This leafy Catskills town offers easy access to some of the state’s best outdoor adventures.
Although the world-rocking festival that took the town's name actually happened about an hour away in Bethel, the mountain town of Woodstock, New York has its own bohemian, counter-cultural spirit. Creativity and tolerance still thrive in this leafy, free-spirited town, which visitors can get a taste of by exploring its art galleries, music venues, and shops. Plus, with the Catskill Mountains on its doorstep, Woodstock offers plenty of adventures. Those wishing to set up camp nearby will find lots of options.
North of Town
The trailhead for Overlook Mountain begins around 10 minutes from Woodstock. The moderate loop takes about three hours and leads to several overlooks, including a fire tower with 360-degree views and a ruined 1930s hotel, which offer sweeping views of the Hudson Valley and Catskills.
South of Town
A 10-minute drive south of Woodstock, a gentle stroll along the Ashokan Reservoir’s two-mile-long, paved walkway offers stellar views of the Catskill Mountains and the chance to spot bald eagles and deer.
Ten minutes northeast, Sloan Gorge Preserve offers an interpretive geology trail that leads past various Ice Age geologies, as well as creeks, quarries, and cliffs.
A 30-minute drive north of Woodstock, Haines Falls is gateway to several sites of natural beauty, including the very popular, 231-foot Kaaterskill Falls, the state’s highest waterfall. The small hamlet itself is a pleasant place to visit for its handful of restaurants and antique stores, and just to the north, the Catskill Forest Preserve’s North-South Lake Campground offers access to hiking trails and swimming beaches.
With its promise of long, sunny days ideal for enjoying the trails, waterfalls, and great outdoors, summer is by far the most popular time of year to visit Woodstock and the surrounding area. However, the season can bring crowds and booked-up campsites, so try to make reservations far in advance. September and October can also get busy with visitors arriving to see fall foliage. Winters are relatively crowd-free and offer skiing and snowshoeing.