Photo by Steve Aaron Photography

Our Township

Wawarsing is a town in Ulster County, NY, United States. The population was 12,889 at the 2000 census. The name means "a place where the stream bends" in the Warwarsink language and refers to the geography of the land; particularly the joining of the Ver Nooy Killand the Rondout Creek. The Town of Wawarsing is in the western part of the county. The southern and eastern-most portions are on the Shawangunk Ridge.Most of the hilly town is in the Appalachian foot-hills, while the northern most part is in the Catskills. It has three State Forests (Shawangunk Ridge, VerNooykill, and Witches Hole), as well as most of Minnewaska State Park and Sam's Point Preserve, and portions of the Catskill Preserve and Sundown State Park.US 209 crosses the town, passing through many principal communities: SpringGlen, Laurenkill, Ellenville, Napanoch, the hamlet of Wawarsing, Soccanissing, and Kerhonkson.US 44 begins at a junction with 209 near the east town line. N.Y. Route 52 runs east-west near the southern border.All three roads are part of the Shawangunk Ridge National Scenic Byway.


The Lenape settlement "at Wawarasinke" was burned by Dutchmilitiamen, led by Maarten Crieger, after the Natives attacked Wiltwyck (present day Kingston) and took captives in 1663. In 1685 WaarnerHoornbeek leased land there and is accepted as it's first European pioneer. In 1703 the areas of Mombaccus and Wawarasink, Ulster County, were made The Town of Rochester. During The Revolutionary War Wawarsing, Napanoch and Pinebush (Kerhonkson area) where attacked by British raiders and many women and children were massacred and most of the farms burned. In 1806 Wawarsing, Napanoch, Laurenkill, Lackawack, and Greenfield joined together to form The Town of Wawarsing out of Southern Rochester and parts of un-incorporated Ulster County.


According to the United States Census Bureau,the town has a total area of 133.9 square miles (346.7 km²), of which,130.8 square miles (338.6 km²) of it is land and 3.1 square miles(8.1 km²) of it (2.32%) is water. The western and southern borders of the town is Sullivan County, New York. The northern part of the town is the southern-most portion of the Catskill Mountains. The eastern border is the Shawangunk Ridge (pronouncedShaw-ong-ungk). Rondout Creek passes through the town, as do the Sandburgh, Laurenkill, Beerkill, Fantinekill and Ver Nooy kill creeks.