Rensselaerville visitor attractions and facilities
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Like all of the Albany hill towns, Rensselaerville is known for its natural beauty: pastoral rural countryside, rolling hills, meandering creeks, waterfalls, forest land.
Reserves and outdoor recreation
The town of Rensselaerville is fortunate to have a number of natural areas and outdoor recreation opportunities to give reasons for folks to come visit and enjoy.
- Rensselaerville State Forest - Also known as the Cheese Hill area, this location near the hamlet of Rensselaerville is outstanding for its extensive pine forest glades that are sufficiently open so that one can ski through them with no need for a trail. These glades generally parallel the Department truck trail that traverses the area. There are about 4 miles of Nordic skiing opportunities in this area.
- Catskill Creek is a waterway with tributaries; Scrub Creek, Ten Mile Creek, Eight Mile Creek and Willow Brook in Rensselaerville.
- The Edmund Niles Huyck Preserve and Biological Research Station's mission is to protect the natural beauty of the Rensselaerville Falls, the watershed of Lake Myosotis and surrounding lands, to conduct long-term research on natural systems as part of a global effort to understand and preserve the Earth's biodiversity, and to increase appreciation of this effort through innovative, field-based educational programs for students, teachers and the community.
- Other Hill town trails.
- Ten Mile Creek in Rensselaerville has Brown Trout and some Rainbow Trout; it is not stocked - the trout population is naturally maintained.
- - In back of Jenkins Homestead in the Rensselaerville hamlet.
- - Near the Town barn at the junction of CR 357 and North Rd., Medusa.
- - There may be another one on Willsey Rd. near McCullough Cross?
- Non-motorized water craft may be launched on Lake Myosotis in the Huyck Preserve outside the swimming area, regardless of Huyck Preserve membership status. (Although membership is certainly appreciated for this worthy organization!!!)
Farms and farm activities
- Allyn P. Wright, Consulting Forester - timber stand improvement, timber sales, management plans, Christmas trees, maple products, custom milling; Medusa; Tel. 518-239-6768.
- Baitsholts Farm - sheep for wool and lambs for spring, beautiful hand woven goods, yarns, handcream, herbs & spices. Products available year round. Also at farmers market Main St. Rensselaerville Sat. 10am - 1pm, June-October. Produce can also be ordered on line for home delivery through Heldeberg Market. 90 County Route 353; Cheryl Baitsholts; Tel. (518)797-5201. Baitsholts Farm
- Collected Seed Farm - was established in response to the need for secure and affordable access to fresh, sustainably-grown food in our region. The support and practice of local food production brings communities closer together and helps them become more resistant to global market variables. Through our Community Supported Agriculture farm, (CSA) we offer the opportunity for local households to actively participate in the their food's journey from farm to fork. Through the sales of our non-GMO, open-pollinated organic vegetable seeds, we are sowing this experience out to the greater grower community. 9 Cheese Hill Road, Preston Hollow, Town of Rensselaerville. Tel (518) 722-8239 , Collected Seed Farm
- Conkling Farm - Garlic sheaves, garlic greens, gladiola, and dandelion greens. All products are pesticide and fertilizer free. July-October, variable hours. Produce can also be ordered on line for home delivery through Heldeberg Market. Roswell Eldridge, 367 Albany Hill Rd.; Tel. (518) 797-3999.
- Cooksburg Lumber Co. - Sawmill specializing in the production of hardwood lumber, rough-cut softwood, sawdust, slabwood, bark mulch. Preston Hollow; Tel. 518-239-4324.
- Cook's Maple Syrup - Walter Cook & Sons; Potter Hollow; Tel. 518-239-4741.
- Cotter Equestrian Center - lessons, training, boarding, summer overnight camps, Preston Hollow; Tel. 518-239-4849.
- The Farm at the Garden and Garden of One - The Farm specializes in sustainability, heritage produce, livestock, flower essence, aromatherapy and herbal products, and spirituality. 120 acres of forest, lake, ponds, streams, gardens, and natural beauty. Sweat lodge, Labyrinth. 60 Thunder Hill Rd., Rensselaerville; Contact Rachael: Tel. 518-797-3373 or Garden of One
- Heather Ridge Farm - Grass fed Angus, Hereford, Devon cattle; pigs are both spotted white Yorkshire-Landracer-Hampshire mix and the red Tamworth “Irish-Rover” heritage breed. Gourmet garlic and fresh culinary herbs! Apple wood to create a delicious smoke for your barbecues. John and Carol Clement are the owner/operators. 989 Broome Center Rd Preston Hollow. (Call First!) Tel. Office: 518-239-6234; Fax: 518-239-6234. Heather Ridge Farm
- Heldeberg Market - makes available fresh hilltown produce from many of the hilltown farms delivered weekly to your door. Sarah Gordon. 669-3447
- Hickory Hill Homestead - Goats and pottery. By appointment. 1012 County Route 403; Tel. (518) 966-4208.
