Catskill Mountains

The Catskill Mountains, also known as the Catskills, are a physiographic province 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 forever protected from many forms of development under New York state law.

Geologically, the Catskills are a mature dissected plateau, a once-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).[1][2]

The Catskills are well known in American culture, both 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 countless young stand-up comedians an opportunity to hone their craft. In addition, the Catskills have long been a haven for artists, musicians, and writers, especially in and around the towns of Phoenicia and Woodstock.

Catskill Mountains
Central Catskills from Twin south summit
Slide Mountain and the peaks around it 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°WCoordinates: 41°59′55″N 74°23′11″W / 41.99861°N 74.38639°W
Dimensions
Length111 mi (179 km) N/S
Width102 mi (164 km) E/W
Area15,259 km2 (5,892 sq mi)
Geography
NortheastAppalachiansMap
Map of the main regions of the Northeast Appalachians, with the Catskills as "C".
CountryUnited States
StateNew York
RegionHudson Valley
Counties
Communities
Parent rangeAppalachian (Allegheny Plateau)
Borders on
RiversEsopus Creek, Neversink River, Rondout Creek and Schoharie Creek
Geology
Age of rockDevonian and Mississippian
Type of rockSedimentary

Etymology

Catskills beyond Hudson
Views of the Catskills from the Hudson like this led to the name "Blue Mountains" for a time.
Map-Novi Belgii Novæque Angliæ (Amsterdam, 1685)
A 1656 map of New Netherland showing the locations of the Lands of the Kat Kills and the High Lands of the Esopus

Nicolaes Visscher I's 1656 map of New Netherland located the Landt van Kats Kill at the mouth of Catskill creek. The region to the south is identified as Hooge Landt van Esopus (High Lands of the Esopus), a reference to a local band of northern Lenape Native Americans who inhabited the banks of the Hudson and hunted in the highlands along the Esopus Creek.[3]

While the meaning of the name ("cat creek" in Dutch) and the namer (early Dutch explorers) are settled matters, how and why the area is named "Catskills" is a mystery. Mountain lions (catamounts) were known to have been in the area when the Dutch arrived in the 17th century and may have been a reason for the name.[4]

Thomas Cole - A View of the Two Lakes and Mountain House, Catskill Mountains, Morning (1844) - Google Art Project
A View of the Two Lakes and Mountain House, Catskill Mountains, Morning, by Thomas Cole

The confusion over the origins of the name led over the years to variant spellings such as Kaatskill and Kaaterskill, both of which are also still used: the former in the regional magazine Kaatskill Life, the latter as the name of a mountain peak and a waterfall. The supposed Indian name for the range, Onteora ("land in the sky"), was actually created by a white man in the mid-19th century to drum up business for a resort. It, too, persists today as the name of a school district and as the name of a Boy Scout summer camp (Onteora Scout Reservation).

Geography

The Catskills are located approximately 100 miles (160 km) north-northwest of New York City and 40 miles (60 km) southwest of Albany, starting west of the Hudson River. The Catskills occupy much or all of five counties: (Delaware, Greene, Schoharie, Sullivan, and Ulster), with some areas falling into the boundaries of southwestern Albany, and southern Otsego counties.

At the eastern end of the range, the mountains begin quite dramatically with the Catskill Escarpment rising up suddenly from the Hudson Valley. The western boundary is far less certain, as the mountains gradually decline in height and grade into the rest of the Allegheny Plateau. Nor is there a consensus on where the Catskills end to the north or south.

The Poconos, to the immediate southwest in Pennsylvania, are technically a continuation of the Catskills under a different name. The Catskills contain more than 30 peaks above 3,500 feet (1,100 m) and parts of six important rivers. The Catskill Mountain 3500 Club is an organization whose members have climbed all the peaks in the Catskills over 3,500 feet (1,100 m). The highest mountain, Slide Mountain in Ulster County, has an elevation of 4,180 feet (1,270 m).

Tubers on Esopus Creek 2011
Free floating tubers on Esopus Creek

Climatically, the Catskills lie within the Allegheny Highlands forests ecoregion.

Geology

Kaaterskill Falls
Kaaterskill Falls on Spruce Creek near Palenville, New York. One of the higher falls in New York. Two separate falls total 260 ft (79 m).

