Native Enterprise: Delhi couple gives tenting and extra at rural web site | Enterprise Information


Amanda and Christopher Dwelyng traded city life for a campsite.

The couple launched Steady Slope Fields and Forest at 481 John Williams Road in Delhi in 2019 after purchasing the 60-acre property in 2018.

It was family, said Amanda Dwelyng, 41, that brought her to the state.

“[Christopher]is originally from the Midwest and I’m originally from the East Coast, and we met in Brooklyn,” she said. “We got pregnant and I didn’t want my child in town; I was there for 15 years and ready to go anyway. So we knew some farmers in that area because we worked at the Union Square Farmers’ Market and we stayed with someone in Roxbury and we found an agent in that area. We came here over a weekend and looked at 17 places and found this house. We’ve never been to Delhi – I’ve never been to the Catskills before living here – it was just coincidence that we ended up in this area.”

Dwelyng said family once again proved pivotal in the formation of Steady Slope.

“We moved here with no jobs, and I had this new baby and I had to breastfeed all the time, so I lay there on my phone and found out about this type of camping,” she said.

“We got our first camper to choose a spot on our property and set up a tent… and it just started from there. We started getting more and more campers then COVID happened. That (first) summer we probably had five to ten primitive campers; The following summer, 2020, when COVID started we had four designated campsites and every weekend throughout the summer they were all booked. During the pandemic, people couldn’t travel abroad, state parks weren’t open, and many campgrounds were closed, so we were one of the few places that were open and available for camping. People were just trying to get out of the city, so primitive camping was very popular that year.”

Although Steady Slope began with primitive camping, Dwelyng said, sites and facilities have been continually added. Rooms in her 3,000-square-foot home are also available for rent on a monthly basis, she said.

“In August 2020, someone we knew had a canvas tent they wanted to get rid of and asked us if we wanted it…so we made one of our locations more of a glamping-style location,” she said, noting the Addition of a wood deck, wood stove, queen bed and area rugs. “We received approval for four sites in January 2022: one with the canvas tent listed on Hipcamp and Airbnb and three primitive sites. and the sauna, we just decided to put it in because we were trying to figure out how to get people to come here too and what will make our property stand out. We like saunas and Christopher had a lot of experience with farms where he had worked with saunas. We did some research and bought a kit and had someone put it together and that was Thanksgiving 2019.”

According to a media release, the sauna is a self-contained, wood-fired unit with an adjacent cold plunge bath and outdoor shower.

The sauna, Dwelyng said, is available to “friends and locals on Monday evenings for women and men on Thursday evenings at 7pm” and can be added to bookings. Those wanting to book a spot in the six-person sauna should inquire in advance, she said.

Campers, Dwelyng said, are enjoying what Steady Slope offers.

“The most important things people seem to like about the location is the privacy it offers and the proximity – it’s very close to our home and car park, and it’s 10 minutes from Delhi city and the Andes away,” she said. “But as soon as you go to the campsite, all you see is the hills of the Catskills. It has a great view and behind you there are only trees and forests and you feel very alone and people like that.”

Customers, Dwelyng said, represent a mix.

“There’s a lot of downstate residents and a lot of New York City, but we get (campers) from Massachusetts,” she said. “We’re getting some from Connecticut and upstate New York, far west of us, and a few people from Pennsylvania.

“I’d say it’s mostly couples, but we’ve got it all,” Dwelyng continued. “Some people have brought their children to camp. We’ve had 200 stays over the past few years and maybe 20 have brought children and families; the majority are couples coming for an anniversary or birthday.”

Dwelyng said she and Christopher hope to continue to expand while adding educational opportunities.

“We ran a children’s (camping) weekend (earlier this year) and we’re hoping to run a few next year to get more families and people less comfortable with camping out camping” , she said.

“And we’ve got some new local friends doing things … like winter camping (workshop) with Thimo (Wittich of Andes) on survival skills, and we’ve got some friends who want to hunt, so we’ve got people doing that this year and then.” We’re hoping to do some land and forestry workshops with our friend Zarah (Bellucci) next year.

“One of our dreams is to add three more locations to the campground and we’re hoping to build an outdoor kitchen to host local chefs and have a night out for people to come every week throughout the summer…to the.” Cooking outdoors,” Dwelyng continued. “And expanding our gardens because I love flowers and cut flowers and being able to give them to guests and I want to expand our food vegetable gardens. We have some plots preparing for next year to grow more vegetables to offer our guests and we have started some fruit trees and blueberries to pick on a small scale.”

For more information email [email protected], follow @steadyslope on Instagram or call 607-746-2799.