North South Lake is the biggest and most popular state campground in the Catskill Forest Preserve. It offers extraordinary scenic beauty, and historical sites, such as: Alligator Rock, Kaaterskill Falls, and the former site of the Catskill Mountain House.
An abrupt change in elevation occurs from about 540 feet above sea level at the base of the escarpment to approximately 2,250 feet at the site of the Catskill Mountain House. The provinces around the lake have long provided visitors with exceptional views of the surrounding countryside. It is said that on a clear day, you can see five states from the escarpment.
Boating of non-motorized boats are permitted. Rowboats and canoes. A paved boat ramp is located at the North Lake day use area. Rowboat, kayak, canoe and paddle boat rentals are available.
Fishing is allowed on the Lakes and you will find chain pickerel, brown bullhead, pumpkinseed, black crappie, and largemouth bass.
The campground offers access to numerous hiking trails. The short hike to the Catskill Mountain House site provides the reward of incredible vistas. Longer and more strenuous hikes can bring you to such spots as Artist’s Rock, Sunset Park, Newman’s Ledge, Boulder Rock, and the Kaaterskill Hotel and Laurel House sites. Kaaterskill Falls lies outside the campground and is reached by a trail beginning on Route 23A. The two tiered falls of 175 and 85 feet is the highest in New York State.
Swimming is permitted at both North and South Lakes beaches from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day when lifeguards are on duty. Two picnic areas with 2 at North Lake and 1 at South lake are available for rentals.