In 1740, a guide from Shokan led a group of settlers along the Espous over Pine Hill into where Margaretville is today. A rough road between Pine Hill and Margaretville was cut from the wilderness and would later be called the Ulster & Delaware Turnpike. In the late 1700s, Aaron Adams made the first clearing in Pine Hill and in 1790 he established the upper portion where the Colonial Inn currently stands.
The arrival of stagecoach service between Kingston and Pine Hill in 1853 transformed the small hamlet into a tourist destination. In 1872, the Ulster & Delaware Railroad reached Pine Hill and the town exploded as a weekend and summer destination.
Pine Hill’s greatest draw for tourism was its clean air and pure water. During its heyday its was called the “Saratoga of the Catskills”. A water bottling company started operations in 1885 and began sending six to nine train carloads per week to New York City. Pine Hill was widely regarded as a premier health spa and resort area through the first part of the 20th Century until railroad service halted in 1954.
Today, Pine Hill has retained most of its 19th Century charm. Its proximity to Belleayre makes it a popular destination for dinning and events at the Community Center. On Saturday nights the Colonial Inn’s grand buffet packs in the crowds and live music at The Zephyr on Thursday evenings is always a crowd pleaser for locals and visitors alike.