Callicoon, Catskill Mountains
Courtesy of the Sullivan County Government

Everyone who has lived in New York City during the deep summer months knows this: Heat trapped between skyscrapers mixed with over eight million residents can make summertime more suffocating than enjoyable. Luckily, less than a two-hour drive away lies a number of quaint towns nestled in the Catskill Mountains where those looking for an escape can take refuge. Here are the six most noteworthy Catskill towns to check out on your next summer venture out of the city.

1. Roscoe

Roscoe, NY Catskill Mountains
Photo by Darren McGee, Courtesy of New York State Department of Economic Development

Roscoe, New York is tucked within the Catskill Mountains right off NY Route 17. It is also known as Trout Town USA after being named the “Ultimate Fishing Town” of the U.S. by the World Fishing Network in 2011, but there is definitely more to Roscoe than its trout. Its downtown area has a colorful walking district and is full of small Victorian-era buildings, many still bearing their original signs, giving the town an incredibly rustic feel. Set amidst the rolling Catskill Mountains, the town has a vibe that makes visitors feel as though they are being taken back in time.

This feeling can also be found at the self-declared “World Famous” Roscoe Diner, where a variety of American college flags are on display, and they serve old-fashioned “taste of America” diner classics including eggs, bacon, burgers, and ice cream sundaes. Nearby are the Roscoe Beer Company and the Prohibition Distillery. Visitors can head to the distillery to try some local liquor or grab a seat at the brewery to enjoy the cozy atmosphere. 

Located just outside of the town are two of Roscoe’s biggest attractions. One of which is the mysterious Dundas Castle, also known as Craig-E-Claire Castle. The castle is nestled in the woods, tucked off the main road and nearly hidden from passing cars. It was built in the early twentieth century, though according to the small amount of known information on the castle, it was never actually lived in as the owner died shortly before it was completed. The site is on private property and is unable to be visited, although that has not stopped many curious explorers in the past century from climbing the steep forest hills to get a glimpse of the decaying castle forgotten in the trees. 

Just down the road from Dundas Castle is the “town” of Agloe, New York. Although, it’s not actually a town at all. Made famous by John Green’s book Paper Towns, Agloe was a fictional town used by mapmakers to fool plagiarizers. In reality, all there is to see of Agloe is a sign just off NY Route 206 indicating the Agloe General Store that does not actually exist. Nonetheless, it makes Roscoe a unique travel destination.