7 Captivating Facts About the Catskills


The Catskills are a gorgeous, diverse, and invaluable natural treasure encompassing 700,000 acres between Albany, New York and New York City. The Catskills have served as the setting or the inspiration for many famous works of art and cinema, including the 1987 film “Dirty Dancing” and 2018’s “A Quiet Place”. The town of Bethel, located in the Catskills, was the location for the infamous 1969 Woodstock Music Festival – the grounds are now home to the world-renowned Bethel Woods Center for the Arts. Here are seven more Catskills facts to spread awareness about this marvelous region of culture, adventure, and history:

7 Catskills Facts

    1. The Catskills are not actually true mountains. (source) The Catskills are actually a massive dissected plateau, or a flat region that has been uplifted by tectonic movement and eroded into sharp relief by watercourses. They are considered to be part of the Appalachian Mountains.
    1. The Catskills are known as the birthplace of American fly fishing. (source) Theodore Gordon, renowned as the “Father of American Dry Fly Fishing”, ignited the fly fishing movement of the Catskills in the 1890s. He developed many new techniques that spread throughout the United States while fishing in the Catskill’s endless supply of lakes, ponds, reservoirs, rivers, streams, and creeks.
    1. The Catskills are considered the birthplace of modern standup comedy. (source) In the mid-20th century, the Catskills became a major vacation destination for Jewish New Yorkers, earning it the name “The Borscht Belt”. At the peak of its popularity, there were about 500 resorts in the region serving visitors. Many legendary comedians ignited their careers entertaining this influx of people, including Mel Brooks, Woody Allen, Rodney Dangerfield, Sid Caesar, Jerry Lewis, Jackie Mason, and Joan Rivers. Jerry Seinfeld was greatly influenced by these legends and the sharp, self-deprecating “Borsch Belt” style of comedy as a whole.
    1. New York City gets its drinking water from the Catskills. (source) New York City gets its drinking water from 19 reservoirs and three lakes spread across a 2,000-square-mile watershed. The watershed is located across the Catskill Mountains and the Hudson Valley. Turns out the secret to NYC’s incredible pizza and bagels is in the heart of the Catskills!
    1. The highest peak in the Catskills is Slide Mountain. (source) Located in the eastern region of the Catskills, it has an elevation of 4,180 feet.
    1. There are over 1,800 black bears in the Catskills. (source) To help keep animals away from areas that humans venture out into, be sure to leave no trace at all. Even crumbs, peels, and wrappers attract animals and cause them to continuously seek food where people travel.
    1. The Catskills has the highest, fastest, and longest zipline in North America. (source) The SkyRider Tour soars 600 feet above the ground for 4.6 miles, reaching speeds of up to 50 miles per hour. It is also the second largest zipline in the world!

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