Westerlo Farms, Natural Areas, and Outdoor Recreation

From Helderberg Hilltowns of Albany County, NY
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Like all of the Albany hill towns, Westerlo is an area of pastoral natural beauty: scenic farmlands, distant vistas of the Catskill Mountains, steams, water falls, and forest land.

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Current Events

Westerlo Historical Calender for 2010

Westerlo Fire Co. Volunteers are selling Westerlo Historical Calenders for 2010. The theme this year is "Transportation Over the Years." The calenders are also available in Rensselaerville at the Hilltown Café; in Greenville at The Booksmith, Greenville Norton Lumber, and the Greenville Library; in Dormansville at Hill...town Farm and Garden and Original Applebees; and in Westerlo at the Town Hall, Hannay Reels, and M & B Stop & Shop. Price is only $6! For home delivery call Raye Saddlemire 966-4082 or Kate Lathalm 736-3295.



Reserves and Outdoor Recreation

  • Bear Swamp was designated a Registered National Natural Landmark by the Department of Interior in 1973. Bear Swamp itself dates from 13,000 years ago, with the retreat of the last glacier. The rhododendron at Bear Swamp are a relic stand, the northernmost in New York State.
  • Westerlo Town Park - has playing fields, a pavilion, picnic tables and toilets.

Water Recreation

Onderdonk Lake - is there public access

Farms and farm activities

Photo courtesy of Eight Mile Creek Farm
  • Bee & Ewe Farm - Wholesale honey. Yarn and blankets made with farm raised wool. 76 Stewart Rd.; Tel. (518) 765-2326.
  • Eight Mile Creek Farm - Unusual varieties of certified organic fruits, vegetables and herbs in season, certified organic eggs year round, grass-fed organic beef We have a CSA,[1] sell at local farmers' markets, to food cooperatives, as well as direct from our farm. Call ahead daily for requests and seasonal availability. Will harvest fresh for your arrival. Pamela McSweeney, 40 Johnny Cake Hill Road, Westerlo; Tel. 518-966-5468.
  • Golden Acres Farm - Beef cattle. 756 NYS Route 143; (518) 797-3021.
  • Weston Hill Farm and Boarding Kennels - 133 Route 412; Tel. (518)797-9252.


  1. Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) - a popular way for consumers to buy local, seasonal food directly from a farmer. Here are the basics: a farmer offers a certain number of "shares" to the public. Typically the share consists of a box of vegetables, but other farm products may be included. Interested consumers purchase a share (aka a "membership" or a "subscription") and in return receive a box (bag, basket) of seasonal produce each week throughout the farming season.

Historic cemeteries and family burying grounds

The following historic cemeteries and family burying grounds are easily accessible and are maintained. There are many more that are abandoned and overgrown.

(to be written)

Extant historic buildings

Historic buildings (other than those previously listed under Visitor Facilities). Unless otherwise noted, these are not open to the public and may just be viewed from the road.

(to be written)


One room schools

Businesses and organizations



Visitor facilities

Visitor facilities in Westerlo and nearby towns.

For Something to Eat

In Westerlo and adjoining towns.

  • Casa Mia's - Pizza. Route 85; Tel. (518) 872-0378.
  • China Wok - Bryants Country Sq, Greenville; Tel. (518) 966-5588.
  • June's Place - 2082 Delaware Turnpike Rte. 85, Clarksville; Tel. (518) 768-2398.
  • P & L Deli - Convenience store & Italian gourmet deli, Westerlo hamlet; Tel. (518) 797-3233.
  • M & B's Stop & Shop - Convenience store & gas station, Rte. 85; Tel. (518) 872-0701.
  • Sisters Two, 585 State Route 143, Westerlo; Tel. (518) 797-3026.
  • Shell Inn - Family dining. 4520 State Route 85; Tel. (518) 797-9682.
  • Sophia's Pizza - Route 32, Greenville; Tel. (518) 966-4040.
  • Westerlo General Store - Convenience store, deli and gas station, Rte. 143, Westerlo hamlet; Tel. (518) 797-3601.
  • Vince Anna's - Italian restaurant, 185 Creamery Rd, Greenville; Tel. (518) 966-8892.
  • See also visitor facilities in adjoining towns:
Berne Farms, Natural History, and Outdoor Recreation.
Rensselaerville Farms, Natural Areas, and Outdoor Recreation pages.

Places to stay

For something special

to be written



  • Advertise the natural beauty of the hill towns and the outdoor recreation opportunities.
  • Attract folks interested in hiking, fishing, history, and photography.
  • Make the hill towns known for their great variety of trails.


Look for opportunities for expanding the existing system of trails.

  • The towns should encourage the planning and construction of scenic trails for use by hikers, bikers, horseback riding, fisherman, photographers, cross country runners, etc is encouraged. In the fall they might be used by hunters; in the winter by cross country skiers.
  • Promote a system of bike trails though-out the hill towns.
  • Add new trails to connect existing natural reservations.

Identify existing resources

Historic mill sites

Survey of historic mill sites to locate and document the conditions of the remains of any historic sawmills and grist mills and dam sites. Like abandoned cemeteries, these abandoned ruins will eventually be lost. It would be good to know exactly where they were before it is to late.

Family burying grounds

Locate and restore abandoned family burying grounds whose locations are not now known.

Historic building survey

to be written

Expand existing area

to be written

Additional visitor facilities

  • In any district of the town a home owner may operate a Guest House. The definition of a Guest House is a home owner who makes extra bedrooms available in their home for occasional guests. The Guest House is not a business but rather a way to earn extra money for the home owner from time to time.
  • Landowners whose land a trail crosses or who live within say 1000 feet of a trail could be encouraged to build facilities along such trails to benefit users of the trails and to charge for their use: trail shelters, tent camping sites, toilet facilities, picnic tables, fire pits.
  • With special permits, landowners in agricultural districts should be allowed to build cabins for rent by the day or week, and to build facilities for use by recreation vehicle campers.

Adjoining Hill Towns

Farms, natural areas, and outdoor recreation opportunities in adjoining hill towns: