Look at Forestburgh township on a map of Sullivan County, and you’ll notice its one of the least developed townships, crisscrossed by the fewest roads. Its western flank is bordered by Swinging Bridge reservoir, and thousands of acres in the east are parts of state wildlife areas. Hartwood Road and Oakland Valley Road, running east to west across the southern part of Forestburgh, rank among some of the prettiest (and least developed) roads in the county.
Forestburgh has been kind of a Sleeping Beauty, while fancier developments took root further north in Bethel and further west towards the Delaware River. Over the past few years, the locus of activity has quietly shifted to the Bethel area, with Bethel Woods and the string of new restaurants on Kauneonga Lake.
That may be about to change. The Japanese Heritage Foundation has announced plans to revive the Sho Fu Den, a replica of the Imperial Palace in Kyoto, Japan that was brought to the site in Forestburgh after the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair. The palace and gardens will be the centerpiece of a 195 room garden inn and spa with a Japanese theme.
But that’s nothing compared to the plans by Double Diamond Resorts for a 2,200 acre site off of St. Joseph’s and Cold Springs Road. Double Diamond (www.ddresorts.com) is a developer of upscale golf communities, with 4 communities in Texas and one in Pennsylvania. Double Diamond closed on the property in late August or early September, and has been in discussions with the Town of Forestburgh regarding its plans.
Both Sho Fu Den and a Double Diamond community are likely a few years off, but are both exciting projects. And the Drive and Race Club, the "race car country club" planned for the old Monticello Airport (north of Lake Joseph and not far from these 2 Forestburgh projects) is well off the planning boards with a scheduled opening sometime in 2008. This could shift the locus of excitement in the county to the band between Route 42 and Cold Spring Road south of Monticello.