Orange County, NY – Real Estate And Information
Located in upstate New York on the western shore of the Hudson River, Orange County is a combination of placid rural countryside, small towns and horse farms, and a quickly growing commuter hub for persons working in New York City. Only 40 minutes from Manhattan, the county’s transportation links include train, bus as well as by car on several interstate highways. The area is known for its wealth of historic sites, the many wineries on its wine trail, its parks and many recreational outlets. Speaking of outlets, the Woodbury Commons Designer Outlet complex is located in Orange County, at the intersection of Interstate 87 and State Highway 17. Shoppers from around the world flock to its 212 designer outlet stores, the largest concentration of outlets in the world.
Orange County is steeped in American history, and one of New York’s oldest counties. Henry Hudson discovered it as he searched for a northwest passage to the Orient. It was named after William of Orange, (later British King William the Third) in 1683 and was one of New York state’s original 12 counties. It figured significantly in several key battles in the Revolutionary War, and many homes there can claim “George Washington slept here.” Washington’s headquarters were located for a time in Newburgh. The fieldstone building that housed the headquarters for the first Continental Army still stands, now a museum and historic site.
Cities, Towns and Villages
There are three cities in Orange County: Newburgh located on the Hudson, Port Jervis on the Delaware, and Middletown, appropriately located half-way between the two. Middletown, once an important rail hub for the Hudson Valley now offers residents and visitors a thriving retail community. Anchored by the Galleria at Crystal Run, it has a delightful collection of restaurants and shops in its quaint downtown area, as well as a number of historic churches and buildings dating back to pre-Revolutionary days.
Port Jervis lies where the borders of New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania meet in western New York. It is the last stop on the Port Jervis Line, the commuter railroad line to Hoboken and New York City. Port Jervis is home to a Carnegie Library, many Victorian style homes and buildings, and a variety of historic buildings including the Deerpark Reformed Church, formed in 1737.
Newburgh is situated on the west bank of the Hudson, across from the city of Beacon, connected by the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge. Newburgh is served by Stewart International Airport, Orange County’s only international airport. With its main 2.5 mile runway, A former military base, Stewart was designated as an available emergency landing strip for the space shuttle. Newburgh has seen significant redevelopment in its downtown and riverfront areas. A lively string of fine restaurants has sprung up along the Hudson, and the downtown area is enjoying several renewal agendas funded by New York state and federal initiatives.
Goshen, Orange County Seat
The town of Goshen contains a village, also called Goshen, which is the Orange County seat. The town was named after the fertile land in Old Testament Palestine because of its deep black glacial soil and fertile valleys. True to its name, the Goshen area is still a farming community, with horse farms, dairy farms and cornfields accenting its green rolling hills. It was the first dairy center to ship milk to New York City, and Goshen butter was famous in the late 1800s.
Goshen’s main claim to history is its association with harness racing. Known as the “Cradle of the Trotter,” the Goshen area was once the home to the most important harness-racing tracks in the country. This history is revealed in Goshen’s Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame.
Orange County isdotted with 39 quaint, quirky villages and towns over its rolling hills and woodlands. Each is unique, and many have interesting highlights.
Things to See, Places to Go
Orange County has a wealth of points of interest, possibly foremost being the United States Military Academy at West Point. The USMA has been training our army’s officers since the Revolutionary War. Today, visitors can take tours of the academy, attend sports events and visit its many historic places.
Wineries figure significantly in Orange County. The Brotherhood Winery, America’s oldest operating winery is part of a cluster of sixteen vintners in the area. Escorted tours of these sites are a delightful way to see the area and enjoy Orange County’s scenic landscapes.
The region’s farms figured significantly in producing dairy products of all kinds. A dairy in Campbell Hall was a famous supplier of butter to New York City. Visitors can still visit the birthplace of Liederkranz Cheese and later, Velveeta Cheese in Monroe. “Philadelphia” brand cream cheese was invented in Chester.
Those seeking a little more modern experience can take a tour of the headquarters of Orange County Choppers, the custom motorcycle shop featured on The Discovery Channel’s “American Chopper” television series, located near Newburgh. Many of their custom bikes are on display there, along with an extensive souvenir and gift shop.
Orange County’s outdoor attractions include twenty seven parks. Goosepond Mountain, Bear Mountain and Harriman are state parks, offering hiking, camping, fishing, swimming, boating and many more activities. Bear Mountain actually has more visitors per year than Yellowstone National Park.
Hunting, fishing and similar outdoor activities are popular in Orange County’s vast range of forests and woodlands.The Sterling Forest region is known for the presence of elusive brown trout in its freshwater creeks and brooks, a favorite for fly fishing. Other fish found in abundance in Orange Counties streams include Large Mouth Bass, Pickerel and Panfish. Small mouth bass, Walleyed Pike and Trout are less common.
An unusual attraction that has become popular in the area is
hot air ballooning. Several companies offer flights for visitors wishing to have a bird’s eye view of Orange County’s countryside from above. Flights last three to four hours and usually come with lunch and wine. Prices are subject to change but range from about $180 to $250 per person.
With the county’s extensive woodland and forest areas, bird watching is a popular outdoor activity year around. Visitors to eleven area sanctuaries can take guided tours, hear lectures, attend festivals and learn about the area’s feathered denizens and their surroundings. Bald eagles are especially abundant along the Delaware River, and guided tours allow visitors to learn about our national bird and efforts to preserve its habitat.
Horses have been a fixture in Orange County since its founding in 1683. These days, the area is dotted with stables, some of which offer horseback riding, Goosepond, Harriman and Highland State Parks offer horseback riding trails, as does Stewart State Forest and Winding Hills County Park in Montgomery.
Stewart International Airport in Newburgh is served by five major airlines: Delta , JetBlue , Northwest Airlines , and US Air . Public ground transportation is covered by New Jersey Transit , Short Line Bus service , and Metro-North Railroad’s Port Jervis Line .
Interstate Highways 84, Highway 87 (the New York State Thruway) and State Rt. 17 are the three main thoroughfares criss-crossing Orange County. The New York State Thruway runs generally north and south, from the county’s southern tip at Tuxedo and Sloatsburg, through Woodbury and Cornwall and north to Albany and beyond. Highway 87 runs from Newburgh on the county’s eastern border across the upper third of the county to Port Jervis in the west. Route 17 runs from the Bloomingburg area in the north, crossing 84 near Mechanicstown, through Goshen and Chester, ending as it intersects with Interstate 87 at Harriman.
Drivers with access to Highway 87 can reach the George Washington Bridge from Newburgh in the north In just over an hour by car. More southerly located towns such as Cornwall and Woodbury can reach the city in less than an hour. Bus service from Newburgh reaches the Port Authority Terminal in about two hours.