Exploring Cooper Lake Reservoir

Cooper lake state park is the largest and most beautiful natural lake in the Catskill Mountains. I am not overstating this at all. If you want a gorgeous location and can do without many amenities, this is the place. Located in the little town of Lake Hill near Woodstock, this stunning landscape will engulf you in its beautiful scenery and peaceful woodland that will capture your heart and soul.

It is a large freshwater reservoir for the nearby City of Kingston. It holds roughly 1.2 billion gallons of water, so if you think about whether you can swim in Cooper Lake, NY, know that fishing or swimming in the lake is prohibited.

Cooper Lake is one of those natural landscapes offered by Woodstock, NY, that you can visit for free, and its jaw-dropping views will ensure you have the best time of your life while you are walking around, taking photos, biking, or just spending a peaceful time there.

What are other reservoirs in New York?

1.     Ashokan Reservoir

Ashokan Reservoir lies at the eastern end of Catskill Park and is an important source to provide water for the city of New York.

2.     Cannonsville Reservoir

Cannonsville Reservoir is established by the Cannonsville dam on its west end. It is the westernmost reservoir for New York City.

3.     Pepacton Reservoir

Pepacton Reservoir was formed by the Downsville dam and is a reservoir in Delaware County, New York.

4.     Rondout Reservoir

Located 75 miles northwest in the Catskill Mountains, Rondout Reservoir is another essential part of the water supply network in New York City.

5.     Schoharie Reservoir

It is one of the 19 reservoirs created to supply water to New York City. Schoharie reservoir also lies in the Catskill Mountains.

How Do You Get to Cooper Lake from Woodstock

To get to Cooper Lake from Woodstock, you can take Rt. 212 and head 5 miles west. Expect the road to wind around the shore, and from the top of the dam that holds the lake back, you can see a breathtaking panoramic view of the Catskill Mountains.

The Ecology

There are several plant and animal species observed in Cooper Lake Park. The increased human infiltration has led to a change in the natural lifecycle of these species. However, some original plant communities still grow in the park, including winged elm, post oak, thistle bushes, etc.

Animals inhabiting Cooper Lake are wild turkeys, frogs, minnows, bears, raccoons, beavers, and bobcats.

History of Cooper Lake

The Water Department of the City Of Kingston was established in May 1895 as a special department to provide fresh potable water to residents of Kingston. The Kingston Water Department is an administratively independent department governed by the Board of Water Commissions.

While a dam project is under construction at Cooper Lake, the City of Kingston uses its secondary freshwater source, i.e., Ashokan Reservoir.

The Cooper Lake Reservoir

Through the NY state’s Water Infrastructure and Improvement Act grant, the cooper lake dam project is under construction to bring further improvements to the Cooper lake dam so that it complies with safety standards.

Cooper Lake is a freshwater reservoir and the primary freshwater source for the city of Kingston. Since Mink Hollow Creek feeds Cooper Lake, this dam project aims to interconnect it with the Ashokan Reservoir in New York City. The second phase will deal with constructing a new water supply intake.

What Makes Cooper Lake So Beautiful?

Cooper lake is the most beautiful and peaceful place that Woodstock can offer. While walking in the park, far away from busy roads, you can hear the birds chirping and the water running.

Cooper lake state park is a famous walking spot for residents of Woodstock who also like to bring their dogs along. The Cooper lake reservoir offers fresh scenery with its pristine waters and clear skies, and many people love to catch sunsets on the shore.

Cooper Lake is crowded most of the time. People love to park their vans and spend their day in the park, but the area is large enough to accommodate many visitors.

Stay Locations at Cooper Lake

Cooper Lake attracts many tourists and visitors to spend at least one night among the quiet sounds of nature. There are several secluded and cozy tree houses or entire cabins and cottages around Cooper Lake that you can rent for a comfortable staycation.

Notable Places Near Cooper Lake, NY

1.     Mount Tobias

Mount Tobias is a mountain peak almost 3 km west of Cooper Lake. It is located in the Catskill Mountains.

2.     Johns Mountain

Johns Mountain is another mountain located in the Catskill Mountains. Mount Tobias lies west-northwest of Johns Mountain.

3.     Beetree Hill

Beetree Hill lies west of Johns Mountain and is situated southwest of Cooper Lake.

What Is It Like Visiting Cooper Lake, NY

Cooper Lake is a beautiful vacation spot if you’re a hard-core nature lover. The park offers beautiful sights and various plants and animal species, making it a place where you can witness a complex but intricate ecosystem.

However, not many facilities around Cooper Lake make it a convenient spot for spending lots of time. It is not allowed to fish and swim in the lake, making them unavailable options for entertainment.

You can think of it as a beautiful and serene nature spot that is free from any artificial entertainment. You can enjoy the scenic views and interact with a few animals, but the exploring is only limited to one road around the shore.

The place is a pleasant spot for dogs as they love to play around the open space, but the steep roads sometimes make it hard for senior citizens to take a walk.


Cooper Lake will offer you the leisure to clear your mind and lose yourself in its open skies and fresh lake views if you are a cinematic photographer or a nature lover who wants to hike or go camping in a peaceful environment.

The McClain Family

We hope we helped. Please let us know of any place that you want to know about in NYS or if we did a poor job with any part of this. Our goal is to help as many people as possible.

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