There is a particularly special mood to the Willowemoc Valley that is perhaps caused directly by its topography. The mountains shoulder in on the river itself and the river bends at angles that can prevent you from seeing much beyond the moment in front of you. There is a sense of solitude and isolation that wonderfully creeps in. These physical qualities make it a place where you can at one instance be surrounded by the warmth of friendship and in the next find deep rooted, self indulgent, intimacy.
The DeBruce is located directly on the Willowemoc, where guests have access to ½ mile of private river rights for fly-fishing. The DeBruce guest also has access to close to 600 acres across two mountains of trails (eventually up to 30 miles of trails) for hiking, birding, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and more.
Local wood artist and trail expert, Cima Bue, is designing a private trail system that will start with 4 miles of trails in 2017 and culminate with 30+ miles by 2019. Beyond the groomed trail system guests may also bushwhack their own journey if so desired.
In the case of the Willowemoc, we have a history and legacy to honor and protect. Just upstream from the Lodge, George LaBranche cast the first American dry fly where the Mongaup Creek joins the Willowemoc. For over 125 years many have come to the valley to cast a line with great hope and patience.
Photography by Lawrence Braun