Catskills: Hiking, Camping, Cycling, Kayaking, XC Skiing, Fishing & more

The Catskill Mountain Region is Over 6,000 Square Miles….Where Should You Begin?

Are you new to the Catskills or not familiar with the location of our public lands and recreational resources? Looking for some good suggestions on where to go hiking, camping, boating, cycling, fishing, or cross-country skiing in the Catskills? In a region larger than the state of Connecticut, here are some suggestions to get you started.

NOTE: The NYSDEC has developed several accessible recreation facilities in the Catskills for individuals with disabilities. For a complete list go to the DEC’s Accessible Recreation Destinations page and search their lists for Delaware, Greene, Sullivan and Ulster Counties.

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Choose a vicinity below to view some of the many outdoor pursuits in the Catskill Mountain region.
In the Park
NORTHERN  SOUTHERN  WESTERN

Outside the Park
NORTHEAST          NORTHWEST         SOUTHEAST         SOUTHWEST
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Looking for a 2-3 night Backpacking Idea?
Read an account of a wonderful camping trip taken starting at Little Pond.

NORTHERN Catskill Park

Strenuous Hikes:

  • Blackhead Range – Traverse the three high peaks that define the skyline of the northern Catskill Park; Thomas Cole (elev. 3,940′), Blackhead (elev. 3,980′), and Black Dome (elev. 3,940′). Mileage approx. 5-6 miles one-way depending on route. Scenic view points. NY/NJ TC Catskills Trail Map #41.
  • Devil’s Path – Doing even a small chunk of the 23-mile Devil’s Path can be considered an extremely strenuous hike, however the rewards are numerous and unforgettable. Indian Head, Twin, Sugarloaf, and Twin are signature Catskill high peaks, and Plateau, Southwest Hunter, and Westkill Mountains will give you a better workout than you could ever pay for at a gym. Once you make it up to the spruce-fir summits, all of your troubles will disappear in the breeze. Amazing vistas from bluestone ledges will turn you into a romantic such as the likes of Thomas Cole and Washington Irving.

Moderate Hikes:

  • Dibble’s Quarry and Pecoy Notch – A moderate hike of 1.9 miles one-way will take you through classic Catskills northern hardwood forest and typical rock outcrops, then to an abandoned bluestone quarry with modern-day charm, on to a tumbling stream through a hemlock ravine, up to a high-mountain beaver meadow, and finally to the rugged notch between Twin and Sugarloaf Mountains (elevation gain 1,000’).. More ambitious hikers can ascend the Devil’s Path to the summits on either side of the notch. Scenic views at Dibble’s Quarry and summits of Twin and Sugarloaf Mountains. NY/NJ TC Catskills Trail Map #41.
  • Huckleberry Point – Hike from the magical Platte Clove up onto the lower flanks of Kaaterskill High Peak and then out to a rocky promontory with fantastic views of the Hudson Valley, Platte Clove, and Indian Head Range. 2.5 miles one-way; gradual ascents. NY/NJ TC Catskills Trail Map #41

Easy Hikes:

  • Catskill Mountain House Site and Artists Rock – Accessed via North-South Lake State Campground, this is arguably the foremost classic scenic view in the Catskill Park (along with the view of North-South Lake and South Mountain from North Mountain). The Catskill Mountain House Site is a short stroll from the parking areas at the campground and boasts an incredible panorama of the Hudson Valley. Artists Rock (0.5-mile from campground), Boulder Rock (0.75-mile from campground), and Sunset Rock (1.3-miles from campground) also have great views. This legendary area was America’s first great tourist destination and was visited by president’s, artists and the rich and powerful for over a century. NY/NJ TC Catskills Trail Map #40 and #41.
  • Diamond Notch Falls – At the end of Spruceton Road park in the area on the right. Hike up the Diamond Notch Trail along the West Kill for .7 miles to the falls. This is a great place for a picnic or to just explore and sit around.

Primitive Camping:

  • Elm Ridge Lean-to in the Elm Ridge Wild Forest
  • Devil’s Acre Lean-to in the Hunter-West Kill Wilderness

Cross-Country Skiing:

  • Mountain Trails Cross Country Ski Center

Ice Skating

Flatwater Canoeing/Kayaking:

  • Colgate Lake – Enjoy scenic views of the Blackhead Range while paddling lazily on this pretty out-of-the-way lake. This lake supports trout. NY/NJ TC Catskills Trail Map #41.

