Fall Foliage in Catskills: Our Stay at Winter Clove Inn

Fall Foliage in Catskills: Our Stay at Winter Clove Inn

This post was last updated on October 21st, 2021 at 10:00 pm

To many of us, fall is the most beautiful time of the year. The fall season defines the leaves changing from green to bright yellow, red, and orange. Recently, I posted about a few scenic getaway ideas from the NYC area in 10 Best Fall Activities. In this post, you can read about our family trip to The Winter Clove Inn during the fall of Foliage in Catskills, NY.

Girl captured during the fall foliage in catskills, NY

Fall Foliage in Catskills : Where to Stay

If you are looking for a quick getaway from the NYC area and your goal is to surround yourself with beautiful foliage colors, consider staying at the Winter Clove Inn. This historic, single-family-owned resort is located in the heart of the Catskill Mountains and is situated over 300 private acres of land. That is 226 football fields of nature put together. Yup! And it is all yours to explore. Make sure you read What is New Normal at The Hotels before booking your next vacation.

Mom and baby hugging under the colorful tree in Catskills

The Resort

First and foremost, I would like to say a big thank you to Winter Clove Inn and its owners. They were very kind to host my family and me for a few nights while we were exploring fall foliage in the Catskills. Regardless of the sponsored stay, all opinions about the hotel experience and hospitality are mine.

Winterclove inn is not your typical hotel. It is one of the oldest single-family-owned resorts in New York State. The hotel welcomed its first guest in 1838. It is mindblowing to think that the US population has since grown by over 300 million people. Much has changed since then. What has not changed is that the Whitcomb family continues to welcome its guests to the resort to offer the best hospitality.

You will find guests of all ages in this hotel. Young couples, families with kids, and retired seniors were all enjoying the hotel as much as we did. We were also pleased to meet with the current owners, who were often present at the property, to ensure their guests’ needs were fully satisfied.

girl captured in front of Winter Clove Inn Hotel, Catskills
Girl captured in the middle of the road covered with fall colors in Catskills
Baby walking in front of Winter Clove Inn during fall foliage in Catskills

Meals

When you reserve your stay at the Winter Clove Inn, you also get three meals a day that are included with your stay.

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served at a specific hour for all guests. The menu consists of an appetizer, two choices of the main dish, and dessert. It is updated every day. If you are traveling with kids and picky eaters, consider having a backup plan or letting the hotel know your specific needs. If you have dietary restrictions, they will also assume that.

The food itself is reminiscent of homemade food. My favorite dishes were creamy soups, meatballs, turkey sandwiches, and garden salads. And, of course, the bakery! There is a dessert after every meal. Three times a day! They taste so good that you will not be able to skip them.

As a bonus, if you have some activities scheduled during a meal hour or plan to explore fall Foliage in Catskills, they will wrap you your meal and have it picnic ready! We took our food to go a few times while exploring or when Matthew was napping. It is a very convenient and considerate option.

meals at winter clove inn : Sandwich and fries
Breakfast at Winter Clove Inn: Eggs and Bacon
meals at Winter Clove Inn menu

If you want to eat elsewhere, check out Trotwood Restaurant or Log Cabin Cafe near the resort. For an upscale atmosphere, you can also visit Silvia.

Things To Do at The Winter Clove Inn

Winter Clove Inn is equipped with all types of amenities to make your stay enjoyable. There is something for everyone to do, from the golf course, bowling alley, indoor and outdoor heated swimming pools, and a game room, to kid’s playground, bonfires, and more. Make sure to call the hotel before your check-in to inquire what amenities are open during your visit. It is also very conveniently located close to Windham and Hunter mountains, making it an excellent location for winter getaways to satisfy your skiing needs.

We most enjoyed the bonfire-filled evenings, hotel trails on their property (there are plenty!), and relaxing on the front porch while Matthew ran around. In addition to many on-site activities, the Winter Clove Inn is conveniently located near some of the most popular tourist attractions. Check out the hotel website to find more activities to do in Catskills.

Fall foliage in Catskills : Girl Swinging
Hotel Swing
Porch at Winter Clove Inn
Welcome sign for Winter Clove Inn resort
Winter Clove Inn property capture from outside
baby and mom in Catskills
Playground in winter clove inn

Bonfire Evenings

Staying at the Winter Clove means experiencing nature and outdoor activities at their best. Bonfire evenings were one of our favorites.

If you live in a city like us, you probably do not see star-studded skies often. We do not. Spending time by bonfires while making smores (provided by the hotel to all guests, free of charge!) felt that much more special when we could see countless stars and the milky way stretched across the sky. Truly special.

The bonfire gets set up on the hotel land. However, it is a few steps away from the hotel building. There is a short walk in a dark field. If you are alone, the walk can feel spooky. However, it sets the mood for a beautiful evening once you do get to the fire. You feel surrounded by nature and warmed by the fire. It is peaceful, and it is lovely.

I am so glad we experienced this beautiful evening together with Matthew (who was much less worried about the walk and super excited about the real-life bonfire, which he always loves to see in his books).

Hotel Hiking Trails

If you are staying at the Winter Clove Inn, be aware that you have access to many hiking and cross country trails on their property and lead to incredible views in the Catskills Mountains. Only about five minutes away from the main lodge (walking distance), you can get to the Artist Falls. A conveniently located hidden gem that can be all yours to enjoy.

Girl standing in front of Artist Falls in Catskills
Artist Falls in Catskills New York
Mom and child standing in the middle of fall foliage in Catskills
Girl posing inside the hiking trail covered with colorful leaves

Nearby Attractions to See Fall Foliage in Catskills

Kaaterskill Falls

Before I say anything else, I will point out that it is worth visiting Kaaterskill falls every season. However, popping leaves and the colorful trail leading to it adds up to the Foliage theme getaway.

Kaaterskill Falls is the tallest two-drop waterfall in New York State, measuring 321′. It is located in Green County’s town of Hunter (Eastern of Catskills Mountains). Kaaterskill Falls exceeded my expectations. Perhaps, this is all I should say to highlight how spectacular it truly is.

Girl and child walking inside the woods during fall foliage in catskills

Trails to The Falls

There are three ways to view the waterfall, depending on your hiking abilities and goals.

  • The upper overlook (0.3 Miles from the Parking lot)
  • Midpoint
  • Lower Falls (1.4 miles roundtrip)

We skipped the overlook. Not because we did not think it was worthy enough to see but because we were hiking with Matthew and wanted to make it to the very bottom first. Since walking down and up took us quite a bit of time, we ended up heading straight back to the resort afterward. If you have more flexibility regarding time and don’t have 30+ pounds to carry, you should check the overlook.

The hike that takes you to lower falls is considered “easy to moderate.” There are many rocky steps before you can get to the bottom of the falls. The steps are pretty stiff, so you need to be careful. However, the trail is pretty clean and easy to follow. It is coming back up that we found a lot harder, especially with extra weight to carry. Once you make your way down, the lower falls and midpoint are very close to each other.

The middle part of the falls was my personal favorite. Although it was nearly impossible to take a good picture due to water sprays, I have no regrets; I got sprinkled a bit to view the falls from that close! From lower falls, you are going to see the complete two drops of the falls. The big rocks down there make a comfy rest stop to sit and enjoy the view.

Finally, remember to get there early in the day. You get a lot more parking space and “alone time” at the falls if you beat the crowd. By the time we left, there were already people waiting for parking, which was not an issue we had to deal with when we arrived.

Girl looking down the Kaaterskill Falls during fall foliage in Catskills
Kaaterskill Falls captured during Fall foliage in Catskills

Mountain Top Arboretum

This place is the outdoor living museum for trees and flowers located in the Catskill Mountains. It is a unique and beautiful mountain top environment that aims to create a sanctuary for native and exotic trees, flowers, and shrubs. Given the cozy atmosphere, it also makes for a lovely place to spend a few hours and enjoy nature. When we visited, there were not many other visitors; just enough to not feel completely alone. We enjoyed the quiet time, and Matthew wanted plenty of space to satisfy his need to run around.

Mountain top arboretum in Catskills capturing flowers and colorful leaves
Baby on top of the mountain arboretum

Other Things To Do in Catskills During Fall

  • Skiing. Windham and Hunter mountens are located in the heart of the Catskills and make for excellent skiing locations
  • Ziplining. Catskills region is the home to the highest and fastest Zipline in North-America.
  • Horseback Riding. While there are plenty of options, K&K Equestrian Center is conveniently located near the Winter Clove Inn.
  • Kayaking and Whitewater Rafting. If you are looking for water activities, the Catskills region has you covered in this regard as well.

When is the best time to See Fall Foliage in the Catskills?

Before getting to the best potential dates, let me note that these are all estimates based on the past and current foliage metrics. Since we cannot control mother nature, it is somewhat challenging to plan for the peak dates way in advance. For the general rule of thumb, aim for the dates in October.

However, if you want to make sure you are visiting during the absolute peak, it is best not to book your stay way in advance. You may run the risk of finding many sold-out properties if you wait too long. Instead, you can keep checking foliage maps that you can find on Google or contact the hotels directly to get information from them. While it may be tricky, it is not an impossible task, and it is definitely worth the hustle since we only get these beautiful colors once a year for a short period.

couple kissing on the road covered with fall foliage

Have you been exploring fall foliage spots? Would you mind sharing below in my comments your favorite foliage destinations?

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