Thrill-seekers and mysticism lovers around the world would probably get their hearts fluttering when they hear the name Devils Tombstone, but nature lovers would actually be the ones to get the butterflies in their stomach when they visit this gorgeous 192-acre park. The Devils Tombstone Park is a scenic place named after a massive boulder left over during the Wisconsin glaciation and now adorns the center of the area. Surrounded by the Catskill Mountain range in NY, the park offers breathtaking views and even better camping opportunities for RV travelers.
One of the oldest parks in the Catskill Forest Preserve, Devils Tombstone, is the perfect location for hikers that mean business, as the trails that lead from the campground go all the way to the Hunter Mountain, which has the highest historic fire tower in the state of New York called Indian Head. The rugged beauty of the park will satisfy even the most hard-core campers, and families and children can enjoy laid back activities such as volleyball, picnicking, and horseback riding. Shops and restaurants are located in nearby towns, and four miles away is the Hunters Mountain where you can visit one of the ethnic festivals in the summer and participate in the sky rides. The campgrounds are closed in the off-season, so bear that in mind if you think of setting up your rig in late October.
Devils Tombstone Campground is conveniently located on Route 214, which is only six miles south from the Village of Hunter. If you are driving from Catskill, you will need to cover 25 miles, and if you are traveling up north, the road will take you 31 miles from the exit 19 of the NYX Thruway at Kingston. This is a primitive camping area, which means that you will probably have to stop at one of the nearby towns to get necessary supplies. When it comes to road regulations, you must comply with the speed limits and not rush through the campground, and you may park your rig or motor vehicle in the designated area and not on the road.
If you are traveling with a boat on your RV, it is worth knowing that boats or watercraft are not allowed in the beach area. The parking area can accommodate up to 25 vehicles and is located at Notch Lake. Another, smaller parking lot of 3600 sq. ft. can be found at the caretaker’s cabin and allows up to four vehicles. Five cars can park at a small parking lot at the south side of the park, by the information booth and the playground.
Devils Tombstone Campground offers 24 RV and tent sites; however, since it is a small and primitive campground, no hookup options are available for RV travelers. The campground is very remote, which means that you will have to bring all the supplies with you so as not to run out of food or water. Potable water is available, however, during the summer months, your best bet is to purchase water in a nearby town just in case.
Picnic tables and fire pits can be found on site. If you are looking to relax by the fire, you must purchase firewood from the designated area to prevent the spread of harmful insects that can ruin the ecosystem, and definitely do not chop wood from alive trees around.
Each campsite allows up to six people per site, and up to one RV or trailer and one tent. Additional vehicles must be parked in the designated areas. Generator use is allowed. However, you must limit your generator use to five hours per day, and specifically in the non-quiet hours. Also, very loud generators must be turned off at all times. Pets are welcome.
Pets are, fortunately, allowed in the Devils Tombstone. Traveling and exploring the wonders of nature with your dog is one of the most rewarding experiences you can allow yourself, so take your furry friend for a relaxing walk around the park and have some fun. Pets must be walked on a leash that is no longer than six feet and cannot be left unattended. It is worth noting that pets are not allowed on Lake George Islands and Rogers Rock, as well as inside any buildings.
Devils Tombstone has numerous designated picnic areas with tables and chairs you can use to have a relaxing family day outside. You can set up your basket and blanket on the beach and enjoy the proximity of the water. However, swimming and boating are not allowed here. Children can enjoy the playground while the adults chill get informed on the history of the area. You can also visit the iconic boulder in the park and marvel in its size.
Your kids deserve to have some fun too! Sign up your kids ages five through 12 to the Nature Recreation Program and let them learn about nature, camping, outdoors, and animals in a fun environment with their peers. They will receive a Junior Naturalist Journal and participate in the activities described, and reflect on their experience in the group and think back on their time in nature. This is a fun way to instill the love for outdoors in your children, and learn something about yourself in the process as well!
Strap in because hiking at Devils Tombstone is anything but easy. The Devils Path hiking trail is 24.2 miles long and is considered to be one of the most challenging trails in the area. You can hike about four miles to Hunter Mountain from the campground, or pass over five of the highest peaks of Catskills. Rocky terrain will require functional hiking boots, and don’t forget to bring water as you most certainly will not find any shops on the way.
During the camping season, in the summer months, you can hike to the nearby Hunter Mountain, about four miles away, and attend an annual ethnic festival, or visit the Hunter Mountain Film Festival in May. Visitors can enjoy a skyride with a breathtaking view of the mountain, and handicrafts aficionados can purchase handmade jewelry, pottery, and other goods. The nearby villages provide go-carts, paintball, tubing, and miniature golf if you’re up for a short drive.
The park offers designated fire pits where you can roast marshmallows and mushrooms and tell ghost stories to your friends. Of course, you cannot cut down trees, and you may only burn dead wood, so as to prevent deforestation, expansion of invasive insects, and damage to the natural environment you are in. Get back to your roots and have a relaxing night by the fire, reminiscing on the times past and planning for the future that comes.