THE THOMAS COLE NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE is one of Catskill’s treasures. Here, Cole’s disciple Frederic Church dined, talked art, and studied at the side of the father of America’s first great art movement. Together, they set off on painting excursions to, yes, the nearby Catskill Mountains, and the Hudson River School was born. The rest is, as they say, art history, and a visit to Cole House is critical to understanding this painting tradition. Today, a history-making project is in the works: Hudson River Skywalk, a spectacular pedestrian walkway across the Rip Van Winkle bridge that will link the Cole site and Church’s home, Olana. An international destination, it begins right here in our village on the Hudson.