ULSTER COUNTY

County Offices
244 Fair Street
Kingston 845-340-3800
www.co.ulster.ny.us

Chamber of Commerce
55 Albany Avenue
Kingston 845-338-5100
www.ulsterchamber.org

 

Major Highways
New York State Thruway,
Route 84 and the
Massachusetts Turnpike

Located in the east central portion of the state on the west side of the Hudson River, Ulster County includes a sprawling portion of the Catskill and Shawangunk Mountains. Offering an abundance of services, wide open spaces, generous lots with ample acreage, a favorable cost of living, a serene lifestyle, and vast natural recreational amenities — Ulster County is an ideal choice for relocating families who prefer the relaxed pace of country living in close proximity to major metropolitan employment centers.

 

Transportation
Ulster County’s borders are only 70 miles north of New York City and 45 miles south of Albany, making the area accessible to major urban advantages via the New York State Thruway. This major thoroughfare provides several interchanges in the county. Ulster is also connected to several other New England states via Route 84 and the Massachusetts Turnpike, while a network of state routes and highways serve intra-county needs. Motor carriers serve Ulster County on a daily or even hourly basis with extremely competitive rates. Although some smaller airports are located close to home for private or business use, the major hub for air travel for Ulster County residents is usually Stewart International Airport.

 

Economy
Ulster County is ideally located within 300 miles or a single day’s drive of several major metropolitan markets. Among them are New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C, and Montreal in Canada. This region is also well-situated from a geographic standpoint to attract new and diversified businesses that will ensure a strong economic base. The service sector in Ulster County is very well developed and represents more than three-quarters of the entire work force. With its abundance of natural beauty and mountain splendor, Ulster County boasts an active hospitality industry with some of the highest hotel and motel receipts in the entire state of New York. Active farms occupy almost 70,000 acres and produce more than $50 million in products each year. In fact, this region is the state’s largest producer of fresh market apples and sweet corn. While massive IBM downsizing in the late 1980s created ripples of economic disruption throughout Ulster County, the retail and service sectors both demonstrated remarkable resiliency. In fact, they actually gained in employment during that time. A strategic plan and development effort has been underway in recent years to attract more service-producing industries and high-tech companies and expand the area’s retail activity. The combination of advertising and dynamic incentives for new businesses have been successfully stirring interest in Ulster County’s resources and advantages. The State of New York chose Kingston as the site to consolidate its data centers, utilizing one million square feet of vacant IBM space. These data centers also added thousands of jobs to the growing employment base.

 

Education
Residents of Ulster County enjoy a high  caliber of public education in a centralized system that combines nine well-managed school districts. Dedicated teachers, high  per-pupil expenditures, both parental and community involvement, and low ratios for teacher/pupil all support a curriculum that emphasizes acquiring traditional skills and knowledge as well as special programs for those students who are gifted or challenged. Ulster high school graduates have a wide selection of higher education opportunities within the Hudson Valley region, as well as a community college and State University right in their own backyard.
Ulster County Community College is close to home, serving more than 3,000 students who are either continuing their education or launching a four-year degree program. The State University at New Paltz is part of the renowned New York State University System and currently boasts an undergraduate enrollment totaling more than 4,500 students.

 

Lifestyle
Ulster County offers a pleasing mix of low-mountain scenery, verdant hillsides, rugged ridges and sprawling farmlands. Within its quaint small villages and quiet communities is the potential for a relaxed style of living that offers the “country” feeling of friendly neighborhoods along quiet, tree-lined streets. Housing options in Ulster are as diverse as the terrain, from small vacation and “second” homes to large old farm houses and expansive acreage. Affordable single-family residences are available a wide variety of architectural styles and prices, and zoning regulations for new construction ensure generous lot sizes as growth continues. Contemporary residential development includes a few multi-family developments in most of the communities that provide apartment and condominium options for a lifestyle that requires little maintenance.

Taking complete advantage of its vast natural resources, Ulster County has long been known for its fine hospitality suites and resorts. The scenic “mountain towns” of Woodstock, Shandaken, Hardenburgh, Olive, and Denning play a vital role in the economy as sources of forestry products and watersheds, but they are important as key recreation destinations and locations for vacation homes.

Although many of the communities in Ulster County are home to retail centers, the larger department stores and regional malls are clustered in well-populated urban  centers such as Ulster and Kingston — or across the Hudson River in Poughkeepsie. Quaint shopping districts and unusual shops are scattered throughout the county and
provide residents as well as visitors with limitless opportunities for exploration and discovery. Recreational opportunities in Ulster County are plentiful and enviable, since this region forms the heart of the Catskill Park and encompasses more than 160,000 acres of State Forest Preserve Land that is open to the public.

Minnewaska State Park with its vantage point high atop the lovely Shawangunk Mountains provides spectacular views and access to more than 12,000 scenic acres. The county itself maintains two parks — one with more than 3,000 feet of frontage on the Hudson River and the other that covers more than 150 acres and even offers a 50-meter swimming pool. Hikers, anglers, cyclists, bird-watchers, nature enthusiasts, and campers will never be at a loss for facilities. Ulster communities also provide a wealth of recreational opportunities in the form of playgrounds, sports fields and courts, swimming pools, picnic areas, golf courses, tennis courts, and community or youth and senior centers.

