Not only are the Catskills Mountains pet friendly (check out all our pet friendly hotels, motels, cottages, cabins, and bed and breakfasts), they’re traveler friendly, just a couple of hours drive from midtown Manhattan.

The Catskills have so much to offer, starting with the Catskill Forest Preserve, which consists of more than 286,000 acres. The good news is that within the Preserve, on lands administered by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), your dog can be off leash if he or she is truly under voice control. Do take this to heart. If you are a serious hiker and your pooch takes off after a deer several hours into a hike, disregarding all your calls to stop, what are you going to do? And remember, the Catskills are home to some pretty serious wildlife; if you spot a black bear with a cub, the last thing you want is your dog barreling up to them. For your own safety and the safety of your canine, be brutally honest about how much control you have before unsnapping that leash.

For those of you looking for a short scenic hike, we heartily recommend checking out Kaaterskill Falls, located off Route 23A between Haines Falls and Palenville. Though on the strenuous side, it’s a lovely walk in, particularly in spring, when the wild trilliums and columbine are blooming. Because a lot of people use this trail and because of the delicate ecosystem present on either side of the trail, we would strongly recommend keeping your pet on a short leash for this hike. About a half mile in, you’ll be rewarded with the truly breathtaking sight of 260-foot-tall, two-tiered Kaaterskill Falls.

If you’re a cat owner, a cat lover, an aficionado of all things cats, you’ve got to get yourself over to Catskill for their annual Cat-n-Around Festival. From Memorial Day into the third week of September, this Hudson River town is graced with the presence of 50 knee-high locally-sponsored artist-decorated fiberglass cats. The festival concludes with their Cat’s Meow Auction and Gala.

And speaking of fun events of possible feline interest, you don’t want to miss Livingston Manor’s annual Trout Parade. In case you’ve been living in a bubble, the Catskills are home to some of the finest trout fishing in the world, and this event celebrates that fact with a fabulous parade with piscatorially (that would be fishy) themed floats. And fish aren’t just for cats anymore; one of this year’s participants in the parade (which is usually held in June) was Mid-Atlantic Basset Hound Rescue (now, that’s a float I would have wanted to see).

From Woodstock to Andes, Rosendale to Narrowsburg, there is tons for you and your pet to do in the Catskills.

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