Swim the Catskills

Its August, the sun is shining and summer is on!

Yes, its hot and humid, but here in the Catskills, we're surrounded by lakes, ponds and streams. Swimming is permitted in all bodies of water in the Catskill Forest Preserve, so get that suit on and get in there!!

Photo: Heather Phelps-Lipton

Photo: Heather Phelps-Lipton


Insect repellent kills more than flying insects. It also knocks out the macroinvertebrates that feed trout and stabilize stream health.

If you're heading into the water, keep your skin clean until after your swim. 

Some sites are not controlled and there is no lifeguard, so you swim at your own risk, such as: 

Onteora Lake, off Route 28 towards Kingston, has great access and good fishing opportunities. The shoreline is undeveloped and has a fairly steep drop-off. Onteora lake is really popular with folks that like to kayak and have a small boat for fishing.

Swimming at Echo Lake requires a hike up Overlook Mountain.

A hike is also required to access Biscuit Brook off Route 42 towards Claryville.

There is a controlled beach with lifeguards at North South Lake campground where day-use is permitted for a fee.
County Route 18
Haines Falls, NY 12436


Lake Minnewaska State Park Preserve is situated on the dramatic Shawangunk Mountain ridge, which rises more than 2,000 feet above sea level and is surrounded by rugged, rocky terrain. The park features numerous waterfalls, three crystalline sky lakes, dense hardwood forests, incising sheer cliffs and ledges opening to beautiful views, clear streams cut into valleys.
5281 Route 44-55
Kerhonkson, NY 12446


Lake Awosting is also at Minnewaska State Park. Hike in required, lifeguards on duty. Day-use fee or empire pass needed.
5281 Route 44-55
Kerhonkson, NY 12446


Belleayre Beach at Pine Hill Lake offers a ton of fun activities for the entire family. And they have life guards.
33 Friendship Manor Road
Pine Hill, NY 12465


At  Mongaup Pond Campground, right outside of Livingston Manor, swimming  is only permitted when a lifeguard is on duty. 
231 Mongaup Pond Road
Livingston Manor, NY 12758


And there’s supervised swimming at Lake Superior State Park
Dr Duggan Rd
Bethel, NY 12720