North-South Lake Public Campground
|Description: North-South Lake is the largest and most popular campground in the Catskill
Forest Preserve. Campers or day visitors encounter a good cross section of wildlife
common to the storied Catskill Mountains at this multiple-use recreation
area, just a 2.5-hour drive north of New York City. The mixed hardwood and
conifer forests, the lake, and the mountain streams combine to support a rich
ecosystem for wild plants and animals.|
Enjoy the same picturesque scenes that attracted guests to the historic Catskill
Mountain House Hotel at spots like Alligator Rock and Newman’s Ledge. While
at North-South Lake, don’t miss a chance to visit nearby Kaaterskill Falls, the
state’s highest falls, where water cascades from a precipice rising 260 feet.
Wildlife to Watch: This campground is in the heart of the Catskills, so white-tailed deer are frequently
seen, and signs of black bear are common. The bears themselves also
make an appearance on occasion. Wild turkeys and ruffed grouse are often
heard and encountered in the woods, as are ubiquitous eastern gray squirrels
and their feistier little cousins, red squirrels.
Warblers and many other songbirds migrate through in May, while September
and October are prime hawk-viewing months along the escarpment. At night,
campers might hear the deep, resonant hoots of great horned and barred owls,
while hungry bats fly open-mouthed through a smorgasbord of insects.
Visitors to the lake may be treated to the sight of migrating common loons
diving for fish. Gaggles of Canada geese, flocks of mallards and a host of other
waterfowl are also plentiful on North-South Lake.
Special Tips: This site is open from mid-May through late October. There is a
vehicle entrance fee. Fishing is allowed in season. Bicycling, horseback
riding (accessible mounting platforms available), swimming,
boating (no motors) and fishing (in season) are also popular here.
Route 18, Haines Falls, NY
Ownership: NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation
Size: 600 Acres
Closest Town: Haines Falls
Best Seasons for Wildlife Viewing: