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The intensely rural Catskill region gets even more rural and remote in Delaware County, home to just 25,000 New Yorkers -- but to 700 miles of fishing streams and 11,000 acres of reservoirs and other waterways. This is a land of long uninterrupted vistas, deep green valleys, rivers, streams, and isolated dairy farms, with a handful of covered bridges and historic towns tossed in. Though just over 3 hours from New York City, it's one of the best places in the state to get away from it all and get outdoors to hike, mountain-bike, kayak, or ski. How rural is it? Well, you can pick up a brochure from the Catskill Center for Conservation and Development in Arkville (tel. 845/586-2611; www.catskillcenter.org) and spend several days doing a self-guided tour of the Barns of Delaware County. Hmm. Sounds like a movie.

However, young weekenders from the City, a mix of artists and hipsters, have also found a home here, principally around Andes, and are busy transforming the area, mixing cool with country.

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