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Recreation Rules & Access Permits

Recreational uses of New York City-owned water supply lands are governed by DEP Rules for the Recreational Use of Water Supply Lands and Water which has been amended over the years to allow increased public use while reducing certain requirements. Please note that these rules have recently been amended and are in effect as of November 29, 2010. Recreational users should be advised that any violations of these recreation rules could result in a revocation or suspension of recreational privileges.

Public Access Areas

In 2009, DEP revised its Rules for the Recreational Use of Water Supply Lands and Water to allow for “Public Access Areas” in the Catskill/Delaware (West of Hudson) Watershed. These “Public Access Areas” include City-owned lands in which a DEP Access Permit is not required and allowed uses include hiking, fishing, hunting and trapping according to applicable New York State regulations. The “Public Access Area” designation was originally reserved for City-owned lands that were adjacent to New York State lands, but the designation was expanded to now include certain non-adjacent City-owned lands as well. The user of this property assumes all risks and hazards, and that neither the City of New York nor the New York City Water Board shall be liable for any damages to persons or property.






Access Permit/Guest Pass Application
Guest Passes are also available for those who would like to accompany an Access Permit holder onto Water Supply lands, but do not want to obtain their own Access Permit. Follow the instructions on the Access Permit/Guest Pass Application to obtain a Guest Pass.
Access Permit (PDF)
Access Update (PDF)
Guest Pass Application (PDF)
Watershed Recreation Access Permit System


Please report any suspicious or dangerous activity on City reservoirs or lands by calling DEP Police at 1-888-H2O-SHED (426-7433).

Reservoir Levels

Current: 66.5%

Normal: 75.9%