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Overlook Mountain, Woodstock

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Observation Deck Historic Site
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.Natural historyOverlook 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.Cultural historyOverlook 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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  • Great hike but for casual walkers be prepared the incline might require rrst stops. The ruins are amazing and the view from the top defies description and well worth the climb. Bug spray a must as is ...  more »
  • My son (age 28) and I took our Labrador Retriever on a cool Sunday am. We casually did the walk up in 75 minutes with plenty of stopping. At top, we climbed the Fire Tower (accept for our dog), went o...  more »
  • One of my favorite places to hike in the are, great views of the Ashoka, family friendly, good for all capabilities, if your youngster is not into hiking or not well on hikes, rethink something like N...  more »