- The forest preserve has thousands of acres of forests with meadows, remnants of old farmsteads, lakes, rivers, springs, waterfalls, cliffs, fire towers, bears, rattlesnakes and other wildlife, rare plants and animals. Also, there are hundreds of miles of abandoned woods, roads and trails to enjoy. Today, it serves as a watershed, recreation area, and ecological and scenic reserve.
Public campgrounds are Mongaup Pond, the Beaverkill, Kenneth Wilson, Woodland Valley, Little Pond, Bear Spring Mountain, Devil's Tombstone and North / South Lake. For information call 518-457-2500, for reservations call 800-456-CAMP.
Three hundred miles of trails make much of the forest preserve accessible to hikers. The trails vary in length from a half mile to a 94-mile section of the Long Path connecting New York City's George Washington Bridge with East Windham (Greene Co.) in the northern Catskills. You can also find horseback riding, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling and mountain biking on some of these trails. Trail brochures are available from DEC.
The Catskills offer some of the finest trout fishing in the East. The Beaverkill-Willowemoc area is the birthplace of fly fishing in America.
Most people drive through the park on Routes 28, 23 and 23A from Kingston and the New York State Thruway on the east, or Oneonta on the west. State Route 17 provides access from the south. Venture beyond these roads or enter on one of the hundreds of smaller roads to discover the villages, remote mountains, beautiful views and steep river valleys that have made the Catskills a favorite tourist destination for over 100 years.
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