Mountain Top Arboretum: Splendor in the Trees
Tannersville's Mountain Top Arboretum plunges you into the enchantment of nature. This beautiful public garden is a must-visit if you're planning a side-trip from Kaaterskill Falls or staying at the nearby Deer Mountain Inn. It's a dream for anyone interested in horticulture, birding, or butterflies. It's a safe spot for little kids to explore the wilderness of the Catskill Mountains, and a brand new Education Center is in the works to make it even better. Personally, I fell in love with the place when I came upon some Mary Oliver poetry in the woods.
Archer's favorite part was the Spiral Labyrinth, which is lyrically described on the Mountain Top Arboretum website: "Adults peacefully stroll inward to the circular stone bench, while children race round and round to the center and back. People and pollinators together enjoy the dizzying mix of blooms and fragrances."
Ramona enjoyed dancing (and snoozing) atop the mound of perfectly green grass in the center of the Labyrinth, but her favorite part was the magical fairy garden in the Woodland Walk. From atop Pete's shoulder's she gasped and squealed that the spotted a real fairy, her wings catching the light between two trees. Pete said he saw her, too.
The Fairy Garden had a little bit of a Blair Witch vibe to it, but that felt accurate to me. I mean, it would feel far less authentic to find some pink plastic fairy castle in the forest, right?
The real magic is getting up-close to technicolor flowers, which shone like jewels on the gray day of our visit. You can step into the rustic, moss-covered gazebo. You can hug someone you love on the banks of a pond that is littered with lily pads.
Mountain Top Arboretum is located at 4 Maude Adams Road, Tannersville, NY 12485. It is open from dawn to dusk, year round; $5 suggested minimum donation. No picnicking allowed, and the garden are not especially stroller-accessible, but our 3-year-old was happy to walk on her own.