Colgate Lake in the Catskills. Excellent Boating and Fishing.

Image of kayaker on Colgate Lake nearing dusk
Average read time 5 min

Located in the Colgate Lake Wild Forest of the Catskills, Colgate Lake reflects the mountainous landscape that rings its waters. The 23-acre body of water has a maximum depth of about 10-feet. You can use kayaks, canoes, and other non-motorized watercraft on the lake. You’ll find the hand launch on the north side of the lake next to the accessible observation deck.

Situated at an elevation of 2051’, ice fishing is a reasonable probability. Fishing is permitted all year with a stock of Brown Trout, Golden Shiner, Common Shiner, Creek Chub, White Sucker, and Pumpkinseed. Colgate Lake has a shore length of 1.1-miles, almost guaranteeing solitude if one wishes. Picnics swimming and sunbathing from the large grass areas near the spillway are certainly an option.

Note that the main parking area is about 0.12-miles from the lake. There are two accessible parking spots close to the lake. Many people, especially boaters, drop their gear at the lake and then park at the main lot. Even though the main lot is quite large, it will fill up quickly on summer weekends and holidays. 

Special regulations

The Colgate Lake area is part of the Northern Catskill Riparian Area, and special regulations are in place at the lake.

  • No alcoholic beverages.
  • No music/speech via an amplified device.
  • No campfires, gas grills, charcoal grills, or gas stoves. 
  • No use of generators.

All camping must follow state guidelines. Campsites must be at least 150’ (sixty paces) from any water source, road, or trail unless marked with a camp here sign or disk. You cannot camp where no camping signs or disks are posted. Note there are designated (primitive) campsites close to the parking areas but don’t expect solitude or space. According to the NYSDEC, one is accessible and includes an accessible pit privy.

You can find specific fishing regulations for Colgate Lake at the NYSDEC website in its Freshwater Fishing Regulation Guide.

Lake parking & trailhead

From the West: Take St. Hwy. 23 East to Rt. 23A. Follow Rt. 23A to Tannersville. Make a left onto County Route 23C. Follow Route 23C to East Jewett. Make a right onto County Route 78. This leads directly to Colgate Lake.

From the East: Out of Catskill, NY, take Rt. 23A West to Tannersville. Make a right onto County Route 23C. Proceed as directed above.

  • Colgate Lake Accessible Parking Lot is located on County Route 78 at Colgate Lake. (42.238452°N, 74.120586°W) Google Maps 
  • Colgate Lake Lower Parking Lot is located on County Route 78 on the right before Colgate Lake. (42.235597°N, 74.122659°W) Google Maps 
  • Colgate Lake Trail Head Parking Lot is located off of County Route 78, east of Colgate Lake, and provides access to the Colgate Lake Trail that leads into the Windham Blackhead Range Wilderness. (42.238483°N, 74.116013°W) Google Maps 

Parking source: NYSDEC

Photos

Photo of parking area for Colgate Lake in the Catskills
Scott | copyright Challenged Hiking Parking area for Colgate Lake in the Catskills
Picture showing Chris, truck and kayaks at drop off at Colgate Lake
Scott | copyright Challenged Hiking Dropping off kayaks and gear at Colgate Lake
Image of Kayaks at the drop-off near Colgate Lake
Scott | copyright Challenged Hiking Kayaks waiting…
Image of accessible parking area at Colgate Lake with room for two vehicles
Scott | copyright Challenged Hiking Accessible parking area at Colgate Lake
Photo showing the distance between the entry to Colgate Lake and the main parking area.
Scott | copyright Challenged Hiking The distance between the entry to Colgate Lake and the main parking area.
A photo showing the dam spillway for Colgate Lake from Colgate Road
Scott | copyright Challenged Hiking Dam spillway for Colgate Lake from Colgate Road
Photo of the path leading to a boat launch and accessible viewing deck
Scott | copyright Challenged Hiking The path leading to the boat launch and accessible viewing deck
Photo of Chris in his kayak with the accessible viewing deck and two other kayakers at the launch
Scott | copyright Challenged Hiking Chris in his kayak getting ready for some fishing.
Photo of the view of the Catskills Blackhead Range from Colgate Lake
Scott | copyright Challenged Hiking View of the Catskills Blackhead Range from Colgate Lake. Two other kayakers in the water.
Photo showing Chris kayaking in shallow waters.
Scott | copyright Challenged Hiking Chris kayaking in shallow waters near the inlet coming from Lake Capra
Photo show Chris paddling in choppy water.
Scott | copyright Challenged Hiking Chris paddling in choppy water with the ridge from W Stopple Point behind.
Image of boat on south shoreline of Colgate Lake
Scott | copyright Challenged Hiking Boat on south shoreline, doing a bit of exploring in the woods
Image of kayaker on Colgate Lake nearing dusk
Scott | copyright Challenged Hiking Chris paddling in the evening on Colgate Lake

DEC contact and other information

Colgate Lake Wild Forest
Contact Information:DEC Region 4 Stamford
Office hours: M-F 8:30AM - 4:30PM
Phone: (607) 652-7365;
Email: r4.ump@dec.ny.gov
Backcountry Emergency: (Search, Rescue & Forest Fire): 518-408-5850 or dial 911
Location: Towns of Hunter and Jewett, Greene County
Map: View Windham-Blackhead Range Wilderness Map - PDF (2.82 MB)
Amenities:Lodging and dining opportunities as well as gas, food and other supplies may be found in the communities of Windham and Palenville.

Weather: Colgate Lake Weather Forecast

Map of Colgate Lake

Click the map for here for an interactive version of the map.

Map of Colgate Lake showing parking and boat launch
Scott | copyright Challenged Hiking Map of Colgate Lake
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