Mountains, streams, waterfalls, rivers, and an overwhelming abundance of wildlife are just some of the breathtaking characteristics of New York's Catskills region. Situated between the Hudson River on the east and the upper Delaware and Susquehanna rivers to the south and west, the Catskills—called Onteora, or "land in the sky," by the Algonquians, are some of the most artistically replicated, visited, and written-about mountain ranges in the country. Not sure what to fill your days within the Catskills? Here are our top things to do in the region.
Thomas Cole National Historic Site - Along the Hudson riverside of the mountains is a historical trail marked by restored homes of the famous painters who used the Catskills to become some of America's first landscape artists. These were the homes of Cole, Frederic Church, Asher B. Durand, Jasper Cropsey, Sanford Gifford, and many other pioneering American artists.
Float and fish on the Upper Delaware River - Take a trip down this gorgeous miles-long river by canoe, raft, boat or whatever device you deem usable, just be sure to enjoy the incredible views along the way. Grab a fishing pole to double your fun and catch some serious trout fishing, or head up to the Roscoe Junction Pool, where the Willowemoc River runs into the Beaverkill Creek - a spot only for dedicated fly-fishers.
Go for a drive - One of the easiest recreational activities at the Catskills is to hop in your car with your favorite passenger and simply ride up and down the winding highways and byways, taking in the incredible views only seen from roadsides and mountainsides. Any season of the year will give you a treat, and depending on the weather, keep an eye out for eagles, vultures, and other roadside wildlife hanging out in their natural habitat.
Brave the zipline - The Catskills is famous for many things, one of the more exciting being the longest, fastest, highest zipline canopy in North America! Think you can last 5 miles on this Hunter Mountain ride? Reaching speeds of 50 miles, a whopping 600 feet above the ground, this zipline may not be for everyone -- but for adventure-seekers, it's a must-do!
Kaaterskill Falls - Take in the astonishing views and mist of the tallest waterfall in New York, paired with nearby hiking trails taking you through some of the most scenic points of the mountains. Many falls can be found throughout the mountains, and many visitors make it a point to try to spot them all!