River to Mountain Driving Tour
From a Ukrainian Grazhda by the side of the Hudson River in Greene County, to New York’s “Mount Rushmore,” the River to Mountain Driving Tour covers 92 miles and offers a glimpse into the region’s past while enjoying the unparalleled views of the present. Stop by the Five State Lookout on your way to Windham to see most of the states in New England from one vantage point
The River to Mountain regions of Greene County showcase some of the most breathtaking scenery and offer side trips to places of incredible cultural importance. Begin your trip at the Greene County Visitor’s Center in Leeds. From here, head to the town of East Durham, NY. Known as the “Emerald Isle of the Catskills,” this is the place for craic – or a good time! Stop by Guaranteed Irish to grab an authentic souvenir or head to the Michael J. Quill Sports & Cultural Centre for one of their Irish festivals or simply to visit the 200-year-old Donegal cottage that was transported across the ocean to the Catskills. The Siuslaw Model Forest in Cairo is a must-stop. Managed by Cornell Cooperative Extension, two miles of trails meander through forests where new techniques for forest and vegetative management are being tested, such as fungus-resistant Chestnut trees.
From East Durham, drive to East Windham and the Five State Lookout. Located on an unassuming pull-off on Route 23, views of the White Mountains in New Hampshire, the Green Mountains in Vermont, the Berkshire Mountains in Massachusetts, and the Helderberg Mountains of New York and the Connecticut Valley are visible. It’s a great place to catch a sunset as well. Continue into the town of Windham, where Windham Mountain dominates the skyline. In winter, the mountain and the Windham Adventure Park offer alpine fun for the whole family. In summer, Windham Mountain Bike Park offers lift-accessed downhill mountain biking, as well as lessons and rentals for all abilities. At the Windham Country Club, play a game of golf with incredible views of the Catskill Mountains as your backdrop.
From Windham, head to Hunter and the Catskill Mountain Foundation’s Doctorow Center for the Arts which houses the Piano Performance Museum. The museum’s collection showcases four centuries of piano designs, including the kind of piano Mozart would have played. Hunter Mountain is nearby, offering great alpine skiing and riding in winter and ziplining on the longest, fastest, and highest zipline canopy tour in North America at New York Zipline Canopy Tours.
From Hunter, continue your driving tour to Jewett where you will find the architectural wonder St. John the Baptist Ukrainian Catholic Church and Grazhda. The wood-carved basilica was constructed without the use of nails. The church was designed by Ivan Zhukovsky in 1962 and dedicated to those who have committed their lives to the struggle for freedom. The church is open to the public for concerts, craft workshops, and more.
From Jewett, head to Prattsville. Named for the town’s founder, Zadock Pratt, Prattsville’s main attraction is Pratt Rock. This short but steep hike offers rewarding views and a bit of historical context. Pratt was an early settler in Greene County who found his way into the New York House of Representatives after a career as a tanner and a banker. At the height of his success, he commissioned a stone carver to carve his achievements into the rocks rising above the town. Wear sturdy shoes and enjoy the hike and history lesson.
From Prattsville, take a scenic drive to Haines Falls where North-South Lake State Campground offers camping and access to some of the Catskill Park’s most popular hiking trails. Grab a day pass or spend the night under the stars and enjoy paddling on the lake and hiking on trails that have been drawing visitors for centuries.
From Haines Falls, drive to Palenville and the Rip Van Winkle Country Club. For 100 years, this golf course has challenged and enchanted golfers. Incredible views make this one of the most unique hidden gem courses of the Catskills. Your final stop on the River to Mountain Driving Tour is the town of Catskill’s Story Farms’ farm stand. Stock up on seasonal produce to take home!