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  Hiking in
Catskill Park

 

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The Catskill Park is a forest preserve in the mountainous region in Southeastern New York State featuring public and private lands in Ulster, Greene, Delaware and Sullivan Counties. Ninety-eight peaks over 3,000 feet high form an impressive skyline. Its blend of public and private lands is similar to Adirondack Park to the north.  The Catskill Forest Preserve is the state land within the Catskill Park. Since its creation in 1885, it has grown from 34,000 to almost 300,000 acres.

The NY-NJ Trail Conference has a great Catskill Trails Map Set that we recommend in planning your Catskill hiking adventure!  We also recommend the National Geographic Trails Illustrated Map for the Catskills.

 

Hiking opportunities abound in the Catskill Park. There are approximately 300 miles of marked, maintained hiking trails on public Forest Preserve land. Stewardship and development of these trails is shared by the New York State Forest Rangers and local chapters of hiking clubs such as the New York/New Jersey Trail Conference and the Adirondack Mountain Club. There are 35 Catskill peaks boasting heights greater than 3500 foot elevation, and people who hike to the summits of each of these peaks earn membership in the Catskill 3500 Club. You'll also find the Catskill Mountain Club maintaining trails and doing hiking events in the area.

Five Catskill peaks, Hunter Mountain, Overlook Mountain, Tremper Mountain, Balsam Lake Mountain, and Red Hill, have fire towers on their summits. These are remnants of an era gone by. The Catskill Fire Tower Restoration Project restored these towers, making them safe so that we can all enjoy the excellent views.  People hike these five fire towers as well as the many in the Adirondacks to complete the Fire Tower Challenge. There is also a couple of other fire towers that you can explore that are located just outside of Catskill Park at Rock Rift and Mount Utsayantha.

Both primitive and amenity camping opportunities abound in the Catskills. Primitive camping is allowed in the Wilderness and Wild Forest areas of the Catskill Forest Preserve. Wilderness camping rules include not camping within 150 feet of a trail, stream, or pond, and not above 3500 feet elevation except in winter. There are multiple primitive campsites that are easy to walk to located around scenic Alder Lake.

Thirty two lean to shelters have been constructed on several Catskill Forest Preserve trails. These are available on a first come basis. The NY DEC maintains seven state campgrounds in the Forest Preserve; North-South Lake, Devils Tombstone, Kenneth Wilson, Woodland Valley, Mongaup Pond, Little Pond, and Beaverkill. These campgrounds have tent and trailer sites, restroom facilities, and other amenities varying by location. Numerous private campgrounds are scattered throughout the Catskills.

 

Hiking Opportunities in & near Catskill Park
Catskill 3500 Club Devils Path Escarpment Trail Blackhead Range

Kaaterskill Rail Trail

Ticeteneyck Mountain

Finger Lakes Trail Long Path
Shavertown Trail Kaaterskill Falls North-South Lake Loop Ashley Falls
Oneotara Lake Sugarloaf Loop Palmer Hill Trails Giant Ledge
Kelly Hollow Loop Trout Pond Huggins Lake Fox Hollow
Long Pond Frick Pond Alder Lake Loop Rider Hollow
Peekamoose Valley Vernooy Kill Falls Neversink River Elm Ridge

List of the different state lands within Catskill Park

Balsam Lake Mtn Wild Forest Big Indian Wilderness Overlook Mtn Wild Forest

Slide Mountain Wilderness

Shandaken Wild Forest Willowemoc Wild Forest
Halcott Mountain Wild Forest Indian Head Wilderness Kaaterskill Wild Forest
Rusk Mountain Wild Forest Elm Ridge Wild Forest Windham Blackhead Range Wilderness
Delaware Wild Forest Bluestone Wild Forest Phoenicia-Mt Tobias Wild Forest
Sundown Wild Forest Dry Brook Ridge Wild Forest Hunter-Westkill Wilderness Area
Colgate Lake Wild Forest Crystal Lake Wild Forest  

Big Pond in the Delaware Wild Forest of the Catskills

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