Rivers, Playground, Bridges, Tour, Coffee and more
May 29 2022 12:05 | Updated May 30 2022 03:05
Wandering around the Catskills area in New York with kids looking for fun, free things to do outside, but not too outside?
Yes, you are longing for nature, fresh air and space for the kids to run but how about coupling that with a cafe latte, picnic table, swings, car seat views and a place to wash little hands after a potty break.
A trip to the Sullivan County Catskills Upstate NY with the family can be very friendly, easy, cheap or free!
Here is a favorite free, family friendly Upstate New York Sullivan County Catskills itinerary.
Enter the Upper Delaware Scenic Byway through Port Jervis, New York and head up iconic New State 97 - to Hawk's Nest Highway, Pull off and marvel at the scenic overlook. Spectacular views and scenic photo opps attract people from all over the world to the Hawk’s Nest.
Continue up river on Route 97 crossing the border of Orange County into Sullivan County at the Mongaup River Trail Hiking area. Here the Mongaup River meets the Delaware River. Stop before the bridge in the parking area on the right. From your car enjoy the sound of this Delaware tributary as it rages or gently flows depending on recent rains and dam openings. Trail heads from the parking area.
Just beyond the Mongaup Bridge turn off Route 97 for a short jaunt up Sullivan County Route 31 (Upper Mongaup Road). The gentle curves of Route 31 climb out of the river valley for more expansive views.
In less than 10 minutes along Route 31, turn right at the sky blue sign for a bathroom and coffee break at the Kadampa World Peace Temple. The Temple grounds are open daily, free, from 9:00 AM – 7:00 PM. 82 acres include tranquil spots to sit in nature, photo-worthy views of the Buddhist World Peace Temple, short easy nature trails, pond, garden and picnic benches. Clean bathrooms with potable water are open all day. Take a Free Tour inside the traditional Buddhist Temple Friday-Monday, and enjoy the World Peace coffeehouse, gift shop and Buddhist book store.
With everyone rested and refreshed next stop is Cirle Park in Glen Spey. This delightful children’s playground has ample parking, handicap accessible equipment and includes nature trails, mini golf course (equipment provided for free) and picnic area.
With the kids winding down, head from the park down High Road towards the Delaware River at Pond Eddy NY. Everyone will enjoy a car ride across the one-lane Pond Eddy Bridge a petit truss bridge spanning the Delaware River.
As the day closes head back down the Delaware river on Route 97 towards Port Jerivs NY where you can enjoy dinner or ice cream. Maybe there is time for one last stop at the Hawk’s Nest to catch the sunset.