Located in the southern portion of New York state, Delaware County is a relaxing getaway that offers miles of recreational trails, tranquil lakes and reservoirs, and unforgettable outdoor activities for the whole family. It is named after the Delaware River that separates New York from Pennsylvania and is one of the less populated locations in the state of New York outside of the Adirondacks, making it an ideal vacation spot for city dwellers and tourists alike.
With a sprawling area of 1468 square miles, Delaware County offers endless opportunities for loving the great outdoors. It is home to some of New York state’s most well-loved natural attractions, including the Delaware Wild Forest, the Pepacton and Cannonsville reservoirs, and a portion of the famous Catskill Mountains. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful hike, an adventure on horseback, a bountiful fishing trip, or a place to do all of the above, Delaware County should serve as the picturesque backdrop for your next vacation.
With plenty of lakes, streams, and reservoirs to choose from, Delaware County offers great fishing opportunities all year round. Big Pond in the town of Andes is one of the most popular ice fishing spots in the state. Ice fishing here in January and February can yield American eel, brown trout, rainbow trout, white sucker, brown bullhead, and pumpkinseed. When icy waters have thawed, fly fishing for trout begins in May. Depending on rainfall, it may dwindle from June to August, when the water levels decrease. Only when the water has cooled and rainfall is more frequent in September will trout fishing on the fly pick up again and last until late November.
While ice fishing is prohibited at the reservoirs of Pepacton, Cannonsville, and East Sidney, regular fishing at these spots yields great results for the rest of the year. The three reservoirs are fished for bluegill, which are best caught at dusk and dawn. Other popular species at the reservoirs include largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, rock bass, and brown trout. Pepacton Reservoir, in particular, is known for yearly trophy-size catches of smallmouth bass and brown trout. For a chance at large catches of brook trout, head to Huggins Lake in Colchester.
Beaver Kill River, a tributary of the East Branch of Delaware River, begins its fishing season in early April, when numerous aquatic insects hatch daily, luring in schools of brown trout that grow up to 15 inches long. This merry season for fishing lasts until late November.
There’s more to the county’s many water bodies than just fishing - these waters are also hot spots for swimming, paddling, and kayaking. Or, if you’re looking for a more relaxing experience, charter a boat and spend the day traversing calm waters surrounded by tranquil mountains and lush greenery.
Delaware County is home to many recreational trails that are all so wondrous, you’ll want to cover as much as you can. Pack your bags and make a day of your journey. Take in the sights, breathe in fresh air, then set up camp and fall asleep under the stars.