When you feel a crispness in the air and see a yellow leaf falling here and there, you know it's coming – the change of seasons from summer to fall! Trust us, there is no better place to be this time of year than the Great Western Catskills. Our lush rolling mountains turn into a vibrant patchwork of yellows, reds and oranges, creating a spectacular backdrop for our beautiful small towns and villages. People come from far and wide to see it.
Come and experience the magic - hike it or drive through it with the help of our guide to leaf-peeping in the Great Western Catskills! To help plan the optimal time for your trip, keep your eye on I Love NY's Fall Foliage Report for the latest on the changing colors.
- HIKING -
Catskill Scenic Trail – 26 miles, EASY to MODERATE
Built on a former rail bed, the trail lives up to its name as it winds through a broad farming valley and small towns in New York's Catskill Mountains from Bloomville to Roxbury. Suitable for hiking, biking and riding. Trailheads are located on Route 10 in Bloomville or on Route 30 and Hardscrabble Road in Roxbury. Click for more info
Palmer Hill Trail - 3.7 miles each way, EASY to MODERATE
New trail with four possible hiking combinations from easy to moderate, each taking you through beautiful wildflower meadows with breathtaking views of some of the Catskill’s highest peaks. The trailhead is located just off Route 28 between Margaretville and Andes (2 miles from downtown Andes and 9 miles from Margaretville), with parking available at the existing scenic overlook site on Finkle Road. Click for more info
Bramley Mountain Trail – 4-mile loop, MODERATE
Brand new trail built by the Catskill Mountain Club, it leads to the summit of Bramley mountain, where there are open views, a former fire tower, and an abandoned bluestone quarry. Impressive cliffs and caves line the footpath between the summit and the quarry. Access the trail by parking on Glen Burnie Rd, one mile south and uphill of its intersection with County Road 18, Delhi.
Click for more info
Shavertown Trail – 5.3 miles round trip, MODERATE
Hikers are rewarded with a spectacular view of Pepacton Reservoir after only one uphill mile followed by a fairly level mile and a half through beautiful rock ledges and wonderful forest to explore. The trailhead is on County Rt 1, about a tenth of a mile north of the intersection of Route 30 and County Rt 1 in Andes. Park at the parking lot by the bridge. Click for more info
Rock Rift Fire Tower - 7 miles round trip, CHALLENGING
This new trail climbs through a bluestone quarry to a fire tower high above the Cannonsville Reservoir. The steep trail climbs over 1,000 feet. Trailhead is located at the northern end of Apex Bridge, at the intersection of Route 10 and County Road 268 on the Cannonsville Reservoir in Tompkins, NY. Click for more info
- DRIVING -
Catskill Mountains Scenic Byway - 52 miles
The drive, which primarily follows New York State Route 28, with short extensions along New York State Routes 42 and 214 through the heart of the Central Catskills, takes you on a journey through historical, scenic, and charming hamlets and villages - each unique with something special to offer.
Catskill Scenic Route 30 - 71 miles
The drive follows the East Branch of the Delaware River through beautiful valleys and past many sites, offering recreational activities.
The Upper Delaware Scenic Byway - 53 miles
This leisurely drive on New York State Route 97 along the Delaware River offers scenic views of dramatic cliffs and expansive vistas. Dining, cultural and entertainment options abound along this spectacular roadway.
- RIDING A TRAIN -
Take a scenic train ride through the Catskills with the Delaware & Ulster Railroad - a 24-mile round trip from Arkville NY to Roxbury NY and back past rural hamlets, farmland and historic sites, all against the backdrop of the gorgeous Catskill mountains. Or hop onboard the Rip Van Winkle Flyer for elegant travel and gourmet dining - a truly unique experience that transports you to the sophisticated early days or railroading. Please call to verify departure times! Click for more info
Get out and don't forget your camera! Post your photos and tag them with #greatwesterncatskills, #delawarecountyny and #somethingshappeninghere
Bramley Mountain Trail (photo: Catskill Mountain Club)
Shavertown Trail (photo: Catskill Mountain Club)
Header image: Patricia Woznick