Spring into the Catskills: Our Favorite Spots to Hike, Fish, Camp & Bike
No matter how much Winter we get, Spring always comes, no matter what. And just in the past week or two, we can finally say that Spring—like, real Spring, with flowers and everything—is finally upon us. (Well, most of us: it’s still 30 degrees and snowing in the mountains.)
To celebrate the return of warmer days, we’ve created a list of our favorite spots to Upstate & Chill™ in the great outdoors.
When we aren’t working, we love to hit the trails—and these three hikes are especially spectacular.
- Minnewaska State Park. This is technically in the Shawangunks (not the Catskills), but it’s our go-to spot anyway. We often take first-time visitors to the 3.5-mile trail around gorgeous, glacier-carved Lake Awosting.
- Overlook Mountain. Located just outside of Kingston, this 4.6-mile trail is popular for a reason. (Make sure to take the stairs to the fire tower—you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of the Hudson.)
- Kaaterskill Falls. An easy 2.6-mile hike with an Instagram-worthy payoff. (There’s a reason this 260-foot waterfall was a popular destination for many Hudson River School artists.)
This area is known for trout, but you’ll also find plenty of bass, pike, and pickerel. (Make sure to check out New York’s freshwater fishing regulations before you go.)
- Wilson Lake. This shallow lake in Ulster County doesn’t allow gas motors, but rowboats and kayaks are welcome. You can catch anything from largemouth bass to bluegill.
- Alder Lake. This quiet spot in the Balsam Lake State Forest Preserve is perfect for catching brook trout from your kayak or canoe.
- Cannonsville Reservoir. This 12-mile-long reservoir in the Catskills is stocked annually with up to 7,000 brown trout.
Whether you’re glamping or roughing it, you’ll find plenty of places around here to pitch your tent.
- North-South Lake. The largest and most popular state campground in the Catskill Forest Preserve, this spot offers easy access to Kaaterskill Falls (see above).
- Woodland Valley. Nestled at the foot of Slide Mountain Catskill Park, this 70-site campground serves as the trailhead for both Slide-Wittenberg Trail and Woodland Valley-Denning Trail.
- Mongaup Pond. Situated on the largest body of water in Catskill Park (not counting the reservoirs), this relatively remote campground offers large wooded campsites and plenty of spots for swimming.
Whether you’re a road cyclist or more partial to mountain biking, we’ve got you covered.
- Kingston to New Paltz. This moderate 44-mile loop takes you through farm country, into the woods, and along the beautiful Hudson.
- Great Shawangunk Hill Loop. This challenging 32-mile loop, beginning and ending in New Paltz, features big climbs and rapid descents on the way to Minnewaska State Park.
- Lippman Park. This spot in nearby Wawarsing offers 14 miles of interconnected trails. There’s plenty here for mountain bikers of all ages and abilities.
Whatever you do in the great outdoors, we want you to look good doing it. So we’re proud to introduce an expanded selection of our Adventure Series T-shirts for both men and women, with new graphics for camping, fishing, and biking. We’ve also got plenty of hoodies, hats, and even hatchets—and of course our classic Skotch Soft Kooler, so you can keep your goodies cool wherever you go.
But in our opinion, no matter what you’re wearing, the best look of all is being a good global citizen. If you’re exploring the Catskills this Spring, please remember to leave it as you found it. Clean up your trash. And pack out what you pack in. This gorgeous place will only stay gorgeous if we all take care of it—together.
We’ll see you on the trail.
Andrew + Clark.
Missed our last //Blog post about our 4th Anniversary? Read it here.
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