- Jimmy Walker's Greenhouse - Herbs, heritage vegetables, traditional flowers, ornamental grasses, landscape design; 2958 Rt. 145, Preston Hollow, NY 12469; Tel. (518)-239-4039. Jimmy Walker's Greenhouse
- John B. Geurtze, Jr. - logging, sand and gravel, hogs and beef, Medusa; Tel. 518-239-6776.
- Henry Organic Produce - Organic Produce; Julie Sampson, with Len and Ann Henry, 182 Tanglewood Rd., Preston Hollow, NY, 12469.
- Lewis Dale Farms - Dairy and agricultural business. Medusa; Tel. 518-239-6514.
- Pheasant Hollow Farm - Horses boarded, riding lessons, horses for lease, summer camps; 261 Gifford Hollow Road, (Next to Lone Goose Pond); Tel. 518-797-9274.
- Preston Hollow Farmer's Market - every Friday afternoon from late June through mid October, from 4 pm through 6 pm. Featuring live music. Held at Jimmy Walker's Greenhouse, 2958 SR 145, Preston Hollow, NY.
- Preston Hollow Nursery - grape vines stock, 2958 Rt. 145, Preston Hollow, NY 12469; Tel. (518) 239-4039. [Preston Hollow Nursery
- Rapazzo Stock Farm - Rt. 353, Rensselaerville; Tel. 518 797-3604.
- Rolling Meadows Farm - Fruit tree sales & fruit plant nursery, certified plant dealer licensed by the Department of Agriculture and Markets; thoroughbred & trotter boarding; James A. Glorioso, 232 Knowles Rd, Preston Hollow; Tel. 518-239-5902. Rolling Meadows Farm
- Sheepy Valley - "Our farm has been in the family since the early 1930's. We have a flock of Horned Dorsets, Romneys, and cross-breed sheep, chickens, honey bees, and a donkey, Jenny." 191 County Route 360, Medusa, NY, 12120.
- Sky of Light Center - We offer group and private yoga sessions, energetic healing sessions, meditation and stress management programs, and private and small group retreats in a beautiful protected setting. 414 Travis Hill Road, Preston Hollow; Tel. (518) 239-4717. Sky of Light Center
- White Knuckle Farm - Eggs (Brown and Arucana) & Maple Syrup; Stephen and Emelie Kenney, 89 CR 353, Rensselaerville, NY 12147.
- Wild Thymes Farms, Inc. - manufacturing gourmet food, Medusa; Tel. 518-239-4756.
- Wintergreen Hill - Christmas trees & wreaths, wood crafts, bird houses, furniture. Preston Hollow; Tel. 518-239-6222.
- Community Supported Agriculture, (CSA), is a popular way for consumers to buy local, seasonal food directly from a farmer. Basically a farmer offers a certain number of "shares" to the public. Typically the share consists of a box of vegetables, but other farm products may be included. Interested consumers purchase a share (aka a "membership" or a "subscription") and in return receive a box (bag, basket) of seasonal produce each week throughout the farming season.
Historic buildings and sites
Historic buildings, (other than public buildings and those listed under "Visitor facilities"), may not be open to the public, and may just be viewed from the road. Please respect the privacy of the owners and occupants.
- Rensselaerville hamlet - an historic area filled with historic buildings both public and private.
- Conkling Hall - Community center for special events and performances, Rensselaerville hamlet; Tel. 797-3459
- Rensselaerville Library is open to the public.
- Rensselaerville Presbyterian Church
- Rensselaerville Garage
- Baptist Church of Preston Hollow
- Rensselaerville Grist Mill - now a museum, history, and genealogy center operated May through October by the Rensselaerville Historical Society.
- Rensselaerville District School No. 04
The following historic cemeteries are easily accessible and are maintained. There are many more that are abandoned and overgrown.
- Episcopal Church Cemetery - in hamlet of Rensselaerville, on old Albany Hill Rd.
- Medusa Cemetery - near where Rt 403 meets Rt 351
- Potter Hollow Cemetery - near Church on Scott Patent Rd. out of hamlet of Potter Hollow
- Preston Hollow Cemetery - near Baptist Church in hamlet of Preston Hollow on Rt 145
- Rensselaerville Cemetery - in hamlet of Rensselaerville, on Methodist Hill Rd. Especially noteworthy is the Civil War Monument listing the 29 “fallen heroes” of the town with their ranks, ages, and the regiments to which each belonged.
(To be added)
Visitor facilities in Rensselaerville and nearby towns.
Something to eat
- The Bees Knees Cafe - Heather Ridge Farm - Outdoor cafe with a great view of the Catskill Mountains. Open every Saturday through October 9, 11:30 AM - 3:00 PM; 989 Broome Center Road, Preston Hollow, NY 12469. Tel. (518) 239-6234.
- The Hilltown Café - Family restaurant in an historic building, 26 C.R. 353, Rensselaerville hamlet; Tel. (518) 797-9225.
- Medusa General Store - a deli, convenience store and whole foods grocery. 6 Red Barn Lane, Medusa. Tel. 239 6980.
- Palmer House Café - Elegant dining in an historic building. Menus change seasonally and feature finest local produce and NY products; tavern with full bar serves lighter fare, Rensselaerville hamlet; Tel. (518) 797-3449.
- Shell Inn - Bar and restaurant, Rte. 85; Tel. (518) 797-9682.
- The Weathervane - 76 Huyck Rd., Rensselaerville, Tel. (518) 797-3222.
- West Winds - food and beverages, burgers, sandwiches, convenience store items, videos, lawn ornaments, 2939 Main St. Preston Hollow; Tel. (518) 239-4530.
- Find also visitor facilities in adjoining towns:
Places to stay
- The Rensselaerville Institute - A world-renowned meeting center situated on a country estate. Accommodating 10-180 attendees who prefer fresh air, exquisite food and a relaxed distraction-free setting. Email: Rensselaerville Instute
- The Catalpa House - is a Bed and Breakfast in an historic building; serving visitors since 1922. Contact Person/Owner: Marlene & Steve Omlor, Main Street, PO Box 248, Rensselaerville, NY 12147; Tel. 518-797-5280 or 518-797-3484. The Catalpa House
- Guest Houses - to be added when there are some.
For something special
- D.C. Story & Co. - clocks and antique repairs; cabinet maker - fine cabinets and kitchens; Rensselaerville hamlet; Tel. 518-797-3375.
- Hilltown Market & Natural Food Co-op, Inc. - Coop and public market for local services, goods and produce; PO Box 238, 26 Rt. 353; Tel. 518-797-3144. Email: Justin
- Old Fire House Antiques - Open Mar-Nov, Preston Hollow; Tel. 518-239-8420.
- Second Hand Rose and More - collectibles; Rt. 145, Preston Hollow; Tel. 518-239-8015
- Black Sheep Designs - arts and crafts; learn the ancient art of feltmaking with a contemporary twist; contact: Sharon Costello, 5000 Delaware Turnpike, Rensselaerville; Tel. 518-797-5191. Black Sheep Designs
- Way Out Gallery - Handmade furnishings, collectible arts, gallery exhibitions.
- Susan Story - artist, landscapes, portraits, pastels and water colors, Rensselaerville; Tel. 518-797-3375.
- Crafty Meg's - specializing in one of a kind gift baskets and silk flower arrangements, Margaret Sedlmeir, Preston Hollow; Tel. 518-239-6282.
Adjoining hill towns
Farms, natural areas, outdoor recreation opportunities, and visitor facilities in adjoining hill towns:
- Knox visitor attractions and facilities
- Westerlo visitor attractions and facilities
- Berne visitor attractions and facilities
Images showing the beauty of Rensselaerville.
Then and Now
"Then and Now" - Images of buildings and locations in the hill towns comparing and old photo with a current image of the same scene.
Antique motor vehicles
"Antique Motor Vehicles" - We challenge you to try and identify the make, model, and year of the the old vehicles.
Helderberg Landscapes - Images by various photographers showing the beauty of the Albany hill towns.
Proposals for enhancing farms, natural areas, outdoor recreation opportunities and visitor facilities in the hill towns: