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Lifestyle

This Hudson Valley Dude Ranch Cited Among Those In State Worth Visiting

Rocking Horse Ranch
Rocking Horse Ranch Photo Credit: Rocking Horse Ranch

The Hudson Valley is home to one of New York’s top dude ranch destinations, according to a recently released report.

NewYorkUpstate.com compiled a list of some of the Empire State’s top dude ranches, which are defined as “a vacation destination where hosts share their Western lifestyle activities to guests, according to the Dude Ranchers’ Association.  The report only includes restaurants from upstate - which is considered north of Westchester and Rockland counties - in the rankings.

The Rocking Horse Ranch Resort in Highland made the list, with the report citing activities that include horseback riding, ice skating, winter activities, indoor waterpark, archery, bungee jumping, rock climbing, paddle boats, and kayaking. Rooms at the resort start at $359.

According to the company, “Rocking Horse Ranch Resort opened Memorial Day Weekend 1958 by founders Nathan ‘Toolie’ Turk and Gloria Turk. In 1962, they were joined by Toolie’s brother, Bucky. Although Toolie and Gloria were born in New York City, their love for horses developed at an early age. Gloria began riding at various stables in the Bronx, while Toolie’s introduction to horses came from icemen who actually delivered ice by horse and wagon throughout the Lower East Side of Manhattan.


“Dude ranches were different in the 1950’s, without the frills that an all-inclusive resort has to offer. It was primarily just horses; accommodations were rustic and facilities weren’t family-friendly. Toolie and Gloria thought that families would love a ranch that catered to their needs, so they began searching for a property that they could convert into the first family-friendly dude ranch.”

“It's a short drive, but you really feel like you're in another world. For parents it's relaxation, luxury and yummy food. I got a perfect massage and great sleep. Cleanliness is a priority for me—this place is spotless,” one reviewer from Westchester wrote on Trip Advisor.

Other dude ranch destinations that made the list were located in Stony Creek, East Durham, Lake George, Kerhonkson Warrensburg and Fly Creek.

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