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Catskill Mountains

Geography and Climate – Located approximately 100 miles north-northwest of New York City – Extends into Greene, Ulster, Delaware, Sullivan, and Schoharie counties – Eastern […]

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Geography and Climate
– Located approximately 100 miles north-northwest of New York City
– Extends into Greene, Ulster, Delaware, Sullivan, and Schoharie counties
– Eastern boundary marked by Catskill Escarpment
– Contains over 30 peaks above 3,500 feet
– Climatically part of the Allegheny Highlands forests ecoregion
– Catskill Mountains have a warm summer humid continental climate
– Plant hardiness zones vary with elevation
– Average annual extreme minimum temperatures differ across locations
– Average precipitation ranges from 2.5 to 4 inches monthly
– Average relative humidity varies throughout the year

History and Etymology
– Catskill Mountains named by Dutch settlers
– Known for being a setting in films and art
– Favored vacation destination for New York City residents
– Haven for artists, musicians, and writers
– Many large resorts providing opportunities for comedians
– Named after the local band of Lenape Native Americans
– Name possibly related to the presence of mountain lions
– Variants of the name include Kaatskill and Kaaterskill
– Onteora used as a Native American name for the range
– Onteora also used for a school district and Boy Scout camp

– The Borscht Belt was a popular vacation destination for Jewish New Yorkers in the mid-20th century
– About 500 resorts operated in the Catskills region at the peak of its popularity
– Changes in vacationing patterns have led most travelers elsewhere, but some bungalow communities and summer camps still cater to Orthodox populations
– Aquatic sports and recreation include tubing on the Esopus Creek, known for its 270-degree turn around Panther Mountain
– River canoeing, kayaking, and fly fishing are popular activities in the region

Outdoor Activities
– Road and mountain biking are popular in the Catskills, with events like the Tour of the Catskills and the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup
– Cycling resources include the Catskill Scenic Trail, Headwaters Trails, and the Roundtopia trail network
– Several ski centers offer downhill mountain biking in warmer months
– Catskill Park covers over 700,000 acres and is part of New York’s Forest Preserve
– Trails in public areas are maintained by organizations like the New York–New Jersey Trail Conference
– Hiking trails like Devils Path are popular, and camping spots include Bear Spring Mountain and North-South Lake

Transportation and Pop Culture
– The Catskill Mountain Branch of the Ulster and Delaware Railroad served the northern part of the Catskills from 1872
– The New York, Ontario and Western Railway served the southern part of the Catskills until 1953
– The Delaware and Ulster Railroad and Catskill Mountain Railroad are heritage railroads in the region
– The Catskills are accessible by automobile via Interstate 87/New York State Thruway and other highways
– The Catskills are featured in works of fiction like Rip Van Winkle and My Side of the Mountain
– The famous Woodstock music festival took place in the town of Bethel in 1969
– Catskill hotels played a significant role in the development of modern stand-up comedy
– More than three dozen films are set in the Catskills

Catskill Mountains (Wikipedia)

The Catskill Mountains, also known as the Catskills, are a physiographic province and subrange of the larger Appalachian Mountains, located in southeastern New York. As a cultural and geographic region, the Catskills are generally defined as those areas close to or within the borders of the Catskill Park, a 700,000-acre (2,800 km2) forest preserve protected from many forms of development under New York state law.

Catskill Mountains
Slide Mountain and nearby peaks as seen from Twin Mountain in the northern Catskills
Highest point
PeakSlide Mountain
Elevation4,180 ft (1,270 m)
Coordinates41°59′55″N 74°23′11″W / 41.99861°N 74.38639°W / 41.99861; -74.38639
Length111 mi (179 km) N/S
Width102 mi (164 km) E/W
Area15,259 km2 (5,892 sq mi)
Main regions of the northeast Appalachians, with the Catskills as "C"
CountryUnited States
StateNew York
RegionHudson Valley, Southern Tier, Mohawk Valley
CountiesDelaware, Greene, Schoharie, Sullivan and Ulster
RiversEsopus Creek, Neversink River, Rondout Creek and Schoharie Creek
CommunitiesEllenville, Fleischmanns, Hunter, Liberty, Margaretville, Hancock, New York, Palenville, Phoenicia, Shandaken, Shokan, Tannersville, Wawarsing, Windham and Woodstock
Parent rangeAppalachian (Allegheny Plateau)
Borders onPoconos, Shawangunk Ridge, Hudson Valley, Great Appalachian Valley and Mohawk Valley
Age of rockDevonian and Mississippian
Type of rockSedimentary

Geologically, the Catskills are a mature dissected plateau, a flat region subsequently uplifted and eroded into sharp relief by watercourses. The Catskills form the northeastern end of the Allegheny Plateau (also known as the Appalachian Plateau).

The Catskills were named by early Dutch settlers. They are well known in American society as the setting for films and works of art, including many 19th-century Hudson River School paintings, as well as for being a favored destination for vacationers from New York City in the mid-20th century. The region's many large resorts gave many young stand-up comedians an opportunity to hone their craft. Since the late 19th century, the Catskills have been a haven for artists, musicians and writers, especially in and around the towns of Woodstock and Phoenicia.

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