12 Best Things To Do In Catskill, New York - Updated 2021

things to do in catskill new york
Darryl
Darryl
Updated

Bid adieu to the hustle and bustle and say hello to the Catskill, NY, where you’ll find limitless acres of landscapes, ripe with opportunities for outdoor adventure and festivals and events that can rival any big-city lineup. Catskill is the perfect getaway from the city or for a week-long vacation with family or friends. This is the eventual journey’s end if you want to attain that travel ‘nirvana’!

1. Greene County Council on the Arts

Art exhibit
Source: Pexels

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

If you want to know anything about art, go to Greene County Council on the Arts for shows, exhibitions, and information. A well-oiled machine so to speak, the county council runs this place efficiently and have been cultivating, curating, presenting and advocating for the arts in Greene County for over 40 years, which is a remarkable achievement. The council maintains an active gallery on Main Street in Catskill, NY, a popular children’s arts program, and join forces on a wide selection of installation projects, for professionals and amateur enthusiasts alike. The range of artistic choices and classes that are available for all forms of art, including authors, is quite large. If you are an art aficionado this might be well worth the trip.

Greene County Council on the Arts

Address: 398 Main St, Catskill, NY 12414, USA

Hours: 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Phone: +1 518-943-3400

Website: Greene County Council on the Arts

2. Kaaterskill Falls

Kaaterskill Falls
Source: Photo by user Mwanner used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Just 22 minutes outside the city of Catskill, Kaaterskill Falls is one of the most popular hikes in the area, mainly because it is a short hike to a huge, 260-foot (80 meter) payoff, divided over two drops. This is the highest two-tiered waterfall in the state of New York. Its upper tier measures an impressive 175 feet (54 meters), while its lower tier is 85 feet (26 meters) tall.

The falls are truly spectacular, elucidating the fact that this is a very popular area - one of the best-visited locations in the region on a warm weekend afternoon. Don’t expect to be alone here, unless perhaps you go on a weekday when it’s raining, which by the way, is also spectacular!

Kaaterskill Falls

Address: Laurel House Rd, Palenville, NY 12463, USA

Phone: +1 518-935-3735

Website: Dept. of Environmental Conservation

3. Olana State Historic Site

Olana, August 2015
Source: Photo by user Netniks used under CC BY-SA 4.0

The Olana Historic Site preserves the home of Hudson River School artist Frederic Church and the views that inspired his paintings. As a young budding artist, Church’s parents sent him to study under Thomas Cole in the Catskills, where he sketched and settled into the rural landscape. The centerpiece of Olana is an eclectic mansion, composed by the fusion of many styles, which is therefore tough to categorize.

This mansion overlooks the parkland and a working farm designed by the artist himself. While, the estate has a wide view of the Hudson River Valley, the Catskill Mountains and the Taconic Range, the house is intricately detailed inside and out, based on Church’s travels in the Middle East. A nice day trip if you are interested in art and history.

Olana State Historic Site

Address: 5720 NY-9G, Hudson, NY 12534, USA

Hours: 10:00 to 4:00 PM (Tuesday to Sunday)

Phone: +1 518-828-0135

Website: Olana

4. Hunter Mountain

Hunter Mountain 1
Source: Photo by user Xmerc226 used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Hunter Mountain is a true four-season resort, offering a wide variety of events, activities, and accommodations year-round, where the fun here doesn’t stop when the snow melts! Get away to the heart of the beautiful Northern Catksills and enjoy Hunter Mountain’s Scenic Skyride Chairlift, which brings you to the summit of Hunter Mountain.

Put your nerves to the test at the New York Zipline Adventure Tours, featuring the longest, highest and fastest zip line in all of North America. Challenge your friends to a game of disc-golf on their beautiful 18-hole mountain course or take a fly fishing lesson from one of Hunter’s certified instructors. You can also get a little mud on the tires with one of their 4x4 off-road adventures, through the mountain’s trail network!

Make your day into a stay, with on-site lodging options including the Kaatskill Mountain Club Hotel, which features studios and suites, a full-service spa, and Van Winkle’s Restaurant!

Hunter Mountain

Address: Main St, Hunter, NY 12442, USA

Hours: 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM

Phone: +1 518-263-4223

Website: Hunter Mountain

5. Catskill Animal Sanctuary

DSC00774
Source: Photo by Flickr user Meg Stewart used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Nestled in beautiful Saugerties, N.Y., the Catskill Animal Sanctuary sits on 110 tranquil acres (44.5 hectares), providing a safe and loving home for the many farm animals it rescues from cruel, abusive, and neglectful treatment.

