Four ways to experience Ulster County with the whole family

The snow has melted, the temperature is slowly rising, and nature is in bloom! As spring returns, now is the perfect time to plan a family vacation to Ulster County, located just 90 miles north of NYC in the heart of the Mid-Hudson Valley. Here are four ways to make the most of it.

Family cycling

  1. Learn the science behind the sweet.

Give your kids a fascinating chemistry lesson & a naturally sweet treat at one of Ulster County’s 10 maple farms, many of which offer lessons and demos in the storied art of sugaring (the process of converting raw maple sap into delicious syrup). It’s a tried-and-true trade-off: Learn science, get a treat. Only here, there are no additives, preservatives, or high-fructose corn syrup—just the pure, unadulterated sweetness of Mother Nature.

  1. Farm-to-table. Petting zoos. All-inclusive dude ranches.

Ulster County’s rich agritourism & continues to be an enticing draw for visitors of all ages. If you have children, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to bond with them over the breathtaking beauty—and mouth watering flavors—of nature. Indulge in delicious, farm-fresh cuisine at one of our local farm-to-table restaurants, make a new furry friend at one of our animal sanctuaries, or spend a week (or weekend) playing, relaxing and learning the basics of cowboy horsemanship at a bustling dude ranch.

  1. Explore mountains, rivers, and forests—by foot, bike, or horseback.

Situated between the New York Catskills and the western shores of the Hudson River, Ulster County is an irresistible playground for lovers of the great outdoors, whatever your age. Take a leisurely stroll around the scenic Ashokan Rail Trail or Walkway Over the Hudson, or spend the day snapping the best selfies ever in the Mohonk Preserve. Marvel at the epic sunset from Sam’s Point in the Minnewaska State Park Preserve, or spend twilight on a two-hour sunset horseback ride. There are so many trails to explore—and ways to do it—we couldn’t possibly list all of them here, but you can find more  inspiration in our Hiking and Biking Guide.

  1. Journey into the wild by railway.

The historic Ulster & Delaware Railroad cuts deep into the Catskills alongside Esopus Creek, where no car and only the most serious hikers can venture. Thanks to Rail Explorers, you and your family can witness the hard-to-reach deep wild of Ulster County up close from the comfort of a custom-built, pedal-powered electric rail vehicle. Think the world’s most relaxing go-kart—you don’t even have to steer, just ride the rails and enjoy the view.


As you plan your spring vacation, be sure to stay apprised of weather conditions and always double-check hours and availability of businesses.

Find more inspiration for your Ulster County family getaway here.


Remember, in everything you do, be mindful of others and follow recommended health and safety protocols.

Stay strong and be well.