Weekend Gateway To Catskills, NY

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Weekend Gateway To Catskills, NY

Getting to know Catskills Region, New York

Whether you are looking for a quick weekend getaway from the city or a week-long vacation with the friends or family, the Catskills is the ultimate destination for travelers. Just few miles north of New York City a delightful vacation region to forget about your worries and enjoy some peaceful time away from home. Full of relaxing activities to choose from like, spending your time along with the stream or river, enjoying hiking adventure, mountain biking, fishing, hunting, canoeing, or enjoying local culinary and much more. 

The Catskill Park is in the Catskill mountains in New York, offers five of the 10 highest peaks, backcountry and family friendly campgrounds, incredible winter hiking and ice-fishing, skiing and wildlife viewing. Unlike state and national parks, there’s no fee to enter, no gate that closes at night, just lakes, mountains and lot’s of adventure waiting for you.

Best Time to Visit Catskills Region

Peak Season:

July – October: Summer in the Catskills are very good period for visitors. Summer weather in these region is comfortable and full of outdoor activities. The temperature are warm during the day and cool at night. Early October is considered Prime Time for leaf-peeping. The colors are generally at the pick of their most colorful state. Hotels often sold out and trails and camp grounds are packed. So considering planning ahead.

January – March: Winter in the Catskills could be stunningly beautiful. Especailly if you enjoy being outdoors not only for skiing but also for other winter outdoors sports in the Catskills.

Off Season:

April – June: This period of the year also called as Mud-season the only less than perfect time when snow-melt comes down the mountains and creates the holiday activities little uncomfortable.  

How Do I Get to the Catskills?

The Catskills are easily reachable from most major east coast cities. If you are within driving distance, traveling to the Catskills region by car is recommended. Self driving will enable you to explore while you are there. However, this region is easily accessible via train and bus as well.  

Top Things To Do In Catskills

Here is the pins on the map where we have been during our weekend gateway.

Visit Beautiful Mountain Town of Windham

Windham is a beautiful small town in the Catskill Mountains of upstate New York. It’s also known for Windham Mountain Resort, with ski trails, terrain parks and a mountain bike park. Not far away from the Bed and Breakfast place we were staying. The main street is one of the cool place to have your lunch or dinner and experience the hospitality the local people has to offer. Both side of the main street (Route 23) was filled with great restaurants, bakery, gifs shops and family owned businesses.  Just visit and experience for yourself you won’t be disappointed. 

Windham, New York

Beautiful little town of Windham in Upstate New York, surrounded by mountains.

Windham Mountain Resort

Windham Mountain is more than a ski resort – it’s a year-round destination (and the official winter destination of the New York Yankees!). Renowned for its family-friendly alpine atmosphere in winter. We visited in summer still there were so much activities going on specially we got lucky to be able to enjoy the Pro GRT/XCT Downhill and Cross Country Mountain Bike racing participated by professional and amateur athletes from around the world. 

Taking the lift all the way to the summit was also fun, we enjoyed the fresh air and the scenic view on our way up. Once you are at the summit you will be rewarded with a spectacular view of the surrounding. 

Wyndham Mountains summit

Enjoying the summer weather while climbing up to the Wyndham Mountains summit

Hudson-Athens Lighthouse

We drove from Hunter Mountain to the town of Athens by Hudson river. It’s a beautiful town and people are friendly and nice. We had lunch at a restaurant next to the Hudson river bank. While having our lunch at Happy Jake’s, Athens NY, we enjoyed the beautiful view of Hudson river also saw the historical lighthouse in the middle of the river. It was noon so the sun was against me but still able to get a okay shot from the Riverfront Park. It’s a great place to visit and spend an evening by the river at the restaurant with a glass of local beer. 

Hudson-Athens Lighthouse

Hudson-Athens Lighthouse from Athens, NY

Hunter Mountain Scenic Skyride

Well known for it’s winter sports resorts but don’t plenty of activities to do in Summer as well. we enjoyed a scenic and breathtaking long ride to the summit of Hunter Mountain, once on the summit enjoyed the spectacular views of the Northern Catskill Mountains, the Berkshires in MA and VT’s Green Mountains.

Hunter Mountains

Hunter Mountains ski resort from far distance, New York

Visiting Kaaterskill Falls

Kaaterskill Falls, NY

A view of Kaaterskill Falls from the lookout, New York

A trip to Catskills is not complete without a visit to the beautiful perhaps is the highest cascading waterfall in New York State – Kaaterskill Falls. Towering over 260 feet – that’s about 90 feet higher than Niagara Falls, this has been one of the region’s most popular destinations for centuries. There are many stunning natural beauty of the landscape in the great northern Catskills and this is one of them. 

Parking is available on Route 23A just east of Haines Falls, can’t miss it as it’s well marked. We lost cellular service around the area so Google Map or Waze did not work. It’s definitely a better  idea to use GPS if you have one. 

