Donna Vallone, Creekside cabins, cottages and lodge
Do you like streams and mountains? Peace and quiet? Gorgeous views in all directions? How about hiking, biking, antiquing and some of the best trout fishing in the world?
You can find all this and more “creekside” at one of the cabins, cottages or lodge accommodations owned and operated by Donna Vallone in Roscoe, NY.
The business originated in the 1970s when Donna’s father-in-law, Ed Vallone, opened seven rustic cabins along the Willowemoc Creek in the Catskill Mountains. Ed ran the cabins through the ‘70s and ‘80s and when Donna and her husband, Phil, owner of the Rolling V Bus Company, relocated to the area from New York City in 1990, she became intrigued with the idea of restoring and reopening the cabins. “I had two babies at the time,” she said. “I thought it would be the perfect at-home business for an at-home mom.”
She renovated the cabins and reopened in 1995 under the name “Creekside,” when her children were six and eight.
In May and June, she said, the cabins rent mostly to fishermen, who come from all over the world to fish for trout in the Willowemoc and Beaverkill creeks and to visit Roscoe (“Trout Town U.S.A.”) and the renowned Catskill Fly Fishing Center and Museum. “People come from as far away as South Africa to fish,” she said. “It’s fun.”
In July and August, many who rent the cabins are couples, families and individuals needing respite from busy lives and urban settings. Those who really want to get away from it all love the “rustic simplicity” of the cottages, said Donna, which do not have phones, televisions or Internet access. There is plenty to do in the area though, and the bucolic scenery alone is restorative and inspiring.
The devastating regional flooding of June 2006 caused enough damage to the cabins that Donna had to close for that summer. She took it as an opportunity to renovate the cabins and re-opened for business the following spring.
For those looking for something a bit more upscale, Donna offers two cottages, built near the Willowemoc on a dead-end country road. The cottages have telephones, televisions, an upstairs and downstairs and a full kitchen. It is a perfect setting for a family or for several families to come together. The roomy, private front porches are perfect for reading, relaxing and “watching eagles soar,” according to the website. And “people get to know the horses,” said Donna, referring to the family herd that resides in the meadow next to the cottages. It is just this kind of personal country touch that keep guests coming back year after year. “They pet the horses and learn their names,” said Donna. “They ask about a foal they may have gotten to know last year.”
The Castaway Lodge
Top of the line in “creekside” accommodations is the Castaway Lodge, named, Donna said, in honor of her father-in-law, who used that name for the original seven cabins.
The lodge, which opened this season, “has all the bells and whistles,” said Donna, including flat-screen TV, cable, wireless Internet and air conditioning. It is actually one dwelling with three bedrooms, built on one level and raised by stilts to protect it from flood damage. The response to lodge living has been very good, according to Donna, as it offers more luxury with the same restorative benefits.
Donna’s guests come “creekside” for many purposes, said Donna: primarily, to relax; to take advantage of the outdoor activities of the region, including biking, hiking, swimming, boating and fishing; and the indoor activities such as antiquing, visiting Bethel Woods and other cultural highlights; and local shopping such as the country craft stores and farmers’ markets. Donna said she feels lucky to have created an at-home business that has introduced her to so many wonderful and diverse people. People return year after year until it becomes like a home away from home, she said. “They request the same cabin or house. I look forward to seeing them again.”
For more information, including rates and availability, visit creekside on the web at www.creeksidecabins.com, call 607/498-5873 or email Donna at email@example.com.