For northeasterners, experiencing life on a dude ranch should probably require some major traveling, air fare, car rental, and travel on unfamiliar highways. Nothing could be further from the truth. New York State is home to many dude ranches, all located close to the New York State Thruway.
Pinegrove Dude Ranch
Pinegrove is located in the Shawangunk Mountains in Kerhonkson. Catering to families, the ranch offers all-inclusive packages that include accommodations, horseback riding and instruction, indoor and outdoor pools, nightly entertainment that is suitable for children and three all-you-can-eat meals.
Winter activities include downhill skiing on the property. Pinegrove makes their own snow and offers skis, boots and poles, as well as free lifts and lessons. If you’re hestitant about getting on skiis, there’s also snow tubing, ice skating, and an indoor heated pool. Indoor facilities are also available for basketball, archery, ping pong, mini-golf, shuffleboard, tennis and more.
In the warmer months, the resort boasts outdoor pools, a double flume water slide, campfires and fishing and boating in their stocked lake. Social events include a daily cocktail party, riding demonstrations, savenger hunts, nature walks, cattle calling, hayrides and marshmallow roasts.
Owner David O’Halloran has said that the best way to experience this ranch is with your children. Pinegrove is a great place for your family to get to know each other again. Learn more about Pinegrove at www.pinegroveranch.com.
Roseland Ranch Resort
Owned and operated by the Fichera family, Roseland is the oldest continuously operating western style dude ranch resort in the mid-Hudson Valley. The all-inclusive price includes nature walks, horseback riding and cook-out rides, an indoor riding arena, hay rides, pony rides, and indoor and outdoor pools. Vacationers and weekenders can relax in the rustic atomosphere by day and dance the night away to live entertainment and country dance instruction at night.
You don’t need to be an experienced rider to appreciate Roseland. Owner Chickie Fichera said that the ranch offers slow, medium, and advanced horseback rides. Specials are offered for every major holiday weekend of the year. Visit their Web site at www.roselandranch.com for details.
Ridin-Hy Ranch is located in Warrensburg, New York and offers year round activties. In addition to horseback riding and lessons, visitors in the winter months can take advantage of “learn to ski weekends,” snow mobiling, snow tubing, and ice fishing. Summertime finds the ranch offering professional and guest rodeos, pontoon boat rides and their famous weekly smorgasbord. Additional activities include bingo, movies, pizza parties, and hot dog roasts. For more information on Ridin-Hy, visit their Web site at www.ridinhy.com.
Rocking Horse Ranch Resort
Rocking Horse Ranch in Highland is described as “a taste of the west with a New York flavor.” Nation “Toole” turk purchased an old boarding house in 1958 and opened Rocking Horse Ranch. Today the ranch is owned by the late Nathan Turk’s son, Steven Turk.
In addition to horseback riding and instruction, they too have pony rides and hay rides as well as bonfires with sing-a-longs. Riding is included in the package. Beginner, intermediate and advanced rides are available and are about one hour and ten mintues long. They also have a giant water slide, three heated pools, and a long list of activties.
This is just a sample of the many dude ranches located in New York State. These ranches offer an authentic western experience without the trip west. If you’re looking for an all-inclusive place for your family to have fun together, unwind, and maybe even do some horseback riding.