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The Stone House Bed & Breakfast at the Cornelis Kool House, Hurley NY, is an early 18th century Hudson Valley Dutch estate, with architectural features dating back to the original Dutch settlement of the New Netherlands. It is possibly the oldest house in New York State that you can actually stay in, dating from circa 1700.
Centrally Situated in the Mid-Hudson Valley
We are nestled in the peaceful countryside of the Esopus valley, by the historic village of Hurley, a National Historic Landmark. We are perfectly situated to explore both sides of the Hudson River, the Shawangunks or the Catskills.
Both the popular tourist destinations of Woodstock and Rhinebeck are just an 18 minute drive away. Explore the historic Rondout in Kingston and take a river cruise up the Hudson (a 10 minute drive), discover the enchanting lighthouse at Saugerties (16 minutes), go antiques shopping in High Falls (12 minutes), or take in a concert at the amazing Fisher Center at Bard College (19 minutes) - whether you choose to go sight-seeing or just walk a local trail, this area has a wealth of experiences to offer you. At six minutes from the New York State Thruway and less than two hours drive from New York City it's fast and affordable to reach this beautiful region.
Six Acres of Gardens and Woods, as well as Local Walks and Trails
The Cornelis Kool House is set in six acres of gardens and woodlands fronting the Esopus Creek, which runs down from the Catskill Mountains and into the Hudson River at Saugerties. The covered porch, bluestone patio, as well as, benches and picnic tables provide ideal spots to relax and enjoy the view across the Esopus valley to the mountains of the Catskill State Park.
We are right on the Delaware and Hudson Canal Heritage Corridor, with 2 miles of a paved trail to the northeast and 7 miles of a woodland walking/cycling trail to the southeast, to High Falls. (There you could choose from many places to eat, explore the shops, or visit the Canal Museum).
When the State University of New York at New Paltz conducted an archeaological dig on the land they found Native American artifacts dating back to 2000 BCE. This site has been continuously occupied since that time, first by the Esopus Indians and then, from the late 1600s, by the Dutch colonists, as they moved up the Hudson Valley. Sitting in our garden you can sense why the site is so naturally attractive - the river, the mountains and the woods seem to have their own special energy.
The Stone House Bed & Breakfast is the Perfect Four Season Getaway
All stays include a gourmet, three course breakfast. For example: Homemade granola and organic yogurt, zucchini frittata, and Belgian waffles with whipped cream. Or muesli with fresh fruit, potato pancakes and bacon, and nutmeg muffins with baked bananas and lemon sauce. Homegrown, local and organically grown ingredients are used wherever possible. Please let us know if you have any special dietary requirements or preferences. Parking space for one car is provided for each room. More is available if you are arriving in two cars - please let us know so we can reserve this for you.
Rooms either have en-suite bathroom facilities, or a separate private bathroom. All bathrooms have showers as well as bathtubs, and some en-suites have whirlpools - please see individual room descriptions. All rooms include high-quality linens and most have four-poster canopy beds. Rooms are spacious and uncluttered, and all have tables and chairs, nightstands and chests of drawers/armoires. Some rooms also have sofas. All rooms have views of the grounds and surrounding rural landscape.
The grounds include a picnic table and benches, a wooden swing seat, a herb garden and a walk through walnut trees to the creek below. There is a large living room available for use with a library, and games (including a croquet set!)
In 1609 Henry Hudson was the first European to sail up what is now known as the Hudson River on an expedition for the Dutch East India Company. He wrote in his journal, "It is as pleasant a land as one can tread upon".... The Dutch returned in 1626 to found New Amsterdam, now of course New York. In 1661 they founded "Nieuw Dorp", now known as Hurley, near "Wiltwyck", which we know as Kingston.
Around 1680, the Kool (sometimes spelled Cool or Cole) family were amongst the earliest settlers in Hurley and acquired the land our house now stands on. There is some evidence of an early wooden house on this site probably built after that date. We think that the oldest part of the existing stone house was built sometime between 1705 and 1720. In 1707 Cornelis Kool was granted a land patent with others in Hurley of around 70,000 acres which included what are now Woodstock, Marbletown, Rosendale and New Paltz. It appears that he lived in our house, greatly expanded it to its present size, and around 1745 built the house next door (The Patentee Manor).
The house exhibits many of the features of Dutch vernacular architecture typical of the Hudson Valley in the 17th and 18th centuries. Fieldstone walls, a steeply pitched roof, enormous beams, evidence of three jambless fireplaces, wide plank floors, Dutch doors, early sash windows and the remnants of leaded window frames can all be seen.
The house is one of the finest examples of early Hudson Valley Dutch vernacular arcitecture in private hands, as most others of similar quality are now museums. The Stone House Bed and Breakfast at the Cornelis Kool house represents a unique opportunity to stay in probably the oldest house in New York State that you can actually sleep in.
The majestic, myth-inspiring Hudson river valley is home to 2.2 million people, and abundant plant and animal life. It is the cradle of European settlement in the northeastern United States, and this year, 2009, is the 400th anniversarry of Henry Hudson's historic voyage up the Hudson River. Information on the 400th aniversary celebrations can be found at www.hudson400.com
The Catskills, originally named the "Katskil" by the 17th Century Dutch settlers, were also known as the Blue Mountains by the locals. They begin dramatically at the eastern end with the Catskill Escarpment rising up steeply from the river, just to the north of us. There are many great hikes through mountain and forest terrain and more information can be found at http://www.visitthecatskills.com
The Shawangunk Mountains, or Gunks for short, are just 10 miles to the south west and are known as a haven for climbers and mountain bikers. There are many fine hikes, and the Mohonk Preserve and Minnewaska State Park Preserve are magnificent. See http://www.mohonkpreserve.org and http://nysparks.state.ny.us/parks/info.asp?parkID=78
In HURLEY don't miss Stone House Day or the Fall pumpkin canon and other events at Gill's Farm Stand, just around the corner from our house, every weekend in October. In 2008 this included a free concert by Levon Helm! Be sure to visit Hurley main street and take a look at the museum. Take your children to the Hurley Country Store for a great selection of toys and see the model train sets in action! The Bevier House Museum is also recommended, and is only a two minute drive away.
