Chelsea Susan Bednar
Top 5 Places Outdoor Places to Visit in the Warmer Months | Tannersville, NY
As summertime rolls around the upstate area begins to bloom, you’re sure to see greenery peeking through the forest trees and flowers budding in every direction. Along with the shift in the weather comes tourist season! The Catskills and Hudson Valley are really something to behold in the warmer months; there are a ton of events that begin to open up, like outdoor markets and music concerts. Among all the festivities, what captivates everyones heart is mother nature herself. In this blog post we've curated a group of the best outdoor locations to visit near Tannersville, NY that you’ll want to keep in mind when planning your next upstate summer getaway.
1. Kaaterskill Falls
Map Digital Download | 2023 Trail Conference Catskill Combined Map | All Trails App
For Purchase: physical books/guides, maps, and other merch available through The New York-New Jersey Trail Conference website (an organization that builds, maintains, and protect public trails in the catskill area).
To access the trails, hikers can park at any of the three main public lots from Laurel House Rd, Schutt Rd, or South Lake and follow the trailhead plaques & downloaded maps.
To fully appreciate all angles of the Kaaterskill falls, visitors can plan to take the Kaaterskill Rail Trail to Kaaterskill Falls Loop, an estimated time of just under two hours. This moderate hike passes through the overlook section, where viewers can stand back and take in a monumental view of the falls. Continuing down the trial will take hikers to the rocks below. At this spot you can rest, wade in the cool waters, or even rock climb (only recommended for experienced climbers). If you’re planning on taking a dip, proceed with caution! This spot is rocky and VERY slippery - not recommended for children, water shoes with grip advised!
From the bottom of the falls, you can hike the yellow trail to Kaaterskill Falls called 'Spruce Creek’. This path runs along a river and leads hikers to the most popular swimming spot on the second tier of the falls. The Nature Seeker website gives a lot of easily digestible directions to the waterfall’s different swimming areas and how to get to them. There are more hikes with swimming hole access off of road 23A, and you can plan to visit these by researching them through the AllTrails app.
2. Overlook Mountain House Ruins:
Hike to the historical Overlook Mountain House and explore it’s concrete remains.
Built in the early 1800s, this luxury hotel was a favorite vacation spot for New York's elite (including Washington Irving)! After two major fires, hotelier Morris Newgold set about building the development once more, this time with a concrete base to withstand fires. The hotel was still ‘under construction’ when Newgold threw in the towel, selling the property to New York State. The remains that exist today are what’s left of the third building on property.
Even in it’s solemn state, visitors can feel the enormity of the property, envisioning the magnificence of the original design. When you reach the top of the trail, enjoy the surrounding area. Take in the stunning views of the Hudson Valley; pack a picnic, take photographs of the historical remains, or swim in the nearby streams. Our personal recommendation: bring lots of water, a snack, and good hiking shoes! This trail is relatively easy but it’s all uphill one way, so the occasional rest on the way to the top is definitely suggested. Download the trail to the ruins on All Trails.
3. Mountaintop Arboretum & Botanical Gardens:
Immerse yourself in the wonderful gardens of the Mountaintop Arboretum. This conservatory began in 1977 as 7 acres of land for scientific research and has expanded over the years to 178 aches of protected meadows, wetlands, and forests. As a leader for ecological recourse for scientific studies in its field, it’s purpose is to curate and grow both native and curated rare species of plant life. The arboretum’s mission is not only to curate plant life, but encourage growth within the minds of the local community. On the property there is an Educational Center that hosts everything from lectures to events and workshops.
The Arboretum is huge and has many sections to it, featuring enclosures with rare species, many hiking trails, and smaller gardens to wander through. While food is not encouraged on the trails, be sure to pack a snack you can eat in your car and bring lots of water! A person can seriously spend all day here and still not see everything there is to explore. If you’re perish and didn’t pack anything, no worries! Downtown Tannersville is only a 10 minute drive away, so you could literally leave, grab bite in town, and head back to venture on with the rest of your day.
4. Colgate Lake:
A short drive past Hotel Mountain Brook tucked away in the Catskill Forest Preserve is Colgate Lake, a picturesque 13 acre pond and public park/camping ground. This area is perfect to bring big groups of people, and is totally kid-friendly. Play lawn games, kayak, swim, go fishing, and grill out in this quiet, private-feeling oasis. If you have a paddle boat or canoes of your own, bring it for the day (motor boats not permitted). Amenities included in the public use areas include two picnic areas equipped with tables, fireplaces, charcoal grills, toilets, showers, and a solar-powered cell station.
If you're wanting to extend your stay overnight, reserve your camping spot here. For more information, visit the website here & download the digital map here.
5. Hunter Mountain Panoramic Skyride
Looking for a unique mountaintop experience? Hop on the Scenic Skyride at Hunter Mountain for the most incredible views of the high peaks in the Northern Catskills. The Kaatskill Flyer detachable chairlift can hold up to six people, making it the perfect family of group activity. With clear skies, you’re able to see Massachusetts Berkshire Mountains and Vermont’s Green Mountains that boarder the Catskills. Make sure to book your reservation online on their website before you go!
We hope these ideas inspire your upcoming travels to Tannersville, NY. We look forward to hosting you when you stay with us! Thank you for reading.
The Hotel Mountain Brook Team
Looking for somewhere to stay in the Hudson Valley? Check out one of our three upstate properties in Woodstock, Tannersville, and East Chatham.