While the abandoned Borscht Belt hotels and resorts are a famous staple of abandoned Catskills sites, The Catskill Game Farm remains a much less visited gem amongst the urbex community. For one thing, unlike most abandoned sites, trespassing will most assuredly lead to an arrest and charges being pressed, but if you play by the rules, plan your visit, make a donation ($20-100), and sign a waiver, you’ll be allowed a unique and fascinating opportunity to enter the grounds on your very own self guided tour.
A little history..
The Catskill Game Farm dates all the way back to Depression era America. Opened by Roland Lindemann in 1933, the zoo originall held only sheep, donkeys, and deer, but by 1958, the Department of Agriculture approved it as the first privately owned zoo in the United States, allowing it to host more exotic animals. By the 60’s it was receiving up to half a million visitors each year. Patrons were willing to pay a slightly steep ticket price because the zoo allowed children the opportunity to pet and feed and great number of the animals.
The entrance still maintains its classic look and continues to give entry to those willing to make a donation and sign a waiver
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A spider infested ticket booth still holds relics of the park’s past including tickets and a copy of the conductor’s address that some poor park employee had to repeat ad nauseum
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All the large animal exhibits are so overgrown they’re barely recognizable
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After closing, two rhinos were auctioned off and sold for $6,000 and $9,250 to an organization that will place them for the International Rhino Association. Also, a southern white rhino named “Boom Boom” now resides at the Out Of Africa Wild Animal Park in Camp Verde, Arizona. He was bought for Out of Africa by Marc Ecko, founder of the rhino-branded Ecko apparel line.
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Over 1,000 bidders from US, Mexico, Canada, and elsewhere attended the auctioning off of zoo memorabilia. I wonder where this windmill is today
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