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Secret library Hemmelig Rom
Photograph: Courtesy Jason Koxvold

The most secluded getaways from New York City this winter

From a private Catskills campsite to a secret library in the woods, these secluded getaways from New York will entice all

By Anna Rahmanan and Shaye Weaver
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With a long winter before us, escaping New York City on a secluded getaway is at the top of our list. We're craving a respite from the busy lives we lead in NYC and are seeking to snowshoe in the Adirondacks, walk solo in Rhode Island, roast marshmallows at an isolated campsite in the Catskills, and more. These spots make for ideal trips during times of global crisis and not. As fun-filled as camping sites, cycling and hiking trails are, there is something about going a bit farther away that makes for more memorable times—especially given the current travel restrictions in placeSo, without further ado, in no particular order, here are the best secluded getaways to take from New York to escape the crowds. 

NOTE: Although our list has been vetted, re-opening guidelines in the New York area are constantly changing. Reach out to specific venues and destinations before planning a trip. 

Secluded getaways from New York

1. Outlier Inn

A relatively short 90 miles from New York City, the Outlier Inn sits on 12 acres of property in the Southern Catskill mountains. What is it, exactly? A retreat space of sorts that features a bit of everything: there’s a swimmable pond that sits right next to a geodesic dome perfect for glamping (warning: you'll have to bring your own bedding, towels and more) and a tiny house built out of recycled materials (yes, there is electricity. No, there is no running water). You’ll also get to spend time with animals in the two separate pastures, enjoy an outdoor firepit and—last but not least—step into a super cool recording studio that features a few isolation booths, a control room, a live room and more. As we said: expect a bit of everything.

Airbnb
Airbnb
Airbnb

2. Container Cabin in the Catskills in Saugerties, NY

Who knew a shipping container could be so eco-chic? The owners of this container cabin retrofitted this simple 20-foot container with high-efficiency insulated walls, low energy windows, a wood stove, composting toilet and tiny kitchen to turn it into the ultimate off-the-grid escape. Your only heat in this cabin is a wood stove. Walk 100 yards north of the cabin to find a 30-foot waterfall; trek south to find a small stream and wood-fired hot tub. You can even hike the Catskills for ultimate isolation by leaving from the back door and finding the trailhead for Woodstock, Kingston, Saugerties, Catskill or the Hudson River in just 15 minutes.

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Block Island
Block Island
Photograph: Shutterstock

3. Block Island

An hour ferry ride from Montauk, in the Hamptons, Block Island in Rhode Island will feel like a world away from the hustle and bustle of New York. A handful of hotels, inns and bed and breakfasts will accomodate visitors but we suggest renting a house for the duration of your stay. As for things to do on the island while still maintaining social distancing measures: opt to rent a bike or a moped to explore the area, walk through trails, spend the day at the beach or the very entertaining animal farm. You can also head to the Southeast Lighthouse and the North Lighthouse—the buildings are closed, but the grounds are open and ripe for exploration.

Secret library Hemmelig Rom
Secret library Hemmelig Rom
Photograph: Courtesy Jason Koxvold

4. Hemmelig Rom

Believe it or not, there is a gorgeous secret library nestled in the woods of Ellenville, New York just 90 miles outside of the city. As if that wasn't cool enough: the 290-square-foot Hemmelig Rom (Norwegian for "secret room") is made from the oaks that surround the property, which is actually a portion of Norwegian-British visual artist Jason Koxvold's home. Koxvold built it all alongside Studio Padro back in 2014. You can rent out the space on Airbnb but, fair warning, it sells out pretty quickly.

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The Glass House
The Glass House
Photograph: Shutterstock

5. The Glass House

Accessible via the Metro North New Haven line, The Glass House in New Canaan, Connecticut is the stuff of legend. In regular times, visitors are able to explore the grounds in its entirety, accessing the 1,815-square-foot, Philip Johnson-conceived Glass House (which is insible from the road) and its neighborhing Brick House. Currently, the attraction is accessible as an outdoor-only experience but that shouldn't stop you from visiting. A few notes: picnicking is not permitted at the moment and all passes should be secured in advance but, on the flip side, photography is certainly encouraged. So get ready to step up that Instagram game after months of staying at home. 

