Winter Tips for the Catskills

It’s always good to consider the special opportunities and challenges of hiking and recreating in the winter.

Information about Snowshoes and Winter Layering:

*A Beginner’s Guide to Buying Snowshoes, a great article from Parks & Trails New York.

*A video all about creating a layering system in cold weather from the Catskill Center

Where can I purchase snowshoes and/or foot traction devices locally?

-Jimmy’s Belleayre & Ski Shop in Highmount, NY (purchase)

-Kenco Outfitters in Kingston, NY (purchase or rent)

-Potter Brothers in Kingston, NY (purchase)

-Catskill Outfitters in Phoenicia, NY (purchase or rent)

-Hunter Mountain Outfitters in Tannersville, NY (purchase or rent)

-Windham Mountain Outfitters in Windham, NY (purchase or rent)

-Rock & Snow in New Paltz, NY (purchase or rent)

-Some libraries in the Mid-Hudson Library System (rent) – must have a library card, call locations to confirm availability!

The Catskill Center offers some helpful winter hiking tips, these are a few of those tips and tricks:

Carry insulating layers: including a spare set of long underwear tops and bottoms – putting on fresh, dry clothes mid-hike may shock the system initially, but you will feel warmer quickly. Extra gloves and socks can also be good to have.

Try to stay dry: when you’re exerting yourself outdoors in the winter, keep an eye on body temperature. If you’re overheating and sweating, keep in mind that when you stop or slow down that you can get cold quickly. One tip that can help is to have a change of clothes with you, dry layers to switch into when you slow down or stop. You can also add or subtract layers to avoid sweating.

Be aware that solid food items and water bottles can freeze. Cut up those snickers bars ahead of time. Even cold cuts on a sandwich can freeze! Also consider purchasing an insulated water bottle, or an insulated drinking tube for a water reservoir so that water stays above 32 degrees F.

Drink regularly: You will not feel as thirsty in cold weather and could become dehydrated without realizing it. Take sips of water regularly to stay hydrated.

-Check Catskill Park Trail Conditions for weekly updates posted every Thursday: Each week there’s information about regional snow, ice, and weather forecasts

Seasonal Road Closures

The following are seasonal roads and are not maintained during winter months please be aware of snowy conditions: Platte Clove Road – Indian Head Wilderness (Town of Hunter) – closed November 1st to April 15th; Roaring Kill Road – Indian Head Wilderness (Town of Hunter); Big Hollow Road – Windham-Blackhead Range Wilderness (Town of Windham); Russell Brook Road – Delaware Wild Forest (Town of Colchester); Mary Smith Road – Delaware Wild Forest (Town of Colchester); Ploutz Road – Dry Brook Wild Forest (Town of Middletown)

Make sure you have a map and guide while you’re enjoying the outdoors! Many guidebooks and maps are available in our online shop and at our Gift Shop at the Catskills Visitor Center! The NYSDEC has a free map available for download of the Catskill Park.

Greene County Information on Snowshoeing and Cross-Country Skiing

Ulster County Information on Winter Sports

Sullivan County Information on Skiing and Winter Sports

The New York-New Jersey Trail Conference, together with Unboring Exploring produced a fun video about how to be properly prepared for winter hikes and activities!

Your support helps make the Catskills Visitor Center possible!

The Congressman Maurice D. Hinchey Catskills Visitor Center is a program of the Catskill Center, a nonprofit organization working to protect the Catskills since 1969. We are made possible by our generous supporters.