Geocaching in the Hudson Valley

Looking for Geocaches
What is Geocaching? Geocaching is an outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS (Global Positioning System). Geocachers find a specific set of GPS coordinates on their smart phones or other GPS enabled devices, and then attempt to find the geocache (a container holding an item, or a number of other items) hidden at that location.

Geocaches can be found all over the world. Geocachers tend to hide caches in locations that are important to them. These locations can be quite unique. They may be at your local state park, at the end of a trail, in a mountain stream or on the mantel of door on a busy city street. Some of the containers are tiny, and are attached behind street signs using a magnet; others are large and usually (but not always) found in wooded areas. A cache always contains a logbook or log sheet for participants to log their finds. The larger caches may contain any number of additional items. These items turn the adventure into a more extended treasure hunt as they lead you to new places and new coordinates.

There are lots of different types of Caches, some of the Traditional Caches include Mystery or Puzzle Caches, Multi-Caches (Offset Cache), Earth Caches, or Letterbox Caches, but there are also many more, check out some of the additional at https://www.geocaching.com/about/cache_types.aspx.

For the outdoors men and women who like to hike and explore, Geocaching is a fun pastime that can be done around the world at any time of year. A good place to start is at the Geocaching.com website. Sign up for a free account, get the app and start your explorations!

There are official events you can attend to network, seminars, environmental cleanups and other outdoors activities that you can get involved with. There are Facebook groups groups all over the world, including a very good one here in the Hudson Valley at https://www.facebook.com/groups/401127463248952/.

The best part of geocaching is exploring the places the GPS and the caches you find takes you to. You will visit areas you never would have thought to explore otherwise, and find incredible scenic places of beauty and hidden wonders that the general public hasn’t found.

Combine packing a picnic lunch and heading off for the day after a good night’s sleep and a hearty delicious breakfast at the inn, and going treasure hunting in the Valley is a weekend getaway everyone should experience!

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedintumblrFacebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedintumblr

Cathedral of the Pines, New England’s Largest Old-Growth Pine Forest

Giant White PinesThe Cathedral of the Pines or Cathedral Pines as it is also known, is a little known hiking spot located less than 30 minutes from the Bed and Breakfast. The Pine stand covers over 42 acres, and while devastated by three tornadoes in July of 1989, the remaining trail still covers the intact portion of the stand, and is well worth the visit.

Cathedral Pines was New England’s largest stand of old-growth white pine, hemlock trees and northern hardwoods, and while the tornadoes did substantial damage, many of the trees survive and you can still experience the size and beauty while walking under the canopy of trees. One of the reasons to take this hike is to see the after effects of Mother Nature at work, and to see the stand itself slowing recovering from the devastation. White pines are unusual to see in this part of Connecticut, and most of them are 200 years old with some being at least 300 hundred years.

The Cathedral Pines forest itself was established between 1770 and 1800. It was part of a thousand-acre farm inherited by Major Seth Pierce (1785-1881), Following Pierce’s death in 1881, Frederick Kellogg sold the Pines to John Calhoun, who vowed to preserve the majestic forest. The Pines at different time periods were also called Calhoun’s Pines and the Calhoun Grove.

In 1967, the children of John Calhoun deeded the 42-acre Cathedral Pines to the Nature Conservancy, which established the forest as a research area protected from human influence in its development. Rather than harvest high quality lumber from felled trees, the Nature Conservancy allows them to decay naturally. Cathedral Pines was declared a National Natural Landmark in 1982. The Nature Conservancy while studying the Pine Stand observed that the pines were being slowly replaced by hemlock trees. The slow transformation of the forest from pine to hemlock was sped up dramatically in 1989 by the devastating tornadoes.

While visiting the Pine Stand listen for woodpeckers and owls at dusk, bring bug spray and good hiking shoes. While the trail is an easy one, there are quite a few downed branches and dried pine needles that make walking in sandals quite uncomfortable.

DIRECTIONS
Essex Hill Road, Cornwall, CT
Google Map Link

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedintumblrFacebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedintumblr

A Bit of History and Art to Explore this Fall

Mason ToolsA trip to the area is never complete without a visit to the Eric Sloane Museum & Kent Iron Furnace. The Museum is on the National Register of Historic Places and a Connecticut State Archaeological Preserve. The Museum is owned and operated by the State of Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development, State Historic and Preservation Office.