River Canoeing/Kayaking:

  • Schoharie Creek from Lexington to Prattsville. Nine miles of flatwater and Class I-III rapids flowing through a beautiful valley. See if you can spot a bald eagle looking for trout.

Trout Fishing:

  • Schoharie Creek
  • West Kill

Warm-water Fishing:

  • Lake Rip Van Winkle in Tannersville
  • Colgate Lake in Greene County
  • Note: Colgate Lake is an Accessible Recreation Destination site. See link above.

Mountain Biking:

  • Hunter Mountain Ski Area
  • Ski Windham
  • Elm Ridge Wild Forest

Cycling:

  • Moderate: The ride in Spruceton Valley from CR 42 to the head of the valley is one of the most beautiful and pleasant rides in the Catskills. Light traffic and nearly flat terrain with mountain ranges on both the north and south sides of the valley make for a wonderful outing.15 miles, round trip.
  • Feeling fiesty? Ride over Deep Notch from the hamlet of Shandaken for a full day’s outing.
  • Bonus: At the end of the road, leave your bike and hike .7 miles along the West Kill to Diamond Notch Falls.
  • Strenuous: CR 23C in the Towns of Jewett and Hunter offers spectacular scenery and rolling terrain on a quiet country road. 25 miles round trip. Have a meal and a brew in Tannersville at the end of your trip.

SOUTHERN Catskill Park

Strenuous Hikes:

  • Table and Peekamoose Mountains – Start in from the end of Denning Road, for a hike of 3.9 miles one-way to the summit of Table Mountain (elevation gain 1,700′), and another 0.85-mile brings you to the summit of Peekamoose. Alternate approach is 3.9 miles one-way to summit of Peekamoose Mountain, from Peekamoose Road (Ulster Co. Rt. 42)., (elevation gain 2,640′). Enjoy the magic kingdom of the spruce-fir forest that crowns our highest Catskill peaks.
  • Wittenberg Mountain – This is a tough hike with an enormous pay-off. Starting at the Woodland Valley Parking Area ( pay fee from mid-May to mid-October), hike up the Wittenberg-Cornell-Slide Trail 3.9 miles to the summit. The spectacular views over the Ashokan Reservoir and to the Devil’s Path Range are to die for. The summit elevaton is 3780′ with a climb of 2430′.

Moderate Hikes:

  • Giant Ledge – Arguably the most “bang for the buck” in the Catskills, a short hike with some huffing and puffing is rewarded by breathtaking views on a series of 250′ high open ledges. To the east are views of the nearby Burroughs Range and to the west views of the high peaks of the Big Indian Wilderness. 3 miles out and back.
  • Bonus: Go in late May to early June for the pinxsters (azaleas) growing out of the ledges. Find bunchberries, yellow clintonia and more along the trail.

Easy Hikes:

  • Red Hill Fire Tower – A 1.35-mile hike through a pleasant forest, uphill but not too steep, leads you to the Red Hill Fire Tower. Thanks to volunteer efforts, the tower is now completely restored and open to the public. Enjoy 360-degree views of the mountains. The old ranger cabin, open on most weekends in summer, now has old photographs and other interpretive material about the days when the tower was used by the State for spotting forest fires.
  • Ashokan Reservoir – Hike on a paved trail along the south shore of the reservoir over a dam and on a berm. The views to the Devil’s Path Trail on the east end of the hike and to the Burroughs Range west of the reservoir are stunning. Watch the bald eagles fishing and soaring. Round trip between the parking areas on SR 28A is about 5½ miles.

Primitive Camping:

  • Biscuit Brook lean-to in the Big Indian Wilderness
  • Rochester Hollow lean-to in the Shandaken Wild Forest
  • Note: The Rochester Hollow lean-to is an Accessible Recreation Destination site. See link above.

Cross-Country Skiing:

  • Rochester Hollow in Big Indian. This beautiful trail offers excellent skiing for the intermediate skier.
  • Belleayre Mountain Ski Area. There are trails for beginners and for those with advanced skills.

Flatwater Canoeing/Kayaking:

  • Mongaup Pond – A 120 acre lake, the largest in the Catskills other than the NYC reservoirs, complete with a campground, swimming and boat rentals for paddling.

River Canoeing/Kayaking:

  • The Esopus Creek has several good places to put in/take out. Conditions can be easy to difficult depending on water depth, with releases from a NYC water supply tunnel at Allaben common for the summer weekends.  Class II-III rapids.

Trout Fishing:

  • Willowemoc Creek– One of the legendary trout streams that made the Catskills famous for trout fishing beginning in the mid to late-1800’s. The “Willow” is natural, free-flowing river that holds some beautiful fish and beautiful surroundings. Public fishing areas can be found at several sections along the course of the river. Generally typical Catskills fly hatches and fly patterns, according to the time of the season. Some sections open year round for catch and release only. Don’t forget to visit the non-profit Catskill Fly Fishing Center and Museum, between Livingston Manor and Roscoe to learn about our rich Catskill Mountains fly fishing heritage.

Warm-water Fishing:

  • Mongaup Pond (see above)

Mountain Biking:

  • Belleayre Mountain Ski Area – no lifts for bicycles at this time, but ORDA is working on making that feature available.
  • Willowemoc Wild Forest – The trail system around Frick and Hodge Ponds and out to Quick Lake is extensive. The more appropriate snowmobile trails are open to mountain biking, but so are hiking trails. Use caution and be ready to yield to hikers.

Cycling:

  • Moderate: Woodland Valley Rd. from Phoenicia out and back. A beautiful, peaceful ride in one of the Catskills most beautiful valleys. 12.6 miles round trip.
  • Strenuous: Ride CR 47 (Oliverea-Slide Mtn.-Frost Valley Rd.) from Big Indian to SR 55 just south of Claryville. Go east to SR55A towards Sundown and continue to West Shokan on the Sundown-Peekamoose-Watson Hollow Rd. Turn north on SR28A to Boiceville and then northwest on SR 28, returning to Big Indian. Significant climbing, 64 miles.

WESTERN Catskill Park

Strenuous Hikes:

  • Dry Brook Ridge from Margaretville to Mill Brook Rd. This is a high ridge hike with long views west to the Pepacton Reservoir from several ledges. 9.6 miles.
  • Balsam Lake Mountain – By continuing south on the Dry Brook Ridge Trail another 2.2 miles to the junction with the Balsam Lake Mountain Trail you can climb this Catskills high peak (3720′) which treats you to a fire tower on its summit.
  • Bonus: Go on the weekend (spring through fall) and gain access to the fire tower cab and the interpretive knowledge of its keepers.

Moderate Hikes:

  • Kelly Hollow – A nice loop trail through both serene hardwoods and deep dark Norway spruce plantations. Lean-to for camping next to a small beaver pond.

Easy Hikes:

  • Alder Lake – Once you see what a beautiful place Alder Lake is, you’ll want to keep it to yourself. A bowl in the mountains, surrounded by State land. Great for canoeing, tent camping, and brook trout fishing. A one-mile loop trail circles the lake, mostly flat and dry. The old abandoned Coykendall mansion looking over the lake is quickly succumbing to a sad state of decay, but is still architecturally interesting. A spectacular place when the fall foliage peaks.
  • Waneta Lake – A pretty little lake that most people drive by without giving a second thought to. Hike over the “stepping stones” on the dam, and look for a yellow trail on the far side of the lake, leading to a handful of designated tent camping sites.

Primitive Camping:

  • Beaver Meadow lean-to in the Balsam Lake Mountain Wild Forest
  • Trout Pond lean-to in the Cherry Ridge Wild Forest
  • Note: The Trout Pond lean-to is an Accessible Recreation Destination site. See link above.

Cross-Country Skiing:

  • Kelly Hollow in the Balsam Lake Mountain Wild Forest is a designated cross country ski area. Intermediate to advanced.

Ice Skating

  • Livingston Manor rink in Rotary Park on Pleasant Street in Livingson Manor — it has a Facebook page! (Pleasant Street is one block southwest of the stoplight on Main Street)

Flatwater Canoeing/Kayaking:

  • Big Pond – A real find for those who have never traveled down Barkaboom Road. The beautiful mountain setting of this medium-sized, deep lake will keep you coming back, as will the bald eagles and great fishing. Open for trout fishing year-round, which makes Big Pond a Catskills hot-spot for ice-fishing in winter. Pitch your tent at one of four designated campsites.
  • Alder Lake – A medium sized pond that is perfect for casual paddling. The launch is a short distance from the parking area. There have been regular bald eagle sightings as well as other water fowl. A good place for a swim, too.
  • Pepacton Reservoir — newly opened by the NYC DEP, the Pepacton, along with the Schoharie, Neversink and Cannonsville reservoirs, are great places to do flat water paddling.   Serenity and wildlife abound on these reservoirs.  Boat rentals are available locally or, if you have your own boat it must be steam cleaned before bringing it to the launch site.   Read more about the reservoir boating program here, and the Pepacton specifically hereincluding information on rentals and steam cleaning vendors.  Get or renew your DEP Access Permit here.

River Canoeing/Kayaking:

  • East Branch Delaware River
    • Above the Pepaction reservoir you can paddle the slow moving East Branch into or out of Lake Wawaka in Halcottsville for a quiet scenic tour.  Boat rentals available at Susan’s Pleasant Pheasant Farm.
    • Below the Pepacton Reservoir, water releases from the keep this river flowing steady even during dry summer months. Release water is very cold, which helps the healthy population of wild trout, but can make for painful swimming or wading in bare skin, at least in the upper stretches. A classic 5-mile float trip is from Rt. 206/30 bridge just above Downsville to the bridge in Shinhopple. Canoe/kayak rental available in Downsville.

Trout Fishing:

  • Beaverkill River – Steeped in lore and legend, the Beaverkill is the preeminent American trout stream. It is the river that made the Catskills famous as the birthplace of American fly-fishing. Very little public access upstream of Roscoe, but many places to get on the river below Roscoe. Many fly shops and guides in the area. Best to fish at off-peak times when you can find some elbow room. River supports a great wild population of trout, mostly browns, but also rainbows and brookies.
  • Pepacton Reservoir – The biggest brown trout in the Catskills, and perhaps the east, swim in the Pepacton. The reservoir is part of the New York City water supply system, and requires a permit to access. Fish from shore or rowboat just about anywhere in the spring, then go deep during the summer. Live bait fish (usually sawbellies) and shiny spoons (most notably Krocodiles) are proven methods. Water levels fluctuate depending on seasonal rainfall fluctuations. Beware of mercury contamination and other State health advisories.

Warm-water Fishing:

  • Pepacton Reservoir – When the hot summer weather slows down the trout fishing, many anglers turn their attention to hard-fighting “bronzebacks” (smallmouth bass) of the Pepacton and other NYC reservoirs. Cruise the shoreline with fly or spinning rod, looking for good structure such as rock ledges and drop- offs. Access permit required; shore fishing or rowboats only. Water levels fluctuate depending on seasonal rainfall fluctuations; beware of mercury contamination and other State health advisories.
  • Waneta Lake in the Willowemoc Wild Forest – see above    Note: Waneta Lake is an Accessible Recreation Destination site. See link above.

Mountain Biking:

  • Snow-mobile Trail off Morton Hill Road – Ride 2.5 miles one-way on an old road bed to the unnamed peaks north of Morton Hill.

Cycling:

  • Moderate: Ride from the parking area just south and west of the intersection of SR 28 and Reservoir Rd. to the Shavertown Bridge on a quiet back road. This gently rolling route offers spectacular views of the reservoir and the surrounding mountains. 10 miles one way. Complete you trip by returning the via the same route or cross the bridge and follow SR 30 back to Reservoir Rd. and your car. Loop 19.7 miles.
  • Strenuous: Ride a complete loop around the Pepacton Reservoir. This route has significant climbing on its northern section. Start at the SR28/30 intersection west of Margaretville and ride to Downville, using the roads that hug the north side of the reservoir. Then travel back to your starting point via SR 30, BWS Road 8, Reservoir Rd. and SR 28/30. 51 miles.

NORTHEASTERN Catskill Region
(Outside the Catskill Park)

Strenuous Hikes:

  • The Long Path – Strenuous hikes along a portion of the Long Path from ROute 23 west in Windham to Huntersfield Road in Prattsville. Approximately 15 miles over 8 mountains.

Moderate Hikes:

  • Vroman’s Nose – The scenic gem of Schoharie County, this conspicuous promontory juts out over the pastoral Schoharie Creek Valley and provides fantastic views of some of New York’s best farmland. This preserve, maintained by the non-profit Vroman’s Nose Corporation, has dramatic ledges, an interesting geological history, and lies along the Long Path. Off NYS Rt. 30, near Middleburg.

