return to MTHS
2021 MTHS Business Sponsors
Brookside Bed & Breakfast
Craig Bates Trucking & Excavating Inc
Gordon Hunter Mountain Realty
The Mansion House at Alfie's,
Messina's Restaurant Inc,
Mountain Propane Inc
Pancho Villa’s Restaurant
Pure Mountain Yoga
Snow Bird Ski Shop
The Mansion House at Alfie’s
Thorpe Contracting Inc.
Thorpe GMC Inc.
Tops Friendly Market
Wellness Rx LLC
Woodstock School of Art
2020 Hikes and Events Are in the works.
We hope to explore:
- Prohibition in the Catskills
- The Catskill Forest - with two different talks by well known experts
- Walk in the footsteps of Sanford Robinson Gifford to find where he set his easel.
- Tannersville's Jewish History
- Other events - Catskill Ramble, Lark in the Park, Hikefest and other hikes and walks.
In the meantime the 2019 schedule below will give you an idea of our activities.
2019 Hikes and Events
April 14th (Sun) :Hike Mountain Top Arboretum. Spring has sprung! Meet MTHS hike leader, Nancy Allen, at the Mountain Top Arboretum at 1:00 p.m. for a spring walk through the flora waking up to a new season. The easy walk will be around trip of about 3 ½ miles going from the Arboretum to the trails on the Hathaway property and back via the marsh. The exact route will be determined by the conditions on the day of the hike. Choose footwear that will keep your feet dry.
5/12/2019 Update: Fourteen enthusiastic hikers spent the morning and early afternoon of a picture-perfect day sharing, discovering and interpreting new details about the structure and operation of the Hotel Kaaterskill. It couldn't have been done without the NYS Dept. of Conservation's stewardship of the land, the Free Library of Philadelphia's preservation and sharing of the 1883 survey of the property, and George M. Harding's gift of his collection of unique photos of the hotel. Thanks to all.
June 8 (Sat) South Mountain by the historic Direct Path. To honor the gift of an original Catskill Mountain House hiking stick donated by Kathy (Van Schaack) Boyer and Peggy (Van Schaack) Phillips, we will take a popular 19th Century path from the Mountain House site on Pine Orchard to sites on South Mountain. This now unusual route will pass through the first ledge on South Mountain (sometimes called the Lemon Squeezer) take a short detour to Druid Rocks, pass through Puddingstone Hall, and reach the state trail at Bootjack Rock. Once on the modern trail, we will see the lookout called the Sphinx, walk on to "Bowlder" Rock and offer optional excursion through Fat Man’s Delight to the Natural Bridge.
The pristine CMH walking stick joins our other walking stick from the Hotel Kaaterskill which was donated to MTHS by the Mohonk Barn Museum. The new gift is in too fine a condition to risk carrying it through the whole walk, but we will bring it to Pine Orchard for an official presentation. The hike is considered Easy to Moderate with a short bushwhack. We will provide an easier alternative route along the state trail to Bowlder Rock but missing the sites before we reach the modern trail. Meet at 9:00 am at the MTHS campus wear appropriate shoes for hiking bring lunch and water. Return mid afternoon.
Some additional notes on this hike:
We're calling this hike easy to moderate but, because the first part is on an unmarked path through rarely trodden woods, it will involve a few short but steep hills and a few waist-high ledges that may require a hand up for inexperienced hikers. We may get a bit dirty and I recommend wearing sturdy clothing including long pants as well as appropriate shoes. We will take the trail at a comfortable pace for all hikers and will stop to see sites that have been enjoyed by vacationing hikers for more than 195 years. This will be fun and I encourage most hikers not to miss an opportunity to see how 19th century vacationers explored the grounds of the Catskill Mountain House.
July 7,(Sunday) 2019 at 4 PM – 8 PM Join us for an evening soiree with Kim Hawkey and Band to celebrate the rich history of the Catskills. The event will take place at the historic Haines Falls Train Depot. Look forward to refreshments and hors d'oeuvres in the train station and a performance by Kim Hawkey with music from and inspired by the Catskills.
