Since 1958, local vacationing families have been flocking to quite possibly NY’s best kept secret – Rocking Horse Ranch. Now, 53 years later, the secret is out. This dude ranch is more resort than dusty ranch, as I recently found out.
Drive just about two hours north on the New York State Thruway and you’ll enter a world that is dedicated to families in more ways than one. Rocking Horse Ranch has been owned by the Turk family since it opened its gates in 1958, and still is today. The Turk family has made providing quality family entertainment their top priority and it shows as soon as you drive onto the massive property. With almost 500 acres, they redefine the phrase trail ride.
The buildings on the ranch are reminiscent of an old western town, complete with a rifle range, blacksmith shop, even a prospecting station where kids can mine for colored stones. The grounds and paths are lined with award-winning flower arrangements, and they change with the seasons.
If you’re thinking the only thing to do is ride horses, you’ll be quite surprised. Once you check in, you’ll receive the daily itinerary – yes, itinerary – of events and activities. From softball to obstacle courses to learning how to water ski on their lake, there is something for literally every member of your family. There’s even an arcade, complete with a Wii room, for teens to hang out in.
As if your stay at Rocking Horse Ranch couldn’t get any better, they have indoor and outdoor pools. The indoor pool, which is kept at 85 degrees year round, is more of an indoor water park than just a pool, with a 250 ft. water slide. The outdoor pools, one for small children and a standard sized pool, both have slides as well. There are cabanas and lounge chairs that line the sides of the larger pool. They even have morning yoga sessions poolside. The lifeguards on duty are Ellis certified, which is the same level of certification used at Disney, meaning they do not just sit around. They are constantly pacing the sides of the pool and scanning for potential trouble.
For those looking for some relaxing alone time, the ranch has a spa, with a menu of services that includes facials and massages.
With as many activities as they offer, you will certainly work up an appetite. Luckily, 3 meals a day are included in your room rate. That’s right. Rocking Horse Ranch is all – inclusive. Not only are all of the activities included, but your meals are too. And the food is fantastic. Breakfast and lunch are served buffet style, and dinner is served to you. You sit at large tables with other guests, allowing you to socialize and meet other families. That carries over into the whole family atmosphere of the ranch.
Families create annual traditions of going to the ranch. Everyone knows everyone, in a good, part of the family kind of way. Staff members even know you, and take a sincere interest in making sure you are enjoying your stay. That’s something you don’t find at other resorts.
The best way to experience all there is to do is to go see it for yourself. With the ranch relatively close to the city, at just under two hours away, you can head up there for a weekend. A two night stay is really the minimum you’d need to see everything at least once. For more information on Rocking Horse Ranch, visit their website. To make reservations for your own getaway, call 800-647-2624, and tell them Queens Mamas sent you.
We’re already planning our next visit to the ranch. See you there!
More pictures of Rocking Horse Ranch: