The 18-hole course at Rainbow Golf Club takes players careening across a 6,287-yard layout carved into the foothills of the Northern Catskill Mountains. Players rip tee shots from one of five sets of tees per hole, allowing for an enjoyable yet challenging round for greenhorns to green-jacket holders. As rental carts transport players across the well-manicured landscape, they must take care to avoid tree-lined fairways, undulating greens, and feral caddies looking to stock up on golf balls for winter's hibernation. The course's signature hole is the 13th, a 135-yard, par 3 that forces golfers to carry their tee shot over water onto an island green, the only known island in New York. A pro shop, practice facilities, and a restaurant with an outdoor patio overlooking the course all provide entertainment when golfers aren't practicing their postputt struts.
Course at a Glance:
Situated at the foot of the Ellenville Mountain site, Mountain Wings has readied students for safe, engine-free flying since 1981. A staff of USHPA-certified instructors shares much of its knowledge on the facility's two training hills—a grassy, gently sloped concave for beginners, and a 180-foot hill used by intermediate gliders and a handful of pretty insane paper-airplane competitors. Sprinting, stumbling, and hovering across those hills, groups practice with Condors—slow-flying, easy-to-handle training gliders that work in zero-wind zones. Upon ascending to greater heights and skill levels, students can also snag their own equipment at Mountain Wings' full-service aero-sports shop.
The fastidiously maintained slopes of Maple Ski Ridge beckon outdoor adventurers throughout the snowy season, readying skiers and snowboarders with lessons, equipment rentals, and day and season passes. On the lodge's four hills, instructors from the Schenectady Ski School guide budding snow pilots of all ages through the basics of skiing, snowboarding, and snowman combat, and the Burton Learn to Ride system assists new snowboarders in mastering downhill skills with specialized equipment. Inside a comfortable lodge, a crackling fire warms extremities and light fare and hot cocoa warm insides as outside, skiers sail down full-sized hills, try their hands at stunts on the terrain park, or glide up and down bunny hills courtesy of a surface tow. The lodge's dedicated staff supplements any meager precipitation with snow machines and bags full of frozen marshmallows, and all slopes undergo daily maintenance.
The 2013 Schoharie County Sunshine Fair is a weeklong celebration of farm life and summertime. This year's entertainment lineup includes everything from tractor pulls and monster trucks in the grandstand to live music and dancing every night in the party tent. By day, kids and adults can traverse the grounds to enjoy Rosaire's pig races, a petting zoo, juggling demonstrations, and the works of Brian Ruth, a chainsaw sculptor. The fair's parade, which takes place on Wednesday, July 31, at 6:30 p.m., will be led by the Beekman Boys, Schoharie County natives and winners of the The Amazing Race.
Gelston Castle Estate is the Northeast’s premier concert and event destination, presenting world-class music and exhibitions on a beautiful 330 acre estate overlooking the Mohawk Valley in upstate New York. The natural beauty, panoramic view and historic hospitality make for an unequalled concert experience.
Along the main stretch at Hilltop Paintball, one recalls the Old West while spying the silhouettes of two cowboys leaning against wooden structures and dangling signs swinging in the wind before a camo-clad anachronism emerges from behind a wagon wheel. The stranger locks and loads a paintball marker before hightailing it to one of seven terrains with scenario games, such as Alien Planet and speedball. In order to win matches, he and his teammates must navigate obstacles, including stacks of logs, hay bales, and clones of Barney Fife. In airsoft matches, they play a paint-free game with similar principles to paintball, and an onsite target range gives them a chance to hone their aim. To shake it up, they can practice putting at an 18-hole mini-golf course, try their hands at Nerf Dart Tag, or refuel at the barbecue and picnic area. The facility also accommodates larger groups for special events such as corporate outings and birthdays with custom packages, and a private party tent is available with advance reservations.
Deep in a lush corner of the Catskill Mountains, there’s a silence that’s almost palpable. After your ears adjust to the lack of city life, you can hear the sounds of nature creeping in: rustling leaves, chirping birds, and the slow breathing of retreat-goers guiding their limbs into therapeutic poses as a yoga instructor looks on. This is a common scene at Sivananda Ashram Yoga Ranch, an Ayurvedic escape founded in 1974 on 77 acres of countryside. Surrounded by organic vegetable patches, flower gardens, and trees full of homegrown yoga mats, visitors find it easy to immerse themselves into the healing studies of the ranch’s multiday programs.
As the sun peeks over the mountains and each day begins, practitioners gather at the Krishna temple to chant, meditate, and listen to a lecture. What follows—depending on the retreat—is a combination of yoga classes, guest lectures and workshops, and meditation sessions. Some retreats are weekend getaways for yoga civilians, and others focus on yoga-teacher training, permaculture, and Native American spirituality. Throughout all programs, hiking opportunities abound.
Visitors stay in dorm- or private apartment-style accommodations, and join fellow guests at 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. for vegetarian meals based on yogic and Ayurvedic nutrition. Ingredients are organic, as local and seasonal as possible, and free from chemical preservatives and underripe twinkies. To soothe their minds and muscles after a day of strenuous work, visitors can also take in a view of the mountains from inside the ranch’s wood-burning banya-style sauna.