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Catskill Mountains

es include the [[Catskill Scenic Trails in Stamford. Several ski centers provide downhill mountain bicycling in the warmer months.


Fire towers

Balsam Lake Mountain fire tower in 2008

The Catskill Mountains fire towers were constructed to facilitate forest fire prevention and control. 23 fire towers were built in the Catskill Mountains between 1908 and 1950. The fire towers fell out of use by the 1970s as fire spotting from airplanes had become more effective and efficient, so the fire towers were decommissioned; the Hunter Mountain Fire Tower was the last to be taken out of service in 1990. All but five of the towers were dismantled. The five remaining towers have been renovated and opened to the public as observation posts in the Catskill Mountains because of the extraordinary views they provide. The remaining towers are:

Notable landmarks

The Catskill Mountain House was a famous hotel near Palenville, New York, in the Catskill Mountains overlooking the Hudson River Valley built in 1824. In its prime to the turn of the century, it was visited by United States Presidents Ulysses S. Grant, Chester A. Arthur, and Theodore Roosevelt, as well as many other important personages.

Shortly after it was completed, the Mountain House became a favorite subject for Washington Irving and artists for the new Hudson River School, most notably artists Thomas Cole and William Henry Bartlett.


From 1872, the Catskills were served by the Catskill Mountain Branch of the Ulster and Delaware Railroad which was absorbed into the New York Central railroad in 1932. Passenger rail service continued until 1954. Part of the line still exists but now serves only freight. The Delaware and Ulster Railroad is a heritage railroad, based in Arkville, New York, that still runs a scenic part of the track from Highmount to Hubbell Corners, New York for tourist use. The Catskill Mountain Railroad is also a heritage railroad in the Catskills, operating from Kingston, New York up to Highmount, New York.

A map of the railroads in the Catskill Mountains. Despite what the map says, nearly the entirety of this map is of the Catskills. East of the Hudson River are The Berkshires and the Taconic Mountains, and to the far north (central and northern Albany County, and far northern Schoharie County) are the Appalachians.

The Catskills are accessible by automobile from the east along Interstate 87/New York State Thruway, which runs north-south through the Hudson Valley. To the south and southwest, the Catskills are accessible by a variety of highways, including New York State Route 55, U.S. Route 44, U.S. Route 209, and New York State Route 17 (also known as "Future I-86"). Access to the western Catskills is provided by New York State Route 30; and the vaguely defined far-western edge of the region is variously considered to be New York State Route 10 or Interstate 88, though this boundary remains a matter of local preference. New York State Routes 28 and 23A cut east-west through the heart of the Catskills, serving many of the most popular outdoor tourist destinations. New York State Route 23 runs east-west across the Catskills' far-northern section.

The closest major airports to the Catskill region are Albany International Airport to the north and Stewart International Airport in Newburgh to the south. Smaller airports in the region include the following:

In popular culture

"View from The Mountain House", 1836 by William Henry Bartlett
October in the Catskills by Sanford Robinson Gifford.
Painting by Asher Brown Durand depicting the Catskills using the "sublime landscape" approach.[32] The Walters Art Museum.
Woodstock Redmond Stage, Woodstock Music Festival 1969



  • Washington Irving wrote many famous stories including Rip Van Winkle that take place in the Catskill Mountains.
  • The Catskills are famous in American cultural history for being the site of stand up comedy. Comedians such as Don Rickles and Rodney Dangerfield got their start performing in Catskill Hotel venues.
  • The Catskills and their inhabitants play an important role in the stories The Lurking Fear" and "Beyond the Wall of Sleep" by H. P. Lovecraft.
  • The town of Bethel, New York, located in the Catskills was home to the famous Woodstock Music festival in 1969. The music festival took place from August 15 to August 18, 1969. 32 music acts performed in front of over 500,000 concert-goers. The event was captured in the 1970 documentary movie Woodstock.
  • The 1973 novel Nickel Mountain: A Pastoral Novel by John Gardner takes place in the Catskill Mountains.
  • The Catskills are mentioned in The Band's song "Time to Kill." The Band was also photographed there for their first album, Music from Big Pink The Band in the Catskills.[37]
  • Mercury Rev's song "Opus 40" on their 1998 album Deserter's Songs contains the line "Catskill mansions buried dreams/ I'm alive she cried but I don't know what it means". The band and their studios are based in the Catskills, and the area is often referred to in interview.
  • In Bill Willingham's comic book series Fables, the animals and other fairy tale characters live on "The Farm", an imaginary haven in the NY Catskills.
  • A Home Box Office miniseries is planned that will dramatize a New York Magazine article on natural gas drillers coming to the region. Richard Russo, a winner of the Pulitzer Prize, is writing a script for the project.[40]

    See also



  • ^ a b c Schwartz, C. C., Miller, S. D. and Haroldson, M. A. (2003). "Grizzly bear". pp. 556–586 in G. A. Feldhamer, B. C. Thompson and J. A. Chapman, eds. Wild Mammals of North America: Biology, Management, and Conservation. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, MD.
  • ^ a b
  • ^ California Grizzly by Tracy Irwin Storer, Lloyd Pacheco Tevis. Publisher University of California Press, 1996 ISBN 0-520-20520-0
  • ^ Brown Bear Conservation Action Plan for Asia
  • ^ Mammals of the Soviet Union Vol.II Part 1a, SIRENIA AND CARNIVORA (Sea cows; Wolves and Bears), V.G Heptner and N.P Naumov editors, Science Publishers, Inc. USA. 1998. ISBN 1-886106-81-9
  • ^
  • ^ a b c d e f
  • ^ Grizz: Of Men and the Great Bear. National Geographic Article, February 1986. Douglas H. Chadwick.
  • ^ Grizzly or Brown Bear. The Mammals of Texas – Online Edition
  • ^
  • ^ Wood, G. The Guinness Book of Animal Facts and Feats. Sterling Pub Co Inc (1983), ISBN 978-0-85112-235-9.
  • ^
  • ^ )Ursus arctos horribilisSpecies Profile: Grizzly bear (. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Retrieved 17 August 2012.
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  • ^ Hamilton, A. N. 2008 Grizzly Bear Population Estimate for British Columbia. Ministry of Environment, British Columbia.
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  • ^ [1]
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  • ^ Brown, Gary. The Great Bear Almanac. Guilford, CT, 1993, pg. 91.
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  • Further reading

    External links

    • Hiking Guide to Catskill High Peaks Catskill 3500 Club
    • History of Catskill Mountains Sleepaway Camps
    • Website for the Catskill Mountain Club hiking
    • The Catskill Archive – History of the Catskill Mountains
    • The Catskill Mountain Foundation
    • The Catskill Center
    • The Catskill Watershed Corporation
    • Catskill Region Photo Gallery
    • Catskill Mountainkeeper Protecting the Six Counties of the Catskills
    • Catskill Mountain Businesses listed on Hudson Valley Directory
    • Sullivan County Visitors Association

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