The 4-Hour Rule: Nine River Road
One undiscovered riverside inn. Oh, and whiskey.
If there were ever a time to head to the Catskills, it’s now.
The leaves are bursting. The air is crisp (not an unseasonable 80 like some places, ahem). And the noise (literal and figurative) is completely and utterly absent.
As for the address you’ll want to punch into your sat-nav? A hidden gem by the name Nine River Road.
It’s situated just beyond the reach of cell service.
What a shame.
You’re going to Catskills, not the Andes. Everything should be durable and warm, but you don’t need to go full Bear Grizzly. These pieces will hunt — and handsomely — and can easily take you from a hike straight into dinner.
(clockwise from top left) Dr. Denim Ior jacket, $155; Patagonia Bivy Reversible Down Vest, $189; Filson Henley Guide Sweater, $350; Want les Essentiels Kloten Winter Boot, $595; Filson Original Goatskin Gloves , $95; Away Carry-on, $225; Volcom Frickin Modern Stretch Chino, $55
You’re headed just two hours north of the city to Nine River Road in Callicoon, which sits just at the edge of the Delaware River. The third project from Sims Foster and Kirsten Harlow, responsible for the area’s vibrant transformation with sister properties the Arnold House and North Branch Inn, NRR is so undiscovered that it almost pains us to write this. With just eight cozy rooms, the retreat always has a woodstove stoked and free cookies to be gobbled. Breakfast is local, communal and highly delicious. It’s also a chance to chat with other travelers and learn about the day’s activities, of which we recommend sauntering into town and picking up a just-baked pastry at Cafe Adella Dori. You’ll likely wish to spend most of the day on the screened porch sipping fresh hot cider and napping on the porch swings and backyard hammocks.
Community support for local farms is strong in the Catskills. And nearly everywhere you go, you can taste it. The meals are genuine and wholesome, and prepared mostly by top-notch chefs who have fled the city’s hustle and bustle. If it’s breakfast you’re after, you’d be advised to head over to The Heron and nosh on their crispy polenta and eggs while gazing out over the water. And for dinner, you’ll be feasting on the ever-changing seasonal menus at Northern Farmhouse Pasta, The North Branch Inn (with bowling) and The Arnold House.
The county’s one-source outlet for hiking trails, TrailKeeper has all the info an explorer might need, including easy-access maps and guides to public lands. Or check with Morgan Outdoors for a more customized adventure. And after traversing Ma Nature, you’ve earned the right to throw a couple back. The best way to do so: go right to the source. Just a stone’s throw away you’ve got Roscoe Beer Company brewing five signature beers, regional ale pioneer Catskills Brewery and the talented spirit craftsmen over at Prohibition Distillery. Take a bottle or growler to go and head back for another one of those naps.
Coming next season, Nine River Road and the North Branch Inn will host the Lotus Belle tent from Nomad Asbury. They are super luxe tents (16” in diameter) for two guests with a real queen-size bed, wooden floors, and winning design amenities like Peruvian blankets, Turkish towels and Kilim Pillows. It’s like a hotel room, but with fresher air.
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