Catskills Watershed Resources

Resources about the NYC Watershed in the Catskills

The Ashokan Reservoir from the Ashokan Rail Trail

In the late 1800s, as the New York City population grew, safe drinking water became more scarce and worries increased about a long term water crisis. In response, officials decided to create reservoirs in the Catskill Mountains, where there was abundant clean water. Communities – filled with schools, churches, farms, even cemeteries- were dismantled and relocated to construct the reservoirs. More than 5,000 people were displaced from their homes. Look for signs on local roadways along the reservoirs commemorating these communities.

The Catskill and Delaware Systems now provide 90% of New York City’s water and is the largest unfiltered water supply in the U.S.

Watershed Resources (external links)

Watershed Recreation Information

A new, crushed-stone trail running along the north side of the Ashokan Reservoir. Woodstock Dike Trailhead located at 1285 NY-28 in West Hurley. Ashokan Station Trailhead located at 3045 NY-28 in Shokan. Boiceville Bridge Trailhead located at 5080 Route 28A in Boiceville.
A paved handicap accessible path along the southern edge of the Ashokan Reservoir offers beautiful views and multiple recreational opportunities. The path is 2.7 miles one way and 5.4 roundtrip. The two parking areas are on either side of the walking path: one in Olivebridge, and the other in Kingston. Visitors can walk, ride bikes, […]
A lollipop loop hike that begins right off of Route 28A (look for signage about 0.2 miles after you pass the western Ashokan Reservoir Promenade Parking Area). This two mile trail has interpretive signage about the Catskills and the Watershed. Hikers pass by a quarry that was used in the construction of the Ashokan Reservoir […]
Hike to a lovely pond and enjoy the views of the Pepacton Reservoir.

Want to learn more? These are available in our online store: