The SpaceThe Cabin is insulated and has an airtight wood stove. There is a Murphy
bed with a queen size mattress. It does not have inside running water or
electric [other than a small solar electric system described below] - that's
what "camping cabin" refers to. The forest has lots of wildlife, deer, wild
turkeys, foxes, raccoons, great horned owls, etc. For cooking there is a 2
burner Coleman camp stove, and outside, a stone fireplace.
As a result of a guest's suggestion in an April 2016 review, we added a
French press coffee maker.
Solar power: Solar electric panels on the roof charge a storage battery. It is a small system, only enough for small electronics, the water pump, and a couple of CFL lamps. An inverter provides up to 50 watts AC power for
Officially, it's the "Potic Creek" but one of our guests from Europe liked the
location so much she named it Poetic Creek in her 2014 review.
It is an idyllic getaway for those who appreciate nature. It is about 25 miles north of Woodstock, about 2 hour drive from the GWB. When we started thinking about the possibility of sharing cabins a decade ago [we have a few off the grid retreats], the question was, how can we do it? It is an hour and a half round trip from our home, so travelling to the cabin after every guest is not feasible.
To make it work, we ask guests to bring their sleeping bags and towels,
and, 'leave it as you found it.' We figured most guests who were interested in this type of retreat would be respectful of the next guest, and that has been true. We ask, if you cannot make a commitment to leave the cabin clean and tidy for the guest after you, please don’t book a stay here.
Once a month or so, we check out the cabin, restock supplies, and do any cleaning that’s needed. As in any cabin is the woods, mice do get in. If that would bother you, please don’t book a stay here. When we see
evidence of them, we set traps and get rid of them, but before long they're
Pets: Your dog is OK if you let us know before booking, we do not charge
a pet fee. We have a Yorkie family ourselves. After a couple of guests
could not stay due to allergies to cats, we decided it necessary not to accept cats. We do ask that if you bring your dog, that you do a thorough cleaning to remove hair, and, that you not have your dog on the bed, unless you bring a sheet or blanket large enough to cover it. This is on the honor system, please respect other guests, we can't go there to check up between every guest.
At the cabin are plates, glasses, utensils, pots and pans, T paper, paper
towels, dish detergent, candles, a Coleman 2 burner stove for cooking and
propane fuel for it. As it is camping, you will need sleeping bags, and
having a flashlight is a good idea, essential if you are arriving after dark.
Bring what you would for any camping trip. In front of the cabin there’s a
stone fire place and with a grill. We provide cut seasoned firewood. There
is a maul [splitting axe] for splitting cut logs to the appropriate diameter.
The firewood is provided for heating the cabin with the wood stove and
fires for cooking in the fire place in front of the cabin only, NOT for
bonfires. Please do not make outdoor fires other than in the stone fire place on the patio by the front door. While the firewood is cut to length, some larger pieces may require splitting with the maul. For the wood stove, up to 4 or 5 inches in diameter works once the fire is going. For starting the fire and if you cook on the outside fireplace grill, it's best to split fire wood to 1 1/2 to 3 inch diameter. For starting a fire, of course, you need newspaper and kindling. Bringing newspaper for this purpose is recommended.
Important fire safety note: Do NOT use fire starting fluid in the wood stove, it is dangerous and can damage the stove.
For heat, there is an excellent, very efficient Napoleon airtight wood stove.
It has a glass front door, so you can watch the fire burning. We will send
instructions in case you are not familiar with the use of airtight wood stoves. There is an outhouse about 100 feet from the cabin.
The wood road in is 1 1/4 miles long. It’s a bit rough, but not a problem
to drive in as far as the parking spot for the cabin. [We can drive in in our
Prius, which is quite low to the ground, but do need to drive slowly in a few places] The 300 feet from the parking spot to the cabin, however, are quite steep, unless you have four wheel drive, walk this last part.
Over the years, two guests [out of a few hundred] have told us they felt
the road to rough. So, if you have an especially low clearance or high value car, you may not want to come here.
