This is no longer a problem of any moment and few will need any explicit directions. And yet there are uncomfortable, undesirable routes and methods which may easily be avoided by a little study of this book, which is largely devoted to the details of the best route, the only through car line and all-rail connection.

For some fifty years after its summer charms were first discovered, the region remained practically inaccessible. There was a long and tedious stage-ride from the river, over an atrocious road and up the steep mountain-side at a snail's pace, which was often attended with some danger, and it took a man of vigor and endurance to stand the trip. The steep and stony miles, the jaded horses, and the lumbering old stages were pretty apt to awaken sympathies and feelings not wholly akin to the picturesque sublimity on every side, leaving scant time or mood to indulge his love for mountain grandeur. Invalids, who would be most benefitted by the change of air and scene, were unable to make the ascent, the effects of which were so unlikely to be palliated or overcome by the scant facilities for accommodation and comfort then afforded on the mountain. But this was the condition of affairs in the Catskills, with slight improvements, down to 1870, when the iron-horse began to sniff the air of the hills. Here was a charming summer resort wholly undeveloped; even the old Greene county section, which was about the only part known at all. The wildest and most charming region, lying in the counties of Ulster and Delaware, was largely unexplored and completely inaccessible except to the sturdy hunters and bark-men. The great chain of mountains had never been entered on this side where the great popular and easy approach for the entire range was destined to be. The giant Slide Mountain crag, which had overshadowed every other peak for countless ages, was practically unknown, and its superior height quite unsuspected. Thus the varied magnificence of this entrancing region which has now so greatly enhanced the fame of the Catskills, was yet to be revealed.

Ulster & Delaware | Stories Page | Contents Page

This page originally appeared on Thomas Ehrenreich's Railroad Extra Website


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