Proceeds from the "Song of the Catskills will benefit the Mountain Top Historic Society and go towards the maintenance and repair of the train station.
Kim Hawkey is an accomplished musician whose music harkens back to times past and is the perfect artist to help celebrate and support the work of the Mountain Top Historic Society.
July 13 (Sat) 10:00 a.m. MTHS will hold its Annual Meeting at the Train Station. Members of the MTHS are invited to attend.
Note: We will not be descending into Platte Clove. Most of the hike is along the trail toward Overlook Mountain and visiting the quarry at Codfish Point with a possible bushwhack to a quarry on Plattekill Mountain.
July 26 (Fri) 7:00 p.m. The Justine L. Hommel Memorial Lecture – Talk about Hudson River School Artist Sanford Robinson Gifford by Peter Jung at Twilight Park Clubhouse. For the past 27 years Peter Jung has owned a gallery at #512 Warren St. in Hudson, NY featuring traditional American paintings. During that time he has handled many examples of the Hudson River school of art (1825- 1875), a style of painting that is an important part of our national heritage. Jung has served on the Board of Directors at the Olana Partnership, the Hudson Opera House, the Hudson Planning Commission, and the Friends of Hudson. In recent years he has restored the family gravesite of the great artist Sanford Robinson Gifford (1823-1880), who is at rest in the Hudson City Cemetery. The slideshow features 70 images, and will be followed by a question-and-answer conversation.
- Hike # 1: Rip Van Winkle Hike – Join geologist Bob Titus in a moderate, 2 mile hike to Sunset Rock above North Lake. Along the way he will point out Devonian stratigraphy and Ice Age history while telling the tale of Rip Van Winkle, stopping at sites that closely match those described by Washington Irving. Meet at KRT Parking Lot at 9 am to car pool to North Lake
- Hike # 2: Historic Survey of North-South Lake – The area of North-South Lake has been home to various business, railroad, and recreational sites. Pete Senterman and Paul LaPierre will lead this easy 2 mile journey with possible side trip to the Catskill Mountain House Site. Meet at KRT Parking Lot at 9 am to car pool to North Lake.
- Hiike # 3: Elka Park Colosseum: Join Nancy Allen on this easy to moderate 3 ½ mile hike through the historic community of Elka Park along a dirt road to the Park’s Colosseum (reservoir). Meet at the KRT Parking Lot at 9 am to car pool to Elka Park.
- Hike # 4: Sphinx Rock and the Sofa on Prospect Mountain – Bob Gildersleeve will lead this approximately 2.5 mile easy to moderate hike starting from MTHS’ s U&D train station partially following along the Kaaterskill Rail Trail and using old woods roads and a short bushwhack to the ledge above Molly Smith’s parking area. Here we will look down on the location of Sphinx Rock. Nearby is a natural bench once called the sofa, and a unique view taking in Kaaterskill Clove, Kaaterskill Falls, and across the clove, Kaaterskill High Peak and Round Top. A natural ramp can take us to the ledge on which the Sphinx rests for a close-up view. If hikers wish, we may also have time to visit the platform at Kaaterskill Falls and be back for the BBQ at 1:00. Meet at the MTHS’s U&D Train Station at 9 am.
To our hikers:
The 2017 hiking schedule can be found at: http://mths.org/hikes.html or by selecting the Hikes link under the Interpret section in the side menus. As always, hikes are subject to change. Please check this site just prior to the date of any scheduled hike.
Thanks to the Kaaterskill Rail Trail Facebook Page for posting this notice.
Please everyone stay on the marked trail, do not cut across the private land to access the trail from MTHS. Please follow Trail up North Lake Road to Featherbed down to the rail trail.
The last section is in the process of being acquired by the Mountain Top Historical Society however it is still PRIVATE LAND, please respect the private land owners and their property.
The grand opening for the new final section connecting Kaaterskill Falls with the MTHS Campus will be opening on May 20th- more details to follow.
Thank you everyone for you help and cooperation in this matter.
