Highland, N.Y.: A Small Community With a ‘Feel-Good’ Spirit

By Karen Angel

Like other areas outside the city, this Ulster County hamlet got a boost from buyers during the pandemic. But some of the homes there are still relatively affordable.

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For years, Highland, N.Y., flew under the radar, seen less as a destination and more as a pass-through on the way to better-known cities like Poughkeepsie and New Paltz. But that changed in 2018, when a $5.4 million visitor center for the Walkway Over the Hudson opened on the Highland side of the river. More than 650,000 people traversed the walkway connecting Poughkeepsie and this five-square-mile Ulster County hamlet last year, and with the visitor center and nearby restaurants, they had a reason to linger on the Highland side.




Highland’s population grew by 13 percent from 2010 to 2020 — to 6,385 from 5,647, according to census figures — and that growth has continued apace since the pandemic started in 2020, thanks mostly to New York City residents seeking more space at relatively affordable prices.

Kateryna Zemskova, 42,and her husband, Baris Tuncer, 47, looked at houses in New Paltz, Gardiner and Woodstock before finding what they wanted in Highland: a spacious home for less than $400,000, with a separate apartment for Ms. Zemskova’s mother. The couple, who are real estate agents in New York City, closed on the brick ranch house for $385,000 late last year. “Within our budget, we only saw that kind of mother-daughter situation in Highland,” Ms. Zemskova said.

Avid hikers, they also wanted to be close to Minnewaska State Park Preserve and the Mohonk Preserve, as well as the Mountain Laurel Waldorf School in New Paltz, where they enrolled their 4-year-old daughter. (The couple, who still own an apartment in Midwood, Brooklyn, are splitting their time between Highland and the city.) “The house is accessible, but it’s quiet at the same time,” Ms. Zemskova said.


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Hudson Place
1 Hudson Place
Highland, NY 12528

845-334 2033

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