PUTNAM COUNTY

County Offices
40 Gleneida Avenue
Carmel
845-808-1102
www.putnamcountyny.com

Chambers of Commerce
Brewster Area Chamber
16 Mount Ebo Road South
Brewster
845-279-2477
www.brewsterchamber.com

Mahopac Area Chamber
953 South Lake Boulevard
Mahopac
845-628-5553
www.mahopaccarmelonline.com

 

Major Highways
Interstates 84 and 684, Taconic State
Parkway, U.S. Routes 9, 22, and 6

Rural outpost and popular vacation spot, Putnam County is located approximately 50 miles north of New York City and 115 miles south of Albany. This region of pastoral beauty continues to attract new residents and currently ranks among the fastest growing suburban areas in the entire state of New York. Situated north of Westchester County and south of Dutchess County, the small county of Putnam is bordered on the west by the Hudson River and the east by the state of Connecticut.

The topography varies greatly and is often spectacular, from the craggy bluffs and winding valleys of the Hudson Highlands to the green, rolling meadows in the county’s eastern portion. Putnam was originally included in Dutchess County, separating in 1812. It was in 1863 that Gail Borden erected a factory in Brewster for the daily processing and canning of 80,000 quarts of milk produced by local cows on Putnam’s 20,000 acres of farmland. New York City was then acquiring land for the construction of reservoirs, and by the early 1900s, some of the local farms were replaced by beautiful lakes. Today, these sparkling bodies of water provide some of the finest trout and bass fishing in the Northeast. Graced by nature’s bounty and premier recreational areas, Putnam County soon became a popular destination for wealthy vacationers from New York City. Visitors flocked to the region’s lakeside resort communities, and tourism began to thrive as an important industry.

Even though the other suburban and metropolitan centers that surround New York City continued to grow over the decades in urban sophistication, industrial activity, commercial development and residential neighborhoods, Putnam County managed to preserve the legacy of its past in rolling farmland and undeveloped acreage. Even the towns that punctuate the landscape offer the charm and warmth of “yesterday” in quaint historic districts.

 

Economy

Putnam’s natural beauty, rugged terrain, and predominance of crystalline spring-fed lakes represent some of the area’s greatest resources. Although agricultural activity and a certain amount of service-oriented and commercial business flourish within the county, the area continues to thrive on its initial attraction as a new frontier for those seeking affordable home ownership where taxes are lower and open space is possible.

Older summer and seasonal homes have given way in recent years to year-round residences that have been fully winterized and often updated to offer a convenient, completely contemporary lifestyle. Many communities feature new luxury home developments situated in heavily wooded areas where some of the region’s finest recreational amenities are literally “just beyond the backyard.”

From meticulously restored Victorian and Colonial homes in charming hamlet neighborhoods to magnificent lakefront communities that have expanded in their retail facilities to serve as shopping centers for the surrounding countryside, Putnam’s eclectic population centers are just as appealing as nature’s kaleidoscope of lush greenery and sparkling waters. Shopping districts along quaint, tree-lined streets enjoy a brisk business in antique and craft shops and unusual boutiques. Visitors from across the nation are drawn to Putnam County for well-known havens like Cold Springs or Garrison.

 

Transportation

In Putnam, the concept of “rustic” does not necessarily mean remote. Interstates 84 and 684 link the county with the major metropolitan areas, while the Taconic State Parkway and U.S. Routes 9, 22 and 6 allow for ease of travel within the state. Express commuter bus service to New York City and destinations in Westchester County are available. Commuter as well as regular rail service runs to Grand Central Station from area hubs. Trucking services are provided by major intrastate and interstate carriers, enabling them to link with major markets in less than a day’s drive. Putnam County lies within one and one-half hours driving time of New York City’s LaGuardia and Kennedy International airports, and Newark International Airport in New Jersey. In addition, four airports serve corporate jets and other private craft in close proximity to Putnam.

 

Education

Putnam public school districts offer services to meet the needs of every student in the county. From the magnet schools to programs for children who are challenged, Putnam County schools are some of the best and most innovative in the state. An impressive 89 percent of graduating seniors from Putnam’s public and private high schools are college bound.

More than 30 colleges and universities are located within 45 minutes driving time, in addition to New York City schools that are just over an hour away by car or train. Pace University, SUNY Purchase, Western Connecticut State University, the College of New Rochelle, Vassar, Marist, Iona, Mercy and Manhattanville colleges name a few of the highly respected institutions available to Putnam residents. Dutchess and Westchester community colleges provide continuing education, career programs, and college-track programs all at “resident tuition levels.”

 

Lifestyle

Putnam County was always considered “the country,” and with more than 100 lakes it became a natural destination for New York City dwellers seeking to escape the sweltering summers. Today, it remains a perfect place for enjoying the great outdoors, whether your passion is skiing, hunting, fishing, boating, or camping.

A spectacular 20.6-mile stretch of the Appalachian Trail runs diagonally through the county and is ideal for casual or serious hiking. Fahnestock Park, known as the largest recreational park in the county, is another excellent choice for lovers of the panoramic outdoors, providing hiking trails, primitive camp sites or a refreshing swim. The Great Swamp is known for canoeing, while Walter G. Merritt Park is recognized for scenic trails and waterfalls.

For students of history, Putnam County has a number of quaint old inns that offer an ideal “base camp” from which to explore historic sites, hunt for antiques, or discover the hidden treasures of quaint villages and hamlets. Garrison is undoubtedly one of the most picturesque, with Victorian homes and shops, an arts center, and delightful gazebo overlooking the Hudson River. Its stone railroad depot was used as a set in the movie “Hello, Dolly.” The restored turn-of-the-century quaint village of Cold Spring attracts visitors to its antique and craft shops along Main Street. The cornucopia of seasonal bounty creates a tempting display at the many roadside stands and farms offering fresh produce. Visitors can also enjoy a stroll on the newly renovated dock, commanding views of West Point Military Academy to the south and Storm King Mountain to the north.

