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“Outstanding Vistas”
Review of Overlook Mountain

Overlook Mountain
Ranked #1 of 19 things to do in Woodstock
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Located in the Catskill park region, Overlook Mountain beckons nature lovers with its trails and campgrounds.
Reviewed September 30, 2012

This is a strenuous and pretty long hike but straightforward hike. The 1st half is pretty much a jeep trail. When you get closer to the summit, there are really cool ruins of an old mountain top hotel. At the peak there are fantasic views of the surrounding mountains as well as the hudson valley below. If you like hiking this will be a memorable and enjoyable trip!

1  Thank Bombastic411
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed September 4, 2012

The views from our property are beautiful and calming and our "DreamCatcher Cottage" guests hike the trails and love the breathtaking views of the surrounding area.

1  Thank Tina B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 31, 2012

This is your classic climb the mountain hike. Takes energy and persistence but it isn't brutal. A lot of up hill. Then you get to the top, climb the tower and get a great 360 view. My 13-year-old daughters were complaining at the beginning, like most teenagers. One even threw herself to the ground in an exaggerated way to show how tired she was. But soon they got into it and felt really good getting to the top. It was just hard enough to make them feel like they accomplished something but not so awful that they wanted to turn back. It got a little hairy for me near the top--heart started racing a bit, but the top came soon enough. Worth a hike when it's not to hot.

Thank Kapiris
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 24, 2012

So you're in Woodstock and looking for something to do outdoors for a few hours? Overlook Mountain might fit the bill, as long as you have a comfortable pair of shoes and you're in reasonably good shape.

Trail Description: From the trailhead (see picture), located about 1,775 feet above sea level, the top of Overlook is about 2.5 miles away. It's a well-marked, one lane gravel road (see picture) all the way up. Unless you're a rockhound or a botany major, you might find the forest that lines the first mile to be fairly boring. It also happens to be the steepest section as you climb about 900 feet. At this point, the path will split and you should bear left. From here, the incline eases up and after a little less than a mile, you will see the ruins of the Overlook Mountain House (see pictures) at around 2,950 feet above sea level. The trail continues past a modern communications tower and the ruins of the carriage house. If you visit during the summer, you might see monarch butterflies and tortoiseshell moths feeding on the bright yellow wildflowers (see pictures). A few hundred yards later, you will arrive at another fork in the trail. Go left and you will head towards Echo Lake (2 miles), Devil's Kitchen (3.6 miles) and Indian Head Mountain (6 miles). Stay right and in 0.5 miles you will arrive at the top of Overlook Mountain (3140 feet). Once there, you will find a small ranger station, an outhouse, a few picnic tables, a grill and of course, the fire tower (see pictures). A spur to the right of the outhouse will take you to the scenic vista.

Views: Scenic views along the trail are pretty much non-existent. After the ruins, you will see a few trails leading off to the side, but we found those views to be mostly obstructed by trees. Perhaps the views the better in the winter when the trees are bare. The southerly views from the scenic vista at the top are fantastic though. Along the Hudson River, you can see Saugerties, Tivoli Bays, the Kingston-Rhinecliff Bridge, Kingston and even Staatsburg. As you shift your gaze westwards, you will see the enormous Ashokan Reservoir with the Shawangunks rising up in the distance behind it. If you squint really hard, you might be able to make out Skytop Tower in Mohonk Preserve (see picture). Continuing west, you can see Mt. Tremper rising in front of the Southern Catskill peaks (see picture). If you decide to climb up the fire tower, you will be able to see over the tree tops and get a 360 degree view. The views to the south are essentially the same as those from the scenic vista, but you will also get clear views of the Central Catskill summits (see picture) and the Hudson River as it makes its way north towards Catskill and Albany.

Other Hikers: We hiked up on a weekday morning and we saw about a 20-30 other hikers along the way. Lots of young couples. A few speed walking exercise junkies. A few dogs walking their owners. And one jarringly out of place, middle-aged, bald white guy dressed in bright yellow and red, Buddhist monk robes.

Time: If you're in good shape and you don't spend too much time at the ruins or at the scenic vista, you could probably finish the hike in 2 - 2.5 hours roundtrip. If you're in reasonable shape and you decide to explore the ruins and the vistas, it will probably take about 3 - 3.5 hours.

Directions: In Woodstock, take Route 212 and turn on Rock City Road. Once you cross Glasco Turnpike, it will become Meads Mountain Road. Continue uphill, making sure that you stay on Mead Mt. Rd. at the various forks. In about 2 miles, you will see a large white building through the trees on your left lined by colorful Tibetan prayer flags. That's the Buddhist temple that everyone uses as a landmark. You will see the parking for the trailhead (see picture) directly in front of you.

A few more points...

- In its heydey, the Overlook Mountain House was one of the great hotels in the Catskills. For a New York Times account of President Grant's stay there, you can Google "Overlook Mountain House President Grant" and click on the second link "President Grant: His Visit to Overlook Mountain..." and then click on "Full Article".

- The roads through Woodstock are a nightmare. Completely jammed with traffic and pedestrians, it was a headache on a weekday, so it must be horrendous on the weekends. Next time, I will take 9W from Kingston up to the Glasco Turnpike and try to avoid the whole mess.

- The fire tower is old (1927), but was restored recently (1999). Nonetheless, it definitely felt rickety as we climbed up and the wind began to blow. At the top landing, my mind began conjuring images of Dorothy flying around in her house in the Wizard of Oz.

- At the beginning of the trail, you will see a warning about timber rattlesnakes. This is not an idle threat as they do live in the area and others have already mentioned to look out for them especially around the rocks on the summit.

5  Thank dart95
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 14, 2012

Silly me, I tried to run/jog up this mountain in August 2011, thinking it would be a good "hills" workout. it really is a very steep incline. I ran a bit, walked mostly, and took a look at the Buddhist monastery but did not have time to visit the remains of the Overlook Hotel. Boggles the mind to contemplate how that hotel was built ...

Thank MaryC-NYC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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