The Town of Bethel was incorporated in 1809 from the Town of Lumberland by an act of the New York State Legislature. Hamlets that the town serves are Bethel, Kauneonga Lake, Smallwood, White Lake, parts of Mongaup Valley and Swan Lake covering 93.51 square miles. There are over 147 miles of Town Roads. The population according to the 2010 Census is 4,205. For more interesting and historical facts follow this link: Historical/Interesting Facts.
In 1969, Bethel hosted the original Woodstock Music and Art Festival that is now the site of Bethel Woods Performing Arts Center and the Bethel Woods Museum. The Pavilion Stage amphitheater opened in 2006 and can accommodate 15,000 both under cover and on a natural sloping lawn, while offering unique backdrops including the original festival site and the majesty of the surrounding Sullivan County countryside. The Museum at Bethel Woodsopened in 2008. It is dedicated to the study and exhibition of the social, political and cultural events of the 1960s, including the Woodstock festival. The award-winning museum provides a focus for deeper issues and lessons of the decade. Features include a permanent exhibit space, Special Exhibit Gallery, Corridor Exhibit Gallery, Museum Theater, an intimate 440-seat Event Gallery, Woodstock Monument, retail store and Muse Cafe.
White Lake is well-known for its bass and trout fishing and motorboating. We have a boat launch in the hamlet of Kauneonga Lake that is owned and maintained by the State of New York to access White Lake. Lake Superior State Park is a non-motorized lake with row and paddle boat rentals, daily fee required.
There are many restaurants located in downtown Kauneonga Lake, White Lake, Smallwood and along Route 17B. Visit our links page for a listing of all restaurants and cafes.
We have a year-round Parks and Recreation Department that sponsors summer and winter events including a day camp, coach bus trips to amusement parks and New York City. They also sponsor many fitness programs for all ages.
Our seniors are very active with monthly meetings, playdays, luncheons, holiday parties, cards and games, and coach bus trips. Visit our community calendar for the next playday! For more information check out the Senior Center page.
There are many community organizations to volunteer with such as 4-H Bethelites, Bethel Business Association, Bethel First, Bethel Lions, Veterans, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, Smallwood Civic Association, Briscoe Dam Association, Smallwood Club, and grass-roots organizations. See our links page for more.
Kauneonga Lake Community Park overlooking
State Boat Launch for White Lake
Downtown Kauneonga Lake "Restaurant Row"
Artwork by ZacMax
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