With its majestic peaks and valleys, wildlife, rivers, and forests, the Catskill Region makes for an ideal camping destination to escape to and disconnect in.
Whether you want to bond with family on a camping getaway with all of the amenities you might need nearby, experience luxury on a glamping excursion, or reconnect with nature sleeping under the stars in a secluded backcountry setting, the Catskills offer camping options for families, outdoor adventurers and first-timers.
Camping in New York State Parks or regional KOA camping grounds in the Catskills is often popular among families looking to be close to nature without being completely disconnected. Many popular campgrounds like the North-South Lake Public Campgrounds or Russell Brook Campsites offer amenities including swimming pools, showers, restrooms, water and electric outlets, as well as a mix of outdoor offerings like biking, hiking and exploring nearby waterfalls.
Glamping in the Catskills
Glamping in the Catskills Glamour and camping combined in the Catskill Region? Yep, it’s a thing – and it’s called glamping, a hybrid of traditional camping mixed in with a glamorous set up. No matter your level of luxury during a glamping outing, one thing is constant: you won’t be roughing it.
For a glamping experience that is reminiscent of an African safari outing, Blue Hills Farm Tent & Breakfast in Narrowsburgh offers a single tent cabin for two among a lush deciduous forest of oaks and maples. Inside, guests will find luxurious touches everywhere – from the plush queen size bed, to the attached heated bathroom. In the morning, enjoy a delicious homemade breakfast in the nearby log treehouse and set out to explore nearby Narrowsburgh, offering easy access to everything from fishing along the Upper Delaware River, to exploring the local arts scene.
Other glamping options in the Catskills include the secluded Willowemoc Wild Forest Yurt, a yurt on the edge of the Willowemoc Wild Forest and Catskill Forest Preserve in Livingston Manor, as well as the rustic luxury cabins at Kate’s Lazy Meadow Motel in Mt. Tremper, founded by former member of the B-52s, Kate Pierson, and offering seclusion on a beautiful nine-acre meadow setting.
If you’re really looking to rough it or you’re hiking a long distance trail like the Long Path, primitive or backcountry camping – or camping with little to no amenities – is widely available throughout the Catskill Park and Catskill Forest Preserve.
Per the Department for Environmental Conservation (DEC), primitive camping requires campers be 150 feet from water, road or trail, and if you’re planning on camping for more than three nights, you’ll need a special permit in order to do so.
Whether you’re hiking or just want to experience the remoteness of primitive camping, here are a few ideas and popular spots to consider in the Catskills:
- Balsam Lake Mountain Wild Forest, home to the oldest fire tower in New York at the top of Balsam Lake Mountain.
- Devil’s Tombstone Campground, one of the oldest campgrounds in the Catskill Forest Preserve providing hiking access to the 21-mile Devil’s Path Trail.
- Bear Spring Mountain Campground, offering camping for humans with 41 tent and trailer sites, as well as horses at the Spruce Grove camping and trail system.
- Phoenicia-Mt. Tobias Wild Forest, connecting three of the Catskills’ wilderness areas, including Slide Mountain, Hunter-West Kill and Indian Head Mountain.
Please remember to respect all DEC rules and regulations. Pack out what you pack in, follow firewood mandates, and be cognizant of local black bear populations.