Before you start your adventure, be sure to check the regularly updated trail conditions for the Catskills, provided by the Catskills Visitor Center. We encourage you to subscribe to our Catskills newsletter through DEC Delivers for monthly updates on events, trail conditions, and advisories.
Whether you're seeking a day trip escape to nature or a week-long adventure in the woods, the Catskills offers something for everyone. Picturesque mountain peak views, more than a quarter million acres of forests, and 300+ miles of trails offer ample opportunity for many types of outdoor adventures while also providing protected habitats for a variety of plants and wildlife. From accessible nature trails to rugged mountain peaks and calm ponds to rushing rivers, there is a destination for every size and kind of adventure - and it's yours to explore. All that is asked of you in return is that you recreate safely and do your part to preserve this beautiful area for generations to come.
Use our resources below to plan your trip and prepare to responsibly enjoy this region so that it is just as special for the next visitor and your next trip.
Enjoy the State Lands of the Catskills
Protected as "forever wild" by Article XIV of the New York State Constitution, New York's Forest Preserve lands in the Catskills and Adirondacks range from DEC-operated campgrounds to remote backcountry, and have exceptional scenic, recreational, and ecological value. Striking a balance between recreational use and resource protection is achieved through a park-wide land classification system and individual unit management plans.
- Forest Preserve Units (Regions 3 and 4) - Information on specific Catskill forest preserve lands that offer recreational opportunities such as hiking, paddling, camping, etc. Individual property webpages provide details on trailheads, parking areas, and nearby amenities.
Wildlife Management Areas
Wildlife management areas (WMAs) are lands owned by New York State under the control and management of DEC's Bureau of Wildlife. These lands provide great opportunities for wildlife-related recreation such as hunting, trapping, and fishing as well as areas for visitors to spot a wide variety of wildlife species through photography and bird watching. Several WMAs have accessible features such as fishing platforms, hand boat launches, trails, and kiosks - see accessible recreation destinations for more information.
Just outside the Blue Line of the Forest Preserve, the general Catskills region also contains dozens of state forests - all of which are open to the public. Many of these properties offer rugged trails, primitive camping sites, unique hunting opportunities, and lands and waters open for a variety of recreation types. Use the links below to find state forests and other state lands by county.
Catskills Visitor Center
The Maurice D. Hinchey Catskills Visitor Center (CVC) at 5096 Route 28 in Mount Tremper 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 Center's property also offers walking trails, picnic areas, a fire tower, and access to the Esopus Creek. Learn more about the CVC or use their interactive trip planner on their website.