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About the Kaaterskill Clove Experience

Explore the history of American art in the landscape that inspired it! Discover the Catskills’ scenic beauty and artistic heritage through tailored, self-guided itineraries that will take you from mountain peak to river valley, heritage site to skywalk.

The Kaaterskill Clove Experience – History, Art & Nature on a Grand Scale

The Kaaterskill Clove Experience provides a new self-guided discovery tour through the history of American art, and the primeval landscape that inspired it. Our tailored, easy-to-follow itineraries provide a roadmap for families, adventure seekers and leisure travelers to experience the Kaaterskill Clove at their own pace, while enjoying everything that Greene County has to offer, from farm stands to charming cafes.

These are the mountains of Thomas Cole, the waterfalls of Frederic Church, the secret valleys of Asher B. Durand – these are the nation’s treasures, preserved in pristine glory for you to enjoy along the Kaaterskill Clove.

When Cole made his first journey through the Catskill Mountains in the 1820s, he was ensnared by the rugged wilderness that surrounded him, by the thunder of Kaaterskill Falls, the rolling groan of distant storm moving across the mountains, and the dazzling light of an afternoon sun illuminating a charming scene in nature. He was enchanted by the beauty and sublime of the American landscape.

From American author Washington Irving, who was so inspired by the descriptions and depictions of the Kaaterskill Clove, that he dreamed up Rip Van Winkle as the everyman’s anti-hero, to John Burroughs’ stirring essays on nature, the Kaaterskill Clove provides an adventure that explores the industrialization of America, the rise of the naturalist movement and entrepreneurial spirit of the nation’s first tycoons.

Explore Palenville, a contemporary artists' enclave made popular by the Hudson River School as America’s first art colony, and trace the steps of the 19th century’s movers and shakers, from the banks of the Hudson River, through the mountains, to scenic vistas, cultural centers and family-friendly attractions that offer an in-depth, one-of-a-kind travel experience in America’s First Vacation Land.

Painting tools


Discover the artists that used the Great Northern Catskills as inspiration for their masterpieces.

Book bindings


The Great Northern Catskills inspired literary giants, such as Washington Irving and James Fenimore Cooper.

Kaaterskill Falls inspired naturalists


The natural beauty of the Kaaterskill Clove drew environmentalists and naturalists to study the landscape.

Hemlock trees


The Great Northern Catskills of Greene County was once home of the world's largest tannery.


The beauty and solitude of the Catskill mountains served as a retreat for some of the finest actors and actresses of the early 20th Century.