In Greene County, the Catskill park offers five of the 10 highest peaks, backcountry and family-friendly campgrounds, incredible hiking and fishing, as well as boating, mountain biking and more. Located just a short drive north of New York City, the Catskill Park is renowned as the nation's first wilderness, a special place preserved for outdoor recreation and discovery. And, unlike state and national parks, there's no fee to enter, no gate that closes at night, just deep lakes, towering mountains and endless possibilities for adventure.
Paddling in the Catskill Park
Within the Blue Line – the boundary line drawn around the park on maps – of the Catskill Park, there are two options for watersports and paddling.
- North-South Lake
- Colgate Park
Catskill Park Wildlife Viewing
North-South Lake Public Campground is the most popular campground in Greene County for many reasons – one of them being the variety of wildlife found just off the hiking trails and around the lake.
In the Hunter-Westkill Wilderness Area, visitors to this remote area of the Catskill Park will find steep mountain summits, wide meadows and dense forests.
Always remember to exercise caution near wild animals, especially bears, coyotes and snakes.
Fish & Hunt in the Nation's First Wilderness
In-season hunting for big and small game is allowed within the Catskill Forest Preserve for New York State licensed sportsmen. In addition, the Catskill Park offers several public fishing spots with robust populations of trout, walleye and bass, including:
- Batavia Kill
- Schoharie Creek & East Kill Creek
- Ten Mile Creek
- West Kill Creek
Please note that statewide fishing and hunting regulations apply and all sportsmen fishing or hunting in New York must have a license on them at all times, except during the statewide Free Fishing Weekend in June. Other exclusions apply. For more information, visit www.DEC.NY.GOV to learn more.
Popular Campgrounds in the Catskill Park
One of the oldest campgrounds in the Catskill Forest Preserve, the region's first settlers gossiped that it was a favorite haunt of the Devil, and a large boulder – "the Devil's Tombstone," sits as a reminder of his rumored presence.
Or head to North-South Lake Campground, the biggest campground in Greene County, offering a whole host of family-friendly amenities without all the devil nonsense.
Hiking Trails in the Catskill Park
Greene County is home to five of the 10 highest peaks in the Catskill Mountains, and some of the best Catskill Park hiking trails in the entire 700,000 acre wilderness. Some top hikes to check out include:
- North-South Lake/Escarpment Trail Loop Hike
- Indian Head Mountain Loop
- Hunter Mountain Fire Tower
- Catskill Escarpment
- Windham High Peak via Burnt Knob
- Catskill Park Mountain Biking Trails
- The Elm Ridge Wild Forest
- The Escarpment Trail
Catskill Park Mountain Biking Trails
- The Elm Ridge Wild Forest
Universally Accessible Recreation Areas in the Catskill Park
Within the Catskill Park, there are several locations offering universally accessible trails and amenities so everyone – including service animals – can enjoy the wilderness.
- Colgate Lake
- Kaaterskill Wild Forest
- North-South Lake's Day Use Area and Campground