Margaretville, New York

A back-country playground for grown-ups in the Catskills.
Block Island, Rhode Island
Ocean Grove/Asbury Park, N.J.
Cape May, New Jersey
Great Barrington, Mass.
Salisbury, Connecticut
Milford, Pennsylvania
Mount Desert Island, Maine
Margaretville, New York
Green pastures: Scene around the Margaretville Mountain Inn


It's a warm summer evening, you're pleasantly fatigued from a hard day's fly-fishing, and now you're kicking back on the porch looking out over rolling hills and a country road far in the distance. If this is more your style than baking on the beach all day, wondering where your next mojito is coming from, then Margaretville, the center of activity in Eastern Delaware County -- and the only town with a supermarket -- might be for you. You won't find much activity: The sidewalk café has only a handful of seats, and there aren't any nightclubs. "We've got the only streetlight in a 30-mile radius," says Gretchen Goth, a longtime resident. "If you need to go to the movies, it's an hour away." But then, surrounded by hiking trails, trout streams, swimming holes, waterfalls, and reservoirs, who wants to go to the movies?

Lay of the Land: Located on the northwestern edge of the Catskill Park, where forest gives way to farmland and the Delaware River, Margaretville is surrounded by quiet hamlets. None of which are much more than a convenience store and a gas station. But they, too, are starting to attract summer visitors. "We always called Margaretville the Soho of Delaware County," says broker Susan Doig. "Now some people are starting to call New Kingston 'Tribeca.' "

Things To Do: A summer in Delaware County's a lot like camp: You'll want hiking boots, riding boots, a compass, and a gallon of bug spray. And you can leave your Eres bikinis at home -- ponds, not pools, are the dips of choice. (In fact, as Dennis Metnick, a local real-estate lawyer, puts it: "Many people up here think a pool actually lowers the value of a property, and they tear them out.") Other local pastimes include trout fishing in the mountains, floating down Esopus Creek on an inner tube, or hurtling down a 3,500-foot drop at Plattekill. Still pining for the beach? Stretch out your towel on the sand strip at the man-made lake at the base of Belleayre Mountain in Pine Hill. In the evening, wind down at the Belleayre Summer Music Festival, held outdoors on the ski slopes in July and August.

Talk of the Town: It's been three years since developer Dean Gitter announced his plans to build two golf courses on the edges of Margaretville, but it's still a hot topic, pitting those who prize their pastoral views against a handful of local politicians. But the weekend crowd has wrought some good: Locals are thrilled with the arrival of an Italian grocery store on Main Street. "Sure, there's a market for it," says Karen Sacks, owner of an office-supply shop in Margaretville. "We needed bread up here!"

Social Life: The main social scene in "these parts," as locals call the area, consists of salt-of-the-earth types who gather at night in Margaretville's Village Pub or the Round Barn farmers' market. Knowing them won't land you many cocktail-party invites, but it will come in handy when you need, say, someone to plow your drive.

Property Values: Houses here rarely sell for more than $400,000 -- and those that do are usually attached to dozens of acres of land (typically a combination of woods and meadows, with a few streams, ponds, and barns to boot). The majority of homes fall in the $200,000-to-$300,000 range and sell fast. "Inventory's my biggest problem," says Doig. "Second-home owners now account for 70 percent in some areas." Renting here will run you anywhere from $1,000 per month (for a tiny streamside cottage) to four times that for a week at Sunset View Farm, a 220-acre property in Bovina; $10,000 will get you a very well-appointed home with a swimming pond in the Belleayre-Margaretville-Andes area for the entire summer.

Recommended Realtors: For sales, Coldwell Banker Timberland's Susan Doig (845-586-3321) and Ron Guichard (845-676-3600), Belleayre Realty (845-254-4111), Rosemount Real Estate (845-254-5454), and Frank Lumia Real Estate Plus (845-586-4486). For rentals, try Ed Ludde, who handles most of the area's seasonal listings (845-586-4227). Also check

Weekend Visits: The motel-style rooms at the recently restored Andes Hotel (845-676-4408; rooms from $50) won't thrill you, but its restaurant, with a menu heavy on Bovina beef, Esopus trout, and other local ingredients, is one of the best in the area. For spectacular views and antiques-filled rooms, try the Margaretville Mountain Inn, just a few minutes from town (845-586-3933 or; rooms from $75).

Back to Summer Getways 2002
Photos by the Margaretville Mountain Inn.
From the June 3, 2002 issue of New York Magazine.