The Overlook Mountain House is located just below the summit of Overlook Mountain located in Woodstock, NY. Overlook Mountain is 3,140 feet high with a 4.6 mile round trip hike from the Overlook Mountain trailhead.
The Overlook Mountain House was once a dream vacation destination in the heart of the Catskills. It now stills in ruin, with only the concrete exterior walls remaining.
Overlook Mountain has a long history of attempts to build a thriving hotel. The first attempt was made in 1833 when a man by the name of James Booth opened what was called the Catskill Mountain House.
The Overlook Mountain House that now sits in ruins was the third building to built in attempts to create a thriving hotel. In 1871 Lewis Wagonen built an expansive hotel that could accommodate up to 300 guests. This, however, did not succeed when the building was destroyed by a fire in 1875. The hotel was then rebuilt in 1878 by the Kierstead Brothers. The hotel was considered a first class hotel and was active until 1917, when it was purchased by Morris Newgold. The building was again destroyed in a fire in 1923.
The hotel was once again rebuilt, this time with concrete walls, by Frank Amato. Along with the hotel a chapel, power station, stables, underground ice/water facility, and lodge (which was designed to house the owner and his family) was built. However, these buildings were never fully finished and the hotel closed its doors in 1940. In 1941 the building again suffered from a fire with much of the interior being destroyed. Another fire hit the house in the 1960’s, leaving behind what is seen today.
In the woods around the main hotel ruins are the foundations of two additional buildings, but these are not commonly visited due to the Rattlesnake population.
Today the ruins sit just below the summit of Overlook Mountain and are commonly populated by hikers wishing to get views of what once was. And the views from the summit don’t hurt either!
You can find some tips for hiking Overlook Mountain here.