Roscoe has perhaps the best name recognition of the towns in this part of the Catskills, primarily for its long being known as "Trout Town USA", and having recently won a nationwide vote as the "Ultimate Fishing Town". It is famed for its trout fishing on both the Beaverkill River and Willowemoc Creek, which merge at Junction Pool.
I've noticed that many who don't know the Catskills at all, are nevertheless familiar with the Roscoe Diner, which they frequented on their travels back and forth to Colgate, Hamilton, Cornell, and other colleges further along the Route 17 corridor.
The town of Roscoe itself has a number of small shops, and eateries, and has recently added among its residents the Roscoe Beer Company and Prohibition Distillery. The Beaverkill Angler and Catskill Flies are the go-to shops for fishing equipment and very knowledgeable staff. I like the daily stream conditions report on the latter's site.
Livingston Manor had, until recent years, perhaps been considered the poor step-child to Roscoe. But the "town center" has really come into its own, with a distinct energy and liveliness that has made the area sought-after. Among the contributing factors is the Catskill Art Society, which is a cultural hub featuring exhibitions, classes and various events including the charming and whimsical Trout Parade in June.
It's always fun to stop into Willow and Brown, and see what great new gifts, housewares or clothing Carolin has sourced for her shop, while Main Street Farm brings the best of local and/or organic food to market. From tasty sandwiches, to the fruits of local farmers' labors, you'll want to linger. Brandenburg Bakery is a charming spot for good coffee and great breads, pastries and sweets. Active types will find a lot to love at Lisa Lyons's Morgan Outdoors, which also hosts yoga and pilates classes.
With the Willowemoc flowing through the heart of the town, "The Manor" also has fishing cred, boasting a number of fly fishing clubs, not to mention the Catskill Fly Fishing Center & Museum, which pays homage to the rich history of fishing in this area (the nearby Neversink River is the birthplace of American fly fishing).
• The Catskill Brewery opened in 2014 to rave reviews, in a super-cool LEED Certified building in Livingston Manor. Grab a couple growlers or stay for a pint and meet some great folks.
Our area of Upstate New York is graced with some of the best trout fishing in the Northeast, and the most hallowed of the local rivers is the Beaverkill, which tumbles, riffles and glides through the Beaverkill Valley, and is omnipresent in Lew Beach itself. I can tell you from first hand experience the Wulff School of Fly Fishing, in scenic Lew Beach, is a a great way learn the sport, or to hone your skills.
The hamlet of Lew Beach is a bit of an enigma; stunningly picturesque, the valley floor is dotted with green-trimmed white farmhouses and rocking chair porches sometimes draped with waders hung out to dry. In the 1980s, Laurance Rockefeller fell in love with the area, and turned his conservationist's eye toward preserving the land, which he purchased in abundance, and has subsequently been selling to conservationally like-minded folks. These lots carry easements and restrictions that provide access to members of the Mountain Club for hiking, biking, x-country skiing and the like. There is a strong dedication to maintaining view sheds, so properties are not only not visible to their neighbors (that includes their outdoor lighting), but neither from distant trails, so that the outdoor experience can be preserved with as little sign of man's presence as possible.
The Beaverkill Valley Inn is both open to the public, and also serves as a club house of sorts to members of the Mountain Club and the exclusive Stream Club. The latter, with its very limited membership (fewer than 70), enjoys unfettered access to five miles of spectacular private fishing water, including the dramatic Beaverkill Falls. Membership in these clubs often transfers with properties that have been part of Rockefeller's conservation project, which is a substantial part of this Lew Beach area.
View our sister company's vacation rentals business, Red Cottage Inc.
Rolling River Café Gallery and Inn, in Parksville (25 Cooley Rd) is a winner. Their bijou restaurant features fresh fare prepared by Rob Rayevsky in a fun, friendly atmosphere that has everyone I’ve sent, returning almost immediately. Their outdoor seating, with strings of lights through the trees and charming café tables (including a private, romantic spot along the river), has a European feel, and is so alluring you’ll want to bring your fleeces and extend the season as long as possible. Call for schedule 845-747-4123.
Here’s a great link describing various trails nearby:
The closest downhill skiing is at Belleayre Mountain in Highmount, NY.
Bethel Woods Center for the Arts is an outstanding addition to Sullivan Co., located on the site of the famous 1969 concert. It is an exquisite outdoor concert venue with spectacular farmland views, and now a new museum dedicated to the concert.