Where To Go

There’s so much to do in the Catskills.  Whether you want to hike, paddle, cycle, cross country ski, downhill ski or snowshoe, we’ve got the place for you.

Unfamiliar With the Catskill Mountain Region?

The Catskills have been a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and a magnet for mountain-lovers since at least the early 19th century. To this day, throughout the tri-state region of New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey, and within the greater metropolitan area of New York City, when people speak of “The Mountains,” it is the Catskills they are referring to.

falls

One reason is that the entire region, anchored by the “forever wild” forest preserve and the Catskill Park, thus far remains an oasis of pristine wilderness, rural communities, and pastoral landscapes in a sea of dense population and sprawling suburbs. Another reason is the unique character of the mountains and thus of the bounty of outdoor activities they offer.

The summit-seeking hiker may choose from nearly a hundred peaks and ridges topping 3,000 feet. Thirty-five of them are more than 3,500 feet high, and two of them are over 4,000 feet high. In general, the mountains are steep-sided and flat-topped, thickly forested with beech, birch, maple, hemlock, spruce, and fir. “Classic ground” was the phrase used by an 1826 visitor from Boston to describe the topography, while the region’s native son, John Burroughs, wrote of hiking uphill “ledge upon ledge, precipice upon precipice.” A network of footpaths crisscrosses the vast expanse of public lands that encompasses these mountains, from Windham south to Samsonville, from Roscoe east to Woodstock.

 

huck1On many of these summits, hikers are rewarded with views of spectacular beauty-views that offer a new prospect with each new season. But you don’t have to bag a peak to see wonderful sights in the Catskills. The spring wildflowers and lush ferns on the floor of the forest, the high forest canopy, and the abundant wildlife make any walk in the woods an escape, an adventure, and an education. That may be even more the case in winter, when the region’s mountains become a paradise for snowshoers, winter backpackers, and ice-climbers.

 

Many of the mountain trails were routed over old woods roads that are today perfect for mountain biking or horseback riding. Road biking opportunities range from flat trips along streams and through farmland or climbing loops that can challenge the most elite cyclists.

 

To get you started, check out our 20 Favorite Hikes.

For more suggestions for hikes and other outdoor activities in our area, check out our list of great Outdoor Activities by Catskill Region.  

3 Comments

  1. Kevin J. Waters
    Kevin J. Waters December 30, 2016 at 6:08 pm . Reply

    Having been raised in the Adirondack’s, (high school), it wasn’t until my younger sister took up permanent resedency there (Catskills), did I get to truly enjoy all that there is to offer ….Top Right Photo I believe is of “Fawns Leap” approching from the Palenville area. I also got to swim the Shokan Resv (yrs. ago)…. Mountain biked Hunter MT. and had my 1st. cup of coffee, exploring Windham MT….( ITS’ TRULY A DELIGHT TO HAVE RESIDENT GUIDE), opening my eyes to the wonders of the area, rich History, The Highest falls in New Your State, Kaaterskill Falls, & the Unique retreat for the Elite Americans.

  2. Chris
    Chris April 16, 2018 at 11:44 am . Reply

    I wish there more websites like yours explaining about our lovely area. What are your thoughts about the creek that was recently closed due to over population. I forget it’s name.

    1. wgcmc
      wgcmc April 16, 2018 at 9:29 pm . Reply

      Thanks for your comment, Chris. I believe you’re referring to the overuse situation at the Peekamoose Blue Hole on the Rondout Creek. The swimming hole won’t actually be closed but, under the proposal, access will be limited by permits on the weekends and holidays during the warm seasons. We’re sorry to see that it’s necessary, but over 600 people a day are trying to use the area and that isn’t sustainable. Damage to the area from trash and human waste plus the large crowds undermines the goal of having a wilderness experience for the visitors, and it threatens the long term conservation of the resource. That said, we hope those folks will continue to visit the Catskills and enjoy all of our other great recreational areas.

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