Plane Wrecks, Crash Sites and More in the Catskills
To say the Catskills are littered with plane wrecks is no exaggeration. The crash sites all date from a time when navigation technology was basic — a time that is shockingly close to us.
Over the years, these wrecks have become sites of interest for hikers and explorers seeking the thrill of discovering something out of the ordinary. However, it is important to approach these sites with the utmost respect for the lives lost and the families affected by these events, as well as with an understanding of the principles of Leave No Trace outdoor ethics.
One of the most well-known plane crash sites in the Catskills is the remains of a B-25 Mitchell Bomber that went down in 1948 near the summits of Friday and Balsam Cap mountains.
Another notable crash site is that of a Piper PA-28 Cherokee on Kaaterskill High Peak. As the years have passed, the wreckage has become engulfed by the surrounding forest, leaving only fragments of the plane and its history as a poignant testament to the unforgiving nature of the wilderness.
When visiting these plane crash wrecks, it is crucial to approach them with the reverence they deserve. Visitors should refrain from removing any artifacts or disturbing the sites in any way. It’s essential to practice “Leave No Trace” principles, which include respecting wildlife, disposing of waste properly, and leaving the area in the same or better condition than it was found.
These sites can be both fascinating and sobering to explore, but it is imperative that visitors treat them with the respect and dignity they deserve. By adhering to Leave No Trace principles and maintaining a respectful attitude, we can ensure the preservation of these important pieces of history for future generations to learn from and appreciate.
Plane Wrecks in The Catskills
The largest plane wreck in the Catskills is the B-25 Bomber which crashed in 1948 on Friday Mountain.
The most intact wreck I’ve visited is the small civilian plane wreck just below the summit of Kaaterskill High Peak; that one dates from 1983.
Listed below are the hikes with crash sites I’ve been to, but there are many more: on Doubletop, Overlook, Stoppel Point, South Mountain, West Kill, Ashokan High Point, Arizona Mountain, even on Panther and Slide mountains.
Mountain wrecks are fascinating sites to visit but please remember they are sites of tragedy; do not add anything, change anything, or remove anything from these locations.