Putnam County includes townships that are comprised of a number of villages and hamlets. While most of the county remains decidedly rural, development and growth have made definite inroads. But while condominiums and new housing subdivisions can be seen covering the landscape in many areas, conformity is not the norm. Putnam County’s continued appeal can be attributed to its commitment to quality neighborhoods, promoting individual expression and a wide variety of lifestyles.

 

Brewster, Southeast

Brewster Village Hall

845-808-1142
www.putnamcountyny.com
Southeast Town Hall
845-279-4313
www.townofsoutheast-ny.com
Chamber of Commerce
845-279-2477
www.brewsterchamber.com

Located within the town of Southeast, the village of Brewster had its genesis as a turn-of-the-century railroad town. The area’s highest concentration of commerce and industry is located within Brewster’s 135 acres, and still it continues to attract new businesses. Both small and mid-sized businesses include financial institutions, insurance companies, funeral homes, oil companies, restaurants, lawyer’s offices, and office supply stores. The village has several small clusters of retail stores that line the Main Street shopping district in addition to dozens of cafes, delicatessens, restaurants, and taverns. Residents enjoy supervised programs that include sports leagues as well as well-developed local recreational facilities that support a variety of sports. The commuter hub of Brewster enjoys a strategic location along a major interchange of Interstates 84 and 684.

 

Carmel, The Mahopac’s

Town Hall

845-628-1500
www.carmelny.org
Chamber of Commerce
845-628-5553
www.mahopaccarmelonline.com

The town of Carmel, located north of Westchester County, is the most populous of Putnam County’s townships. This area actually encompasses a number of smaller lakeside communities as well as the two hamlets of Mahopac and Carmel. The Mahopac business area, located at Routes 6 and 6N, continues to thrive as a shopping center for visitors and residents alike. The hamlet of Carmel also serves as the county seat for Putnam. The downtown business district is an attractive blend of new and old architecture including the County Court House built in 1814.

Many of the local businesses have been owned by the same family for generations. During the past 30 years, a number of pleasant residential neighborhoods have emerged. Recreation services and facilities are designed for all age groups and interests to ensure four-season enjoyment.

Patterson

Town Hall

845-878-6500
www.pattersonny.org
Chamber of Commerce
845-855-0500
http://www.pawlingchamber.org

The 18th-century buildings along Front Street harmonize with the meticulously restored historic homes in the adjacent residential neighborhoods to create an appealing atmosphere of Victorian charm in the community of Patterson. The vitality and timeless qualities of this thriving and progressive community are conscientiously preserved by area homeowners and business owners who work together in a cooperative spirit to ensure a high quality of life. Civic leaders and residents are committed to a bright future where the legacy of yesterday is honored and protected. While small in area, Patterson is able to offer the necessary goods and services to both local residents as well as those living in the surrounding countryside. Recreational activities range from sports leagues to white-water rafting.  Route 22 offers a commercial corridor.

 

Philipstown, Cold Spring, Nelsonville, Garrison

Town/Village Hall

845-265-3329
http://philipstown.com

Chamber of Commerce
845-265-3329
http://explorecoldspringny.com

Located in the western end of Putnam County, Philipstown is a mountainous region that stretches along the Hudson River from Westchester County into scenic Dutchess County. Rising to 1,400 feet above sea level, this region also commands breathtaking views of the Hudson Valley. Most residents either live in or around Philipstown’s small historic villages of Cold Spring, Nelsonville, and Garrison. One of the area’s treasures is the 6,800-acre Clarence Fahnestock Memorial State Park where hikers can find evidence of mines, schools, stores and old farms. Other recreational amenities include tennis courts, playgrounds, sports fields/courts, and organized league play. Golfers and boaters will find that private clubs and picturesque natural settings add to the enjoyment of their favorite sport.

Putnam Valley

Town Hall

845-526-2121
www.putnamvalley.com
Chamber of Commerce
845-628-5553
www.mahopaccarmelonline.com

 

From its genesis as an agricultural and mining community, the Putnam Valley area was eventually discovered by New York City residents and developed as a scenic vacation escape. Today, Putnam Valley is almost exclusively a bedroom community. This lovely wooded region of hills and valleys is easily accessible via the scenic Taconic State Parkway. Although the area has no incorporated villages, Putnam Valley does operate its own school district and offers a public library as well as several houses of worship. A number of distinct communities have sprung up over the decades around many of the waterfront areas such as Oscawana, Lake Peekskill, Canopus, and Peekskill Hollow Creeks. In addition to water sports, other recreational amenities include first-rate facilities and organized activities for all ages.

 

Putnam County’s Lake Communities

Town Halls     

Lake Carmel

845-225-3943
www.townofkentny.gov

Lake Peekskill
845-526-3280
www.putnamvalley.com

Putnam Lake

845-878-6500
www.pattersonny.org

Lake Secor
845-628-1500
www.carmelny.org

Chamber of Commerce

845-628-5553
www.mahopaccarmelonline.com

Spring-fed lakes are significant attributes in these resort communities. Four major lakeside towns include Lake Carmel in Kent, Lake Secor in the town of Carmel, Lake Peekskill in Putnam Valley, and Putnam Lake in the Patterson area. Today, these communities offer year-round homes and convenient shopping and municipal services. Former summer cottages have been winterized and converted, many of them offering lovely wooded or waterfront settings. Those who appreciate tranquility against a backdrop of natural beauty will want to explore the many possibilities in the panoramic lake communities.

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