Woodstock and Bethel get all the love (especially since that little event in 1969), but nearby Margaretville, pop 596, offers a lot of the same weekend pleasures—proximity to hiking, camping, and fishing—with less patchouli. It has the things you want in a small village, like sweet restaurants and galleries. (Also, says broker Frank Lumia, it has Freshtown, the only good supermarket for miles, set to reopen soon.) It’s just recovering from last summer’s Hurricane Irene flooding—though now that everything’s dried out and fixed, renters are arriving in larger numbers to look over the place before buying. It’s working, too: According to HomeAway.com, inquiries about Margaretville properties are up 184 percent in the first three months of 2012.
The Pepacton Reservoir will allow nonmotorized boating (kayaks, rowboats, sailboats) for the first time this year. In nearby Belleayre, a 739-acre golf resort is in development.
A 2,500-square-foot, three-bedroom, two-bath mountain home on five acres owned by a couple that rented it for years and fell in love with it (pictured above).
Cost: Weekly: $1,100; Monthly: $3,100
Pluses: The views east and west are nothing short of phenomenal, and the house is close to a popular trout stream and hiking spot.
Minuses: No pool, though there’s a hot tub.
Agent: Via homeaway.com; listing No. 374852.
A one-bed, one-bath cottage.
Cost: Weekly: $375–$475; Monthly: $550–$1,400
Pluses: Woodsy views and a nice-size deck out back.
Minuses: Not for large groups or inviting friends to stay; sleeps only two.
Agent: Via homeaway.com; listing No. 325734.
A Perfect Day
Begin with a bike ride around the bucolic Pepacton Reservoir, and then settle in at downtown’s 768 Main for coffee and a cream puff. Then hit Brookside for gardening necessities, and grab a burger and fries at the popular local Summerfields restaurant. On your way home, stop at the Pakatakan Farmers’ Market on Route 30 for produce, fresh trout, or grass-fed beef with which to make dinner. On a summer Saturday, hop in the car and head for Roxbury, eleven miles away, to watch a game of re-created 1890s baseball in Kirkside Park. After dinner, head back to the village for drinks at the cozy Swiss-French restaurant Binnekill Square. Ask for seating by the river.