The Hudson Valley may be a place where residents can call home and visitors can explain it as a place to escape. New York State is filled with fascinating historical information and I continue to learn about the history that lies within the Hudson Valley.

The first settlers of counties throughout the Hudson Valley gave each location a name. While some of these stories may be speculation, others can date back to the specific time period that a town, village of hamlet was given its name.

To me, there's nowhere similar to New York State, especially the Hudson Valley area. Specifically, the Catskills are a place that I love to visit.

In the summer, I enjoy driving around and exploring the Catskills with its green rolling hills, landscapes that look similar to ones we imagine in paintings and unknown streams that I come across.

The New York State Department of Conservation shared that the Catskills has 

"more than a quarter million acres of forests, and 300+ miles of trails offer ample opportunity for many types of outdoor adventures while also providing protected habitats for a variety of plants and wildlife."

Guests may come across ponds, mountains and nature trails during their adventure in the Catskills. Camping, fishing, biking and more are some of the many activities that await guests in the Catskills. 

The Catskills are also home to an old forest.

Is The World's Oldest Forest Located In The Catskills?

Canva, YouTube, Cairo, New York
Canva, YouTube, Cairo, New York

The Catskills are also the home to the world's oldest forest. Fossil Forest is located in Cairo, NY within the Catskills area. shared that they are over 300 million years old at Fossil Forest. They also explained that the rocks,

"contain the fossilized woody roots of dozens of ancient trees.The find marks a turning point in Earth's history."

It's fascinating to learn that we don't have to go far to see the world's oldest forest, it's already within the Hudson Valley. 

While many people live within the Catskills and visit this area, it may not be common knowledge of how this popular area got its name.

SEE MORE: Serene Hudson Valley Town Has 12 Hamlets To Explore

How Did The Catskills Get Its Name?

The question remains of where the Catskills got its name from. Some believe that the Catskills name originates from a local creek and waterfall.

However, there's also the speculation of the Catskills getting its name from cats such as mountain lions and bobcats who once roamed the area more frequently then they do now.

Was The Catskills Area Named After A Creek?


Britannica explained that the Catskills name comes from 

"Kaaterskill (Dutch: “Wildcat Creek”)."

Welcome to Narrowsburg also shared a post on social media stating that,

"The Dutch term Kaaterskill translates as “Wildcat Creek.”

Along with the Wildcat Creek in the Hudson Valley, there are also Wildcat Falls and Wildcat Mountain.

Was The Catskills Area Named After Cats?

The Emerson Resort & Spa shared an interesting post on social media relating to the Hudson Valley. They are located in the Catskills, in Mt. Tremper, NY.

The Emerson Resort & Spa explained that it wasn't rare to see mountain lions within in the Catskills area during the 17th century. This was also around the time that Dutch settlers arrived in the area.

They continued to explain that, 

"Some believe the name “Catskills” was derived from these majestic animals who populated the region until the early 1900’s".

The Emerson Resort & Spa shared that they were also known as “catamounts”.

They have the Emerson's Catamount restaurant on site along with their cat sign as well. The Emerson Resort & Spa claim that this sign is a tribute to the Catskills area and its history.

NY Falls shared that the Catskills and the Kaaterskill area can also be referred to as Big-cat Creek. They suggest that this name possibly came from seeing bobcat and mountain lion species at that time. This could have happened by a nearby stream or creek which also played a role into where the Catskills got it's name from.

What do you believe the Catskills area is named after? Share more with us below.

6 Things You Didn't Know Were Invented In New York State

In New York state, there are inventions that we may not have been aware of that were created here. 

There are also everyday items and food that we're glad that were made.

Gallery Credit: Allison Kay

5 Must See Scenic Drives In The Hudson Valley

When was the last time that you took the scenic route or the back road? There's something so peaceful about taking in the views of the beautiful farmland and the smells of fresh grass with the windows down. 

The next time that you're out for a drive, take one of these scenic routes to capture the beauty of the area that we get to call home.


Gallery Credit: Allison Kay