Although the Catskills are sometimes compared with the Adirondack Mountains farther north, the two mountain ranges are not geologically related, as the Adirondacks are a continuation of the Canadian Shield. Similarly, the Shawangunk Ridge, which forms the southeastern edge of the Catskills, is part of the geologically distinct Ridge-and-Valley province and is a continuation of the same ridge known as Kittatinny Mountain in New Jersey and Blue Mountain in Pennsylvania.

The Catskill Mountains are more of a dissected plateau[5] than a series of mountain ranges. The sediments that make up the rocks in the Catskills were deposited when the ancient Acadian Mountains in the east were rising and subsequently eroding. The sediments traveled westward and formed a great delta into the sea that was in the area at that time. The escarpment of the Catskill Mountains is near the former (landward) edge of this delta, as the sediments deposited in the northeastern areas along the escarpment were deposited above sea level by moving rivers, and the Acadian Mountains were located roughly where the Taconic Mountains are located today (though significantly larger). Finer sediment was deposited further westward, and thus the rocks change from gravel conglomerates to sandstone and shale. Further west, these fresh water deposits intermingle with shallow marine sandstone and shale until the end, in deeper water limestone.

The uplift and erosion of the Acadian Mountains was occurring during the Devonian[6] and early Mississippian period (395 to 325 million years ago). Over that time, thousands of feet of these sediments built up, slowly moving the Devonian seashore further west. A meteor impact occurred in the shallow sea approximately 375 mya, creating a 10 km (6 mi) diameter crater. This crater eventually filled with sediments and became Panther Mountain through the process of uplift and erosion. By the middle of the Mississippian period, the uplift stopped, and the Acadian Mountains had been eroded so much that sediments no longer flowed across the Catskill Delta.

Platte Clove
Platte Clove, a break in the Catskill Escarpment created by glacial action

Over time, the sediments were buried by more sediments from other areas, until the original Devonian and Mississippian sediments were deeply buried and slowly became solid rock. Then the entire area experienced uplift, which caused the sedimentary rocks to begin to erode. Today, those upper sedimentary rocks have been completely removed, exposing the Devonian and Mississippian rocks. Today's Catskills are a result of the continued erosion of these rocks, both by streams and, in the recent past, by glaciers.

In successive Ice Ages, both valley and continental glaciers have widened the valleys and the notches of the Catskills and rounded the mountains. Grooves and scratches in exposed bedrock provide evidence of the great sheets of ice that once traversed the region. Even today the erosion of the mountains continues, with the region's rivers and streams deepening and widening the mountains' valleys and cloves.

Recreation

Aquatic sports and recreation

Esopus Creek is a 65.4-mile (105.3 km) tributary of the Hudson River, starting at Winnisook Lake on Slide Mountain. It flows across Ulster County to the Hudson River at Saugerties. The Esopus is noted for making an almost 270-degree turn around Panther Mountain, following a buried 6-mile (10 km) impact crater rim. It is famous for tubing, a sport of rafting down a river in an inner tube. Many tubers begin their trip at Phoenicia, New York, and head down the creek towards the Ashokan Reservoir at Olive, New York.

The Ashokan Reservoir is part of the New York City water supply system, with fishing allowed under permit, but swimming and most other recreational uses are forbidden.

River canoeing and kayaking are popular. There are 42 rapids ranging from class I to V+.[7]

The Esopus Creek is famous for its fly fishing, although in recent years it has been plagued by invasive plants. Another great place to fish is Roscoe, New York, also known as trout town USA. Every April 1 people flock there from all over to kick off the start of fly fishing season.[8]

Cycling

Road and mountain bicycling are popular in the range. Bicycle racing includes The Tour of the Catskills, a three-day road stage race held in Green and Ulster counties each summer,[9] and the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in Windham.[10] Other cycling resources include the Catskill Scenic Trail and the Headwaters Trails in Stamford. Several ski centers provide downhill mountain bicycling in the warmer months.

Hiking and camping

Within the range is the Catskill Park, comprising over 700,000 acres (280,000 ha). Catskill Park is part of New York's Forest Preserve. Not all the land is publicly owned; about 60% remains in private hands, but new sections are added frequently. Most of the park and the preserve are within Ulster County, with a significant portion in Greene County, and parts in Sullivan and Delaware counties as well. Many of the trails in public areas are maintained and updated by the New York–New Jersey Trail Conference and the Catskill Mountain 3500 Club.

