a weekend in the catskills

Foxfire mountain house

After many months of tireless work, Coulton and I decided that we were in desperate need of a weekend away from New York City. We'd had too many restless nights of sirens, car engine noises, and the ceaseless glow of computer and phone screens in the late hours of the evening. In a last minute decision, after convincing Colt to play hooky on a Friday, we took off for a long weekend in the Catskills.

We took a train to Jersey, rented a car, and took a two hour drive north into upstate New York. Bob Dylan and the Bowerbirds played on the radio, sun setting, as we meandered up to the Catskills.

We arrive at the foxfire mountain house, a sleepy, idyllic inn in Mount Tremper. As we unload our bags from the car, we see the soft, golden glow of firelight pouring from the windows and the unmistakeable, comforting smell of wood fire smoke drifting on the cold evening breeze.

We drop our bags off in our room on the third story, climbing dark wood stairs lined with brightly colored tile on our way up. The room is clean and bright, with soft linen sheets. A small cluster of ladybugs cling to the corner of the window, basking in the light.

While the rooms are lovely and inviting, it's the communal spaces that lend to the homey, welcoming atmosphere of foxfire. A centuries old stone fireplace stretches to the ceiling, around which the inn's guests curl up and talk into the night, glasses of wine, scotch, and bourbon in hand. A vinyl record plays in the background, filling brief lulls in conversation with melody. Around midnight, wine bottles empty and fire smoldering, we trudge up the stairs and collapse into bed, curled together under the soft white linen blankets.

After a night of the most restful sleep we'd had in ages, Coulton and I made our way downstairs for breakfast, served up at 8 in the morning by Foxfire's owner, Tim. A mouthwatering assortment of freshly baked apple bread, frittata topped with salty melted cheese, sliced pineapple, and cucumber watermelon radish salad was laid out on the concrete slab countertop. We piled up our plates, poured some hot coffee, and enjoyed our breakfast before sitting on the Moroccan tiled veranda to finish the remainder of our coffee.

After breakfast, we layer up with sweaters and hop into the car, making our way to Overlook Trail for a morning of hiking in the crisp, cold mountain air. The path winds upward, lined with large mossy rocks and little streams filling with melted ice and snow. We hike about two miles up and come to the remains of an abandoned hotel. Crumbled stone, concrete, and rusted, twisting rebar greet us as we cautiously climb around the ruins, dappled in the late morning light.

After the hotel ruins, we hiked another half mile up to the Overlook Cliffs. We climbed up the treacherous fire tower, our hands clinging to the freezing metal railings as we ascended. After a precarious climb back down, we posted up at the top of the cliffs for a few minutes, taking in the view of the Catskills that unfolded beneath us. The sun was warm on our faces as we sat on the rocks, which were carved up with inscriptions from past hikers.

A view from the Overlook Cliffs

After our hike, we hopped back in the car and took a five minute drive to the sleepy little town of Woodstock, which had an eclectic mix of shops and restaurants. We ate some lunch, strolled around, and enjoyed a couple ice cream cones. Butter pecan for me, cappuccino for Coulton.

After Woodstock, we relaxed back at Foxfire. Tim had set out cookies and drinks, so we enjoyed some white wine and snacks curled up on the couch, listening to records, talking and laughing until dinnertime.

At 7:30, after enjoying a nice wine and cheese spread Tim had laid out, we had dinner at a popular local restaurant, Peekamoose. The food was incredible, and we shared it in the company of some newfound friends, who recommended that we stop by the Ashokan reservoir on the way home.

We returned to Foxfire for our last night, bellies full and eyes barely open. We fell asleep almost instantly, snuggled up, warm, and happy. The next morning, we sat down to another delicious breakfast prepared for us by Tim, and as per recommendation, we drove past the Ashokan reservoir on our way back home.

The reservoir was peaceful and beautiful, and made for a great closing to our trip.

We deeply loved our time in the Catskills, and as we drove back to the bustle of the city, we knew it wouldn't be long until we came back to this place.

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