Furthermore, Catskill Animal Sanctuary offers weekend and special tours, a summer day camp for children, vegan cooking classes, a chance to meet the animals and hear their rescue stories, a silent auction, a children’s tent, and hayride. Visitors may arrange to stay on site, in a lovely 1800s-era farmhouse, known as the Homestead.

Catskill Animal Sanctuary

Address: 316 Old Stage Rd, Saugerties, NY 12477, USA

Hours: 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM (Saturday and Sunday)

Phone: +1 845-336-8447

Website: Catskill Animal Sanctuary

6. Hunter Mountain Fire Tower

Hunter Mountain fire tower
Source: Photo by user Daniel Case used under CC BY-SA 3.0

The Hunter Mountain Fire Tower is situated at the highest point of Hunter Mountain, the second highest point of the Catskill Mountains, in the U.S. state of New York. The fire tower, on a clear day, offers wonderful views of other 3,500 foot (91.4 meter) peaks and the valleys between them.

Currently a popular attraction for hikers climbing the mountain, the tower and adjacent observer’s cabin now serves as a museum and not only offers panoramic views of the mountains, but the adjacent Hudson Valley, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and southwestern Vermont. Similarly, it is visible from many of the surrounding mountains, the village of Hunter and the upper slopes of the ski area. It is the highest fire tower still standing in the state and the second-highest in the entire northeast. Visitors need to check this place out to enjoy the 180-degree view of the four neighboring states.

Hunter Mountain Fire Tower

Address: Main St, Hunter, NY 12442, USA

Hours: 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM

Phone: +1 518-263-4223

Website: Hunter Mountain

7. Frick Pond Loop

IMG_20150415_161344
Source: Photo by Flickr user hhm8 used under CC0

The Frick Pond Loop is an easy 3.54 km (2.2 mile) round-trip-hike, offering great views of Frick Pond and the surrounding mountains, a walk through a large hemlock grove on a boardwalk through a wetland, and through open woods and fields of ferns. This is one of the favorite hiking trails in the Catskills, due to the pleasant and accessible walking trails, especially during the summer, when the wet areas dry up.

There are no difficult sections along this hike and no steep climbs or descents. The most difficult aspects of the hike are the numerous wet areas, especially near Times Square, on both the Big Rock and the Loggers Loop Trails. If you don’t mind getting your boots muddy though, this is not a problem. If you don’t have hiking gear, you can get some at Morgan Outdoors, where you can avail of the discounts if you have a valid Trail Conference Membership Card.

Frick Pond Loop

Address: Frick Pond, Rockland, NY 12758, USA

Website: AllTrails

8. Opus 40

Opus 40 Ramps
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Manuela Michailescu used under CC BY-SA 4.0

During a period of 37 years, Harvey Fite created the monumental world-acclaimed 6.5 acre (2.6 hectare) bluestone sculpture, now known as Opus 40, in an abandoned quarry in the town of Saugerties, NY, about 161 km (100 miles) north of New York City. The site was purchased in 1938 and over the time Fite built several structures, including a beautiful large wood and stone home, a studio, garage, blacksmith shop and the Quarryman’s Museum, which houses his unique collection of indigenous tools.

Created by this one man, using dry-key stone masonry methods, stimulated by his work in restoring the Mayan civilization at Copan, refined by experiment, trial and error, Opus 40 is a convoluted world of finely fitted stone, swirling with ramps and terraces, constructed around pools and trees and fountains, rising out of bedrock, a half mile deep.

A visit to Opus 40 is an enriching experience as you move from area to area, around walls and terraces, which curl around trees and embrace quarry springs, set against the majestic natural backdrop of Overlook Mountain.

Opus 40

Address: 50 Fite Rd, Saugerties, NY 12477, USA

Hours: 11:00 AM to 5:30 PM (Thursday to Sunday)

Phone: +1 845-246-3400

Website: Opus 40

9. Go zip lining with New York Zipline Adventures

The Adventure Zipline at Gators & Friends in Greenwood, Louisiana
Source: Photo by Flickr user Shreveport-Bossie... used under CC BY 2.0

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

Bringing the first world class tour of its kind to the state, New York Zipline features the largest zipline canopy tour in North America. Just 2 hours north of NYC, New York Zipline is located at Hunter Mountain Ski Bowl and was designed and built by Canopy Tours. It features three family-friendly adventures: the SkyRider, Mid-Mountain Canopy Tour and the Adventure Tower.