ROAD IN WINTER: If there is a significant amount of snow, you would
need a four wheel drive vehicle, as the road will not be plowed.. With snow, the last 300 feet to the cabin would need to be walked, short of having a snowmobile ; - ). If you book it for winter, and it snows, there are two options. If you have 4 wheel drive you can drive to the parking area just before the cabin and walk the last 300 feet. If there is just a couple inches of snow, two wheel drive should be OK, as there are no steep hills before the parking area. If there is really heavy snow, then even four wheel drive may not be enough. Also, is there is significant snow, at the beginning of the road snowplows may have left a snowbank and you should have a shovel with you to make an entrance through it. If snow prevents you from driving in to the cabin, we will give a full refund or a rain check, at your option. We discovered that one can get a "snow depth" report with this search phrase: "snow depth, Catskill, NY, Weatherstreet”.
. WATER: The Potic Creek flows out of a reservoir serving the Town of
Catskill, so we know its clean, however, no surface water is recommended
for drinking. There is a drilled well in front of the cabin, and a solar
powered submersible pump at the bottom of the well. When the pump is
turned on, water flows from a brass pipe at the top of the well. This pump
replaced a hand pump - shown in one of the photos - which was charming,
but never worked very well. There is a timer switch on the frame on the
entrance door which you turn clockwise 1/4 turn. That will automatically
shut off the pump in 15 minutes to prevent damage if one forgets to turn it
off. We had to have the well re-drilled deeper in 2015. Since then, the
water has been discolored - we don’t know if in time it will settle out and be clear, or not. So you may wish to bring some bottled water for drinking.
The water from the river can be used for drinking or cooking if you boil it.
CELL PHONE SERVICE: We get service on our iPhones there -- IT
DEPENDS ON YOUR PROVIDER. We have ATT.
There is a queen size air bed. There is an electric air pump for it, but also a foot operated air pump - as the electric one won’t operate unless the storage battery is nearly 100% charged. If you use the airbed, before you go, please fully deflate it and return to the same place. Do not over inflate the mattress, just slightly firm to the touch. To deflate, you need to insert a small rod such as a pencil into the air opening to bypass the automatic air seal. In our experience, Airbeds often develop a leak after come months of use, so we have a second one there in case that happens. If it does, please let us know so we can replace it. Same is true for any supplies that you see running low - please let us know so we can re-stock them. When you book we send a list of things we try to keep stocked at the cabin.
Notes for the Potic Creek Cabin – update for 2016.
We have installed a timer on the lighting circuit at the cabin. This is to
prevent the problem some guests have caused by leaving the lights on when they leave. Leaving the lights on 24/7 drains the storage battery of the solar electric system.
So you will now see a timer mounted next to the solar control panel and
storage battery. By turning the knob clockwise, it turns the lights on for up to an hour. [This is separate from the timer for the water pump]. A small inconvenience, perhaps, but better than having a guest to find no electric.
Please print this information and take it with you. After you book it, we will email a map, wood stove instructions, a primer on starting campfires, key information, etc.
To reiterate: If you wish to stay in this cabin, please be prepared to leave it clean and take away your trash. We cannot travel there between every
guest's visit. We can only re-stock and clean it periodically, if you are not
prepared to do housekeeping at the end of your stay, please don't book it.
Andrew Peck and Chloe Dresser
Because the wood road in to the cabin is a bit over a mile long, and has
several forks and turns, we have been meticulous in preparing both a map
and written directions to get there. For years, no guest had a problem
finding it. Then in 2014, 2 guests had difficulties. Turned out this was
because they were attempting to use their iphone to look at the map. Don't rely on that alone, print out the map of the wood road and the directions, they are well done, detailed, and accurate. Followed step by step, there is no reason to have any problem.
August, 2015 update:
Someone whom we have not met, but believe was a neighboring property
owner has twice spoken to our guests when they were driving in on Quarry Road to our cabin. The first time, he told the guests they didn’t have the right to use Quarry Road, he owned it [or something like that]. The second time, he simply said he was concerned about fire safety, as there had been a drought. That is a concern we share, and around the fireplace the ground is covered with gravel. So if someone tells you he "owns the road," you can take it with a grain of salt, he may indeed own the land, we of course have a right of way on the road to come to the cabin, just as other property owners along Quarry Road do.
Finally, if you'd like to check out all our seven retreats, since 3 of them are off the grid like this cabin, here's how:
To view all our listings: From any of our listings, click on my photo, then, next page you come to, click my photo again. Then on that page, scroll down and click "view all listings" and you'll come to our seven retreats. Guest AccessThe land to the north [that is, the upstream direction] is posted. In all other directions, there are hundreds of acres not posted and good for hiking, exploring, hunting in season, etc. The best fishing around is not the Poetic Creek, but the nearly Catskill Creek, and the more distant, famous for trout - Esopus Creek. [You can (SENSITIVE CONTENTS HIDDEN) them if you're a fisherperson]. Interaction with GuestsTexting and emailing to BOTH of us is the best way to reach one of us if you have a question. The NeighborhoodWe love that it is so remote and private, at the very end of a 1 1/2 mile wood road. If there's snow, it won't be plowed, you would need a four wheel drive to reach it in the snow. If you book it and there's snow so you can't reasonably drive in, we will give a rain check [snow check?] or a full refund - your choice. The road is passable by all but very low to the ground cars, except for the last 300 feet to the cabin which is steep, and should not be driven down unless you have four wheel drive. Before that steep part, there is a parking area. Other Things to NoteNote:
Soon after you book, we send detailed information and attachments, with maps, directions, and key information. If you don't see it within a few hours, check spam folder, if not there, let us know promptly.
For anything time sensitive, text messages AND emails [to both of us] are more likely to get through than phone, we live in a mountaintop cabin with intermittent cell service.
The second "bed" is a queen size air mattress. Since periodically, they get a leak and fail, we have an extra one for a backup - if one fails and you need to use the backup please let us know so we can replace it. There is an electric air pump that runs off the solar electric power. There is a manually operated air pump, since the electric one only works if the battery is nearly 100% charged.
October 2015 update
We have had over 100 guests since starting to share this cabin in 2008, and have done out best to give a full description of this “camping cabin” so guests know what to expect. This has been successful, as we can tell from the reviews. Despite our detailed description, this October two different guests were not satisfied so we are disclosing what they saw as a problem. [And some guests see as a plus]
First, we had a guest call and say they didn’t know it was going to be so remote, plus, they saw a sign along the road in to the cabin that reads “Warning – Bear Area.” We have never seen a bear in that area, and black bears are shy of people anyway. We take the sign as our neighbor’s adolescent attempt at humor.
Second, another guest wrote that they had turned around and left because the road in was “completely washed out,” with a ditch “at least one and a half feet deep down to bedrock.” When we went to check it out, we found that they were referring to a ditch [about 6 inches deep], that has been there for years, along the right hand side of the road. It did not interfere with passage, as the road to the left of the ditch was still 10 or 12 feet wide.
Mice are a fact of life in a country cabin. Periodically, we set traps and get rid of them, but soon enough, more get in. If seeing a mouse would bother you, the cabin is not for you.
The cabin is owned by one of our companies, Dresser Properties LLC. We are your hosts, Andrew Peck and Chloe Dresser. When you book, we will send our contact information in case any questions arise before or during your stay.
So we add this in hopes that guests who would be afraid in the wilderness, or timid about driving on a country back road, [we can drive in in our Prius, which has quite low clearance] will choose another place more to their liking.
A guest suggested we put a caution to dog owners about mushrooms and ticks. There is no more danger there than anywhere else in the Catskills. Both are found in the country. We did once see a porcupine there, and if your dog encounters one, it can be a painful experience.
A guest sent us a favorable review, which we copy in it's entirety not to toot our own horn, but because it serves to reiterate and emphasize some points that prospective guests should not overlook:
“This cabin is the perfect get away from the hustle of the city. The rustic cabin is totally secluded and right next to a small creek. There is a single room that has a queen bed, two chairs, and a wood stove. There is a large dining table, two burner stove, and sink. There are plenty of pots and pans, a few glasses, and a few utensils. There is a cooler to keep things chilled. There is a large beautiful screened in porch that overlooks the creek. There is no running water in the house, but there is an electric well outside the front door. There is an outhouse several yards from the house. Toilet paper, paper towels, candles, hand soap, and detergent is provided. Firewood was also provided and very much appreciated. The wood stove keeps you very warm in the house, and there is also a fire pit in front of the cabin. The solar power provides enough power to light the cabin in the evenings and keep your cell phone charged. Bring your own pillows,bedding, and towels. NOTE- The cabin is at the bottom of a steep hill. You must have a 4-wheel drive or you will not be able to get back up the hill. Park your car at the top of the hill and walk down. There is an honor system when it comes to cleaning the cabin. Make sure and leave the cabin clean and inviting for the next guests. Let the owner know if things need to be restocked. Catskill is under 10 miles away and has a nice grocery store, Wal-Mart, and plenty of restaurants. Happy Camping!!!”