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About The Catskills
The Catskill mountain region encompasses seven counties (Delaware, Greene, Otsego, Schoharie, Sullivan, Ulster and Southern Albany) and 6,000-square miles in Southeastern New York State, northwest of New York City. The Catskills are often referred to as America's first wilderness because scholars trace the beginnings of the environmental conservation movement to this beautiful area that boasts 35 mountain peaks over 3,500 feet in elevation and six major river systems.
The state-designated Catskill Park (the area within the “blue line” of many maps of the region) is not a “park” in the traditional sense. There are no entry gates or admission fees. It is instead a patchwork of public and private lands stretching over 700,000 acres, 40% of which is preserved as “forever wild” -- the Catskill Forest Preserve.
Another feature of the region is the 1600-square mile New York City Watershed. Six major reservoirs in the region provide 90% of New York City’s water supply. It is the largest unfiltered water supply in the U.S., providing 1.2 billion gallons of clean water each day to more than nine million people, nearly half the population of New York State.
The New York City Department of Environmental Protection, the Catskill Watershed Corporation and many other agencies are partners in the effort to keep Catskill water resources clean and healthy, and to preserve the communities in the Watershed.