Mountain Top Historical Society
2018 Hike & Event Preliminary Schedule
Check back here at our website for any last minute changes in our schedule as the hikes & events that interest you approach.
April 14 (Sat) Colgate Lake and Colgate Family Homestead. Join Moe Lemire, New York State licensed guide, for a hike to explore the old Colgate Family Homestead. Walk around Colgate Lake during this easy 3 mile round trip excursion. Meet at the MTHS parking area at 9:00 a.m. and return around 1:00 p.m. This is a fundraiser event for MTHS - $10 suggested donation.
April 22 (Sunday) Celebrate Earth Day with the MTHS. Explore Sloan Gorge and Snake Rocks, two Woodstock Land Conservancy Preserves. Hike with Catskill Geology Prof. Robert Titus in the picturesque hidden Sloan Gorge canyon (1.5 miles). Explore an interpreted trail of distinctive Catskill geological features. If there is enough time and interest, an optional hike to Snake Rocks Preserve (1.5 miles) will be coordinated by MTHS VP Adrienne Larys. Snake Rocks is an enchanting mountain top bluestone quarry with panoramic views of the Catskills. Meet at the MTHS Visitors’ Center at 8:30 a.m. for carpooling, or meet at the Sloan Gorge parking area at 9:30 a.m. (2195 Stoll Road). Parking is very limited at both Preserves and carpooling is encouraged. No dogs please at the WLC request for these hikes. Rating: Moderate — rough ground with a few steep sections and rock scrambles.
May 5 (Sat) Campus Clean-up Day 9:00 a.m. - the Mountain Top Historical Society will emerge from its annual winter hibernation into the sunlight of another exciting season of hikes, programs, and special events. A thorough cleaning needs to be done in the Visitors' Center, in the Train Station, and around the grounds. The more volunteers we have there, the quicker the chores will be completed. Looking forward to seeing you then and throughout the summer.
May 12 (Sat) Rochester Hollow Walk 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Led by New York State licensed guide Moe Lemire, Explore the old Homestead, 5.60 miles, difficulty: moderate, meet at the parking area on Matyas Road in Shandaken, this is a fundraiser event for MTHS - $10 suggested donation
May 19th (Sat) Annual Spring Fling - 'Robert Selkowitz - Presentation will be in the Ulster & Delaware Railroad Station on the MTHS campus on NYS rt. 23A in Haines Falls, NY at 7:00 p.m. Car Clubs will be contacted and invited to a Cruise-In beginning at 6:00 p.m. The presentation will include the history of the 1903 run and the birth of macadam stone road building in New York State, as well as mention of the 1908 motorcycle endurance run which came up the Mountain Top. Robert Selkowitz is an artist, his book A Painter's Path through the Catskill Mountains features a series of maps showing where the 50 pastel landscapes in the book were painted. He has been active in the Catskill Region for more than 40 years. Come on over for the first presentation of the 2018 season, our Annual Spring Fling! We are requesting a $5.00 per person donation for the talk. The money we collect goes to Building and Grounds maintenance.
May 26 (Sat) - Tory Fort. Led by Rick Brooks. In 1975, as a Bicentennial Project, MTHS worked with Ed West, Buck Farrell, and our hike leader, Rick Brooks, who led an Edward G. West Associates mapping and survey crew. We visited and West Associates then mapped the location of Tory Fort. The fort was more accurately a small holding area where Native Americans associated with Joseph Brant (seen here in a painting by Gilbert Steward in the collection of the Fenimore Art Museum) held captured Hudson Valley settlers before a long trip to the British headquarters at Fort Niagara where the settlers were turned over for profit. Meet at the Mountain Top Historical Society Visitors' Center at 9:00 am. The hike should be considered moderate to difficult with some bushwhacking. We expect to return by 3:00 pm
In a recent email Rick gives this update on the route. Leaving from Byrne Road hiking an existing woods/mill road to the intersection of Canda Creek and the Forest Preserve line then hiking the 1000-1500 feet to the Fort site. [The] hike ... would allow us to travel through interesting abandoned agricultural fields, a few different forest types, explore the former Holtz Railroad and its associated mill, and experience the Canda Creek. Our meeting place and time hasn't changed - 9:00 am at the Visitors Center Rt. 23A Haines Falls
Thanks to Rick and Patti Brooks and Bert Winne who led our successful hike to Tory Fort. Rick led the 1976 crew who surveyed the location Bert drew the original survey map. Both returned to the spot 42 years later.
