D E C banner
D E C banner

Disclaimer

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has added a link to a translation service developed by Microsoft Inc., entitled Bing Translator, as a convenience to visitors to the DEC website who speak languages other than English.

Additional information can be found at DEC's Language Assistance Page.

Colgate Lake Wild Forest

hikingprimitive camping fishingpaddlingbikinghuntingtrapping cross-country skiingsnow shoeingaccess for people with disabilitiesparkingaccessible pit privyicon key

women sitting on the side of Colgate Lake

The 1500-acre Colgate Lake Wild Forest features the scenic Colgate Lake in the Catskill Forest Preserve. The Lake is a popular lake for fishing, kayaking and primitive camping. The yellow marked Colgate Lake Trail travels just over 4 miles to Dutcher Notch and the Escarpment Trail. The wild forest is surrounded by the Windham Blackhead Range Wilderness Area on three sides.

Featured Activities

Hiking

hiking

General information on hiking includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules & regulations

hiker on the Colgate Lake Trail

Colgate Lake Wild Forest is open to hiking and other non-motorized recreation. The yellow marked Colgate Lake Trail travels 4 miles to Dutcher Notch and the Escarpment Trail in the Windham Blackhead Range Wilderness Area.

Camping

primitive camping

General information on backcountry camping includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules & regulations

Colgate Lake Wild Forest features 6 designated primitive campsites, one of which is accessible, featuring an accessible pit privy and fire pit. At-large backcountry camping is allowed. Campsites must be at least 150 feet away from the nearest road, trail, or body of water.

Camping for more than three nights or in groups of ten or more requires a permit from a Forest Ranger.

Paddling

paddling

General information on paddling includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules & regulations

Colgate Lake features a hand boat launch. No motors are allowed.

Fishing

fishing

General information on fishing includes how-to and safety tips and links to seasons, rules & regulations

Colgate Lake is a popular year-round lake for trout, and features an accessible fishing platform. Decent catches of trout have been reported. The lake is stocked annually with approximately 750 brown trout from 8-15" in length.

view of Colgate Lake in the summer

East-Central NY Fishing provides information on fishing in the Catskills and links to top fishing waters, stocking lists, public fishing access and waters open to ice fishing listed by county.

Biking

biking

General information on biking includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules & regulations

Colgate Lake Wild Forest is open to biking and other non-motorized recreation. However there are no trails maintained for bicycles.

Hunting & Trapping

hunting
trapping

General Information on hunting and general information on trapping includes how-to and safety tips with links to seasons, rules & regulations

Hunting and trapping are allowed during appropriate seasons. The main game species and furbearers found on the property include deer, bear, beaver, bobcat, coyote, and fisher.

Cross-country Skiing & Snowshoeing

cross-country skiing
snow shoeing

General information on cross-country skiing and snowshoeing

includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules & regulations. Colgate Lake Wild Forest is open to cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in the winter. There are no groomed or maintained trails, however there is a hiking trail that is utilized by cross-country skiers and snowshoers. Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are permitted on all hiking trails.

Wildlife

General information on animals includes links to information about birds, mammals, fish, reptiles, amphibians and insects that inhabit or migrate through the state.

The Catskills are home to an abundance of wildlife. With both larger mammals (including deer, bear, and bobcat) as well as smaller mammals (including porcupine and fisher) the Catskills have several unique habitats. In addition to the many mammals found in the Catskills, hundreds of species of birds can also be found in the Catskills.

Accessible Features

access for people with disabilities

General information on accessible recreation includes links to other locations with accessible recreation opportunities and information on permits for motorized access.

Colgate Lake Wild Forest's accessibility features include a fishing platform on Colgate Lake with designated parking, as well as an accessible primitive campsite and pit privy across the street from the accessible parking lot.

A view of Colgate Lake
A view of Colgate Lake

Directions

From the West: Take St. Hwy. 23 East to Rt. 23A. Follow Rt. 23A to Tannersville. Make a left onto County Route 23C. Follow Route 23C to East Jewett. Make a right onto County Route 78. This leads directly to Colgate Lake.
From the East: Out of Catskill, NY, take Rt. 23A West to Tannersville. Make a right onto County Route 23C. Proceed as directed above.

Colgate Lake Accessible Parking Lot is located on County Route 78 at Colgate Lake. 42.238452°N, 74.120586°W Google Maps (leaves DEC website)

Colgate Lake Lower Parking Lot is located on County Route 78 on the right before Colgate Lake. 42.235597°N, 74.122659°W Google Maps (leaves DEC website)

Colgate Lake Trail Head Parking Lot is located off of County Route 78, east of Colgate Lake, and provides access to the Colgate Lake Trail that leads into the Windham Blackhead Range Wilderness. 42.238483°N, 74.116013°W Google Maps (leaves DEC website)

Rules, Regulations and Outdoor Safety

walkway over the dam on Colgate Lake

Practice Leave No Trace (leaves DEC website) principles when recreating in the Catskills to enjoy the outdoors responsibly; minimize impact on the natural resources and avoid conflicts with other backcountry users.

All users of Colgate Lake Wild Forest must follow all State Land Use Regulations and should follow all Outdoor Safety Practices for the safety of the user and protection of the resource.

How We Manage Colgate Lake Wild Forest

DEC is developing a recreation management plan which will describe the management activities for public recreation on these lands.

If you have questions and/or comments about this UMP, please email us at r4.ump@dec.ny.gov.

Nearby State Lands, Facilities, Amenities & Other Information

Gas may be found in the communities of Cairo, Windham, and Palenville
Food and other supplies can be found in the communities of Cairo, Windham, and Palenville
Dining opportunities can be found in the communities of Cairo, Windham, and Palenville
Lodging may be found in the communities of Windham and Palenville

Catskill Regional Tourism Office (leaves DEC website) and Greene County Tourism (leaves DEC website) can provide information about other recreation, attractions and amenities in this area.

Numerous guide books and maps are available with information on the lands, waters, trails and other recreational facilities in this area. These can be purchased at most outdoor equipment retailers, bookstores, and on-line booksellers.

Additional information, outdoor equipment, trip suggestions and guided or self-guided tours may be obtained from outdoor guide and outfitting businesses. Check area chambers of commerce, telephone directories or search the internet for listings.

Consider hiring an outdoor guide if you have little experience or woodland skills. See the NYS Outdoor Guides Association (leaves DEC website) for information on outdoor guides.