KINGSTON's stockade area is only 10 minutes away, and is rich in history, with a great farmers' market every Saturday morning May through November. A good way to explore this area is to join a guided walking tour. The Ulster Performing Arts Center is just as close, and hosts internationally famous stars, such as Garrison Keillor and Yo-Yo Ma. The Roundout's rejuvenated and attractive waterfront is a 15 minute drive and offers restaurants, a maritime museum, a trolley museum and a promenade - take a river cruise down the Hudson from here, or just enjoy looking at the yachts.
In WOODSTOCK (18 minutes drive) visit the many great cafes, art galleries, shops and restaurants, including a Saturday flea market. In the summer, enjoy one of the concerts from the Maverick concerts series in a uniquely beautiful and historic site. Drive up to Overlook mountain, park near the famous buddhist monastery, and hike to the top for a great view. Enjoy streamside or fireside world class dining at The Bear Cafe - but book early!
In SAUGERTIES (16 minutes), follow directions to the lighthouse, where a boardwalk over natural wildflowers and paths along sandy beaches take you to a magical place where you can have a picnic or bathe in the Hudson. Enjoy nature trails where the Esopus meets the Hudson. We're a great place to stay for the horse shows at HITS. Driving back, see the amazing 6 acre outdoor sculpture that is Opus 40.
Enjoy the views of the CATSKILLS and the SHAWANGUNKS as you drive to STONE RIDGE (6 minutes) or HIGH FALLS (12 minutes) which offer several antique shops and restaurants as well as gift shops. High Falls has an old water mill, locks and a canal museum. (Or bring your bike and cycle 7 miles to High Falls along paths from our house that follow the old canal routes!)
Drive on from High Falls a further 18 minutes through wonderful SHAWANGUNK scenery to reach the famous Mohonk Mountain House for a visit to its luxurious spa. A manicure costs $40, which includes access to the verandas, solarium and mineral pool, as well as the opportunity to walk through its spectacular grounds. Combine a spa visit with a walk on the Mohonk Preserve for an unforgettable day. (The Preserve is adjacent to the Mountain House grounds, but can also be accessed from 4 other trailheads).
In Winter, go cross-country skiing along 30 miles of trails, some with spectacular views, from the Mohonk Mountain House, or for free along forest trails adjacent to our property.
In ROSENDALE (15 minutes) you can find a popular outdoor SWIMMING POOL and children's playground. Rosendale lies on the Roundout creek and is well known for its pickle festival in November.
CINEMAS can be found at Woodstock, Saugerties, Rosendale and Rheinbeck. RHINEBECK, with 437 sites listed on the National Historic Register and four or five blocks of shopping, is a popular tourist destination. An 18 minute trip there takes you over the Kingston-Rhinecliff bridge, with spectacular views of the Hudson and the Catskills as you drive back home. Have a drink at the Beekman Arms, which has been hosting guests since 1766. Experience fine dining at Terrapin, or Gigi Trattoria. Treat yourself to a range of spa services. The Dutchess County Fairground in Rhinebeck hosts many outstanding events through the year. Whether you're into antiques, crafts, food and wine, custom cars, or the immensely popular sheep and wool festival, there's something there for everyone. Book your accommodation early with us at peak weekends!
While you're east of the Hudson, visit grand historic homes such as Olana, Clermont, or Mills Mansion. Look out for fairs and festivals at these sites.
Go to the visually stunning Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College, designed by internationally renowned architect Frank Gehry, just 25 minutes away. Tours of the building take place every weekday. The Summerscape arts festival is a must, with opera, dance, theatre, film, music, and the famous Spiegeltent.
Finally, don't forget that NYC dance performances can be previewed at the Kaatsbaan International Dance Center in TIVOLI, half an hour away - for only $25 see the New York City Ballet, the Limon Dance Company, Maureen Fleming etc. up close in an intimate atmosphere.
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How To Find Us
We are six minutes drive from the NYS Thruway.
From The South / NYC, take Exit 19 on NYS Thruway 87. At the toll, bear right onto RT 28 to Pine Hill. After about half a mile, having driven over the thruway and through a light, merge onto US-209 S via the ramp on the right to Ellenville. After 4.1 miles, just BEFORE Gill's farm stand, turn sharp right at County Rte 29/Old Route 209, and we are 300 yds on the left.
From The North / Albany, take exit 19 on NYS Thruway 87 and follow the directions above.
If You Are Coming From The East on the Kingston-Rhinecliff bridge, simply continue after crossing the Hudson for about 8 miles on the 199, which becomes the US-209 S to Ellenville. Just BEFORE Gill's farm stand, turn sharp right at County Rte 29/Old Route 209, and we are 300 yds on the left.
If You Are Coming From The West / Southwest on route 209, we are about 5 miles from the center of Stone Ridge. Take a left just AFTER Gill's farm stand at County Rte 29/Old Route 209, and we are 300 yards on the left.