Platte Clove Preserve
Located in the northeastern Catskills, the Catskill Center's Platte Clove Preserve is comprised of 208 acres with beautiful waterfalls and trails at the head of the rugged and scenic Platte Clove in the Town of Hunter, Greene County.
The preserve remains a pristine wilderness area open for the quiet enjoyment of our members and the public.
Each year at the preserve's small red cabin we host several artists during the summer season for our Artist in Residence program.
Hours of Operation
The Platte Clove Preserve is open daily from dawn to dusk.
The public is welcome to enjoy the Platte Clove Preserve, but we ask that the property be properly respected, including properly respecting the natural and cultural features located on the property. In addition, visitors must respect these conditions of use:
- FOOT TRAVEL ONLY - No horses, mountain bikes or motorized vehicles are permitted on the Preserve
- TRAVEL ON MARKED TRAILS ONLY - Please do not leave the improved, marked trails. The Preserve's ecology is fragile and there are also many dangerous drops, waterfalls and ravines
- NO LITTERING
- NO CAMPING
- NO FIRES
- NO COLLECTING (plants, animals, cultural and historical items)
- NO SWIMMING
- NO HUNTING
- NO CLIMBING, ICE CLIMBING OR RAPPELLING
Failure to respect these conditions of use can result in visitors being asked to leave the Preserve and if necessary, legal actions.
Parking is very limited along Platte Clove Road and the Town of Hunter strictly enforces the posted "No Parking" areas. Visitors to the preserve should park at the NYSDEC parking lot located off of Platte Clove Road 0.2 miles east of the Preserve (the parking lot is located on the dirt road off the north side of Platte Clove).
The Red Cabin on the property is not open to the public. The cabin is used by the Catskill Center to host our Artist-In-Residence Program. Visitors should not approach the cabin and there are no facilities in the cabin open to the public.
The Platte Clove Preserve is a natural area that is maintained to ensure its wilderness character remains. There are three maintained trails on the preserve that are open to the public. The remainder of the lands of the preserve is not open to the public. The three trails accessible to the public at the Preserve are:
WATERFALL TRAIL: The Waterfall Trail is an approximately 1/3 mile, one-way trail to the base of Plattekill Falls. The trail begins at the trail junction in front of the informational kiosk just above the Red Cabin. From here the trail goes eastward and slopes downward to the edge of the clove and then turns and descends to the base of Plattekill Falls. CAUTION - this trail is narrow and descends through a steep gorge. Proper footwear (hiking boots or shoes) is required to safely navigate this trail. The trail ends at the base of Plattekill Falls. Hikers should be aware that swimming is prohibited in the waterfall. Return to the kiosk the same way you came.
OVERLOOK TRAIL: The Overlook Trail, which travels between Platte Clove and the summit of Overlook Mountain above Woodstock starts at the Platte Clove Preserve at the trail junction in front of the informational kiosk. From the kiosk the trail travels westward along the river, quickly crossing the stream on a replica king-post bridge that used to exist here to allow carriages to travel what was then, the Overlook Road and which horse-drawn carriages used to travel between the mountaintop and Woodstock. After crossing the bridge, the trail quickly reaches a trail junction with the Nature Trail. The Overlook Trail turns right and then climbs quickly through the Preserve to the south before reaching the boundary with the New York State Forest Preserve lands. From there, the trail travels to the junction with the Devil's Path, continuing to the Devil's Kitchen Lean-to and beyond to the Echo Lake Trail junction and finally to the top of Overlook Mountain.
NATURE TRAIL: The Nature Trail is a 1/2 mile loop trail on the south side of the Plattekill Creek that gives visitors the opportunity to walk along the creek, see the top of Platte Clove and walk through the ruins of a former boarding house that existed on the site in the 19th century. The trail starts at the intersection with the Overlook Trail, about 50 feet after the Overlook Trail crosses the Plattekill Creek. Turn left onto the nature trail, crossing a small brook. Then follow the nature trail to the edge of Platte Clove, then along the edge to the ruins of the boarding house before climbing slightly and then returning to the intersection with the Overlook Trail.
The Platte Clove Preserve was generously donated to the Catskill Center by the Griswold Family in 1975 for the permanent protection of the flora, fauna and geologic and historic features present on the property. The beautiful, rugged Platte Clove is part of the eastern Catskill Escarpment and has a long and storied past. The land has been gouged by glaciers and carved by steams. Early settlers cleared timber and bluestone from the mountains. The cloves were immortalized by the great "Hudson River School" of American landscape artists. Visitors journeyed from afar to enjoy the wilderness and the grand Catskill Mountain hotels. THe Platte Clove, and its mountainous flanks, has been reclaimed by nature, painted by artists, lauded by poets, protected by conservationists, and revered by all who seek its serenity.
Generous donations from our followers allow us to maintain and improve the facilities and programming offered at the Platte Clove Preserve. Please consider making a gift in support of our work there. During the online donation process, you will be able to designate the Platte Clove Preserve as the recipient of your gift.