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New York's Forest Preserve

For a list of DEC-managed recreation lands see the Places to Go page.

Location of New York's Forest Preserve

Of the 4.8 million acres of land managed by DEC's Division of Lands and Forests, nearly 3 million acres, or 61%, are classified as Forest Preserve. Comprised of over 2.6 million acres in the Adirondack Park and over 287,000 acres within the Catskill Park, these lands represent a majority of all state-owned property within the two regions.

The two parks were designated by the New York State legislature near the turn of the 20th century, and originally included only the state-owned Forest Preserve land. The description of each park was revised in 1912 to include ALL lands, both public and private, within the "Blue Line". This term is commonly used today, as blue is the color used on state maps to delineate the two parks.

Protected as "forever wild" by Article XIV of the New York State Constitution (leaves DEC website), New York's Forest Preserve lands range from remote backcountry to DEC-operated campgrounds, and have exceptional scenic, recreational, and ecological value. Rugged mountain peaks, remote lakes and ponds, millions of acres of unfragmented forests, and nearly 2,000 miles of trails provide ample opportunity for many types of recreation while providing a variety of habitats for plants and wildlife. Striking a balance between recreational use and resource protection in the Forest Preserve is achieved through a park-wide land classification system and individual unit management plans.

Catskill Visitor Center


Stop at the Catskill Visitor Center on
Rte . 28 in Mt. Tremper to plan your next trip or
learn about the Catskills' recreational, historic
and cultural locations and events.

The Maurice D. Hinchey Catskills Visitor Center (CVC) at 5096 Rte. 28 in Mt. Tremper NY is your gateway to all the Catskills has to offer.

The CVC opened in July 2015. Visitors can learn about the Catskills' extraordinary recreational, cultural and historic opportunities as well as take advantage of a variety of tourist services through the Center's iPads and wall displays.

The CVC is staffed seven days a week, from 9:30 AM to 4:30 PM through a partnership including the Catskill Center, the NY-NJ Trail Conference, Catskill Mountain Club, Ulster County Tourism, Catskill Mountainkeeper, and DEC. Learn more about the CVC or use their interactive trip planner on their website.

Forest Preserve Brochures

DEC's full-color, fold-out Forest Preserve brochures have great tips on planning your next adventure!

Adirondack Park 2010 Map and Guide

This brochure is currently out of stock and available for download only. An update to this brochure will be available soon.

Catskill Park 2018 Map and Guide

Copies of the Catskill Park Map and Guide are available at The Catskill Visitor Center (leaves DEC website), DEC's Region 3, Region 4, and Albany Offices, and local tourism offices. The brochure is also available for download below.


More about New York's Forest Preserve: