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A WALK IN THE WOODS A STROLL THROUGH A VILLAGE
Harriman State Park and Sloatsburg are just 30 minutes away. Whether you’re looking to hike a stretch of the Appalachian Trail or escape for a day of historic sightseeing, capped off by a great meal, there’s plenty to entice you at Harriman State Park and the Village of Sloatsburg – both just a short drive from The Modern.
THE NATURAL ALLURE OF HARRIMAN STATE PARK
Originally conceived by Mary Averell Harriman, who donated the first 10,000 acres and $1 million back in 1910, Harriman State Park has become a magnet for outdoor adventurers throughout the Northeast. And no wonder: it offers something for everyone four seasons of the year.
Only 31 miles north of Fort Lee via the Palisades Parkway, it is the second largest state park in New York, with now over 47,500 pristine acres spanning Rockland and Orange Counties. It boasts dozens of lakes, ponds and reservoirs, hundreds of miles of hiking trails, two beaches, two public camping areas, miles of streams and scenic roads, and scores of wildlife species, vistas and vantage points.
For hikers, more than 40 marked trails span over 225 miles, including nearly 20 miles of the famed Appalachian Trail. There’s even a trail devoted to mountain biking. If water activities are your thing, take advantage of abundant swimming and fishing opportunities, as well as places to rent a kayak, canoe or rowboat.
Fun doesn’t end in the winter, when ice skating, cross country skiing and snowshoeing can fill your weekends. If a one-day excursion just isn’t enough, Harriman offers nine lean-to shelters on a first-come, first-served basis. So pack up your gear, and head north – nature awaits.
CHARM, HISTORY & DINING IN SLOATSBURG
For those more interested in history than hiking, Sloatsburg is also roughly 30 miles north of The Modern, at the southern entrance to Harriman State Park in the Town of Ramapo. Settled by the Dutch in 1738, the village played a starring role in the Revolutionary War, when General George Washington placed Captain Stephen Sloat in charge of blocking the advance of British troops from New York City to Albany through the Ramapo Pass.
When Washington stopped at Sloatsburg, he supposedly told the residents not to change a thing — and in many ways, they haven’t. It remains a quaint village of around 3,000 people surrounded by 70,000 acres of preserved woodlands. The village is full of historic buildings, many to tour, shop, dine or even sleep in.
The recently renovated Valley Rock Inn & Market is at the center of the action with a surrounding campus of attractions. You can take a tour of restored historic homes or stroll among stores, including the Art Gallery & Bookstore featuring local artists and curated art books.
History buffs will surely want to visit the Sloat House & Inn, where Washington stayed back in 1779, as well as the Old Sloatsburg Cemetery, both on the National Register of Historic Places. And there are concerts and other special events to enjoy at Harmony Hall-Jacob Sloat House, the Greek Revival-style mansion built by Stephen Sloat’s son in 1848.
On especially beautiful days, plan a stop at 7 Lakes Bike Barn to rent a top-of-the-line road, mountain or E-bike for touring the surrounding parklands. Blue Barn Farm Market is a great place to pack a picnic with its cornucopia of organic produce and takeaway food.
You can also grab lunch at the Garden Café set within two lush gardens. Or indulge in the more sophisticated farm-to-table cuisine of the Rock House Bar in the heart of the Village Rock Inn compound, with its several fireplaces, long bar, and formal dining room.
Staying overnight in Sloatsburg is always an option, thanks to the newly-renovated Valley Rock Inn itself, which is spread among four historic homes. Its 17 rooms come with luxe amenities like Frette linens and windowed elegant bathrooms. The Inn also features a 25-yard pool, an adjacent spa, and a soon-to-open fitness center with weights, cardio, spin classes, and yoga.
After soaking up the historic charm of Sloatsburg, hop in your car and in 30 short minutes you’re back to the future at The Modern.