Camping in the Catskills


Kaaterskill Falls, Catskills, NY

This past weekend Randy and I went camping. We got allready to go, got our packs all set up, and then headed to the Catskills. Little did we know, I picked a ‘car camping’ (North-Southlake campground) site. So, we just paid for a campsite, parked the car, and made sure to remember to leave the food in so that the bears and other ferocious beasts (squirrels and chipmunks) didn’t attack. We got up there around 2 pm on Thursday, set up our tent, and set off on a little exploration. 

Our first stop was the site of the old Catskill Mountain house. Once again, thought there might be some cool remnants. There were not. There were, however, amazing views. And some very informative walkers up there to share their knowledge. 

View from former site of the Catskill Mountain House

View from former site of the Catskill Mountain House

We continued along the escarpment trail and saw some awesome rock formations. Some camouflaged frogs, and some neat looking caves. Then we turned around and headed back. 


Can you find the froggy?


Cracks in rock shaped like a 5


Rock overhang along the Escarpment trail. Cattskills, NY. Randy’s there for scale…

Next we headed down to the lake. Our campsite was near the water, but not on it, which we were very happy about later in the evening. Why, you may ask? Because whenever we walked to the bathroom we heard the incessant WOOing of loud, party animal, young adults. The lake was beautiful. We saw a family of ducks, and some very nice views. It was quite peaceful at this time of the evening.


South Lake, North-Southlake Campground, Haines Falls, NY


Quack Quack! North-Southlake Campground, Haines Falls, NY.


Our tent! FYI: a yoga mat is not a substitute for a sleeping pad…

Randy bought some firewood and hotdogs, and I scrounged around for matches and additional firewood. We grilled up some tasty hotdogs, and then had s’mores for dessert. Can you believe it was the first time Randy’s ever had s’mores??!! Me neither! They are pretty good. In fact I just had 2 for dinner…adults are allowed to do that, right? 

After a long night (it’s been a while since I’ve slept out on the ground…like 15 years), we woke up to the birds chirping…at 10 am! What’s that about nature’s alarm clock? We made some PB&Js for breky, and then packed up the site. We knew we wanted to check out the Kaaterskill Falls, but we had to make sure to get back to the city by 6:00. The hike is super quick, and not too strenuous, so we were fine!

On our way to the hike I saw my first bear in the wild! We also had a deer about 5 feet away from our car when we were leaving to get the hotdogs, but I didn’t have time to get the camera out before we passed it. It’s a jungle upstate!



Not the best shot…it’s the black circle in the center left of the shot, between the trees. I had to scramble for the camera so by the time I had it on the bear was running through someone’s yard, heading for the stand of trees. Pretty cool anyway!!

The falls are a very rewarding hike. There are numerous cascades along the hike, and the actual Kaaterskill Falls are one of the higher waterfalls in New York State.   


Trail head for the Kaaterskill Falls.


Small falls you can see from the road. Near the trail head to Kaaterskill Falls, NY

After hiking for about 15 minutes, max, up a fairly well maintained trail you get to the actual falls. They are quite spectacular, as the pictures can only barely convey.


Kaaterskill Falls, NY. The camera’s battery died, so I used my ipod Touch. Then I had to play around with photoshop…

Despite numerous warnings we ended up hiking to the second tier. It’s pretty dangerous, since it’s all unconsolidated materials, and it was slightly saturated from the rain we’ve had lately. Luckily, no mishaps!  




Top half of upper tier…can’t get far enough away to get the whole thing in one shot!


Here’s where the second tier starts. Where’s my barrel?

After this we carefully made our way back down and to the car. Going down is definitely scarier/tougher than going up. My knees are still aching! It was a great way to spend the day, much better than the second half of our day sitting in the car on the way home (traffic is the bane of my existence!). 

Can’t wait for my next camping trip! Although the next trip on the agenda won’t involve so much roughing it. In two weeks Randy and I’ll be going to Paris, Marseille, and then Marrekech for two weeks. Anyone want me to ship them some Moroccan furniture? Maybe I’ll start an import/export business if this whole PhD thing doesn’t work out…




2 responses to “Camping in the Catskills

  1. Gigi Lombardi

    Hi Liz, Really nice pictures and blog. Gigi

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