Eric Sloane (1905-1985) was an artist, author and illustrator of over 30 books, and a collector of American artifacts. In the museum itself, Sloane’s studio has been recreated with his painting easel and jars filled with paintbrushes, alongside examples of his works in the adjacent art gallery. Sloane built a cabin in the pioneer style modeled after Noah Blake’s “Diary of An Early American Boy”, an 1805 diary published by Sloane. Eric Sloane’s collection of hand tools is displayed in the museum building gifted to the State in 1969 by Stanley Works, a Connecticut-based tool manufacturing company, to mark their 125th anniversary. The collection tells a fascinating story about historic times and the great American heritage of craftsmanship. The Kent Iron Furnace, also on the museum property, began production of pig iron in 1826, and continued production for almost 70 years. A display explaining the local iron industry is in the museum lobby as well.

This past summer, the museum become one of a handful of museums in the country with an heirloom variety apple orchard. The orchard, envisioned through collaboration between the Friends of the Eric Sloane Museum and Peter Montgomery, a Silicon Valley executive turned horticulturalist, was installed on the grounds of the Eric Sloane Museum of Kent this past April.

Eric Sloane Museum & Kent Iron Furnace (20 Minutes from the B&B)
31 Kent Cornwall Rd, Kent, CT
Hours: Fri-Sun: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm through October 31, 2016
860-927-3849
Admission:
$8 adults
$6 seniors (60 years +) & college students
$5 children (6-17)
Free children 5 and under
Discounted admission for schools and groups by appointment.
Free admission to active duty military members and up to 5 family members with ID
http://www.ericsloane.com/museum.htm
http://www.ct.gov/cct/cwp/view.asp?a=2127&q=302262
https://www.facebook.com/EricSloaneMuseum

Save the Date! October 8th, 2016 for an apple tasting event sponsored by the Friends of the Eric Sloane Museum with culinary teacher and chef Anne Gallagher. This free event will run from 11:00 am to 1:30 pm. Please RSVP by calling the museum at (860) 927-3849 and leaving a message with your name, contact information and number of people who will attend.

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedintumblrFacebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedintumblr

Midweek Two Night Getaway at Hilltop House B&B

Bikers enjoying the rail trail

Two Night Midweek Getaway (Tuesday and Wednesday Nights, or Wednesday and Thursday Nights) in one of our charming and cozy rooms.

The Experience:
Hilltop House Bed & Breakfast is nestled atop a gentle hill in Dutchess County just 3 miles from the Connecticut border. Its country town locale is hub to some of the best boarding schools and the culture they radiate. Add to that attractions such as TriArts summer stock, wing shooting and horse trials in Millbrook, Lime Rock NASCAR and SCCA racing, fly fishing on the Housatonic, the Appalachian Trail, biking on the rail trail, an abundance of fine dining and the arts abounding in the area, and you will discover that our B&B is the perfect destination for your trip to the Hudson Valley.

Amenities include:
Complimentary WIFI in all rooms, gourmet cooking from the chef/innkeepers, Double, Queen Sized or King Side Beds available. Private or shared baths. Use of the B&B’s Bicycles.

Package Includes:
A Four course breakfast on the porch, or by the fire (weather dependent)
A $100 voucher for Monte’s Restaurant
Overnight stay at the B&B
Use of the B&B’s Bicycles
Includes 2 Metro North round trip tickets from Grand Central Station to Wassaic and back
Price: $559 two nights (double occupancy) plus applicable taxes

Suggested Itinerary:
Enjoy a delicious breakfast at the Inn

Ride to local Millerton (the B&B will provide Bicycles). Millerton offers a selection of shopping, antiques and galleries to browse, and was voted one of the coolest small towns in the country by Frommer’s.

Window Shop and eat lunch at one of the many local eateries. Harney & Sons is a favorite local lunch spot, as well as offering a world class selection of fine teas and specialty gifts, or visit Irving Farm Coffee Roasters and enjoy a lovely cup of coffee and lunch before heading back to the Inn.

If exploring the local Rail Trails is more enticing than window shopping for the remainder of the afternoon, guests can check out the Harlem Valley Rail Trail which offers 15 paved miles of trail meandering through stunning rural Dutchess and Columbia County landscapes.

Head back to the Inn and freshen up for dinner and then walk to Monte’s, a 10 minute easy walk from the inn, and enjoy fantastic farm to table dining cooked by Monte’s Executive Chef Dafna Mizrahi, 2015 Chopped Champion.
After dinner take a stroll or a short drive, over to the Four Brothers Drive In for a movie or come back and relax on the wraparound porch.

On Day 2 check out Dover Stone Church on your way back to the city. (Additional train fare required) or further explore the Harlem Rail Trail.

To book this B&B overnight package, call the B&B directly at 845-789-1354 at least ten (10) business days in advance and mention the Midweek B&B Getaway package.

Train in Foliage Season

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedintumblrFacebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedintumblr