A 3.5-hour drive from the city, the bucolic and cow-dotted hamlet of Bovina, New York, offers weary New Yorkers sick of gazing at their screens a chance to take in well-manicured farmland, mountains and glimpses of the Delaware River. If you are willing to put up with spotty internet and no cell phone service, and really and truly disconnect, this is the place and pace to try for a while.
We spent a week at the Birdhouse in Bovina, a rustic cabin from the 1850s filled with original art that’s run by a former club owner and escapee from the city. Set in the middle of 100 sprawling acres, the Birdhouse is close to the villages of Andes and Delhi, both of which offer great hiking, farmers markets and ample opportunities to try the produce from local farms and wares from resident crafters.
Over several days last week, we hiked the Bramley Mountain Trail, the Shavertown Trail, where we picnicked overlooking spectacular views of the Pepacton Reservoir, and spent an afternoon walking the gentle and historic Andes Rail Trial that begins at the charming abandoned Andes Railway Station. With the threat of coronavirus still looming, we mostly ate at home, but still ventured out for a few excellent meals. At the rightly famous Wayside Cider, we loved the house-brewed alcoholic ciders (try the Catskill and the Half Wild!) and the smoked trout. Among other great local finds were goat’s-milk-based cheese and yogurt and crocodile bread from Dirty Girl Farm, and succulent grilled octopus at Trattoria Locale, all the way out in Margaretville.
When you go, don’t forget to stop by the farm stands that offer you a pick of fresh apples, eggs, peppers and jams, and leave cash in the old-fashioned honor system method. —Meera Nair