Whether it’s your first time hearing of the word Dude Ranch or you’ve been wondering where is a dude ranch in New York, you’ve come to the right place.
Dude Ranches, where city slickers, hardened cowboys, and girls come together for a short period to marvel at nature. They take in the beauty of horses and get their kids off their Ipads.
New York state might be known for its towering skyscrapers and some of the nation’s best bagels, but it’s also home to the Adirondack, Appalachian, and Catskills Mountains Ranges.
While many of the guest ranches in the Catskills started as resorts with family fun and friendly staff at their core, they soon morphed into Dude Ranches that continue to thrive today.
Dude Ranches usually combine an array of outdoor activities, i.e., horseback riding, fishing, hiking, and swimming, with indoor activities such as massages on properties rooted in southern hospitality and charm.
Here are Four Dude Ranch vacations perfect for your next getaway.
Ridin-Hy Ranch Resort
Ridin-Hy Ranch Resort strives to create memories with your family or yourself. First opening its gates to guests in 1940, the resort is an all-weather haven.
You don’t need to go far to unwind and enjoy all the Adirondack area. You find yourself surrounded by hospitable staff when you step onto the grounds.
This comfort is easy, considering the array of accommodations, activities, and on-site amenities.
If you choose to visit in the summer, be prepared for many water activities and time in the sun, perfect for getting the perfect tan.
In the wintertime, you can bundle up and snuggle around one of their fire pits in your room, suite, or main lodge as you recount the day’s activities.
In addition, you can go ice fishing, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, and ride around in buggies.
For the authentic Dude Ranch activity, head down to the 700 acres of well-marked and maintained trails for horseback riding.
Thus, if you’re new to the sport, consider getting lessons from one of their on-site wranglers and horsing around for the rest of your stay.
The ranch kids program is extensive with activities. You can choose archery, play tennis or basketball.
In addition, shuffleboard, horseshoes, softball, volleyball, and kickball are available. The ranch also offers rides and lessons for beginners to experience rides.
In addition, you could decompress in either an indoor pool or jacuzzi. For anglers, guided pontoon boat fishing trips on Sherman Lake are available.
Hay Rides and Horse Drawn Wagon Rides are available for slower-paced vacationers, with pony rides available for little cowpokes.
The accommodations on site have been carefully placed within walking distance of the beach, pool, and main lodge.
They vary from chalet cabins, multi-unit log cabins, and motel-style cabins to lodge rooms that can fit up to 13 guests at a time.
- A non-refundable $100 is required at the time of booking.
- The height-weight ratio limits rides
Address: 95 N Sherman Lake Rd, Warrensburg, NY 12885, United States
Phone: (518) 494-2742
Rocking Horse Ranch Resort Highland
Each guest’s stay at Rocking Horse Ranch Resort is different.
Some guests begin their day with target practice at the shooting and archery range, ending with some live entertainment in the Silverado saloon.
In contrast, others spend their days on the 500-acre trails riding and ending their day at the Silverado saloon for an a la carte dinner.
Whether you explore the ranch on horseback, by the indoor water park, or by unwinding the newly built Eldoradodo hot springs, you can be sure of a good time.
They provide nightly entertainment in the saloon, varying acts from illusionists, magicians, musicians, and comedians.
If a stay in the saloon doesn’t fit you, consider heading down to the spa or fitness center for some much-needed “you” time.
For accommodations, you can choose either main lodge rooms perfect for 4-6 guests or Oklahoma building rooms which vary in the number of beds and come fitted with TVs, mini-refrigerators, hair dryers, and WI-FI.
Address: 600 State Route 44/55, Highland, NY 12528
1000 Acres Ranch
The ultimate Dude Ranch vacation has three pillars, horseback rides that take up most of your vacation time, unrivaled hospitality and service the staff provides, and rustic yet homey accommodations.
A stay at the 1000 acres ranch involves just that. When not working on your line dancing technique, you might spend most of your day tubing down the Hudson River with other guests as your little ones enjoy a game of horseshoes, cornhole, and foosball.