Montauk Point Lighthouse
Montauk Point Lighthouse
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Tim Hettler

6. Montauk

During the summer, this Long Island beach town is teeming with partiers, surfers and posh part-timers, but in the winter, Montauk is isolated. Its wild nature, unknown to many, is perfect for those who want to explore the Walking Dunes, stand atop the hoodoos overlooking the sea and spend a quiet time walking through Camp Hero near the Montauk Lighthouse. The winter is a good time to get acquainted with this gem of a town.

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Breakneck Ridge
Breakneck Ridge
Photograph: Shutterstock

7. Breakneck Ridge

Between Beacon and Cold Spring, Breakneck Ridge is a stupendous mountain that basically begs of you to hike it. There are a ton of different hikes for you to choose from based on difficulty level, desired scenery, elevation and approximate roundtrip times. What do they all have in common? You'll likely be able to maintain social distances while hiking given the enormonity of the area. For those of you looking to tackle a relatively easy route, opt for the Great Swamp, which will take you on a boardwalk that passes through the Appalachian Trail. Pros will likely tackle the full loop at Bull Hill: at 5.9 miles and a maximum elevation of 1,421 feet above sea level, this trail will bring you face-to-face with some pretty awesome ruins and memorable views. You can search for the perfect hike on Breakneck Ridge’s official website

Bloomfield fireplace airbnb
Bloomfield fireplace airbnb
Photograph: Courtesy Airbnb

8. Secluded stone cabin in Bloomfield, CT

This stay, which is on top of Talcott Mountain, has storybook vibes and two fireplaces. The two-story stone cabin is a studio with a kitchen, full bath, and a stone fireplace as well as two stone patios, an outdoor fireplace, an in-ground pool and a basketball court with a fenced-in yard. It's on the property of another home, but is a steep walk away. It's nearby to hiking/walking trails, a winery, movie theatres, restaurants, and shopping in quaint New England towns.

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9. Mohonk Preserve

Picture this: over 8,000 acres of forests, cliffs, ponds and streams that are ideal for hiking, cycling, horseback riding, trail running, rock climbing and more. Just 90 miles north of New York City, in Ulster County, Mohonk Preserve is truly a nature lover's slice of paradise that, unlike most other hiking grounds, is also home to horseback riding opportunities within designated carriage roads that promise less foot traffic than other destinations.

Blue Hill at Stone Barns
Blue Hill at Stone Barns
Photograph: Blue Hill at Stone Barns

10. Blue Hill Farm

For the time being, you can either pick up a resourcED Box to-go or make a reservation for The Picnic at Blue Hill at Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, an award-winning restaurant that has partnered with the nonprofit organization to change "the way America eats and farms." Either way, expect privacy to take center stage.

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Catskills Birdhouse Tiny House airbnb
Catskills Birdhouse Tiny House airbnb
Photograph: Courtesy Airbnb

11. Catskills Birdhouse Tiny House in Roxbury, NY

Located on a bucolic 10-acre farm in the Catskills Mountains, surrounded by a maple forest, streams and a field you can build snowmen in, this artisan cabin features huge windows and skylights perfect for stargazing and gazing at the beauty around you. The Birdhouse features an outdoor rustic shade structure, Adirondack chairs, a fire pit and grill, an outdoor shower and outhouse, and it's totally off the grid. It may be rustic, but it's also a way to reconnect with nature.

Eagle Mountain Eyrie
Eagle Mountain Eyrie
Photograph: Shutterstock

12. Eagle Mountain Eyrie

It doesn’t get much more secluded than Eagle Mountain Eyrie, a private campsite on a Catskill mountain peak. You'll be surrounded by some of the highest peaks in the area, including Balsam, Graham and Double Top. Expect to catch glimpses of coyotes, bears, hawks and deers while jogging the area or fishing for world-class trout. And when you're craving a more city-like atmosphere, head on to nearby Margaretville or Arkville for some restaurants and shopping excursions.

 

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