Upstate Dude Ranch Channels The Best Of The West
Rocking Horse Ranch Resort in Highland, N.Y. has been kicking up dust for more than 50 years, and it doesn't take a lot of horse sense for visitors to channel its "dude ranch" roots.
But these days, the ranch's second-generation owner is putting his own stamp on it.
"I put waterslides in, more heated pools, embellished the waterfront. We are steadily improving our food and beverage operations," said Rocking Horse Ranch President & CEO Steven Turk.
Located in the mid-Hudson Valley region of Ulster County, about 90 minutes north of Manhattan, it is easy for visitors to pretend they are west of the Mississippi.
As experienced on a recent media visit, guests can get their cowboy on in a New York minute, with unlimited daily horseback rides on hundreds of acres of trails. It is that "home on the range" vibe that keeps families coming back year after year.
"The appealing part is your kids can roam, so you don't have to worry," said one visiting mother.
The place is best suited for wranglers aged 12 and under, as it does not have enough bells and whistles for today's demanding teens.
From hay rides to sleigh rides, this all-inclusive resort provides three meals a day and year-round outdoor activities.
Three nights are the recommended stay in comfortable rooms with bathrooms that are due for an upgrade.
It's hardly a bargain getaway, but it does pack some value. Fall stays are all over the map, from $140 to $215 a night for each adult, while kids range from $39 to $79 a night, depending on time frame and discounts applied. For more information, visit www.rockinghorseranch.com.
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