All the cowboys and cowgirls will enjoy the ranch trails, where the most gentle and beautiful horse will take you and your group on a 45-minute journey through the park together with experienced wranglers.
Whether you’re a beginner rider looking for a few lessons or an experienced rider looking to trot and canter, you will find the trails more than sufficient.
For a long time in the saddle, consider their 2-hour stopover ride, which features a stopover at Stony Creek for lunch, or their Hudson River crossing and cattle sorting rides for the ultimate cowboy experience.
Their cabins feature rustic yet modern cabins located along the Hudson River and the Adirondack mountain to the south and can accommodate anywhere from 2- 4 guests per room.
Their all-inclusive dining options range from hot and cold dishes for breakfast, to hearty entrees, for lunch and dinner paired with a healthy dose of starch and fresh vegetables.
Amenities At The Ranch
- 2 Outdoor Pools
- An Indoor Pool
- Hot Tub
- Heated and Air Conditioned Rooms
- Cable TV
- Mini Fridge
- Hiking trails
- An 18-hole golf disc course
- Red dog saloon
The kid’s dinner menu has two kid-friendly dinner options. In addition, the ranch also hosts special events for family reunions, weddings, and private events.
Address: 465 Warrensburg Rd, Stony Creek, NY 12878
Estate At Fly Creek
Formerly the B&B Ranch, the Estate At Fly Creek is an 8-bedroom, untraditional Dude Ranch spread across 335 acres.
Located just outside Cooperstown, you will marvel at the house’s architecture and furnishing, which has a rustic yet modern feel.
Stays at the Estate include relaxing horseback rides and farm-to-table meals that can be prepared by an in-house chef Jeff, one of the house managers.
However, the meals are at an additional cost. Also, you can soak in the pool, which is heated.
The estate comes with two fully equipped kitchens which are more than enough for any cook, eight private bedrooms, all ensuite with satellite TV, and free WI-FI.
Whether you’re there for the estate, the horses, or the incredible landscape, you will experience nature at its finest.
For equine enthusiasts, the estate hosts an equine center, Taylortown Equine, where guests can arrange a ride through the woods and meadows and around the lake.
Other activities available include fishing, kayaking, paddle boarding, cross-country skiing, ice skating, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling on 75 miles of well-marked interconnecting trails.
If you find there’s an activity you would like to engage in, and you cannot find it on the property, consider heading out into Cooperstown.
- An indoor heated pool and steam room
- A private spring-fed lake perfect for fishing
- Gas grill
- Outdoor fire pit
- A lighted regulation size tennis and basketball court
- The minimum stay is three days.
- Cancellations made 60 days before arrival will receive a full refund. However, 30 -60 days before check-in, guests will receive a 50% refund or no refund.
- Pets are not allowed on the estate except service dogs.
Address: 434 Bedbug Hill Rd, Fly Creek, NY 13337
Phone: (607) 547-5216
Now that you know where you can go for the perfect getaway, here are a couple of tips to make your vacation smoother.
- Always ask questions. While you might be afraid of looking dumb, it’s better to be in the know and avoid injury.
- Pack the right amount of clothes while you might be traveling to the mountains in the summer, and a swimsuit is in order. Certain activities on the ranch require wearing closed shoes, sneakers, and long pants.
- Always call ahead before booking for days of operating. No one likes those types of surprises.
- A Dude Ranch vacation is rustic and remote. While having modern amenities is pleasant, don’t be surprised if the ranch is up to par with your home, so always come prepared.
- Have fun, and don’t sweat the small stuff. While planning a vacation, ensuring everyone arrives for the activities is essential. You’re on vacation, so let’s tune it back to DEF-Con 1 and chill out.
The Dude Ranches in New York have a little bit of everything. Whether you’re an adventurer looking for your next adventure or someone looking to get away from the city’s pollution and take it slow, you will find that and so much more.
You might have come for the horses, but you end up with a community and memories that last a lifetime for you and your loved ones.