Easy Hikes:

Primitive Camping:

  • Huntersfield Mountain Lean-to – The lean-to is located just below the summit of Huntersfield Mountain. The Long Path leads to the yellow-blazed NYSDEC trail that circles the summit and to the lean-to.
  • Eminence State Forest Complex – The lean-to within the 12,000-acre Eminence State Forest can be reached by taking Route 30 north to West Fulton Road. Head west to Rossman Hill Road, and west on Rossman Hill Road to Burnt Hill Road. Make a left turn to reach the Lean-to. The Long Path is nearby.

Cross-Country Skiing:

  • Catskill Scenic Trail from Roxbury to Bloomville in Delaware County. Multiple access points, so customize your ski trip.

Ice Skating

  • Badgley Park in the Village of Middleburgh
  • If your taste in rinks goes more to the indoor, well groomed rinks, Saugerties has what you’re looking for in the Kiwanis Arena

 

Flatwater Canoeing/Kayaking:

  • Blenheim-Gilboa Reservoirs – The lower reservoir, accessed from Mine Kill State Park is less restrictive to use than the upper reservoir. You can check regulations and access information here.
  • Pepacton Reservoir — newly opened by the NYC DEP, the Pepacton, along with the Schoharie, Neversink and Cannonsville reservoirs, are great places to do flat water paddling.   Serenity and wildlife abound on these reservoirs.  Boat rentals are available locally or, if you have your own boat it must be steam cleaned before bringing it to the launch site.   Read more about the reservoir boating program here, and the Pepacton specifically here.

River Canoeing/Kayaking:

  • East Branch of the Delaware River – The trip Halcottsville to Margaretville is about 5 miles. Below Margaretville you will enter the regulated waters of the NYC DEP, permit required. (See our page on DEP regulations.)  Boat rentals are available in Halcottsville and in Arkville as well as farther upstream in Roxbury. Check for stream conditions. Class I-II rapids.

Trout Fishing:

  • The East Branch of the Delaware River and some of its tributaries below Halcottsville have about 5 miles of public fishing rights.

Warm-water Fishing:

  • Lower Blenheim-Gilboa Reservoir. – see above

Mountain Biking:

  • Mine Kill State Park – 8 miles of trails.

Cycling:

  • Easy: Catskill Scenic Trail from Roxbury north and west to Bloomville.
  • Moderately easy: CR 36 in Roxbury is a lightly traveled, gently rolling road passing through scenic farmlands.

NORTHWESTERN Catskill Region
(Outside the Catskill Park)

Strenuous Hikes:

  • Bearpen and Vly Mountains are the only two of the 35 Catskill High Peaks that are located outside of the Park. They are usually climbed on the same hike.

Moderate Hikes:

  • Mount Utsayantha –  Climb to spectacular views on this 3214′ peak with a wooden fire tower.

Easy Hikes:

  • Emmons Pond Bog – A preserve owned and managed by The Nature Conservancy, with a hiking trail in easy walking distance from the road. Approach through a meadow with many wildflowers, then walk through the shrubby edge of the pond before stepping out onto a short boardwalk through the bog mat that surrounds the pond. See pitcher plants and other bog vegetation.
  • The history of the pond and bog date back 11,000 years when the retreat of the last glacier left a drepression which was soon filled with water. Sphagnum moss and other bog plants grew in the shallow water around the edge of the pond. Plant materials broke down slowly because of the acidity and low temperature of the water. As a result, the plant materials accumulated to form a floating doughnut-shaped mat around the pond. Beavers dammed the outlet stream in the late 1970s, so the bog mat is now ringed with water.
  • In the beginning of the trail there is a sign-in box and interpretive signs. The trail is easy and is marked with orange markers and is 1.4 mi long, circles the pond in a counter-clockwise direction. Southside Drive, 4 miles southeast of Oneonta in the Town of Davenport.
  • Catskill Scenic Rail Trail – The scenic rolling hills and rich agricultural lands of the Delaware River Valley will surround you as you walk or bike on this gentle-grade path. Choose a stretch from the 20 miles of rail trail between Bloomville and Grand Gorge, or try out the newly completed 5.5-mile section from Grand Gorge to Roxbury.

