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North-South Lake

View from Catskill Mountain House Site at North South Lake CampgroundAddress: County Route 18, Haines Falls, NY 12436
GPS Info. (Latitude,Longitude): 42d11'54.23"N, 74d02'41.86"W
Campground Phone: (518) 589-5058
Regional Office Phone: (518) 357-2289
Camping Fee: $22

Campground Map (PDF, 377 KB)

Make a reservation at this campground with ReserveAmerica.

Firewood Restriction Map || (PDF file, 1.2 MB) View map showing 50-mile radius from which untreated firewood may be moved to this campground. For more information see firewood restrictions.

We regret to inform you that due to fiscal issues the camping season at North-South Lake will be shortened this year. The campground will still open on May 9th, however it will now close on October 13th with the last night to camp being October 12th. We apologize in advance for any inconvenience this may cause.

North-South Lake is the biggest and most popular state campground in the Catskill Forest Preserve, offering extraordinary scenic beauty, and historical sites, such as: Alligator Rock, Kaaterskill Falls, and the former site of the Catskill Mountain House. An abrupt change in elevation occurs from about 540 feet above sea level at the base of the escarpment to approximately 2,250 feet at the site of the former Catskill Mountain House. The provinces around the lakes have long provided visitors with exceptional views of the surrounding countryside. It is said that on a clear day, five states can be viewed from the escarpment.

Sunset at North South Lake CampgroundDirections: From South: NYS Thruway (I-87) Exit 20 at Saugerties. Follow Rte. 32 north for approximately 6 miles to Rte. 32A to Rte. 23A west. Stay on Rte. 23A to the village of Haines Falls. Make first right turn in Haines Falls onto County Rte. 18, campground entrance is 2 miles to the end of the road.

From North: NYS Thruway (I-87) Exit 21 at Catskill. Left on Rte. 23 east to Rte. 9W south. Follow Rte. 9W through Catskill to Rte. 23A. Follow 23A west to Haines Falls. Make first right turn in Haines Falls onto County Rte. 18, campground entrance is 2 miles to end of the road.

Amenities: 7 camping loops; 219 tent and trailer sites; 2 lakes; 2 beaches; 3 picnic pavilion rentals; 2 picnic areas with tables and fireplaces or charcoal grills; playground; flush toilets; hot showers; boat launch (no motorized vessels); rowboat, canoe, kayak and paddle boat rentals; firewood sales; volleyball; horseshoes; fishing; playing field; trailer dump station; recycling center.

Accessible Observation Platform at North-South Lake Campground Universal symbol of accessible site

Accessible Features: day use, camping, picnic pads, grills, picnic tables, camping pads, showers, water access, rest rooms, observation platform, and a pavilion. Also, there are accessible horse-mounting platforms at Sleepy Hollow trailhead, trail side campsite, and the Scutt Road trailhead for the nearby Kaaterskill Horse Trails.

Full listing of DEC's Accessible Recreation Destinations.

Junior Naturalist Program: Our campgrounds become an outdoor classroom for young children (5-13) and their families. Enjoy games and activities to earn a beautiful embroidered patch.

Boating: No motorized boats are permitted. Rowboats and canoes permitted. A paved boat ramp is located at the North Lake day-use area. Rowboat, kayak, canoe and paddle boat rentals are available at this campground.

Fishing: Fish in area include: chain pickerel, brown bullhead, pumpkinseed, black crappie, and largemouth bass.

Hiking: The campground offers access to numerous hiking trails. The short hike to the site of the Catskill Mountain House provides the reward of incredible vistas. Longer and more strenuous hikes can bring you to such spots as Artist's Rock, Sunset Rock, Newman's Ledge, Boulder Rock, and the Kaaterskill Hotel and Laurel House sites. Kaaterskill Falls lies outside the campground and is reached by a trail beginning on Route 23A. The two tiered falls of 175 and 85 feet is the highest in New York State.

People at Kaaterskill Falls

Day Use Facilities: Swimming is permitted at both North and South Lake beaches from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day when lifeguards are on duty. Two picnic areas: one on North Lake with two picnic pavilion rentals a 20' X 32' and a 44" X 24' (the larger of the two with electricity) and one on South Lake with a 40' X 60' picnic pavilion rental. * Please take note that at facilities that offer swimming beaches, there are days which lifeguards are unavailable. For the safety of our customers, these beaches will not be open and swimming will be prohibited.

Area Attractions: Hunter Mountain, 10 miles away, offers ethnic festivals throughout the summer season with the sky ride operating to the summit of the ski center.

Local villages provide restaurants, shops, antique shops, and a movie theater.

Tubing, go-carts, miniature golf, and a number of golf courses and horseback riding facilities are located within easy driving distance.

Historic Interest: North Lake Campground was first developed on Catskill Forest Preserve Land in 1929. At that time, there were two separate lakes with an earthen dam between them. The campground was constructed on North Lake only, as South Lake and the land east of the present North Lake beach were privately owned. The original campground consisted of 10 sites and a small picnic area. In 1933, the campground was expanded to 43 sites and the picnic area was enlarged. In 1936, the beach at North Lake was constructed. During the late 1960's and 1970's, the campground was again expanded, reaching its present level of 219 sites in 1972. With the purchase of South Lake, a second day-use area was completed in 1984. The narrow isthmus between the lakes was removed and a dam was built at the outlet of South Lake to create one large lake.