Where are the Catskill Mountains?
The Catskill Mountains are located in southeast New York State, between Albany and New York City. The region is a mixture of public and private land that lies within the 700,000 acres of the Catskill Park and occupies parts of four counties: Sullivan, Delaware, Greene, and Ulster.
In addition to breathtaking natural attractions like waterfalls and scenic vistas, the Catskill Mountains are also famous for its number of maintained hiking trails, ski resorts, lakes, and rivers for visitors to explore.
How Were the Catskill Mountains Formed?
Stretching all the way to the Appalachian Mountains and rising from the Hudson Valley, the Catskill Mountains are not geologically considered mountains at all – they are actually a dissected plateau. Parts of the land were eroded and shaped by sediment deposits and flowing waterways, creating towering mountain-like cliffs.
There are 98 peaks in the Catskill Mountains, the highest being Slide Mountain, which stands 4,180 feet above sea level. The Eastern Mountains are higher in elevation while the Western Mountains flatten into the Allegheny Plateau.
Fun Fact: Panther Mountain, one of the Catskill High Peaks, is thought to be the site of a meteor landing that occurred 375 million years ago.
What is There to do in the Catskill Mountains?
The Catskills Region has been an escape for those looking to leave the bustling city lifestyle for hundreds of years. From luxury resorts to endless outdoor recreation opportunities, the Catskills are a natural paradise for adventure.
When Can I Explore in the Catskill Mountains?
Visitors can enjoy the Catskill Mountains year-round. When the snow starts to fall, the ski resorts in the Catskills come alive with skiers and snowboarders.
In the summer, resorts offer adrenaline-pumping activities like mountain biking and zip lining, or become a member of the Catskill Mountain 3500 Club by hiking each of the 35 Catskill Peaks over 3,500 feet in elevation.
What are the Catskills Rivers, Lakes and Streams Like?
The Catskill Mountains were shaped by its waterways, which today also serve as hotspots for water sports like kayaking, canoeing, and rafting. The Catskills are also known as the birthplace of American fly fishing, and the Delaware River System is stocked with more than 60 species of fish including species of trout, bass, perch, panfish, walleye and more.
In addition to being great places for recreational fishing, boating, and kayaking, the bodies of water throughout the Catskills also provide clean and unfiltered drinking water for nine million people. The NYC Watershed has 19 reservoirs provide fresh water to New York City through four supply systems: Catskill Supply System, Delaware Supply System, Croton Supply System, and Catskill/Delaware Supply System.
Are There Historic Sites in the Catskills?
The Catskills have helped shape American culture as the setting for many 19th-century Hudson River School paintings and the historic 1969 Woodstock Festival. Museums throughout the region celebrate the legacy of Catskills art and culture, such as the Thomas Cole Museum, Catskill Fly Fishing Center & Museum, Hanford Mills Museum, and the James Cox Gallery at Woodstock.