Discover the fascinating remnants of former must-visit destinations in the Catskills. These abandoned places may have been empty for years, but they offer a glimpse of the unique history of the region, as well as an eerie look into a former life from decades past.
The Old Game Farm
What once was a popular zoo in Catskill for more than 70 years, is now an abandoned “zoo” that’s available for scheduled self-guided tours. Known as The Old Game Farm, the zoo—which was home to more than 2,000 animals, including rhinos, giraffes, and more—was the first privately owned zoo in the United States. Today, the former animal pens, kiosks, and exhibit areas are just a few of the places you can see.
Overlook Mountain House
Located near the summit of Overlook Mountain in Woodstock, you’ll find ruins of the Overlook Mountain House. The former hotel was destroyed by fires and rebuilt multiple times throughout its existence until the early to mid-1900s. Today, the ruins, consisting of concrete foundation, some concrete walls, and metal window frames, can be seen on a hike up the mountain. Watch out for rattlesnakes, as they are found in the area.
Coykendall Lodge Ruins
Find ruins of the Coykendall Lodge along a hike on the Alder Lake Loop in Livingston Manor. The Lodge was built in 1899 and owned by Samuel D. Coykendall, who was involved with the Delaware and Ulster Railroad. You’ll also pass by a long-standing stonewall as you walk along the trail.
Delaware County Poorhouse
What was used as a location for the homeless, elderly, or people with mental illnesses is now just part of a foundation and a neighboring cemetery. The Delaware County Poorhouse in Delhi, which housed several individuals and families, was a resource for those in need. Although some may have had positive experiences while living in the home, it is historically considered to have been a less than optimal option.
“Borscht Belt” Resorts
Several of the popular Catskill resorts of the early 1900s, known as the “Borscht Belt,” that were frequented by New York City’s elite—particularly the Jewish community—have been left abandoned and are now on private property. Grossinger’s Catskill Resort Hotel in Liberty, which featured swimming pools, tennis courts, and a golf course, is one of the resorts that shuttered after years of success and unforgettable memories. Today, no signs of Grossinger’s exist as the resort was completely demolished. The former location of Kutsher’s Hotel and Country Club in Monticello—a desired destination by comedians, athletes, and vacationers alike—is now the site of YO1, a newly built yoga and wellness center.
Find the unexpected on an exploration of the abandoned places of the Catskills.