Taken out of context, I wouldn’t have guessed that this two bedroom log cabin in Bethel’s Smallwood community was built in 1936. Given the size I might have thought “house trailer,” but like many of the homes in this Sullivan County lakeside hamlet, this little guy has some cute period details. The stone fireplace is original and there’s a stone basement as well. The fenced-in lot is small and only semi-private, like most of the tiny lots in Smallwood, though it does claim a free-standing gazebo. There are two screened-in summer porches, including one off the back that looks spacious enough for snoring guests. Love the striped shutters!
The cottage is currently used for three seasons, so it would need to be winterized for year-round use. Some homes in Smallwood only have running water from October through April, but this house has its own well, which means all year water access.
The $90,000 asking price puts at the high-end of the middle range for Smallwood. You can pay less for a bungalow that would need more work or find something above $100,000 that’s fully updated and winterized. This cabin is in move-in condition, but I can also imagine doing an update and some decorating that would play up the 1930s bungalow vibe. Goodbye poker-playing puppies, hello waterfall furniture and lucite bowls?
As our readers (3,000 so far–thanks, everyone!) have probably figured out by now, I don’t necessarily want to be alone when I head up to country houses in upstate New York. So when I met 65-year-old Harley-driving Rennie in a Ditmas Park Coffee shop today (and his Pomeranian, Moxie, who rides in a pink basket in the Harley), I was intrigued by his description of his “country house”–a trailer permanently parked in Hunter Lake Campground in Palenville, N.Y, in the western Catskill Mountains.
Rennie describes the place as family-friendly but not overrun by kids–fair representation of folks in their 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s–and surprisingly private considering the layout of the place and the 94 campsites. If you set up shop there and are hungry for new faces, there are always the weekend campers–in tents, not trailers. Rennie himself is a fisherman, so he’s all about the lake, but there’s entertainment in the rec hall, air hockey and ping-pong, playgrounds and soccer fields. It’s like an upstate new york bungalow colony, but without the bungalows. To rent a seasonal spot, with water, electric and sewer hookups, it’s about $2,000–*camper not included!
For Rennie, the appeal is not only the Hunter Lake Campground itself, but the portability of his upstate New York country house–it doesn’t have to be in upstate New York if he doesn’t want it there! As he said this morning, “If you wanna vacation in Florida, you just unhook everything and go.”
Hunter Lake Campground GMAP
Distance to NYC: 123 miles; 2 hours, 37 minutes
Transportation: Trailways Bus to Palenville; car recommended