Pick-your-own fields and farm markets add to the country ambiance of the area, offering a weekend’s browsing pleasure or delightful roadside stands. With its beautiful topography, strategic location, country atmosphere, abundance of affordable housing, sprawling acreage, and comparatively low cost of living, the Ulster County area represents a goldmine of resources just waiting to be discovered, developed and enjoyed. Both newcomers and established Hudson Valley residents who are seeking the tranquility of a slower lifestyle will appreciate the “good life” that characterizes Ulster.

 

City of Kingston
City Hall
845-331-0080
www.ci.kingston.ny.us
Chamber of Commerce
845-338-5100
www.ulsterchamber.org

The largest in population of the Ulster County communities, Kingston currently serves as the county seat. Farmland dots the countryside on the periphery of this major industrial and manufacturing area, adding a picturesque country atmosphere to the many urban amenities. Dairy farms and orchards, in particular, have survived the shift from the strictly agricultural roots of the past to a modern economic base of diverse industries. Major malls and retail districts are available for local shopping, complemented by a bevy of unusual shops in the quaint “old uptown” district. The housing selection is as varied as the local economy, ranging from well-kept older homes to newer construction in a variety of architectural styles. Nearby state and county parks crown the recreational sites that are close to home. Other attractions include lakes, nature centers, wilderness areas, golf courses, hiking/biking trails, swimming pools, and country clubs.

 

New Paltz, Lloyd
New Paltz Town Hall
845-255-0100
www.townofnewpaltz.com
Lloyd Town Hall
845-691-2144
www.townoflloyd.com
Chamber of Commerce
845-255-0243
www.newpaltzchamber.org

Although the sprawling township of New Paltz claims approximately 13,000 residents, its well-developed village adds another 7,000 and the nearby town of Lloyd is home to another 10,000 for a regional population of 30,000. An excellent public school system is further strengthened by the influence of the State University of New York at New Paltz. Each community enjoys a location in close proximity to Poughkeepsie’s urban amenities, although New Paltz boasts a growing retail sector in its own right — from major shopping districts to charming village shops. The recreation facilities include opportunities within a nearby state park for four-season outdoor enjoyment. Other attractions are tennis courts, famous resorts, a rail trail for hiking, and golf courses.

 

Saugerties
Town Hall
845-246-2800
www.saugerties.ny.us
Chamber of Commerce
845-679-6234
www.woodstockchamber.com

Featuring a rural expanse with scattered farmland and open space, the sprawling township of Saugerties offers a tranquil home. Housing covers the range of older homes in long-established neighborhoods along quiet, tree-shaded streets but also includes rambling old farmhouses and new construction in many modern developments. Although single-family residences tend to predominate in this area, some options are available for multi-family living. A quaint retail district adds to the attraction of a number of popular resorts and inns, and the town is home to several industries and manufacturing enterprises. Attractive and affordable housing, outstanding schools, and the opportunity to enjoy a slower pace of life that is deeply rooted in rural America are all magnets to this community. Superb recreational amenities include a nearby county park, local parks, beaches, sports fields and courts, wilderness areas, golf courses, and senior or youth centers.

 

Shawangunk
Town Hall
845-895-2611
www.shawangunk.org
Chamber of Commerce
845-338-5100
www.ulsterchamber.org

Nestled in a primarily agricultural and rural region of the county, the Town of Shawangunk, as well as the other southern towns of Marlborough, Gardiner and Plattekill. The selection of available homes is both abundant and affordable, because the entire southern quadrant is served by major highways and offers a convenient commute to urban employment centers. Although the majority of residents tend to be commuters to the employment centers in Poughkeepsie and New York City, a number of industries and two large county facilities provide local job opportunities. The long and narrow town of Shawangunk provides some retail activity expanded by regional malls. Recreational amenities in this area include nearby parkland and golf courses, and sports courts and fields.

 

Ulster, Town of Kingston
Kingston Town Hall
845-336-8853
www.townkingstonny.us
Ulster Town Hall
845-382-2455
http://townofulster.org
Chamber of Commerce
845-338-5100
www.ulsterchamber.org

Although historically the town of Ulster was an offshoot of the town of Kingston, it has evolved into a thriving community that is proud of its distinctive personality and hometown flavor. What remains of “Kingston” adds less than 1,000 residents to the combined population. Ulster has grown and matured from its agricultural beginnings and rural roots into a balanced  community led by visionary planners who are interested in quality development and economic expansion. New retail growth has added a pleasing collection of shops and service that range from department stores to small specialty boutiques. The regional industrial development is limited and most residents enjoy an easy commute to the employment centers located in Albany or Poughkeepsie. The recreational options in this area include local parks, sports fields and sports courts, organized league play, playgrounds, golf courses, a senior center, and supervised programs.

 

Wawarsing, Ellenville
Town Hall
845-647-6570
http://townofwawarsing.net
Village Hall
845-647-7080
http://ewcoc.com
Chamber of Commerce
845-647-4620
http://ewcoc.com

Well-known for its attractive vacation getaways and fine resorts, the area around the town of Wawarsing and the village of Ellenville is picturesque and economically diverse. Once a thriving agricultural area, Wawarsing’s vast expanse of land offers a housing selection that ranges from rustic and rural to upscale and contemporary new construction. Although this area claims its own manufacturing base and provides a full-service community hospital, the retail development is still relatively limited. The shops in nearby communities like Kingston and Middleton add convenience. The area’s excellent schools and sheer natural beauty add to the attraction for newcomers. Local parks combine with private clubs, golf courses, swimming pools, miles of trails, and other recreational amenities.

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