Home to multiple farm stands, hiking trails, and caverns, Schoharie Valley is an idyllic vacation spot for those who want to enjoy some time in a rural area. Even with only twenty-four hours you can still enjoy local hotspots and have some delicious food.
If you want the perfect view of the valley, take a hike up Vroman’s Nose located in Fulton, near the town of Middleburgh. Located on West Middleburgh Road, park your car in the small lot and follow the grassy path to the right and make your way up the mountain. Though the hike is a little steep in some areas, most of the path is quite doable.
The best part of the hike is of course the top where you can see the entire Schoharie Valley, but you can also see that the large rock you stand on is covered in etchings of past hikers. Either just take in the view for a moment, or bring up a picnic lunch and enjoy the sunshine.
Old Stone Fort Museum
Three centuries of rural New York history is preserved at the Old Stone Fort, scattered in buildings on 25 acres of land. Among 50,000 artifacts, the one you will definitely want to go see is the Old Stone Fort, built in 1772 as a High Dutch (German) Reformed Church that was fortified in 1777 and attacked by the British in 1780.
Take a stroll around the eight buildings displaying all aspects of another time, and enjoy looking through photos, toys, or buttons from centuries ago. This is the perfect place to really submerge yourself into Schoharie Valley’s history, and get an idea of how this rural area played a part in the history of the United States.
One of the most unique attractions in New York State appears in the form of caverns hidden deep below the ground at Howe Caverns. I’ve been here several times, and the beautiful formations never cease to amaze me. Along with the traditional tour, there are also several other fun options to explore beneath the surface like yoga or the Signature Rock Discovery Tour.
This mysterious cave was discovered by Lester Howe in May 1842, when he realized his cows flocked to a cooler part of the land which happened to be the air escaping the caverns. He later explored this cave with his neighbor Henry Wetsel, and we have both of them to thank for the opportunity to visit the “Blowing Rock.”
NYPA Blenheim-Gilboa Visitor Center
A huge part of my childhood was visiting the NYPA Blenheim-Gilboa Visitors Center, whether it was for a festival, learning about the historic houses, or decorating a Christmas tree in art we had made in class. The Visitors Center itself is a 19-century dairy barn, but incorporates 21st century power with its interactive exhibits showcasing how our power is made, and how hydroelectric power is an important part of our power supply.
The other main attraction at the Visitors Center is another building – the Lansing Manor. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places, it was built in 1819 by John Lansing who was a New York delegate to the Constitutional Convention in 1787. To this day it is still filled with antiques from the beginning of the 19th century in each of its 10 rooms. You can either appreciate the outside decor, or take a tour on the inside and learn about the various uses of each room, and the furnishings that still adorn the walls and floors.
Iroquois Indian Museum
Located near Howe Caverns, the Iroquois Indian Museum is a venue for visitors to learn about the history and culture of the Iroquois through art. This museum also promotes Iroquois artists specifically, prizing their creative aspirations and presenting their pieces to the public. The building itself even gives notice to the tribes, as it was constructed to represent a longhouse which was one of the main types of buildings in this area.
There is not only contemporary art presented in this museum though. Their historical collection ranges from the 1600s to the 1700s, including artwork and papers that give a glimpse into the life of the people in Schoharie Valley, and the changing world around them as explorers from Europe came to rest at these unexplored shores.
Both a store and cafe, the Apple Barrel is a perfect place to have a delicious lunch and shop for local goods. In addition, they also hold classes where you can participate in creating a wreath or painting with other guests. Located near I-88, if you need an eatery close to the road while you’re traveling in Schoharie Valley, come over to the Apple Barrel.
- Hours: Sun-Thurs 11-4, Fri & Sat 11-7
- Featured Food: Gobbler Valley / Apple Indulgence
Read More: 10 Solo Travel Tips to Get You Wandering
One of my favorite restaurants in the town of Middleburgh, Hubie’s is a small Italian restaurant located right on Main Street. Featuring both a pizzeria and sit-down restaurant, make sure you reserve a spot in this quaint space, decorated with mementos of Middleburgh.
- Hours: Closed Monday, Tues-Thurs & Sun 3-8, Fri & Sat 3-9
- Featured Food: Sand Scratcher / Chicken Madeira
Whether you decide to spend the day hiking or exploring the history of Schoharie Valley, there is so much more to this rural area than people originally think. It’s nice to take a day away from the bustling city, and upstate New York is a perfect place to refresh and relax.