What is Smallwood?
The Smallwood Civic Association (SWCA), incorporated in 1943, has as its members homeowners who reside either seasonally or year-round in Smallwood, an unincorporated hamlet of the Town of Bethel, Sullivan County, New York.
Since its inception as a vacation community in the late 1920’s, Smallwood has evolved into an active year-round community offering four seasons of outdoor recreation and more in and around the boundaries of our hamlet and Sullivan County. Smallwood is the host to Bethel’s 135-acre park called the Forest Reserve at Smallwood, which consists of a large dog park, multi-use trails and an exercise loop. Additionally, the hamlet is in close proximity to the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, the Delaware River, White Lake, Lake Superior Park, the Bashakill Wetlands, and the southern tier of the Catskill Mountain peaks. While not in the water or out on the trails, one can visit several local arts organizations, famer’s markets and a number of quaint main streets throughout the county. (Bethel was host to the historic 1969 Woodstock Music Festival and the Bethel Woods Center For The Arts sits on part of the concert site.)
The Civic Association counts among its assets Mountain Lake, which provides a swimming beach with lifeguard supervision and a boat launch, and the Lake Hill Lodge and Park Complex, consisting of a children’s playground, multi-use ball field, and tennis, basketball, and handball courts. Use of these facilities and the various educational, cultural and special events associated with them are only available to members.
There is no Homeowner’s or Property Owner’s Association in Smallwood. Homeowners who have chosen to join the Civic Association have done so because they see the value and benefits that membership offers, and many support and participate in the commitment of the Association to maintain and preserve the rural character of Smallwood, which consists primarily of cabins and cottages.
The Association’s Board of Directors is comprised of thirteen elected members who volunteer their time, efforts, and expertise. While the SWCA does pay for some professional services, for the purposes of maintaining and improving our shared resources in a cost effective manner, assistance from membership is always in demand for the management and upkeep of our assets and various programs, which are often led by subcommittees.
While the SWCA occasionally partners with the Town of Bethel in hosting special events and counts among its friends many of the elected officials in Bethel and in Sullivan County, the Civic Association is just that – a civic association. We have control over only our assets and are not a civil authority. While the SWCA may advocate before various local, state, and federal entities on behalf of membership regarding zoning, water and air quality, and other quality of life issues, we have no regulatory power and do not enforce code whether it be speed limits, illegal parking, noise violations, litter, or any of the myriad quality of life issues faced by residents.
The roads within the hamlet are neither owned nor maintained by the SWCA. The Town of Bethel maintains them and they are patrolled by Bethel’s Constables, the Sullivan County Sheriff, and the New York Sate Police. The water supply for some Smallwood homes comes from onsite wells and others, without wells, use water provided seasonally by a private water company. There is no sewer system in Smallwood and homes use individual septic systems and cesspools. Residents remove their trash via private carting companies or dispose of it at the town’s Transfer Station.
We invite Smallwood homeowners to join the association here. If you are interested in buying a home here, please contact a local realtor. Or, if you need information on a specific house, parcel, or geographic area, contact the Town of Bethel or Sullivan County as the Association does not provide such information.