Hunter Mountain ski area
Hunter Mountain

Devil's Path is one of the many trails open for hikers. Spots to camp in the Catskills include Bear Spring Mountain, Little Pond, Mongaup Pond, and North-South Lake.[11]

Skiing

There are five main downhill ski and snowboard areas in the Catskills: Belleayre Mountain (run by the Olympic Regional Development Authority); Hunter Mountain (the first ski area to install snowmaking machines in New York); Windham Mountain; Holiday Mountain Ski and Fun in Monticello; and Plattekill Mountain in Roxbury.

Joppenbergh Mountain, in Rosendale Village hosted its first ski jumping competition in 1937. Ski jumping was continued on the mountain until February 7, 1971, when the last competition was held.

The Mountain Trails Cross Country Ski Center in Tannersville has 22 miles (35 km) of trails.

Structures

Fire towers

Balsam Lake Mountain fire tower
Balsam Lake Mountain fire tower in 2008

The Catskill Mountains fire towers were constructed to facilitate forest fire prevention and control. Twenty-three fire towers were built in the Catskill Mountains between 1908 and 1950. The fire towers fell out of use by the 1970s as fire spotting from airplanes had become more effective and efficient, so the fire towers were decommissioned; the Hunter Mountain Fire Tower was the last to be taken out of service in 1990. All but six of the towers were dismantled. The five remaining towers have been renovated and opened to the public as observation posts with panoramic views. The remaining towers are:

Notable landmarks

The Catskill Mountain House, built in 1824, was a hotel near Palenville, New York, in the Catskill Mountains overlooking the Hudson River Valley. In its prime at the turn of the century, visitors included United States Presidents Ulysses S. Grant, Chester A. Arthur and Theodore Roosevelt.

Shortly after it was completed, the Mountain House became a regular subject for Washington Irving and artists from the new Hudson River School, most notably artists Thomas Cole and William Henry Bartlett.

Transportation

From 1872, the northern part of the Catskills were served by the Catskill Mountain Branch of the Ulster and Delaware Railroad which was absorbed into the New York Central railroad in 1932. Oneonta to Kingston passenger rail service continued until 1954. Part of the line still exists but now serves only freight. The southern part of the Catskills was served by the New York, Ontario and Western Railroad until 1953. In its last years it ran trains from Roscoe to Weehawken, New Jersey, via Liberty.[12]

The Delaware and Ulster Railroad is a heritage railroad, based in Arkville, New York, that still runs a scenic part of the track from Highmount to Hubbell Corners, New York, for tourist use. The Catskill Mountain Railroad is also a heritage railroad in the Catskills, operating from Kingston up to Highmount.

Udmap
A map of the railroads in the Catskill Mountains. Despite what the map says, nearly the entirety of this map is of the Catskills. East of the Hudson River are The Berkshires and the Taconic Mountains, and to the far north (central and northern Albany County, and far northern Schoharie County) are the Appalachians.

The Catskills are accessible by automobile from the east along Interstate 87/New York State Thruway, which runs north–south through the Hudson Valley. To the south and southwest, the Catskills are accessible by a variety of highways, including New York State Route 55, U.S. Route 44, U.S. Route 209, and New York State Route 17. Access to the western Catskills is provided by New York State Route 30; and the vaguely defined far-western edge of the region is variously considered to be New York State Route 10 or Interstate 88, though this boundary remains a matter of local preference. New York State Routes 28 and 23A cut east–west through the heart of the Catskills, serving many of the most popular outdoor tourist destinations. New York State Route 23 runs east–west across the Catskills' northern section.

The closest major airports to the Catskill region are Albany International Airport to the north and Stewart International Airport in Newburgh to the south. Smaller airports in the region include:

In popular culture

The Hudson Valley Film Commission maintains a list of films set in the Hudson Valley / Catskills Region.[13] Of them, more than three dozen films are set in the Catskills.

The town of Bethel, New York, located in the Catskills, was home to the famous Woodstock Music festival that took place August 15–18, 1969. The event, wherein 32 music acts performed in front of over 500,000 concert-goers, was captured in the documentary movie Woodstock (1970). The site is now home to the world-renowned Bethel Woods Center for the Arts.

