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Hiking in Catskill Park

Wild Forest
Onteora Lake


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The 3,000 acre Bluestone Wild Forest is one of the most popular destinations in the Catskills. The Blue Stone Wild Forest is located just three miles west of Kingston. The most popular destination is Onteora Lake with a major trailhead located near the lake. An accessible trail begins at the parking area near a kiosk. The trail travels toward an observation point and ends at the shore of the lake where you'll find a fishing platform. There are designated primitive campsites located in this state land.

There is a large parking area off NY 28, about three miles west of the NY State Thruway EXIT 19. The GPS coordinates are N41 58.882 W74 05.172 for those who have a GPS devise. Hiking, camping and mountain biking as well as fishing and picnicking are the most popular activities in Bluestone Wild Forest. From the large parking area there is an old woods road that connects three loop trails. The first 1.1 miles on the main yellow marked trail takes you through oaks and hemlocks as well as abandoned bluestone quarries. You will also pass two designated campsites. You'll reach the yellow loop after 1.1 miles. The yellow loop is two miles long (not including the first 1.1 miles you just hiked). If you choose the left fork of the loop, this is the quickest route to the red loop. There are two more designated campsites along the yellow loop trail.

The red loop trail is 2.25 miles long and ascends a ridge with a couple of vernal pools. There are two designated campsites near where the red loop trail splits. The blue loop trail is the toughest of the three loop trails and is about 1.5 miles long. You have the opportunity to pick the loop hike that fits your schedule or do a short backpacking trip. Look below for a few pictures as well as a couple of maps of Bluestone Wild Forest. You can expect to see families fishing, walking and picnicking during the summer.

Accessible trail in Bluestone Wild Forest

Onteora Lake

Camping at a designated campsite


Map at the parking area kiosk (above)

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