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North-South Lake Campground & Day Use Area

tent campingtrailer campingaccessible featuresrestroomspicnic areahand launchswimminghikingfishingboatingbikingwatchable wildlifeicon key

north south lake location map
  • Dates of Operation:
    • Opening Date: May 19
    • Closing Date: October 22
  • Camping Fee: $22 per night (out of state residents surcharge additional $5 per night)
  • Address: County Route 18, Haines Falls, NY 12436 (Alternate for GPS Tannersville, NY 12485) (directions below)
  • County: Greene
  • GPS Info. (Latitude, Longitude): 42 12 05.48938N 074 03 22.19227W
  • Campground Phone: (518) 589-5058
  • Regional Office Phone: (607) 652-2032
  • Make Your Camping Reservation: ReserveAmerica

North-South Lake Campground & Day Use Area Map (PDF)

Firewood Restriction Map (PDF) shows the 50-mile radius from which untreated firewood may be moved to this campground. Help prevent the spread of invasive pests and diseases by following New York's firewood regulation.

Support DEC Campgrounds

Members of the public can support DEC lands, facilities, and programs through our charitable partner, the National Heritage trust (NHT). Online giving is simple and secure and fully tax-deductible. Donations to NHT directly support projects and programs that enhance facilities, expand access to outdoor recreation and environmental education, provide public land access, and protect natural resources. Donate here (leaves DEC website).

view of fall ress and the lake at sunset

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.


7 camping loops; 219 tent and trailer sites; 2 lakes; 2 beaches; 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 (with electricity).; 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; volleyball; horseshoes; fishing; playing field; trailer dump station; recycling center; solar cell phone charging station; fishing platform.

Family Sites

Family sites are larger than typical campsites and can usually accommodate up to 12 people, four vehicles, four tents or two hard-wheeled equipment, or one hard-wheeled equipment and two tents. Maximum equipment size and site-specific limitations are listed with the site details. Sites also have up to two picnic tables and two fireplaces/fire rings.

camper enjoying his breakfast at a picnic table
accessible features

Accessible Features

Sites 45, 47, 48, 50, 142, 154, 183, 185, 195, 198, Comfort Stations in Loops 1, 3, 4, 6, Comfort Station near playground and Changing Rooms by beach at North Lake, Changing Rooms at South Lake, North Lake - Pavilions, Beach access route, Fishing Pier, South Lake - Pavilion, Beach access route, Boat Launch (hand). 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.

Campsite Restoration Project

This campground has sites that have been selected for restoration. While undergoing restoration the chosen sites will be closed. For the list of sites and more information on the project visit the Campsite Restoration Project page.

Featured Activities



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, stand-up paddleboard and paddle boat rentals are available at this campground.



Fish in area include: chain pickerel, brown bullhead, pumpkinseed, black crappie, and largemouth bass. Fishing licenses are no longer being sold at any of our campground facilities, but can be conveniently purchased on-line or by phone.

sun over lake with blue reflections


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.



Designated swimming areas are available at some DEC facilities. Based on staffing, some of these facilities may have limited swimming hours/days. For the safety of our customers, swimming will only be permitted when a lifeguard is on duty. Beach hours will be posted at facilities with swimming. To inquire, please contact the campground directly.

watchable wildlife

Watchable Wildlife

General information on watchable wildlife includes tips for viewing wildlife and links to other watchable wildlife locations.

Surprise white-tailed deer while hiking one of the trails at this campground. Campers or day visitors encounter a good cross section of wildlife common to the storied Catskill Mountains at this multiple-use recreation area, just a 2.5-hour drive north of New York City.

Wildlife to Watch

educator; turkey; waterfall
Photo Credits: Sue Shafer, Dick Thomas, Sue Shafer

Where to Watch

  • Mixed hardwood and conifer forests
  • Lakeshores and stream banks
  • Mountaintops
two girls reading near rock


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.

Get driving directions from Google Maps (leaves DEC website)

Planning and Management

child looking at trex rock

The Amendment to the 1998 Unit Management Plan (UMP) (PDF, 1.37MB) for the campground proposes infrastructure and accessibility improvements centered around the beach and day use area at North Lake.

For more information regarding the UMP for this facility please contact the Bureau of Recreation, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY12233, Telephone 518 457-2500, and email for campground information

Rules, Regulations and Outdoor Safety

DEC campground rules and regulations

Clean your boat and equipment - help prevent the spread of aquatic invasives

Don't move firewood - help prevent of spread of invasive insects

Hiking safety tips

Additional Information

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.

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.