When you reach the quiet hamlet of Roxbury, state Route 30 is transformed into a maple-lined Main Street that represents a step back in time.
At the heart of the hamlet is the “emerald gem,” Kirkside Park. This gorgeous 11-acre parcel stretches behind the majestic Gould Church, a field of green beckoning your entire family.
The scent of fresh mowed grass entices visitors to explore this rustic park that was so loved by Helen Gould Shepard, daughter of railroad tycoon and Roxbury native son, Jay Gould. Helen made Roxbury her summer home and lavished on Kirkside Park the simple, yet elegant, landscaping usually reserved for wealthy estates. The park has now been restored to the 19th-century splendor, and the historic barns on site are currently being restored as museum and exhibition space with other visitor amenities.
With its Adirondack-style bridges, gravel paths and the East Branch of the Delaware meandering through its meadows, Kirkside Park is an ideal spot to fish, picnic, ponder or toss a Frisbee.
On many summer Saturdays, Kirkside Park became a “field of dreams” as the Roxbury Nine vintage baseball club — with baggy flannel 1898 uniforms and 19th-century style of play — took to the diamond. There were no admission fees, no parking hassles, no outrageous salaries or fancy equipment (only the catcher gets a glove!). The action was pure baseball played for the history and the love of the game, and genuine sportsmanship that harkens back to an earlier time. For more than a decade, Roxbury hosted “Turn of the Century Days” in Kirkside Park. The clock was rewound to 1898 and residents and visitors stepped back 100 years and enjoyed authentically reinvented fun from a bygone era, including food, music, period fashion shows and pastimes, walking tours, horse-drawn wagons and a vintage baseball tournament.
The entire Hamlet of Roxbury is on the National and State Register of Historic Places. Roxbury’s dedication to its heritage and its integration of its history in tourism, education and recreation recently earned it official White House designation as a “Preserve America” community, one of only a handful of New York towns to receive this prestigious distinction.
Another popular nearby attraction is the Catskill Scenic Trail. This 18-mile former rail bed winds its way between Roxbury and Bloomville and offers flat terrain that is perfect for hiking, biking, cross-country skiing and horseback riding.