Category Archives: Family Friendly

Approaching Devil's Kitchen lean-to

As a kid, one of my most memorable experiences was camping. Living on Long Island we did a lot of hiking and camping in Harriman Park just north of the New York metropolitan area and as I got older I explored the Catskills and then eventually the Adirondacks. The nights in the woods were (and still are) awesome adventures! Lean-to camping in the Catskills was especially memorable. The history, legend, and structures fascinated me. In…

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Beaver Pond on the Kelly Hollow Loop Trail

In the northwestern part of the 13,500 acre Balsam Lake Wild Forest sits a relatively isolated trail loop. The Kelly Hollow Loop which starts and finishes on Mill Brook Road and is closed in on three sides by Mill Brook Ridge. The old woods road the trail follows was once used as logging roads and probably by farms as you’ll be able to make out the extensive stone fence network and scattered foundations. The openness…

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Hunter Mountain is the second highest peak in the Catskills and the highest peak in New York with a Fire Tower. Hunter has a complex history as it was a center for logging with much, but not all of its slopes logged. There have been many fires on Hunter one as recent as 2019. The summit fire tower and other viewpoints along trails make Hunter a worthwhile peak to visit. Having said this, it is…

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Observers cabin on Red Hill in the Catskills

Red Hill Fire Tower, one of five restored towers in the Catskills, gives the hiker a relatively short 1.4-mile walk and a stiff climb of 860′ to some of the region’s most unique views. The trail climbs to the summit in a crescent shape through a wonderful forest. The summit meadow almost seems park-like with several picnic tables and a nice grass large area. With a pipe fed spring along the way, it could be…

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Our campsite on the Phoenicia - East Branch Trail near the Giant Ledge / Panther Mtn Trail

The Catskills are rich with a history of backcountry adventure. Often known as “America’s First Wilderness”, the Catskill Mountains has held a special place in the hearts for many avid outdoors person. The lean-to and primitive camping in the Catskills are second to none. Add gorgeous hiking trails for all ability levels, peaks with superb vistas, enchanting waterfalls, cross-country skiing, fishing, mountain biking, and more, the Cats is a place to be. In this post,…

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5/25

Please note changes in access and rules for hiking and camping in the Adirondacks and Catskills during the COVID-19 outbreak. Please act responsibly during this stressful period. Please read the DEC info carefully. Read more here!

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