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New Paltz, New York

Home to State University of NY at New Paltz, this small town has a sizable hippy community as well as students. The young feeling is a refreshing change from upstate NY’s older crowd. “There are just as many real hippies there as there are in Woodstock, N.Y. I know this because I am a long hair dreded hippy that lives near by both of these locations. The good thing about New Paltz is that it isn’t nearly as hyped up as Woodstock. This provides for a nice relaxing atmosphere.”

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27 Responses to New Paltz, New York

  • I just moved to charlotte from newpaltz, ny. let me tell you all this right now, and pay close attention! newpaltz is full of dead beat dirt bags that claim to be hippies. they will rob you, they will assult you, they will lie to you. all with a smile. You have been warned.

    also, there is absolutly NO good drugs anymore. maybe sometimes in the summer when people are touring. newpaltz is now full of wiggers.
    w i g g e r s. yes.

  • Any yone who is prejudice, has no need to be posting on a Hippy sight. . . To the person who wrote about new paltz and the “WIGGERS” in the summer time. . . . Racism, get an education. . . Ignoramous

  • Ive lived and visiter New Paltz for 24 yrs now and it still remains one of the greatest places ive ever been…The mountains and hiking trails are the best….

  • Comment[ FUNKIN BEATS ]: “Any yone who is prejudice, has no need to be posting on a Hippy sight. . . To the person who wrote about new paltz and the “WIGGERS” in the summer time. . . . Racism, get an education. . . Ignoramous”

    hey Harry, get a fuckin job!

  • Thank you all for keeping my quote landmarked on the sight, peace and one love. . . . .

  • New Paltz is great, I love all the hippies. You all are great, I love to see so many real hippies turn out to our Hip-Hop shows here in L.I., It really balances out our crowd, and keeps it peaceful. One of my good friends lives in New Paltz, and we are looking to do a concert up there for you all. Love All. Remember to vote 2004. You know who gotta’ go. Peace.

  • I remember how it was back in the early 70’s. People were as cool as they could be man. It was like a part of California was cut and pasted there. I haven’t been there in years, but will definately check it out the next time I pass through there!

    PEACE and LOVE!

  • Go to art in soul and ask for reu. hes the man. got the forearm tat there whilst in the carnival. cost a bunch but unsurpassable in professionalism.

  • I grew up in New Paltz and never realized how lucky I was until i left and realized that the whole world wasnt that cool. in response to girlscandrum Whole Food is NOT a hippie coop and if that is your idea of hippie then stay out of New Paltz please! There are 2 REAL healthfood stores in New Paltz one called Earth Goods on Main and another next to the movie theatre. Earth Goods is better in my eyes but they both have cool stuff. There was recently a starbucks built on main that got people pretty annoyed but other then that there are not a lot of chains in town. Great rock climbing and hiking in the Gunks!!

  • ok so im like a junior in hs right now and im totally planning on ny for college…not sure where yet but ill be going for massage therapy anyways i wanna know if there will be any good hippie stores–aka whole food coop, hippie clothes, real incense…i cnat live with outit…i also saw u guys talking about a college there?? i guess fill me in


  • i used to live this town and i realize about how nice this town. i could enjoy my life and enjoy a stuff.
    evrybody are nice and BAR is playing cool sound from Oasis!

    everybody shoud go there and check how nice over there!!!

  • Hi!

    I used to live in New Paltz as a young boy. I have always wanted to return and see where I grew up. Haven’t had the chance yet.

    I can’t remember the address it’s been so long. (60’s)

    To get to the house from the turnpike you went down thru town, turned left at the fork, then turned right and went across railroad tracks. Up past the dump (river on right) our house was the 1st one after on the left. It was a huge, long driveway to get to the house. Old big house, our neighbors across the street were the Benders.

    We bought an old chicken farm….no chickens though.

    Anyone know if our old house is still there?

    I’d sure appreciate knowing!!!!



  • New Paltz has a great and special feel to it.I get that that feeling every time I enter town and I have been visiting there since 1972.I used to camp in the mountains there and have fond memories of playing guitar at Smittys bar.Somehow Rolling Rock beer tasted better up there.

  • Smitty’s Bar played a fundamental role in my adolescence, I guess I can only return there in memories or on Google Earth. Many a summer spent with a pitched tent… started by hitch hiking up the Thruway starting in Riverdale, then getting to New Paltz, stopping at the diner for a burger (or the Jack in the Box for junky Tacos… Yum), working up the road to Albany Post Road (incredible canopy of trees made the last stretch nearly embryonic journey) then to Smitty’s, slough off the back pack, buy a Rolling Rock, knock it down, buy a half dozen more and out the back to the nature park Smitty let folk “camp on”… a few hundred yards, sloughing off clothes until reaching the icy stream buck nekkid, clothes in the pack, find a spot, pitch a tent, roll a joint and wait for the others to smell it and join me.