Primitive Camping:

Cross-Country Skiing:

  • Catskill Scenic Trail – see above

Flatwater Canoeing/Kayaking:

  • Schoharie Reservoir – One of the four NYC reservoirs open for recreational boating. is a great places to do flat water paddling.   Serenity and wildlife abound on these reservoirs.  Boat rentals are available locally or, if you have your own boat it must be steam cleaned before bringing it to the launch site.   Read more about the reservoir boating program here, and the Schoharie specifically here, including information on rentals and steam cleaning vendors.
  • Susquehanna River – between Oneonta and Cooperstown, the Susquehanna is a wide lazy river, perfect for a relaxing day in your canoe, kayak or maybe even a stand up paddleboard.   Boat rentals and other info available in Portlandville.

River Canoeing/Kayaking:

  • West Branch Delaware River – Spring rains and snow-melt make for a fun run on this meandering river through the beautiful rolling hills of Delaware County. Hold on tight to your paddle through the quick bends, and share the long flats with kingfishers, mergansers, herons, osprey, and bald eagles. A classic trip is from Bloomville or Delhi to Hamden. Put in at public bridges. River can be too low to float during drought months. Canoe rental available in Walton and the 18 mile trip from Delhi has Class I-II rapids. Oh, and don’t forget to buy some local maple syrup!

Trout Fishing:

  • West Branch Delaware River – Good fishing in both the farm country of the upper West Branch, and the tailwater river below the Cannonsville Reservoir. River below Deposit, and down into Main Stem of the Delaware below Hancock is one of the few places in the east where you can hire a guide to take you in a drift boat. Lots of public access points. The Delaware system is noted for its wild rainbows.

Warm-water Fishing:

Mountain Biking:

  • Ski Plattekill – This ski area offers fast action on the downhill slopes; serviced with chair lifts. Check their web site for rates and various events and competitions.

Cycling:

  • Catskill Scenic Rail Trail – see above

SOUTHEASTERN Catskill Region
(Outside the Catskill Park)

Strenuous Hikes:

Moderate Hikes:

  • Minnewaska State Park Preserve – Loop hike from Lake Minnewaska south to Gertrude’s Nose then north to Millbrook Mountain and back to the start. Stunning open views, white cliffs, dwarf pines and wild blueberries in season.

Easy Hikes:

  • Mohonk Preserve Carriage Trails – Take a stroll along the under-cliff or over-cliff carriage trails in the Trapps section of the beautiful Shawangunk Ridge. Enjoy the mountain laurel when it’s in bloomin spring, pick blueberries when they’re ripe in fall, and watch rock-climbers whenever the rocks are dry. Mohonk Preserve day pass or season pass required.

Primitive Camping:

Cross-Country Skiing:

  • Mohonk Preserve – see above
  • Minnewaska State Park and Preserve – Extensive network of groomed trails.

Ice Skating

Flatwater Canoeing/Kayaking:

  • Bashakill Wetland – A very unique and important wetland, the Bashakill is a part of a large protected area and tributary of the Nevesink River. The wetland is nestled between the Shawangunk Ridge and the Neversink Highlands, and offers a beautiful meandering paddling opportunity. Check with the non-profit Bashakill Area Association for guided outings led by professional botanists and other nature enthusiasts.

Flatwater Canoeing/Kayaking:

  • Wallkill River – Gentle north flowing river. Gardiner north to New Paltz and on to Sturgeon Pool near Rosendale and just south of the confluence with the Rondout Creek.
  • Neversink Reservoir — newly opened by the NYC DEP, the Neversink , along with the Schoharie, Pepacton and Cannonsville reservoirs, are great places to do flat water paddling.   Serenity and wildlife abound on these reservoirs.  Boat rentals are available locally or, if you have your own boat it must be steam cleaned before bringing it to the launch site.   Read more about the reservoir boating program here, and the Neversink specifically hereincluding information on rentals and steam cleaning vendors.

Trout Fishing:

  • Rondout Creek (upper) – Sections of the Rondout Creek below the Rondout Reservoir and down through Ellenville are stocked each year and generally remain cold enough to support trout. Temperatures begin to rise downstream of Ellenville.

Warm-water Fishing:

  • Rondout Creek (lower) – The flat-water sections of the Rondout, upstream of High Falls, make for great places to try your hand at largemouth bass, crappies, and sunfish.

