There are so many ways to enjoy the pleasures of summer in the Valley — it all depends on your mood. Looking for something relaxing? Take a stroll through a formal garden or a cruise down the Hudson. Need more excitement? Watch a stock car race, rock out at a summer concert, or hurtle down a 600-foot water slide. The choices are endless. So gas up the car, and get going!
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The large bear den is one of the Bear Mountain Zoo’s most popular attractions
Everyone knows about the big zoo in the borough, but for those looking to stay closer to home, visiting the animals at one of the following centers is an inexpensive way to enjoy a summer day, while learning a thing or two about our region’s other inhabitants.
The zoo at Bear Mountain State Park is home to a menagerie of critters indigenous to the region — such as owls, coyotes, and bears — that are unable to survive in the wild due to injury or some other reason. Be sure to bring your walking shoes when visiting these animals — this zoo’s winding path covers three quarters of a mile. Nearby, Bear Mountain’s park area offers other fun activities, including boat rentals on Hessian Lake, nature trails (the Appalachian Trail actually runs through the zoo), and a picnic section.
The Catskill Animal Sanctuary was created to care for farm animals unable to fend for themselves. The sanctuary is an educational center that provides a safe haven for critters that have suffered abuse, neglect, or abandonment. By allowing outside guests to visit, the organization hopes to raise awareness about the mistreatment these animals have suffered. Visitors who want to help can contact sanctuary officials to arrange sponsorship of an animal, which helps pay for necessities such as food and medical treatment.
Although the Trevor Zoo is located at a private school, all visitors are welcome. Its founder, Frank Trevor, was the Millbrook School’s first biology teacher and established the zoo in 1936 to share his love of wildlife with students and the public. It’s the only zoo in the country that’s located at a high school. Covering about six acres with indoor and outdoor exhibits, more than 180 exotic and regional animals are housed at the location, including seven endangered species. The zoo is open year-round, and throughout the summer accepts a limited number of volunteers, who assist in tasks such as meal preparation, cleaning, and dispensing tourist information.
All zoos accept financial donations.
Bear Mountain Zoo
Bear Mountain State Park, Bear Mountain. 845-786-2701
Want to skip ahead? Click on one of these links to:
Become a Beach Bum! Play a Round of Miniature Golf! Get Creative Outdoors! Go to the Zoo! Go Fruit-picking! See some Al Fresco Art! Get Fast and Furious! Visit a Formal Garden! Take in a Horse Show! Rent a Bike on the Walkway! Take a River Cruise! Go to a Water Park! Go to the Drive-in! Enjoy an Outdoor Concert! Picnic at Vanderbilt Mansion! Ride the Rails! Indulge in Dining Delights!