Get Your Nature Fix in the Catskills

Get your nature fix (and bring your pups).

As a team of adventure-lovers (and dog-lovers), it’s no surprise that, when asked about some go-to hiking and camping spots, the Summer team was quick to enthusiastically recommend their top three.

1. North-South Lake

When it comes to the amount of land to explore and average number of visitors per year, North-South Lake comes in first among the many campgrounds within the Catskill Forest Preserve. The views of the surrounding countryside are truly unlike anything you’ve ever seen, with skies so clear that you can see five states from the top (about 2,250 feet). The campground is particularly rich in history, too; we recommend checking out Alligator Rock.

Why we love it:

  • Incredible views
  • Designated swimming areas
  • Lots of interesting wildlife to spot, such as great horned owls and migrating hawks
  • Pup-friendly

Basic information on North-South Lake:

  • County: Greene County
  • Opens: May 20th
  • Closes: October 23rd
  • Camping fee: $22/night for New York residents, $27/night for out-of-staters

Click here for a map of North-South Lake!

2. Woodland Valley

The Woodland Valley campground is at the foot of the tallest peak in all of the Catskills, Slide Mountain, and is surrounded by three other amazing mountain ranges. With the village of Phoenicia only a few minutes away, you can combine your hiking day-trip or overnight camping excursion with tubing or trout fishing on the Esopus Creek, or shopping and dining.

Why we love it:

  • Woodland Valley is close to the town of Phoenicia, home to the famous Phoenicia Diner
  • There are two main trails coming through the campground, making it an ultra hiking-friendly spot
  • The campsite has flush toilets (!) and hot showers!
  • Pup-friendly

Basic information on Woodland Valley:

  • County: Ulster
  • Opens: May 20th
  • Closes: October 10th
  • Camping fee: $20/night for New York residents, $25/night for out-of-staters

Click here for a map of Woodland Valley!

3. Bear Spring Mountain

Calling all parents! Bear Spring Mountain, located in the western end of the Catskill Forest Preserve, is a great camping/hiking option when traveling with kids; the campgrounds include a beach, boat rentals, and a multi-use trail system to cover a range of ages and experience levels.

Why we love it:

  • Rowboats, kayaks, canoes, and paddle boat rentals available
  • The Spruce Grove area of the campground is the official horseman camping area of the Catskills; get ready to spot some equestrians (or try a trail ride yourself!)
  • Prime fishing spot
  • Pup-friendly

Basic information on Bear Spring Mountain:

  • County: Delaware
  • Opens: May 20th
  • Closes: September 5th
  • Camping fee: $18/night for New York residents, $23/night for out-of-staters

Click here for a map of Bear Spring Mountain!