Mountain Biking:

  • Vernooy State Forest – A recent addition to the State’s land-holdings, the Vernooey State Forest outside of Ellenville is a great connector between the Catskills and Shawangunks. Several dirt roads make for relaxing mountain bikes rides with little or no other traffic.
  • Lippman Park in Wawarsing. Built and maintained by enthusiasts.

Cycling:

  • Wallkill Valley Rail Trail – Gentle-grade trail awaits those want to embark on a day-trip between Kingston and Gardiner. 24 miles of completed rail trail in all. Multiple access points. Nearby bike shops in Gardiner, New Paltz and Rosendale.
  • Bonus: The recently opened section north of Rosendale crosses the 150′ high Rosendale Trestle and passes through the historic Rosendale Cement mining operations and factory ruins.
  • Minnewaska State Park Preserve – miles of carriage roads.
  • Bonus: Marvel at Awosting Falls near the park entrance and then ride out to Lake Awosting for a swim.

SOUTHWESTERN Catskill Region
(Outside the Catskill Park)

Strenuous Hikes:

  • Neversink Unique Area – Explore a secret treasure of the Catskill region – the Neversink Gorge. The Neversink is a wild and beautiful river, and here it flows through an out-of-the-way valley, over waterfalls and through thick forests. Trails of 1 to 3 miles one-way lead to the river, and then bush-whacking can be the best way to truly explore the river’s secrets.

Moderate Hikes:

  • O & W Rail Trail – Two completed sections, one from Hurleyville to South Fallsburg, and one from Woodridge to Mountaindale, offer a relaxing stroll or bike ride.
  • Rock Rift Fire Tower Trail  –   A brand new rail trail added to the Fingerlakes Trail system, alongside the Cannonsville Reservoir — Click here for full details and maps

Easy Hikes:

  • Crystal Lake Loop Trail – A relaxing loop hike around a beautiful hidden lake.
  • Rock Rift Rail Trail  7.8 miles.  – A brand new rail trail added to the Fingerlakes Trail system, alongside the Cannonsville Reservoir — Click here for full details and maps

 

Primitive Camping:

Cross-Country Skiing:

  • O & W Rail Trail – see above

Ice Skating:

  • Hodges Pond, Oneonta — ice conditions can be checked by calling 607-432-7997

Flatwater Canoeing/Kayaking:

  • Crystal Lake in the Crystal Lake Wild Forest – A 32 acre lake with a boat launch and a hiking trail.
  • Cannonsville Reservoir — the first reservoir opened to recreational boating by the NYC DEP, the Cannonsville , along with the Schoharie, Pepacton and Neverskink reservoirs, are great places to do flat water paddling.  Electric trolling motors are also allowed on only this reservoir.    Serenity and wildlife abound on these reservoirs.  Boat rentals are available locally or, if you have your own boat it must be steam cleaned before bringing it to the launch site.   Read more about the reservoir boating program here, and the Cannonsville specifically here, including information on rentals and steam cleaning vendors.

River Canoeing/Kayaking:

  • Delaware River – Designated a National Scenic and Recreational River, the Delaware is a classic float trip. Start in Hancock or any number of other public access points and flat as little as one or two miles, or as many as 10, 20, 50, or even 100 or more. The main-stem Delaware is the largest un-dammed river in the east, and boasts a healthy population of bald eagles and many game-fish species. Private outfitters rent canoes and kayaks, and run campgrounds and guided trips. Keep your eyes out for bald eagles! Hancock to Port Jervis has some Class I-II rapids.

Trout Fishing:

  • Delaware River – The main-stem Delaware is the largest un-dammed river in the east, and supports a healthy population of naturally spawning brown, rainbow, and brook trout. One of the few good trout rivers in the east that can be floated in a rowboat or driftboat. Several fly shops and professional guides available in the area. The big river can be intimidating, so don’t hesitate to seek professional advice on the best fishing tactics.

Warm-water Fishing:

  • Delaware River – When the water temperatures rise in the downstream portions of the Delaware, many fisherman turn to black bass, walleye, and shad.

Mountain Biking:

  • Walnut Mountain Park is a town owned park located in Liberty and consists of 265 acres. On the second highest mountain in Sullivan County, it has trails of varied difficulty. Open May 1 through September 30.

Cycling:

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