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Lakefront real estate - Highland Lake, NY

Catskills lakes — HIghland Lake, Sullivan County, NY

Highland Lake is a 250 acre private motorboat lake in the southwest part of Sullivan County, east of Eldred. Highland Lake was a popular summer getaway in the first half of the 20th century, with a combination of small hotels and boarding houses, summer lake cottages and camps. While the boarding houses have long since been converted into large single family homes, and the camps are gone, the lake still maintains much of its old time feel.

Lakefront houses here tend to be on slightly larger parcels than at many other ‘traditional’ lake, with many on half an acre or an acre. There are some houses on even larger acreage, mostly though along the northwest part of the lake which has a wetlands shoreline. That means that houses may be set back quite far from the lake, with boardwalks across the wetlands to reach open water. While these houses enjoy more privacy, they generally don’t have lake views.

The southern and eastern sides of the lake tend to have clear lake frontage, and Highland is considered a good swimming lake. The terrain around the lake is largely gentle slope, and this is one of the few motorboat lakes here where some houses have lakeside lawns.

There are also still a handful of small seasonal lake cottages here, not winterized for year round use, and they’re the least expensive options here, starting in the mid $200’s. For a winterized year round house, prices range from the low $300’s for a smaller 2BR up to the $800,000 range for one of the large converted boarding houses (if one came to market.) Overall, though, buyers should expect to pay in the range of $350K to $500K for a lakefront house.

There are some houses at Highland that are listed as ‘lakefront’ but aren’t really direct lakefront. The houses are on the other side of the road from the lake, and include a narrow (15′ to 30′ wide) lake access strip across the road, where you can have a dock. These houses generally don’t have any lake views, but can be a very affordable way to get private lake access on a motorboat lake.

While Highland is a private lake, there is public access available at the Sand Beach Club, a lakeside bar and restaurant that has a swimming beach and dock space. Sand Beach charges a day use fee.

Note, there isn’t much turnover at Highland Lake, so in any given year only a couple of lakefront houses may come to market. So for buyers looking for Catskill lakefront real estate on a motorboat lake, finding a direct lakefront house here can be a challenge.

Highland Lake Quick Facts
  • Motorboat lake
  • Private but with day-use access available at the Sand Beach Club.
  • 95 miles from the George Washington Bridge
  • Approx. 250 acres
  • Parcel sizes: 1/4 acre to approx. 5-6 acres
  • Rentals permitted
  • House prices: Lakefront seasonals from the mid $200’s, direct lakefront year-rounders, $300’s to the $500’s, split ‘lakefronts’ (non-lakefront houses with a deeded access piece across the road) start about $200K.
Finding real estate for sale on Highland Lake:

HIghland Lake doesn’t have a lake/community designator in the Sullivan MLS, so I can’t put a Highland-specific search button here. If you’re interested in real estate at Highland Lake, please send me an email or give me a call at 845-468-5710.