The many hotels and vacation resorts located in the Catskills are notable in American cultural history for their role in the development of modern stand-up comedy. Comedians such as Rodney Dangerfield, Jackie Mason, and Don Rickles all got their start performing in Catskill hotel venues colloquially referred to as the Borscht Belt.[14]

Catskill Mountain House

View from The Mountain House (1836), painting by William Henry Bartlett

WLA lacma Sanford Robinson Gifford October in the Catskills 1880

October in the Catskills, 1880 painting by Sanford Robinson Gifford

Asher Brown Durand - The Catskills - Walters 37122

Painting by Asher Brown Durand depicting the Catskills using the "sublime landscape" approach[15] The Walters Art Museum

Woodstock redmond stage

Woodstock Redmond Stage, Woodstock Music Festival 1969

See also

References

  1. ^ "REGIONAL TOPOGRAPHY". Catskills GIS Atlas. Catskill Center. Archived from the original on 2009-10-29. Retrieved 2009-10-12.
  2. ^ "Physiographic divisions of the conterminous U. S". U.S. Geological Survey. Retrieved 2007-12-06.
  3. ^ Kudish, Michael (2000). The Catskill Forest: A History. Fleischmanns, NY: Purple Mountain Press. p. 47. ISBN 978-1-930098-02-2.
  4. ^ "The Elusive Mountain Lion – E-Files – Our History". Sierra Club. Archived from the original on 2007-08-07. Retrieved 2007-09-17.
  5. ^ "Geology of National Parks, 3D and Photographic Tours". USGS. USGS. Retrieved 6 August 2018.
  6. ^ Ver Straeten, C. A (2013). "Beneath it all: bedrock geology of the Catskill Mountains and implications of its weathering". Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. 1298: 1–29. doi:10.1111/nyas.12221. PMID 23895551.
  7. ^ "Whitewater Rivers in and near the Catskill Mountains, New York". Retrieved May 10, 2013.
  8. ^ "Roscoe New York Chamber of Commerce". Retrieved 2017-10-18.
  9. ^ "Tour of the Catskills". Anthem Sports. Retrieved Dec 18, 2013.
  10. ^ "Windham Mountain Bike World Cup Festival". Retrieved 2013-12-18.
  11. ^ "Catskill Interpretive Center". Retrieved 2017-10-18.
  12. ^ NYO&W August 1948 timetable http://www.thejoekorner.com/brochures/nyow-og-timetable/index.html
  13. ^ "Woodstock Film Commission". Hudsonvalleyfilmcommission.org. Archived from the original on 2013-09-22. Retrieved March 26, 2014.
  14. ^ "Comedians who became stars learned their craft in Catskill Mountain hotels". tribunedigital-sunsentinel. Retrieved 2016-01-14.
  15. ^ "The Catskills". The Walters Art Museum.

Further reading

External links

Ashland Pinnacle

Ashland Pinnacle is a pillar in Greene County, New York. It is located in the Catskill Mountains north-northeast of Ashland. The Knob is located south, and Huntersfield Mountain is located west of Ashland Pinnacle.

Ashokan High Point

Ashokan High Point is a 3,061 feet (933 m) summit in the Catskill Mountains of New York. The trail that leads up to it is very old.

Big Indian Mountain (New York)

Big Indian Mountain is a mountain located in Ulster County, New York.

The mountain is part of the Catskill Mountains.

It is flanked to the northwest by Eagle Mountain, to the southeast by Fir Mountain, and to the southwest by Doubletop Mountain.

The northeast slopes of Big Indian Mountain drain into Elk Bushkill, thence into Esopus Creek, the Hudson River, and into New York Bay.

The north end of Big Indian Mtn. drains into Shandaken Brook, thence into Dry Brook, the East Branch of the Delaware River, and into Delaware Bay.

The west side of Big Indian Mtn. drains into the headwaters of Dry Brook.

The southern slopes of Big Indian Mtn. drain into Biscuit Brook and Pigeon Brook, thence into the West Branch of the Neversink River, and the Delaware River.

Big Indian Mountain is within of New York's Catskill State Park.

Blackhead (New York)

Blackhead is a mountain located in Greene County, New York.

The mountain is part of the Blackhead range of the Catskill Mountains.

Blackhead is flanked to the northeast by Black Dome and Acra Point is located north.