Fly on a 650 foot (198.1 meter) zipline at night, 60 feet (18.3 meters) above the forest floor, the area features 6 ziplines & 4 suspension bridges on the Mid Mountain Tour, a family-friendly adventure guided by moonlight and 9 bright tree platforms, topped off by stargazing and nocturnal animal sightings. Adventurists must be 60 lbs to 250 lbs (28 kg to 113 kg) and should be no taller than (198 cms) 6 ft. 5 in. New York Zipline adheres to the strictest safety and construction guidelines in the industry, so you can have the thrill of a lifetime, without any fear!

New York Zipline Adventures

Address: 64 Klein Ave, Hunter, NY 12442, USA

Hours: Open today · 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM

Phone: +1 518-263-4388

Website: New York Zipline Adventures

10. Thomas Cole National Historic Site

Thomas Cole NHS 20
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Commence your journey in the town of Catskill, not far from Interstate 87 Exit 21, where the renaissance has begun. Renowned as the home of Thomas Cole, the “Father of American Art,” who inspired the Hudson River School of Art, Catskill is a gateway to the rest of Greene County, a region celebrated for its natural beauty.

For centuries, the Catskills’ raw landscape attracted artists from around the world, and nowhere is this more evident that in the colorful, cheerfully painted streets of Tannersville. Learn about Washington Irving’s beloved rascal, Rip Van Winkle and spend some time wandering through the gardens and groves that inspired the painters, poets, and philosophers that helped shape the nation’s appreciation for the Catskills.

Thomas Cole National Historic Site

Address: 218 Spring St, Catskill, NY 12414, USA

Hours: 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM (Tuesday to Sunday)

Phone: +1 518-943-7465

Website: Thomas Cole House

11. See quirky and recyled art at the Catamount People's Museum

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Editor’s Note: Establishment is permanently closed at the time of writing

New York isn’t just all about the hustle and bustle of the loud city, there’s also a more serene and interesting side to the island that many tourists considered underrated. Apart from MOMA, consider making a pitstop at Catamount People’s Museum in Catskill, New York and get the chance to see recycled wood turned into interesting art pieces that many young people consider as vernacular art in this open-air museum. “The Cat” used to be a vacant lot that split into two and was transformed by local residents to an interesting art park. Visitors will be able to see quirky and unique pictures, articles and artifacts that have been collected over time as an interesting memento from locals and tourists alike. Indeed, if there’s one thing about New Yorkers, it’s that their scrappy and creative craftsmen, truly a product of their imagination you must see when in Catskill.

Catamount People's Museum

Address: 21 W Bridge St, Catskill, NY 12414, United States

Opening hours: 24 hours, Sundays to Mondays

Price: free

12. Baskin the beauty of Thomas Cole's historic art

Thomas Cole NHS 17
Source: Photo by user used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Thomas Cole’s art peaked in1825 but was only celebrated and studied in the 19th century where he became some of the most iconic painters when it came to romantic landscape painting. His best works are displayed in his home at Cedar Grove, also known as the Thomas Cole National Historic Site. Guests will also be offered the chance to see the Hudson River School of Art which Cole also founded for aspiring artists. The historic site was transformed into a gallery of Cole’s most iconic and even underrated works which boast themes on nature and civilization. The historic site also holds a short film screening on his life and his impact on American art, truly something to see for avid art enthusiasts and amateur painters alike.

Thomas Cole National Historic Site

Address: 218 Spring Street, Catskill, New York 12414

Website: Thomas Cole National Historic Site

Opening hours: 11:00 am to 4:00 pm, Fridays to Sundays

Price: 12 USD

Explore beauty of nature and art through the eyes of Catskill

Explore the artistic side of Catskill and enjoy the restaurants on Main Street that offer cozy atmosphere and old-world cuisine, creating an effect that is at once welcoming and new.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Darryl Gonsalves is a serial entrepreneur and owns Syena-Tech.com a business intelligence consultancy company and Nidago.com a web content solutions providing company both based in Mumbai, India....Read more

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