A Closer Look within New York State
It’s easy to understand the appeal of buying a home or vacation property in New York State. The change of seasons offers diverse opportunities for outdoor recreation. And whether one is drawn to a charming small town or a remote cabin in the woods, the surrounding natural beauty is undeniable.
With our main office in Hamilton, NY, in Madison County and another location in Roscoe down in the Sullivan County Catskills, we at United Country Real Estate | Eagle River Realty get to experience peaceful country living every day.
If you’re thinking of buying real estate in New York – particularly in the state’s central region or in the Southern Catskills – the options are numerous. Let’s take a closer look at these areas.
Historical Snapshots: Hamilton and Roscoe in New York State
Hamilton’s history dates back to 1794, when Colonel William Smith purchased an area named for American patriot Alexander Hamilton. A year later, Samuel Payne and his family settled here and established “Payne’s Corner.” In 1816, the Payne Settlement incorporated as the Village of Hamilton. Many of the town’s historic sites are still preserved today, including an active theater built in 1895, and a memorial to Payne on the Colgate University campus where his house once stood.
Today, this town (around 4,400 residents in 2021) in Central New York’s Madison County is mostly an agricultural community. But it’s also a college town, and in a region where some incredible lakes and rivers make for great fishing, hunting and outdoor recreation.
Originally called Westfield Flats, the hamlet of Roscoe, NY, sits within the relatively larger (population approx. 3,600) town of Rockland in northern Sullivan County. This area grew steadily from the early 1800s to 1910, when Rockland became an established town.
Named after New York State Senator Roscoe Conklin, Roscoe is home to fewer than 600 residents. But for trout fishing, the spot is a national treasure. The hamlet is in the Catskills, two hours south of Hamilton. While the terrain differs a bit, the common tie is water, water everywhere. Places like the Upper Delaware River are popular for boating, tubing, hiking and fishing.
Hamilton and Central New York: Farmland, Fresh Water & Friendliness
According to the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation, New York has more than 7,600 freshwater lakes, ponds and reservoirs, and some 70,000 miles of rivers and streams. Additionally, 61% of the state is covered by forests. This geography defines much of what outdoor recreation looks like in New York.
A lot of Hamilton is rural farmland, and if that fits your lifestyle, you can find a variety of properties for sale. There are large cattle operations, tillable land for crops, and even acreage to build a hunting lodge or a country B&B for agritourism.
Still, in Madison County and neighboring central counties such as Oneida, Chenango and Otsego, places like Lake Moraine, Cazenovia Lake and Oneida Lake also stand out. Buyers often seek waterfront homes or buildable lots in these areas, as well as at locations along the Chenango, Sangerfield and Susquehanna Rivers.
Not to be outdone by nature, Hamilton – #11 on Forbes Media’s 2012 list of America’s Friendliest Towns – also has a vibrant downtown scene, with bars, restaurants and shopping, as well as local parks and museums.
Roscoe and the Catskills: Welcome to Trout Town, USA
Proudly known as “Trout Town, USA,” Roscoe is in the southwestern foothills of the Catskill Mountains where Beaverkill River meets Willowemoc Creek. Railroad expansion and trout stocking in the early 1900s put Roscoe on the map as a fishing paradise.
The area is nothing short of legendary when it comes to fly fishing for Brook, Brown and Rainbow Trout. And if you’re into bass fishing there are dozens of lakes and ponds in Sullivan County.
Offering mountain biking, swimming, hunting, horseback riding and more, the Catskills (in Sullivan and neighboring counties) and their area resorts continue to be an extremely popular vacation destination. Even in the winter, there’s skiing, snowmobiling and ice fishing.
Real estate in this region includes mountain cabins, wooded lake lots, riverfront homes, hunting land, historic country homes and more. Beside the many shops and services for outdoor recreation, Roscoe’s downtown area – like Hamilton’s - features cool museums, restaurants and places to unwind. So many buyers also seek homes in town.