Overlook Mountain is the southernmost peak of the Catskill Escarpment in the central Catskill Mountains near Woodstock, New York. Centerpiece of the 590acre Overlook Mountain Wild Forest area of Catskill Park, the mountain is the site of one of the remaining five Catskill Mountain fire towers and the Overlook Mountain House, a hotel which was built at a higher elevation than any other in the range.
Overlook Mountain is the southernmost peak of the Catskill Escarpment, which was formed of limestone bedrock by a period of glaciation. It is one of the timber rattlesnake habitats in the Catskills. The summit is covered with red oak, red spruce, and balsam fir trees.
Overlook Mountain was the site of one of the "mountain houses" which were constructed in the Catskills during the 1800s. In 1902 its southern slopes became home to the Byrdcliffe Colony, a utopian settlement with an arts focus.
Fire towerThe Overlook fire tower was originally constructed in 1927 on Gallis Hill, west of Kingston, New York, and was moved to its present location in 1950. The 60ft tower was used by fire stewards to more easily locate wildfires. The tower, along with the others in the Catskills, were closed for safety reasons in 1988. Overlook's tower was the first to reopen after renovations were completed, on June 5, 1999.
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Overlook Mountain Reviews
I've already given this hike a 5 star review as have many others. And I've noticed that the only bad reviews are from people who've gotten parking tickets! Since my last review the state has added..... more »
Fire tower is definitely worth seeing. Make sure you go up the tower....breathtaking view. Expect 1h of hiking up at a good steady pace. With all the fall colours, October is a great time to visit. more »
Really fun place to hike. The view is most definitely worth it but the hike is all uphill and very challenging. There is also a metal lookout tower.
What a great adventure today to Overlook Mountain. The hike I would say is medium difficulty with round trip 5 miles, 2.5 mostly uphill and it seemed th closer we got to the top the angle seemed to be less strenuous closer to top. From the burned out hotel it’s a cake walk to the far side look of mountain after the fire tower. Beware of rattle snakes. We did not see any but others did. Temps close to 80 and humid, be sure to pack a backpack with snacks and water and proper footwear. Surprised to see a few amateurs attempt with poor footwear. If they make it they will suffer the consequences. Walk down is easier but still strenuous on calf’s as we walked down at a pretty good clip. We did climb the fire tower and toured the burned out hotel. Great adventure today.
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