Surely one of the most impressive historic homesteads in the region, Ashokan Acres is a stunning compound comprised of a stone house, guest cottage and repurposed barn, set on 120 secluded and magical acres. Inhabited since 1703, this elegant property features an incredible array of amenities, particularly outdoors, from the mile-long frontage on the hallowed trout waters of the Esopus Creek; a 13-foot deep stream-fed swimming pond with dock; miles of hiking trails with breathtaking views of the surrounding Catskills peaks; rock outcroppings in dense pine and sycamore forests; two waterfalls; and fields of ferns.
A long driveway delivers guests to the cluster of buildings, including the 4 bedroom, 3.5 bath original stone Main House, which combines modern and historic elements. Upon entering, a 12’ window frames dramatic views of the 200-year old original red barn, the pond, and meadows beyond. The modern wing’s great room features 18’ ceilings with pine paneling and includes the kitchen on one end, lounge at the other, and dining in the middle.
The cyan blue chef’s kitchen (gas stove, farm sink, etc.) has all the gadgets you’ll need for preparing your feast and there is a large maple dining table at which to savor it. The lounge area has lots of windows, a comfy sofa and additional seating surrounding the fireplace, while a grand piano stands ready for a post prandial performance. Off the kitchen, there is a covered dining porch with a gas grill.
Counterpoint to the modern space, the historic wing of the house starts with a sitting room with a colonial vibe, decorated in an Arts & Crafts style. The lower ceilings, original exposed beams, books and fireplace make this cozy space a great reading room.
The first bedroom is up a small stair and has a queen bed, desk and en suite bathroom with a modern white tiled walk-in shower. The master bedroom is in a second floor addition an its en suite bathroom has a steam shower. The two bunk bedrooms share a bath with a tub/shower.
The TV room (although that’s far too generic a term for this space) is in the basement, where the original living quarters were and where ceilings and doorways are lower, as per the design of the day. Cuddle up on the sectional with a roaring fire and watch movies or shoot a game of pool in the adjoining room.
Just a short walk along a bluestone path and you’re at the sweet, whitewashed Guest Cottage, with its covered rocking chair porch and two dormer windows. It’s a more informal house with pine paneled walls in most rooms, and has three comfortable bedrooms and two bathrooms. There is a simple country kitchen which opens to a family room overlooking the field.
The first-floor bedroom, the African room, houses collected items from Sierra Leone, Kenya, and Morocco. A full bathroom, laundry closet, and gym outfitted with free weights, yoga mats, heavy bag and speed bag are also on this floor. Off the upstairs landing is the second bathroom and a seating area with desk, artisan bookshelves with a huge window offering a stunning view of the forest, brook, and pond. The white bedroom has two twin beds, while the Emily Carr room pays tribute to the twentieth-century West Coast Canadian artist. It’s furnished with a moss green linen queen bed, pottery, and framed prints of Carr’s indigenous paintings.
Nestled next to both of the living quarters is the renovated 200-year old barn, which has been converted into a screened-in sitting area filled with a collection of wonderful mismatched chairs and antiques. Relaxing in the barn and experiencing the change of light over the pond and meadows at dusk is truly one of the highlights of spending time at Ashokan Acres.
The outdoor amenities are endless. At the back of the Main House is a beautifully landscaped bluestone patio with chaise lounges and chairs that looks down over the pond and grounds. A pretty stream runs between the two homes and pours into the picturesque swimmable pond, eventually feeding into the Esopus, making the water incredibly refreshing. Sit out on the new dock or dive in!
Speaking of the Esopus, one of the most historic tributaries of the Hudson River, there is a mile of frontage and the trout await. Fancy a hike? No need to get in the car, there are six miles of trails weaving through the property, with the highlight being the cantilevered deck with chairs for taking in the exceptional Catskills panorama.
Last, but certainly not least, steps lead up a rock outcropping to a leveled clearing where you will find a sauna, elevated above the Main House.
If you’re seeking the ultimate Hudson Valley / Catskills experience, with a heady mixture of exceptional outdoor amenities, historic charm and modern comforts, and where all four seasons offer an unparalleled Upstate getaway, Ashokan Acres awaits.