Greene County, New York, located in the Northern Catskills encompasses the Blackhead Mountain Range, Hunter Mountain, and Indian Head Mountain--making it the perfect place to build a remote mountain retreat.
Unspoiled scenery is the major draw. The county features hunting, fishing, skiing and hiking and offers breathtaking fall foliage. Kaaterskill Falls, near Hunter, inspired many landscape paintings by the artists of the Hudson River School. The region also enjoys a reputation for being laid-back and down-to-earth.
“I don’t want to be in a chic area when I go upstate,” one Long Island resident who bought a second home in Greene County told The New York Times. “I want to go where I can buy worms at the gas station and say hello to everybody when I buy my coffee.”
Although many city dwellers escape to the Hudson Valley, Greene County requires a longer drive from New York than more popular Ulster County, so it’s more affordable than areas closer and along the river’s eastern side.
It’s also less congested (population density 74 per square mile), meaning more land for sale. Affordability is relative, however. If you’re hoping to build near the Hunter or Windham ski areas, be prepared to spend a fair amount. (Sample land price: $85,000 for 5.20 acres in Windham at the end of a cul-de-sac with southern views.)
Greene County is camp and cabin country. Round-log kit homes prevail, coming mostly from New York, Pennsylvania and New England companies. Pine and cedar are the leading log species.