Road Trip: Copake Falls Day This Saturday
Lots of towns around here have an annual festival with live music and plenty to buy, eat and drink but Copake Falls Day may be the only one we’ve heard of that kicks off with not one but two foot races. This is as it should be. On the border of southern Columbia County just east of Route 22, the hamlet is different from others in our region in any number of ways. First, much of it is parkland—Bash Bish Falls State Park and Taconic State Park, to be precise, hence, it is more woodsy and untamed, and the “town” feels more like an outpost than a commercial center. Perhaps because it was once home to workers in the local iron foundry and hosts a lot of campers in summer, it also seems humbler, or at least less conventionally posh than a lot of the villages around here. Ultimately, its most salient characteristic may be that it is especially congenial for jocks—bikers, hikers, climbers, and, of course, runners.
The Road Race in the Wilderness that kicks off the event is 5 kilometers long, and will be followed by a Family Fun Run, on the Rail Trail of just one mile. The Road Race in the Wilderness takes runners through some of the most scenic roads and trails of Copake Falls, which is to say some of the most beautiful anywhere in the Rural Intelligence region. On the one hand, they have Bash-Bish Falls; on the other, views over a valley of farmland so pristine, you’ll feel as if you’ve time-traveled back to 1909. Even those of us who’ve lived around here for some time have trouble controlling our jaws when it comes into view.
But, for some of us, the best reason for attending Copake Falls Day is the Hidden Gardens Tour; particularly, the chance to see the garden of Margaret Roach. Former editor of Martha Stewart Living and for many years prior that publication’s gardening editor, Roach, who now edits a gardening blog, A Way to Garden.com, has seen a lot of the best gardens in the U.S.. She has picked the brains of the people who created them so she could write about them, and all this rarefied know-how shows in her own plot of land. It’s not every gardener who dares to throw open her gate to visitors at the end of August. Either Roach is very generous, very brave, or she’s got August licked.
In addition to the races, the schedule of activities includes:
• Opening ceremony at the Triangle – Presentation of 2009 Copake Falls Good Neighbor Award
•Great Artists of Copake Falls at Burke Hall, Church of St. John in the Wilderness
•Hidden Gardens of Copake Falls including Open Garden Day
• Fire Truck – all aboard!
• Historic Houses of Copake Falls Walking Tour
•Special programs at the Copake Falls Iron Works Museum and throughout the Taconic State Park
•Roe Jan Historical Society Museum exhibit – recreation of an early General Store
• Just for Kids: Face Painting, Donkey Rides, Scavenger Hunt through the village
• Lunch at the Taconic Wayside Inn
• Bike activities on Harlem Valley Rail Trail
• Farmers’ Market at The Hamlet Green – all good things grown, crafted or produced locally
• Exhibits throughout the day at the green across from Depot Deli
• Concert at the Church of St. John in the Wilderness
• Roast Beef Barbecue with Pit Master Kevin Silvernail
• Square Dance
The 2nd Annual Copake Falls Day
Saturday, August 22, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
All activities, except food, are free.
Road Race in the Wilderness
Registration 8 a.m.; start 9 a.m.
Family Fun Run
Registration 9:30 a.m.; start 10 a.m.
Hidden Gardens Tour, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Beef Barbecue 5 p.m.; tickets $12/adults; $7/children; reservations essential 518.966.2233