Established in 1906, the town of Wawarsing, NY, is known for its natural beauty and outdoor recreation. The town name means “a place where the stream bends” in the Wawarsink language, referring to the joining of the Vernooy Kill and the Rondout Creek. The town’s expansion began with the construction of the D&H Canal, which opened the area to trade. The Rondout Creek powered mills and factories and, later, the railroads brought the town’s first tourists. Today, Wawarsing is popular for hang-gliding, off-roading, hiking, fishing, skiing and swimming. The town is home to three State Forests — the Shawangunk Ridge, Vernooy Kill and Witches Hole — as well as most of Minnewaska State Park and Sam’s Point Preserve, and some of the Catskill Preserve and Sundown State Park. The quaint hamlet of Ellenville, which houses the town’s government building, fine dining establishments and a professional theater, is located at the junction of Routes 52 and 209.
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