    “Naturalist”? Uh uh. “Nudist”? Nope. Just an incredible bunch of incredibly nekkid people, from all over, all walks of life, some gettin’ high, some shooting dope, some doing acid, some playing music, most just hanging and digging it all. Rotating bunch of gypsy hippies, lots of familiar faces, some new ones each time, nobody knew how to get there but to just go. High as a kite, going down the natural rock slide that skinned the butt but felt sooooo goood to land in the pool at the end. Rain storms taught me better to be naked in the rain than damp in clothes. Occasionally Smitty on horseback comes by, otherwise, nobody here but us chickens.

    Was it real? Was it all hallucination? Don’t know, don’t know anyone else to validate the memories. Maybe better that way … but making love in the great outdoors is too sharp a memory for it to be all imagined.

    Anyone else to validate? To share? Post it here. Halcyon days, end of the Vietnam War, draft numbers… Pink Floyd in the Ummagumma stage, not the slicked up Dark Side stuff. Gone With The Wind, I guess.

  • Who has hiked deep into the valley from Smittys and camped by the river gorge?

  • in the 70s, I hitchiked up to new paltz with friends from levvitown and camped in the woods near smitty’s bar. we slept in the woods withut tents or sleeping bags. actually did not sleep much..everyone was tripping on acid. I remember these two heavy set red headed woman would walk around naked selling acid…the only thing they were wearing was a waste strap and a pouch to hold the acid and the money. Everyone walked around nude and swam in the water holes in the rocks. It was an amazing time

  • New Paltz used to be a cool, laid back, college/outdoors town. Bars, coffee shops, restaurants, hippy stores, the Gunks, bicycling, a university, health food, book stores, etc. Now, too many headshops, the traffic has grown (stay away during autumn — the traffic is enormous), and a lot of sleazy burnouts have drifted in with totally drugged out characters on the sidewalks on some days, and fights breaking out once in a while on Main Street. Something happened — the Woodstock feel is barely perceptible. Sad.

  • In response to the “wiggers” comment, that was way back in 2002, styles have changed and now the town is much more hipster/ manhattan-y. There’s still lots of great stores and the vibe is still really friendly. I can’t imagine what that nasty comment was about, I’ve lived here for 12 years and have never had a negative experience with the hippies.

  • i use to go camping in new paltz in the 1970s with a bunch of friends and my girlfriend, now my wife. we used to park at smittys bar for $3.00 a night and hike to a spot to pitch our tent. does anyone know what road was taken to get to smittys bar. i would love to take my kids now in their 20s.  

  • Gerber,
    Trapps Road…I lived there from 1972-1974
    I had the "Dome" up on the hill above Flat Rock

  • Yes, also lived in the woods at Smitty’s and helped Smitty take care of the parking and the land. LOTS of hippies, naked bodies, LSD, Mescaline and wonderful vibes. Was there for years. Once winter stayed there all alone with my dog. Great memories. 1970 to 1974

  • spent many fine summers naked at Smitty’s – it was paradise.

    I remember terry "the mayor" with his dogs.

  • Yeah Smitty’s…waterholes, naked , LSD, etc. We would drive from the city and spend the weekend in paradise early to mid 70s.

  • many fond memories of spending every summer naked in the woods at Smittys.  Terry (the mayor) on the rock by the water slide, the guys who lived in the tree house with the car battery and the raido,  I lived in the leanto made of saplings and black plastic.  Carlos who whore only a belt with a knife hanging from it.  Icy cold water.  erb & LSD. Yes I remember the two large women drug dealers.

  • Hitchhiked from Michigan with a buddy to New Paltz in late summer 1972. Spent some time nekkid in the woods and rock sliding and in the swimmin’ holes. Must’ve been in Smittys area but I don’t recall that name.

    We also spent a couple nights at a kundalini yoga ashram. Does anyone remember that place? I think it was just a converted house (maybe Victorian) in the viillage.
  • Hello! Do any of you old(er) timers remember an ashram in New Paltz where kundalini yoga was taught/practiced? I spent a few days there in July, 1972, as well as somewhere up in the woods near waterfalls and swimming holes. I’m trying to complement my 41 year journal notes and faded memory! I plan to visit New Paltz next year (from Michigan) and would like to see if the old house is still there.

  • It was summer. I was following the stream down from the cabin and as flat rock revealed itself there were a million freaks dancing or playing music or tripping and I knew I needed to be a part of it.
    The next year thereabouts I moved into the cabin and became a regular at Smitty’s. The Arm Brothers played every Wednesday and maybe Friday and I was always there.
    And whenever I could I was at flat rock, down the hill from the bar. On really hot nights we would go down between sets with a couple girls from Vassar and skinny dip in the dark and freezing water.

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