June 2 (Sat) Dedication – Justine Hommel Highway – 11:00 a.m. on the lawn of the Visitors' Center - Come join the MTHS in honoring Catskill Mountain icon Justine Hommel and celebrate the dedication of the entrance to Kaaterskill Clove, Route 23A as the Justine L. Hommel Memorial Highway. With the sponsorship and great efforts of Assemblyman Peter Lopez and Senator George Amedore, the New York State Assembly and Senate passed bills that officially memorialize Justine’s contributions to New York State and Greene County history. The "Justine L. Hommel Memorial Highway" will be a constant reminder of Ms. Hommel's remarkable contributions to the mountaintop region of Greene County and her life-long dedication to enhancing and preserving the natural splendor of the Catskill Mountains landscape.
June 9 (Sat) Historic Harding Road Walk 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Led by New York State licensed guide Moe Lemire, 7.60 miles round trip, difficulty: moderate, meet at the MTHS Kaaterskill Rail Trail parking lot, this is a fundraiser event for MTHS - $10 suggested donation
June 22 (Fri) Bill Horne Presentation - The Improbable Community – 7:00 p.m. in the Ulster & Delaware Train Station. In 1939, a group of idealists inspired by the spirit of New Deal reform put their vision of American democracy into practice by creating Camp Woodland, a racially and ethnically inclusive summer camp for city kids located in the Catskill Mountains of New York. The camp’s innovative programs profoundly influenced campers for 24 summers from 1939 through 1962. Bill was a camper at Camp Woodland from 1950 through 1960. The impact of his experience at Camp Woodland was one of his primary motivations for writing The Improbable Community.
July 7 (Sat) Annual Meeting. The MTHS will hold its Annual Meeting at 10:00 a.m. at the Train Station. All members of the MTHS are invited to attend.
July 13 (Fri) Hotel Kaaterskill: an Illustrated Presentation by George Harding and Bob Gildersleeve – 7:00 pm in the Ulster & Delaware Train Station. George Harding, great-great grandson of the original owner of the Hotel Kaaterskill has generously donated approximately 50 photographs of the Hotel Kaaterskill, its grounds and out-buildings. The photos were apparently taken in preparation for the sale of the property. George and Bob have been making a careful study of the photos which include interior views of the billiard room, bowling alley, kitchen, theater, a guest room and other surprises. Included is the only photo we’ve ever seen of the wood frame hotel laundry. Further details to be announced.
July 14 (Sat) Hike to Hotel Kaaterskill Site – 9:00 am – mid afternoon. In connection with the presentation on July 13, join George Harding, Art Fries and Paul LaPierre on a two-part hike and exploration of the grounds of the Hotel Kaaterskill and its Laundry. There are still some open questions that we will try to resolve. Exactly where did the laundry building stand? How many people did it employ? What was the function of the extant stone building sometimes referred to as the Wash House? The morning session will concentrate on the Laundry area. Immediately following the morning session we will climb the carriage road to the Hotel site where we will stop to eat (bring your lunch) and explore the grounds looking to identify the sites seen in the newly acquired photographs. The hike should be considered Easy (morning) to Moderate (afternoon or full hike). Meet 9:00 am at the Mountain Top Historical Society 5132 Route 23A Haines Falls, Kaaterskill Rail Trail parking lot.
July 28 (Sat) The Justine L. Hommel 3rd Annual Memorial Lecture: Talk by Vernon Benjamin 7:00 p.m. at Twilight Park Clubhouse. Vernon is the author of "The History of the Hudson River Valley: From Wilderness to the Civil War" and "The History of the Hudson River Valley: From the Civil War to Modern Times".
Aug. 4 (Sat) Wittenberg Mountain Hike – Canceled Led by New York State licensed guide Moe Lemire. See a part of the Catskill very view get to see and search for the historic "Boy Scout Cave." This 10.3 Mile Round Trip hike will meet at Woodland Valley Parking at 9am. Bring a bagged lunch, water and wear appropriate hiking shoes for this difficult hike returning by 5pm. there will be a $10 fee to benefit the Mountain Top Historic Society.
Aug. 25 (Sat) Rip’s Country Bazaar/Open House – The MTHS campus will be filled with tents full of vendors: craftspeople, antique dealers, local food products, flea market items and more. Music for toe-tapping and hand clapping will be provided by John Quinn and the 77th Regimental Balladeers. Food for fun and food for lunch will be available for purchase. The Visitors’ Center will be open for browsing maps, books, brochures, or checking out the Archives. The Ulster & Delaware Train Station will be open for a presentation by Jonathan Palmer from the Vedder Research Library of the Greene County Historical Society. There will be kites and bubbles for kids and wannabe kids. Wildflowers and grass for running around. Rip Van Winkle may even appear! It will be a beautiful day for chatting with friends and family, learning something new about local history, listening to music from the Civil War Era, finding treasures among the offerings of over 35 vendors. The excitement begins at 9:00 a.m. and continues all day! Come on over to the Mountain Top Historical Society’s campus on Route 23A in Haines Falls and join in the fun.
Sept. 15 (Sat) 7th Annual Postcard Show & Talk - 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. @ the U&D Train Station. Talk by John Duda at 2:00 p.m. Food will be available. The MTHS will also be selling ephemera from its attic in a special sale. A $3.00 entry fee will be charged at the door.
Oct. 6 – Owl Prowl Hike -A Special Addition to the Hikefest Schedule at the MTHS, October 6, 2018
An Owl Prowl/Night Hike led by Moe Lemire. This special hike will be limited to 12 people so register early!
Meet at the U & D Train Station on the MTHS campus at 7:30 p.m. Moe will give a brief talk about night hiking: safety and wonder. Depending on the size of the group and ability of the hikers there a couple of options for viewpoints as you walk along the Kaaterskill Rail Trail. Moe will lead this opportunity to listen as the forest wakes up and surrounds you with the sounds of the night. There’s hope that you’ll hear the call of an owl (no guarantee).
What you need to bring: head lamp or flashlight with fresh batteries; sturdy shoes (boots or trail runners for the inevitable mud), water, snacks, a sense of adventure and wonder.
The trail is relatively level and round trip mileage is about 3 miles. A $10 donation is requested.
MTHS does not require membership for hike participation however, we encourage you to join as a member or make a donation to the MTHS to support our work. We do request that you register for each hike. Participants can register on our contacts page or by calling (518) 589-6657. Please leave your name, phone number, and # in your party. Schedule subject to change. The latest information is available on our web site http://www.mths.org. Notification of changes, including cancellations due to weather will be made on the web site up to the day of any given hike.'
Mountain Top Historical Society 2017 Hike & Event Schedule
Check our website as the hikes & events that interest you approach.
See entry for May 20 for news on the Kaaterskill Rail Trail
May 6 (Sat) MTHS Clean-up Day The Mountain Top Historical Society will emerge from its annual winter hibernation into the sunlight of another exciting season of hikes, programs, and special events. Beginning at 9:00 a.m. we will be staging groups of willing workers around the Haines Falls campus to clear the cobwebs and clutter of winter. Please plan to join us. It is an opportunity for you to get to know more about the MTHS and to meet other community members who are involved in keeping things moving forward. A thorough cleaning needs to be done in the Visitors' Center, in the Train Station, and around the grounds. The more volunteers we have there, the quicker the chores will be completed. Check out the 2017 schedule of events on our website: www.mths.org and come out to help us prepare on May 6. Looking forward to seeing you then and throughout the summer.
