Established in 1906, the Town of Wawarsing, NY, with its Hamlets of Ellenville, Napanoch, Cragsmoor, Pine Bush and Spring Glen, 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 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.
Popular today for hang-gliding, off-roading, hiking, fishing, skiing and swimming, Wawarsing is located primarily in the Appalachian foothills; the southern and eastern parts of Town are on the Shawangunk Ridge, while the northernmost portion is in the Catskills.
Wawarsing 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 Catskill Preserve and Sundown State Park.
DID YOU KNOW?
During the Civil War, the State of New York contributed more than any Northern state, and lost more than 50,000 soldiers. The graves of the soldiers who died in the Civil War, as well as those who served during the War, are scattered across cemeteries throughout Ulster County. Many were long forgotten, until Laura Smith, President of the Veterans Grave Preservation Association, visited the grave of one Union soldier, who died in the Battle of Gettysburg. The grave was located at Leurenkill Cemetery in the Wawarsing Hamlet of Ellenville, and it was in disrepair. Smith, shocked and horrified, researched the issue, discovering commonalities across the Town, State and Northeast United States. Now, she works with local volunteers and the Town of Wawarsing to maintain and protect the graves of the veterans, as well as document their lives.
Total Area: 133.86 square miles
Elevation: 1,204 feet
Zip Code: 12489
Population (2010): 13,157
Christ Lutheran Church and Parsonage
Cragsmoor Stone Church
Ellenville Downtown Historic District
Ellenville Farmers Market
Ellenville Fault-Ice Caves
Ellenville Flight Park
The George and John R. Hunt Memorial Building
Honor’s Haven Resort & Spa
Minnewaska State Park
The O&W Napanoch Depot
Resorts World Catskills
Sam’s Point Preserve
Shawangunk Country Club
Stony Kill Falls
Sundown State Park
Terwilliger House Museum
Verkeerderkill Falls Trail Hike
Wawarsing Historical Society and Knife Museum
Photos (L-R): Cragsmoor Stone Church – C.C. Chapman | Hang Gliding in Ellenville – Wheezy Jefferson | Sam’s Point – George Bremer | The View at Cragsmoor Stone Church – C.C. Chapman