Catskill Forest Preserve
Image courtesy of Carl Heilman II.
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.
Catskill Park Map and Guide
DEC just printed a new Catskill Park Preserve Map and Guide. This full color, fold-out map also has great tips on planning your next Catskill adventure! Copies are available at:
- Local tourism offices
- DEC Region 3 Office in New Paltz (845-256-3083)
- DEC Region 4 Office in Schenectady (518-357-2068)
- DEC Central Office in Albany (518-473-9518)
- Large Format (PDF) (2.7 MB) Version, requires a large-format printer
Also available online is just the map portion:
- Large Format Map Only (PDF) (2.5 MB) 30" x 36", requires a large-format printer.
- Tiled Map (PDF) (3.7 MB) 8.5" x 11" multi-page file for regular printers.
More about Catskill Forest Preserve :
- Fire Towers in the Catskills - A listing of fire towers open to the public in the Catskill Park
- 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.