Catskill Mountains of Greene County
Beautiful landscapes and hidden hamlets await in the Catskill Mountains of Greene County, NY. Best experienced at an unhurried pace, this 3-day itinerary combines time spent on scenic byways, hiking trails, and charming main streets.
The Catskill Mountains are crisscrossed by scenic byways that are well-maintained and fun to drive. Hilly and curvy, the roads cut through mountains and straddle lakes and streams. The byways are dotted with villages with shops, restaurants, and historic sites. Hiking trails can be accessed across the region and range from easy footpaths to trails for expert hikers.
The Catskill Mountains are located in southeastern New York State. Our Catskill Guide explores the north-central section of the region. Hunter and Tannersville, NY are about 2.5 hours outside of New York City, or 3.5 hours from Boston.
Day 1: Mountain Cloves Scenic Byway
Spend the day exploring northern Catskill peaks on this 41-mile state designated road. The Mountain Cloves Scenic Byway passes through the Kaaterskill, Platte, and Stoney Cloves areas as well as the towns of Haines Falls, Tannersville, Hunter, and Lainesville. Have lunch and supper on the road. The route is not a loop. As you meander along, branch off when something looks interesting. The byway will give you a great overview of the region. Click here for a map of the byway.
Day 2: Hunter Mountain: Skyride & Fire Tower Hike
Pack food, water, and hiking safety gear. Head to the Hunter Mountain Resort. Begin with an 11-minute ride on the Hunter Mountain Sky Ride. The 6 passenger chairlift glides above the treetops to the 3200’ summit of Hunter Mountain.
At the summit, take in views of the Catskills, Vermont’s Green Mountains, and Massachusetts’ Berkshires. Find the yellow marked Colonel’s Chair Trail. Follow the path to the Hunter Mountain Fire Tower (the highest in New York State). The roundtrip is about 4 miles and rated as moderate. Click here for trail information and hike safe tips.
After returning to the Hunter Mountain summit, find the statue of Kevin Vanhentenryck Rip Van Winkle for a photo. Then, watch the zipliners race down the mountain. When you are ready, return to the base lodge by ski trail or chair lift (spectacular views by chairlift).
Many festivals and fairs are based at Hunter Mountain. If there is one onsite, check it out. If not, cruise back through the town of Hunter for a dinner restaurant.
Day 3: Kaaterskill Rail Trail & Waterfall Hike. Visit Tannersville
Drive to the Kaaterskill Rail Trail in Haines Falls. Park in the Mountain Top Historical Society (MTHS) lot for a small fee. Follow the trail for about 1.5 miles to the Laurel House Road (just above Kaaterskill Falls). This portion of the trail is a mostly flat, shaded, gravel surface.
At the Laurel House Road, you can take a trail to Kaaterskill Falls. The trail descends steeply for about 1-mile to the falls. Be forewarned; the trail can be slippery in wet weather. This area also gets very crowded on weekends, and you must walk back up the steep path on the return trip.
At the end of your hike, motor to the town of Tannersville for shopping and lunch. This fun little town is full of unusual stores, antiques, and restaurants to explore.
Safe Travels Home! Laura and Randy
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