Catskills and Greene County
Heady heights and endless waterfalls in the Catskills and Greene County.
In Tannersville, I always stop for the famous fondue at the Last Chance Cheese and Antiques Café.
Photos by Michael Nelson
This route starts out at Stella’s Station in Saugerties, a seasonal old-fashioned sports bar/ice cream parlor, which is packed with bikers from Memorial Day through Labor Day. From there, the trail heads west out of town and quickly joins up with the infamous Platte Clove Road, also known as County Route 16. This narrow, twisting, two-lane highway — with no guard rails — climbs 1,200 feet in just 1.4 miles on its way to the top of Platte Clove Mountain and the area known as Devil’s Kitchen. On the way up it borders 12 waterfalls. You have to dismount and hike a bit in order to see them, but it’s worth the effort and you’ll be rewarded with a number of swimming holes. (Extreme caution is advised; accidents do occur.) If you are a fan of the Hudson River School of painting, you may well recognize some of the stunning spots captured by the likes of Thomas Cole.
The road then plateaus on top of the mountain, offering open spaces and beautiful vistas. I cruise through the quaint resort town of Tannersville before heading down the mountain on Route 23A. I stop at both the world-famous Kaaterskill Falls and Haines Falls, home of one the region’s very best swimming holes. I finish the ride at the 1869 Saugerties Lighthouse, where I sit for a moment of contemplation on the banks of the Hudson.
The swimming hole at Haines Falls and the Saugerties Lighthouse are popular tourist spots.
Catskill Loop Directions:
- Start at Stella's Restaurant in Saugerties.
- Travel north on Rte 9W for one block.
- Turn left onto Rte 218.
- Travel approximately three miles to Rte 35, then turn right.
- Travel two miles, then turn left onto W Saugerties Rd./Rte 33.
- Travel two miles, then arrive at the foot of Platte Cove.
- Travel up mountain for roughly two miles.
- Continue on Plattekill Rd for five miles until you arrive on Rte 23A in Tannersville.
- Turn right onto Rte 23A and continue for seven miles.
- Turn right onto Rte 32A and continue for two miles.
- Merge south onto Rte 32.
- Continue for several miles, then turn left onto Malden Tpke/Rte 34.
- Turn right onto Rte 9W.
- Continue straight onto Mydenderse St.
- Travel one mile to lighthouse.
- Enjoy your ride!