Camping and Hiking at Woodland Valley Campground in New York's Catskill Mountains
The beloved children's book, "My Side of the Mountain," inspired this Catskill Mountain destination as part of our camping and hiking road trip through the northeastern United States. Around 700,000 acres have been set aside as "forever wild" by the State of New York. Woodland Valley Campground, one of their oldest public parks, made an excellent choice for us to explore the Catskills region.
Woodland Valley Campground
One of eight New York State campgrounds in the Catskills, Woodland Valley Campground rests at the foot of Slide Mountain, the tallest peak in the Catskills. Woodland Valley Campground offers both camping and day-use experiences with well-maintained facilities and helpful attendants.
After a long drive, we pulled in and set up camp, but when a downpour flooded our campsite, we had to move our tent and gear to what little high ground we could find.
Our campsite backed up to the lovely Woodland Valley Stream which gave us several hours of fun on the water the next morning. If interested in fishing (with a license), look for species such as blacknose dace, brook trout, rainbow trout, and sculpin. We saw salamanders, hummingbirds, minnows, and all kinds of insects. With the mist rising off the Woodland Valley Creek at sunrise, the view of the valley downstream had the romance of a Hudson River School painting.
- Fishing licenses not sold at campground - purchase online or by phone.
- Names of all campers must be listed when registering for campsite.
- Frequent black bear sightings - please dispose of food and garbage properly.
- Hot showers (timers), dishwashing station, no electric or water hookups.
Woodland Valley Campground Hikes
With over 300 miles of marked trails in the Catskills, you have plenty of hiking choices ranging from easy to strenuous. From Woodland Valley Campground, hikers can access two popular hiking trailheads: the Slide-Wittenberg Trail (the Burroughs Range) and Woodland Valley-Denning Trail which connects to the Giant Ledge-Panther Mountain Trail. See the Slide Mountain Wilderness trail map in the downloads section of this post.
Woodstock, New York
About 30 minutes away from camp, we headed into the bohemian-styled town of Woodstock for lunch, laundry, and groceries. We split up and the teens did laundry at the clean, well-lit Woodstock Laundry (which has free WiFi and onsite attendant) while we picked up groceries, deli items, and ice at the nearby friendly Woodstock Meats.
- Woodstock Laundry: 59 Mill Hill Rd, Woodstock, NY 12498
- Woodstock Meats: 57 Mill Hill Road, Woodstock, NY 12498
Catskill Mountain Pizza
Before heading out for an afternoon hike, we refueled ourselves at the family-owned Catskill Mountain Pizza for a casual lunch of New York style pizza.
- Address: 51 Mill Hill Rd, Woodstock, NY 12498
- No credit cards - ATM available.
- Menu offers vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options
Overlook Mountain Trailhead
On most trails we've hiked, it is about the journey and the destination but the Overlook Mountain Trail is definitely more about the destination, and not as much about the journey. Coming from Woodstock, the trailhead begins at a small parking lot on the right, and you must park between the lines of an official space - or you will find yourself with an expensive parking ticket. If the lot is full (most summer weekends), there is an overflow parking area about 1/2 mile down the road. For the hike, follow the steep gravel carriage road about 1.5 miles to reach the abandoned ruins of the Overlook Mountain House hotel.
After the ruins, you can hike less than a mile more to reach the fire tower for a gorgeous 360-view of the surrounding Catskills. Even if you don't want to climb the tower, the scenic overlook provides breathtaking views of the Hudson River Valley.
- Trail Length: 2.4 miles one-way to fire tower
- Bring plenty of water
- Warning: Timber rattlesnake habitat: respect their personal space