Fall Foliage at the Emerson Resort & Spa in the Catskills | Reconnect with Nature with New Ashokan Rail Trail Birding Guide & More

With the fall season around the corner and for consideration in leaf peeping or local road trip stories in New York, we wanted to write on behalf of the Emerson Resort & Spa, which recently reopened in July and is located two hours north (and an easy drive) from NYC in the Catskill Mountains. As a 20-acre luxury boutique property where guests can reconnect with nature with plenty of open-air and space to responsibly social distance, the Emerson recently launched their Stay Safe Pledge,” which outlines the details of their new health and safety protocol, as part of their reopening.

During the vibrant Upstate NY autumn season, the Emerson is extending their 3-Night Midweek Special. When guests book for three nights at the property, they’ll receive the 3rd night free (either on Thursday, Sunday or Monday), since the Emerson is closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at this time for weekly deep cleaning and sanitizing as part of their Stay Safe Pledge. The special is valid until November 23rd.

What’s more, the Emerson just launched their new Ashokan Rail Trail Self-Guided Birding Booklet for aspiring bird enthusiasts. Located in close proximity to the Emerson, The Ashokan Rail Trail recently opened to the public and is available from sunrise to sunset, offering nearly 12 miles of watershed lands which were previously closed to the public for over 100 years. Using the self-guided birding booklet, guests will now be able to use the guide to help them identify a diverse range of birds that are often spotted on the trail from Bald Eagles, Great Blue Herons, Scarlet Tanagers, Yellow Warblers, Belted Kingfishers, Buffleheads, Red-bellied Woodpeckers and many more.

Lastly, the Emerson will soon launch their “Brookside Wander” streamside project this fall, which is in partnership with the NYC Department of Environmental Protection and the Ulster County Soil & Water Conservation District. Within a protected environment, guests can walk through and learn how native vegetation stabilizes stream banks and provides down-stream benefits (such as prevention of flooding.) The Emerson is incorporating this experience into their ongoing nature walks to educate guests on topics such as invasive species, protection of the watershed, butterflies, bee pollinating, and birding.

Inspired by the resort’s location in the Catskills, as well as its namesake, poet Ralph Waldo Emerson, the luxury boutique hotel features 53 rooms and suites, a signature restaurant Woodnotes Grille that serves locally sourced produce from the Hudson Valley, a luxury destination Spa, dog-friendly amenities, and more.