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Catskill Forest Preserve

A photo taken of the Catskills by photographer Carl Heilman II
Image courtesy of Carl Heilman II.

11th Annual Lark in the Park

Saturday, October 4 - October 13, 2014

The Lark in the Park is an annual celebration of the Catskill Park and the Catskill Mountains Region. The Catskills Lark in the Park started in 2004 to recognize and celebrate the centennial of the creation of the Catskill Park. Activities include organized hikes, bicycle trips, paddles, service projects, cultural and educational events. For instance, hike to a Catskill fire tower; paddle the Pepacton Reservoir or cycle on the Catskill Scenic Trail.

The coordination of this event is managed through a partnership between the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference, the Catskill Mountain Club, The Catskill Center, and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

The Catskill Park is a mountainous region of public and private lands in Southeastern New York's Ulster, Greene, Delaware and Sullivan Counties. Evidence of the area's unique natural history can be seen in the impressive skyline formed by the ninety-eight peaks over 3,000 feet in elevation. Human activities such as logging, quarrying, tanning, trapping, and fishing have also shaped the Park's more recent history. Today, tourism and recreation play a prominent role in both supporting the region's economy and creating an awareness of the Catskills' ecological significance.

The Catskill Forest Preserve is defined as the 287,500 acres of state land within the Catskill Park. These public lands are primarily forested, but also include meadows, lakes, rivers, wetlands, waterfalls, cliffs, and many species of fish, wildlife, and plant life. Afforded Constitutional protections that prevent the removal of timber, lands within New York's Forest Preserve provide an abundance of both recreational opportunity and plant and wildlife habitat. Depending on park-wide land classifications and specific unit management plans, there are a variety of opportunities for public enjoyment of the Forest Preserve, including hiking, camping, hunting, fishing, skiing, mountain biking, rock climbing, canoeing, and snowmobiling.

The Catskill Adventure (PDF) (459 kb) has a listing of 18 family-friendly hikes.

For a listing of DEC-managed recreation lands, including the Catskill Forest Preserve, please see our Places To Go page.

cover of Catskill Park Map and Guide showing Catskill Mountains

Catskill Park Map and Guide

DEC's Catskill Park Map and Guide is a full color, fold-out map and guide which has great tips on planning your next Catskill adventure! Copies are available at:

Also available online is just the map portion:

Accessible Recreation Logo

DEC is committed to offering many opportunities for accessible recreation of all types. See DEC's statement on the new federal rule covering Power Driven Mobility Devices.


More about Catskill Forest Preserve :

  • Catskill Park State Land Master Plan - The Catskill Park State Land Master Plan (CPSLMP) classifies Forest Preserve lands within the Park based on their physical character and capacity to accommodate human use based on five land classifications: wilderness, wild forest, primitive bicycle corridors, intensive use, and administrative.