Alongside its beauty, Kaaterskill falls can be extremely dangerous for hikers. When hiking this popular waterfall, it’s important to always take precautions. Never attempt to hike beyond the end of the designated hiking trail (even it’s tempting) and do not try to hike any portion of the waterfall itself on either tier. 

We saw few hikers slipped and got hurt even trying take just a little shortcut. Park rangers are actively making sure that no one is making any dangerous move and jeopardizing their own safety.

A Quick Stop at Bastion Falls 

Bastion Falls is a great place to see, a beautiful cascading fall that does not get much attention due to the more famous Kaaterskill falls in the area. It is right along the route 23A. The parking lot is about .2 miles up the road from the falls and the path to get there is kind of narrow and dangerous. By no means do not try to park illegally for a quick solution. 

We visited the falls at very low water so missed the great photo opportunity, higher water would have been lovely. This falls has many great photo opportunities and is a great lead in to Kaaterskill Falls.

Bastion Falls

A Quick Stop at Bastion Falls by route 23A, New York

North-South Lake Campground Worth a Visit

North-South Lake Campground is the biggest and most popular state campground in the Catskill region, offering superb scenic beauty. The campground is surrounded by lush green mountains contain numerous hiking trails and several beautiful lakes within the location for water activities.

The Summer season it gets crowded with visitors from surroundings, as it offers swimming, Hiking, camping, fishing and non-motorized boating. There are also rentals available for Canoe, kayak, paddle boat,  and rowboat.

The park’s campsites are heavily wooded and have tables and fireplaces. There are swimming beaches and picnic areas, with tables and fireplaces or charcoal grills. Restrooms with showers, a boat launch, boat rentals, firewood sales, a trailer dump station and a recycling center round out the amenities.

North-South Lake

North-South Lake, a great place for camping in Catskills region, New York

A Quick Tour of Thomas Cole National Historic Site

The Thomas Cole National Historic Site is a great place for a quick stop, it is the former home of Hudson River School of Art founder, Thomas Cole. Located in the village of Catskill, the house, called Cedar Grove, and Cole’s studio are open for tours, events and workshops throughout the year.

Here is the cool place where I stayed in Catskills

Mountain Treasure Bed and Breakfast, 408 Country Route 40, Maplecrest, New York

I am absolutely sure that we were not the only satisfied guests who really enjoyed their stay in this B&B homely environment run by the friendly family of Agnes. This place is in a great location between Windham Mountain Resorts and Hunter Mountain Resort. It’s only about 2 hours drive from New York / New Jersey area. This hotel is 122 miles north of Belleville NJ, about 2+ hours of driving. 

Mountain Treasure Bed and Breakfast

Mountain Treasure Bed and Breakfast where we stayed during our visit!

Our room were so homely did not feel like I was sleeping in a different bed than I am used to, and of course it was spotlessly clean. The bathroom was special and can’t get cleaner that. We got all amenities in the bathroom including a hairdryer.   

Mountain Treasure Bed and Breakfast

A view of our room at – Mountain Treasure Bed and Breakfast

I will always remember the delicious breakfast homemade crepes prepared by Agnes, the picture below is one of the many items we had during breakfast. 

Mountain Treasure Bed and Breakfast

The owner was so hardworking and friendly, she cooked breakfast for us !

Try Local Restaurants 

Neapolis Pizzaria & Grille, 5330 State Route 23, Windham, NY

Superb Pizza, can’t believe two of us finished the entire Grand Mother’s Pizza. Doesn’t it tell how delicious it was. They serve not only delicious Pizza but also Italian and Greek cuisine. The are well know for their Authentic Old World recipes that have been passed down by many generations. Specializing in Italian and Greek cuisine.

Neapolis Pizzaria & Grille

Neapolis Pizzaria & Grille in the town of Windham, New York

Vesuvio Restaurant, 49 County Road 65 Hensonville, NY 12439

This is another restaurant need to give it a try, located in a small town of Hensonville not that far away from our Bed and Breakfast place.

Happy Jake’s, Athens NY, 2 North Water Street, Athens, New York 12015  

It’s no doubt that Happy Jake’s is one of the great restaurants of the Hudson River Valley is located in the river town of Athens. The atmosphere we were having our lunch definitely induces pure joy. This restaurant owned by the historical Stewart House located across the street. We tried one of New York’s famous and delicious burger here.

New York specially burger

Having New York specially burger with grilled mushroom and green onions !

My Opinion and Tips

Have you been to the Catskills, New York? Any additional tips to share?

Please leave a comment below! I’d love to hear from you to improve my knowledge. 

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Here are few pictures that will tell the trip story of Dizzy Traveler.

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  • Rusafa

    This was such a wonderful post with tons of great information. I feel like I need to make a trip there myself!

    August 15, 2017 at 11:16 pm
    • DZTraveler

      Thank you for your nice comment!

      August 16, 2017 at 12:14 am
  • Marleny Gomez

    Very nice places and great pictures!!

    August 16, 2017 at 12:49 pm
    • DZTraveler

      Thank you for your comment, I am glad that you liked it !

      August 16, 2017 at 12:53 pm