May 20 (Sat) Spring Fling - Opening of the expanded Kaaterskill Rail Trail Hiking the Kaaterskill Rail Trail since it opened on June 1, 2013 has meant taking a detour from the MTHS parking lot out to Osborn Road to North Lake Road and then south on Featherbed Lane to re-join the KRT about ¾ mile from the Railroad Station.
Now, on Saturday, May 20, 2017, there will be another community celebration beginning at 10:30 a.m. This time we will mark the end of the detour and the opening of the missing link with a few speeches, a ribbon cutting, and a beautiful, delicious cake. Walkers and hikers will be able to enter the KRT along the old train route just east of the MTHS' historic Railroad Station. Read details here.
June 10 (Sat) Presentation by author/publisher Nick Lyons -- Reminiscing about the Laurel House, fishing in South Lake and Lake Creek and fly-fishing in the Catskills -- Nick Lyons is a well-known and well-respected Catskills fisherman. He began fishing during the summers he spent as a boy at the Laurel House which was owned by his grandfather Louis Bernstein and operated by his uncle and aunt Nathan and Sadie Bernstein between 1929 and 1953. 7:00 p.m. at U&D Train Station We had a very nice afternoon sharing with Nick the information that MTHS has about the Laurel House during the period from 1929 to 1953 when his family owned the property. Nick's evening presentation was exceptionally well received -- interesting, humorous, and warm. He brought his experiences at the Laurel House to life and gave us an appreciation of the sport of fly fishing.
July 14 (Fri) Presentation on Women’s Suffrage – Johanna Titus - 7pm Twilight Park Clubhouse The Centennial of Women’s Suffrage in New York: The Keystone of the Women’s Rights Movement Join author and MTHS Board Member, Johanna Titus, for an historic prospective of the Women’s Suffrage Movement. Beginning with Seneca Falls and defining an often chaotic trail, women’s suffrage in New York was not successful until it became both local and inclusive. Many full and part-time residents of Greene County were vital to the effort of establishing not only women’s suffrage in New York, but also the passage of the 19th Amendment, and advancement of Women’s Rights. Some of those women are remembered and celebrated in this short discourse.
Aug. 18 (Fri) Historical Trivia Quiz by Paul Misko Enjoy learning some little known facts about local history as contestants match wits with each other and the host. Stay afterward for dessert and informal history chatter. 7 p.m. at the U&D Train Station
Rip's Country Bazaar
Saturday August 26th
10 am to 5 pm
Mountain Top Historical Society Campus
Route 23A, Haines Falls
Fun for the Whole Family!
ANTIQUES, CRAFTS, FLEA MARKET
OVER 35 VENDORS
Live Music: 77th Regimental Balladeers
Food -- Open Archives
Ulster & Delaware Railroad Exhibit
Sept. 16 (Sat) 6th Annual Postcard Show – 10 a.m. to 3p.m. @ the U&D Train Station. Food will be available. The MTHS will also be selling ephemera from its attic in a special sale. A $3.00 entry fee will be charged at the door.
Sept. 22 (Fri) Presentation by Carolyn Bennett – Pratt’s Five Wives – 7 pm @ U&D Train Station. A unique look at the role of women and the struggle for women’s suffrage from the Colonial period through the 19th century through the lives of Congressman Zadock Pratt Jr.’s five wives, Esther Dickerman, Beda Dickerman, Abigail Watson, Mary Watson and Susie Grimm. This is also the theme of the Zadock Pratt Museum’s 2017 exhibit, which will contain quilts, period clothing & jewelry, kitchen and cleaning items, magazines, books, paintings, etc.
MTHS does not require membership for hike participation. We do however request that you register for each hike. Participants can register on our [http://www.mths.org/contact-mths.html contacts page] or by calling (518) 589-6657. Please leave your name, phone number, and # in your party. Schedule subject to change. The latest information is available on our web site [http://www.mths.org/undefined/ http://www.mths.org]. Notification of changes, including cancellations due to weather will be made on the web site up to the day of any given hike.
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