Scenic views of the Hudson River Valley, Ashokan Reservoir and Devil’s Path are revealed from atop Overlook Mountain fire tower. Overlook Mountain is 11 miles north of Woodstock NY in the Catskill Mountains.
Overlook Spur Trail has red markers on a gravel road leading a moderately difficult three hour hike up 1,400’ to the summit. After 2 miles Overlook Mountain House ruins are passed.
Overlook Mountain has a historic background Back to the 1800’s with ruminants today. Overlook Mountain House hotel opened in 1871. It was built at 2,920’ to accommodate 300 guests. Unfortunately it seems to have been doomed from its beginning with fires destroying the first two hotels.
The third time it was rebuilt with concrete but never finished due to financial difficulties. It was boarded up in 1940 and damaged by fires in 1941 and 1960. The remaining damaged structure may be explored with a sinister atmosphere remaining from its past.
Overlook Mountain fire tower at 3,140’ is unique as being moved to its present position in 1950 from its original location west of Kingston NY, at Gallis Hill. The 60’ high tower is an Aermotor LS-40. A fire tower network was established by New York State DEC operating from 1925 to 1933. Only a few remained on an emergency basis into the 1990’s. The tower was closed in 1988 for restoration, reopening in 1999. Stairs and landings were replaced with installation of security fencing around the tower. The remaining cabin serves as a museum.
Devil's Tombstone is in a rugged mountain pass in Catskill Forest Preserve called Story Clove. Devils Tombstone is a large boulder nearly seven by five feet, which centuries ago a landslide moved into place.
Devil's Tombstone campground is one of the oldest in the Catskill Forest Preserve. It is a primitive base camp for hikers traveling on trails leading to its high peaks. It has 24 tent and trailer sites on a wooded area and the small shallow Notch Lake.
Ashokan Reservoir is a reservoir in the eastern part of the Catskill Forest Preserve. The 190’ deep reservoir provides water for New York City at the former site of Bishop Falls.
Woodstock NY is within the border of the Catskill Forest Preserve with a population of 5,884. First settled on the northern border of Greene County by settlers in 1770. The town name is famous as loaned to the Woodstock Festival actually held 60 miles away in Bethel NY.
Woodstock NY is a 4 hour drive of 275 miles from Rochester NY. Drive I-90 east to Albany then US 87 south exiting to route 212 driving west to Woodstock then drive north on Mead Mountain Road to a parking lot across from the Karma Triyana Dharmachakra Buddhist Temple. Overlook Spur Trail starts from the parking lot.
Here’s one of the many rave reviews of the hike to Overlook Mountain.
“The mountain is gorgeous and well worth the climb.”