Blackhead stands within the watershed of the Hudson River, which drains into New York Bay.

The southwest side of Blackhead drains into East Kill, thence into Schoharie Creek, the Mohawk River, and the Hudson River.

The north side of Blackhead drains into the headwaters of Batavia Kill, and thence into Schoharie Creek.

The east side of Blackhead drains into Trout Brook, thence into Shingle Kill, Catskill Creek, and the Hudson River.

Blackhead is within New York's Catskill Park.

The Long Path, a 350-mile (560 km) long-distance hiking trail from New York City to Albany, is contiguous with the Escarpment Trail.

Bump Mountain

Bump Mountain is a mountain located in the Catskill Mountains of New York northeast of Ashland. Richtmyer Peak is located north-northeast, The Knob is located west, and Ashland Pinnacle is located west-southwest of Bump Mountain.

Eagle Mountain (Ulster County, New York)

Eagle Mountain is a mountain located in Ulster County, New York.

The mountain is part of the Catskill Mountains.

Eagle Mountain is flanked to the north by Haynes Mountain, to the southwest by Doubletop Mountain and Graham Mountain, and to the southeast by Big Indian Mountain.

The east and northeast sides of Eagle Mountain drain into Esopus Creek, thence into the Hudson River, which drains into New York Bay.

The north, west and south sides of Eagle Mtn. drain into Dry Brook, thence into the East Branch of the Delaware River, and into Delaware Bay.

Eagle Mountain is within the Big Indian Wilderness of New York's Catskill State Park.

Fir Mountain (New York)

Fir Mountain is a mountain located in Ulster County, New York.

The mountain is part of the Catskill Mountains.

Fir Mountain is flanked to the northwest by Big Indian Mountain, and to the southeast by Spruce Mountain.

The east side of Fir Mountain drains into Esopus Creek, thence into the Hudson River, and into New York Bay.

The northwest end of Fir Mtn. drains into Elk Bushkill, thence into Esopus Creek.

The west and south sides of Fir Mtn. drain into Biscuit Brook, thence into the West Branch of the Neversink River, the Delaware River, and into Delaware Bay.

Fir Mountain is within the Big Indian Wilderness of New York's Catskill State Park.

Friday Mountain

Friday Mountain is a mountain located in Ulster County, New York.

The mountain is part of the Catskill Mountains.

Friday Mountain is flanked to the north by Cornell Mountain, and to the south by Balsam Cap.

The southeast side of Friday Mountain drains into Maltby Hollow Brook, thence into Bush Kill, the Ashokan Reservoir, Esopus Creek, the Hudson River, and into New York Bay.

The northeast side of Friday Mtn. drains into Wittenberg Brook, thence into Maltby Hollow Brook.

The western slopes of Friday Mtn. drain into the headwaters of the East Branch of the Neversink River, thence into the Delaware River, and into Delaware Bay.

Friday Mountain is one of the 35 peaks in the Catskills greater than 3,500 feet elevation, and is a required ascent for membership in the Catskill Mountain 3500 Club. The ascent involves bushwhacking as there is no trail to the summit.

Friday Mountain is within the Slide Mountain Wilderness of New York's Catskill State Park.

Huntersfield Mountain

Huntersfield Mountain is a mountain located in the Catskill Mountains of New York north-northwest of Ashland. Ashland Pinnacle is located east, and Tower Mountain is located south-southeast of Huntersfield Mountain. It is the highest point in Schoharie County and it is ranked 9 of 62 on the list of New York County High Points.

Mount Pisgah (Greene County, New York)

Mount Pisgah is a mountain located in the Catskill Mountains of New York north of Windham. Steenburg Mountain is located northwest, Richtmyer Peak is located west, and Mount Nebo is located southeast of Mount Pisgah.

Peekamoose Mountain

Peekamoose Mountain is a mountain located in Ulster County, New York.

The mountain is part of the Catskill Mountains.

Peekamoose Mountain is flanked to the north by Table Mountain. The name Peekamoose is possibly a corruption of an Algonquin word meaning 'broken off smooth', cf. Poke-O-Moonshine Mountain.Peekamoose Mountain stands within the watershed of Rondout Creek, a tributary of the Hudson River, which drains into New York Bay.

The east and southeast slopes of Peekamoose Mtn. drain into Rondout Creek.

