Herping in the Catskills

Bluestone Wild Forest

The footpaths along Bluestone Wild Park are littered with brightly speckled orange newts right now. It takes a keen eye to avoid stepping on them. Mating season is in fully swing and these distinctive salamanders, ‘cute’ by my account, reproduce rapidly.

Historically, the Catskills are known for their bluestone boom during the 19th century. From 1850-1880, at least 81 stone slab quarries were mined throughout the mountains, a type of sandstone only found in New York and eastern Pennyslvania.

The lucrative business fell into decline when cement was invented.

Hiking along the yellow, blue and red trails at Bluestone Wild Park you’ll see the remains of one of the state’s oldest and most traditional industries.

Fishing and mountain biking are other options too.