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Enjoy a Spring Fling in the Great Western Catskills

posted by Delaware County at 2023-03-31 19:19:00

The shift from winter to spring in Delaware County is full of energy. The rivers are rushing with the winter melt, trees are beginning to bud, daffodils and crocuses are appearing from the ground and everyone starts spending more time outside. This chapter of the year is special for many reasons but one of our favorites is that the trees are mostly leafless. This gives every view a little more depth and when looking in the woods at just the right angle, you can see stone walls-built decades ago to keep grazing dairy cows on pasture.

Another reason to love spring is for fishing. Spring fishing  is a celebrated pastime in the Great Western Catskills and is in full swing every year starting April 1st. Delaware County is known to be the birthplace of modern fly fishing since the mid 1800’s due to the variety of trout and the diversity of the waters, which includes ponds, lakes, streams and expansive rivers. This is a pastime to be enjoyed with a group of friends, with your children, or a solo adventure for solitude in the great outdoors. (Photo: West Branch Angler)

Some of the best areas for fishing are the West and East Branch of the Delaware River. Hancock and Deposit, NY, offer great river side accommodations like the Bass Cabin Rentals. The kind people at  East Branch Outfitters  can pair lodging with a fly-fishing introduction or guided boat tours, to create a wonderful package deal. West Branch Anglers Resort  is located on 300 acres of land, has a restaurant on site and can provide boat rentals and a thorough fishing report. If you are bringing the whole family, River Bend House  is a great home rental located on the East Branch. When you need a break from fishing, go shopping at Kaybirds  and All Sorts  in downtown Hancock. These shops have surprising finds from books to retro gifts, herbal apothecary items and souvenirs. And if you forgot any outdoor gear, visit Marino’s Outdoor World.

For fishing on the Pepacton Reservoir and to fish further down on the East Branch, head to Downsville, NY. Al’s Sport Store  offers lodging, canoe rentals, and will provide you with all the information and gear you need to be on your way. The Schoolhouse Inn and Restaurant  has one of the best burgers in Delaware County made with fresh beef from the Inn’s farm. (Photo: Al's Sports Store)

Along with fishing, we have a few highly recommended spring hikes. The snow has melted, making the rustic road to Mt. Utsayantha  and Mt. Utsayantha Fire Tower  in Stamford, NY accessible to four-wheel drive vehicles and hikers. There is parking part way up, so the curious few without the four-wheel drive, can hike the mile long out-and-back trail to enjoy the astounding 360 view from the top of the restored fire tower. Mt. Utsayantha is a dog friendly park and so is Mountain Dog Cafe  in downtown Stamford. Before your trip to the tower, pick up a sandwich at the cafe and enjoy your lunch at one of the many picnic tables at the top of Mt. U.

Venture back into downtown Stamford and purchase screen printed Catskill Mountain merchandise and locally made knives and gifts from the tasteful and fun Catskill Outpost. While you are in Stamford and working up an appetite, visit the newly opened and delicious Half Acre Restaurant  for dinner. (Photo: Catskill Outpost)

A great hike to take advantage of in the shoulder season is the Bramley Mountain Trail  in Delhi, NY. This trail is a 4-mile loop that passes through an abandoned blue slate quarry, past small caves and leads to open, expansive views. After your hike, pick up a sandwich from the historic Russell’s General Store  in Bovina Center or head to the Hidden Inn  for a meal at their bar or dining room. (Photo: Bramley Mountain Trail)

This time of year brings about many special wonders. The fishing and hiking and all the wildlife witnessed along the way. The white tail deer will soon be having their spotted fawns, birds will be nesting and the only way to witness it is to get out there! Delaware County offers many ways to be in the middle of it all. Plan your Spring with us in the Great Western Catskills.

All Photos Courtesy of Delaware County, NY.

posted at: 2023-03-31 19:19:00, last updated: 2023-04-05 13:00:18

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