The southwest end of Peekamoose drains into Buttermilk Falls Brook, thence into Rondout Creek.

The west side of Peekamoose drains into Bear Hole Brook, thence into Rondout Creek.

Peekamoose Mountain is within the Slide Mountain Wilderness of New York's Catskill State Park.

The Long Path, a 350-mile (560 km) long-distance hiking trail from New York City to Albany, crosses the summits of Peekamoose and Table.

Red Hill (Ulster County, New York)

Red Hill is a mountain located in the Catskill Mountains of New York east-south of Frost Valley. Woodhull Mountain is located northeast of Red Hill.

Richmond Mountain

Richmond Mountain is a mountain located in the Catskill Mountains of New York east-northeast of Hunter. Richtmyer Peak is located northeast, Bump Mountain is located south, Steenburg Mountain is located north, and Ashland Pinnacle is located west-southwest of Richmond Mountain.

Richtmyer Peak

Richtmyer Peak is a mountain in Greene County, New York and partly in Schoharie County, New York. It is located in the Catskill Mountains southwest of West Durham. Mount Pisgah is located east, and Richmond Mountain is located southwest of Richtmyer Peak.

The Knob (Greene County, New York)

The Knob is a mountain in Greene County, New York. It is located in the Catskill Mountains north-northeast of Ashland. Ashland Pinnacle is located north, and Huntersfield Mountain is located northwest of The Knob.

Thomas Cole Mountain

Thomas Cole Mountain is a mountain located in Greene County, New York.

The mountain named for Thomas Cole (1801–1848), an artist who lived in the area, and is regarded as the founder of the Hudson River School.

Thomas Cole Mountain is part of the Blackhead range, and is the fourth highest peak of the Catskill Mountains.

Thomas Cole is flanked to the east by Black Dome (3,990 feet or 1,220 metres), and to the west by Camel's Hump (3,530 feet or 1,080 metres).

Thomas Cole Mountain stands within the watershed of Schoharie Creek, which drains into the Mohawk River, the Hudson River, and into New York Bay.

The south side of Thomas Cole drains into East Kill, and thence into Schoharie Creek.

The north side of Thomas Cole drains into Batavia Kill, and thence into Schoharie Creek.

Thomas Cole Mountain is within New York's Catskill Park.

Van Loan Hill

Van Loan Hill is a mountain in Greene County, New York. It is located in the Catskill Mountains southwest of Maplecrest. Round Hill is located west, Elm Ridge is located north-northeast, and East Jewett Range is located south of Van Loan Hill.

Windham High Peak

Windham High Peak is a mountain located in Greene County, New York.

The mountain is part of the Catskill Mountains.

Windham High Peak stands within the watershed of the Hudson River, which drains into New York Bay.

The south and northwest sides of Windham drain into Batavia Kill, and thence into Schoharie Creek, the Mohawk River, and the Hudson River.

The northeast side of Windham drains into Bowery Creek, thence into Catskill Creek, and the Hudson River.

Windham High Peak is within New York's Catskill Park.

The Long Path, a 350-mile (560 km) long-distance hiking trail from New York City to Albany, is contiguous with the Escarpment Trail.

Wittenberg Mountain

Wittenberg Mountain, locally "the Wittenberg," is a mountain located in Ulster County, New York.

The mountain is part of the Burroughs Range of the Catskill Mountains.

Wittenberg is flanked to the southwest by Cornell Mountain and to the northeast by Terrace Mountain.

Wittenberg Mountain stands within the watershed of Esopus Creek, which drains into the Hudson River, and into New York Bay.

The northwest and northeast slopes of Wittenberg Mtn. drain into Woodland Creek, thence into Esopus Creek.

The southeast side of Wittenberg drains into Wittenberg Brook, thence into Maltby Hollow Brook, Bush Kill, and Esopus Creek at Ashokan Reservoir.

Wittenberg Mountain is within the Slide Mountain Wilderness of New York's Catskill State Park.

The Long Path, a 350-mile (560 km) long-distance hiking trail from New York City to Albany, is contiguous with the section of the Burroughs Range Trail crossing the summits of Slide, Cornell, and Wittenberg. Wittenberg Mountain is one of the 35 peaks in the Catskills greater than 3,500 feet elevation, and is a required ascent for membership in the Catskill Mountain 3500 Club.

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