Scenic Drives and Short Walks to Great Fall Views

While you can enjoy the leaves all throughout the Catskills, below are a few recommendations without a big hike.

Scenic Drives:

Views from the Watershed Tour and Podcast
We are very excited to offer the popular Views from the Watershed program in a podcast format this year.  Working with area artists and historians, educator Lize Mogel has  created a podcast tour of the watershed that will highlight the history of and impacts of the NYC water supply system in the Catskills. The tour features interviews with many authorities on the subject, offering information from different perspectives.

Catskill Mountains Scenic Byway
Explore the Central Catskills on this 52-mile stretch along NY Route 28 (and sections of NY Routes 42 and 214).

Mountain Cloves Scenic Byway
Venture into the Northern Catskills via 41 miles of NY Route 23a, NY Route 214, and more.

Durham Valley Scenic Byway
Head to the northernmost Catskills for 21 miles of views and rolling farmland.

Route 55
The route between Neversink and Liberty gives gorgeous views of the Southern Catskills.

Views without a Hike

Five-State Lookout, 7604 NY-23, Acra, NY 12405
Pull-off the road on East Windham Hill for sweeping views of New York, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, and Connecticut.

Palmer Hill Scenic Overlook, 11 Finkle Rd, Andes NY 13731
The views from the parking area are lovely and you can opt to take a leisurely stroll through the scenic meadow trails. More info.

Belleayre Mountain, 181 Galli Curci Rd, Highmount, NY 12441
Take a drive to the top of Belleayre Mountain for views or take the scenic Gondola ride (see the Belleayre website for reservation information).

Mt. Utsayantha, Tower Rd, Stamford, NY 12167
Drive the road up to the fire tower for panoramic views.

Reservoir Road in Shokan, NY & Olivebridge
Drive the road across the middle of the Ashokan Reservoir for great mountain views and views of the water.

Places to take an Easy Walk

Andes Rail Trail, 266 Depot Street, Andes,  1/4 mile west of the flashing light on SR 28.
(2 miles on railbed or 4 miles if you include the hiking spur).  It’s scenic, historic, level and located right downtown in the quaint village of Andes.   The Bullet Hole Spur hiking trail is a terrific addition if you want more of a challenge, or like to do a little interval work.  It packs a lot of varied scenery in a short distance with mildly strenuous sections and lots of level spots to recover.  This trail opened in the spring of 2013 to rave reviews. More info.

Ashokan Rail Trail, Trailheads at 1285 NY 28,West Hurley; 3045 NY 28, Shokan; and 5080 Route 28A, Boiceville.
Enjoy 11.5 miles of trail along the north shore of the Ashokan Reservoir with views of the water and the surrounding high peaks. More info.

Ashokan Reservoir Promenade, Rte. 28A, Olivebridge   The promenade runs 2.7 miles between the western Promenade parking lot on the south side of the reservoir and  the eastern “Frying Pan” parking area. The paved trail crosses the dam on the Esopus Creek. After a short walk, views open up to the high peaks of the Burroughs Range to the west. Continuing on the trail, great views across the reservoir extend to Indian Head Mountain in the Devil’s Path Range. This trail is an accessible trail. More info.

Catskills Visitor Center Loop Trail, 5096 NY 28, Mt. Tremper, NY
Take a walk through the woods on this accessible 0.5 mile trail. For a view, climb the Upper Esopus Fire Tower, located on the trail. More info.

Catskill Scenic Trail  This 26 mile long rail trail has multiple access points with parking areas. Running from Roxbury to Bloomville, the trail borders both the East Branch and the West Branch of the Delaware River. It passes through several villages and hamlets including Grand Gorge, Stamford, Hobart and South Kortright. awhere restaurant service is available. Hike it or mountain bike it. More info.

Mountain Top Arboretum, 4 Maude Adams Road, Tannersville, NY, 12485
Multiple paths lead through the Arboretum’s meadows, woodlands, and glens. More info.

North/South Lake Day Use Area, County Route 18, Haines Falls, NY 12436
Enjoy the trails around the lake or take a short walk to the site of the former Catskill Mountain House for a vista. More info.

Windham Path, 4982 NY 23, Windham, NY 12496
A nice loop for a leisurely walk or bike ride along the Batavia Kill. The covered bridge is a highlight. More info.



A seasonally-updated map to show you where the leaves are changing in New York State.

Above list thanks to  the Catskills Visitor Center  – see more great suggestions for things to do on their website!