What Are the Underappreciated Towns of Upstate?

main street, catskill

Another word would be undiscovered, but that implies a town that doesn’t need an influx of new blood, or money, or ideas, or jobs. We’re thinking of towns that are full of potential, and in which the seeds of rebirth are planted, but which don’t get the love that some towns (hear us, Beacon and Hudson) do. Catskill comes to mind first. What others?

Category: Catskill, Top Stories, upstate new york

By: lisa | 7 October 2013 01:30 PM | 21 Comments

21 Responses

  1. Deposit! Hancock! Fort Plain!

  2. thejunkdrunk says:

    I love all of the houses for sale in Claverack, but unfortunately, I don’t think there’s much in the way of “seeds planted”. Hunter as a year-round destination has a lot of potential, yet the downtown isn’t busy in the summer. Carmel, with all of its lakes, is a charming little town, and I also love Marlboro and Stone Ridge.

  3. thejunkdrunk says:

    David, you’re WAY up there. If we’re taking CNY, Cazenovia and Cooperstown are my two favorites (though Cooperstown is pretty loved).

    Taking it as far as possible in NYS, everyone should love my hometown of Fredonia a little more.

  4. Betty says:

    Not in this category, but what about a semi abandoned town like Mountaindale that has loads of empty storefronts and living space just crying out for creative types. Maybe 10 or 15 years ago, there was a flurry of activity and even an article in the NYTimes to attract people who wanted to live upstate and didn’t need to commute daily. The idea then was Internet based businesses. And now?

  5. great things are happening in the village of catskill – and that photo is outdated! “discovery” in the works. check out http://www.catskillthevillage.com

  6. Joseph Baker says:

    What about some Sullivan County love? Callicoon is wonderful and Livingston Manor has the first seeds planted – especially the Catskills Brewery (apparently opening soon…)

  7. Suzanne says:

    I grew up in Gilbertsville, near Oneonta, in Otsego County. One of the prettiest villages anywhere.

    As far as underappreciated – Troy! A great small city with a huge history, on the comeback road.


  8. You’re right about Catskill. Also, check out Highland (Ulster County) as an up and comer. In spite of a generic suburban landscape, Highland boasts an emerging system of parks and trails with Walkway Over the Hudson, Hudson Valley Rail Trail, Franny Reese State Park, Illinois Mountain, Black Creek and the Hudson River and easy access to Metro North’s Hudson Line at Poughkeepsie Station. The hamlet of Highland needs some work, yes, but the 600k annual visits to Walkway and new “gateway” zoning along 9Wis provide incentive for redevelopment. My sense is that Highland’s moment is still a few years away, but new people are moving in bringing fresh ideas.

    • Anonymous says:

      Highland (Lloyd, technically) is very unwelcoming to outsiders. An o.k. place to visit, but they don’t want you to live there.

      • Interesting remark. Seems ike a sweeping generalization–clumping 10,000 people as “they.” I moved there 22 years ago without knowing a soul and have made many friends. Also, I’ve increasingly seen newcomers move to Highland, or loyd, if you prefer, and integrate into the community by joining the historical society and rail trail association–even rising to leadership positions in those organizations. i suppose every town has people who are friendly and unfriendly and one’s perception about whether they feel welcome or not may depend on their own attitude towards the locals.

  9. SusanB says:

    I’d vote for Catskill and Rosendale. Catskill for reasons you already know. Rosendale? Handy to NY, on the bus route, fiercely loyal NYC-expats and natives, a prime rail trail spot, cool businesses looking for more to join them.

  10. Kerry Matt says:


  11. Anonymous says:

    I’m certain you have a basis for your thoughts, however, my experience is completely different.
    My husband I purchased a home in Highland almost a year ago. We are currently weekenders but hope someday to retire there. Our neighbors, on the other hand live and work in the area.We rely on our neighbors to keep an eye on things when we are away and keep us up to date on gossip. We have been welcomed into our neighbors’ homes and we have welcomed them into our lives. At this point, I have more friends in Highland than in the Manhattan building I have lived in for over 20 years.
    Our home is in a rural corner of Highland surrounded by apple orchards but we do not feel isolated the way we might in other areas. Its clear that the Town has its issues, however we have not experienced a moment where we have been made to feel like outsiders.

  12. In Sullivan County, I think Livingston Manor is the interesting hamlet to watch. It’s at the edge of the Catskill Park, with convenient access to outdoor recreation. There are a few open storefronts on Main Street, so there’s an opportunity for some new businesses (in contract to Callicoon and Narrowsburg which have no retail vacancies.) The new brewery will be a draw as well.

  13. cupojoe says:

    I’m going to put in a vote for Newburgh. Recent couple years have seen a huge amount of interest from NYC folks looking for (really) affordable properties and new businesses creeping in. Despite a history of crime there seems to be a strong sense of growth going on supported by a dedicated group of locals who are working hard to bring change.

  14. Kim says:

    Windham! Though I think the people who live there appreciate it a lot, you don’t read much about it. It’s a beautiful town with the basic amenities in a stunning location.

  15. Andrea says:

    Lovely Victorian Troy, New York!

  16. museumsguy says:

    Catskill for sure. Close to the thruway, $13 dollar cab ride from Hudson Amtrak, on the river with Catskill Mountain and Olana views, great housing stock, a cute Main Street (that just needs a couple more businesses), Thomas Cole House, a creek with a marina for boating to the Hudson. A village with good bones and affordable real estate…for now at least.

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