As we continue to navigate this time, a few things stay constant: the safest ways to go outside right now involve recreating close to home, wearing face masks, and giving others at least six (6) feet of distance. Protect yourself and by extension, emergency service workers, by doing things within your ability level, staying prepared with enough water and a trail map. Keep alternative things to do in mind if you find a trail is closed or full to capacity.
Right now the following are closed in the Catskills. For any information or clarification, please feel free to email email@example.com:
- Kaaterskill Falls and all of the trails that lead to the falls in Palenville and Haines Falls, NY.
- Shavertown Trail in Andes, NY.
- DEC campgrounds and pavilions are all currently closed to overnight visitation, no reservations are currently being accepted.
- Fire towers in the Catskills (Balsam Lake, Hunter, Overlook, Red Hill, Tremper, Upper Esopus) are currently closed. The trails that lead to the towers are open.
- Overnight camping suspended in Peekamoose Valley, Sundown Wild Forest until further notice (More camping suspension information here).
- The building of the Catskills Visitor Center in Mt. Tremper, NY is currently closed. Visitor Center trails are open.
- Graham Mountain and Doubletop Mountain are currently closed. Both are on private property and the landowners ask that no one travels there until further notice.
Peekamoose Blue Hole
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is temporarily reducing by half (from 50 to 25) the number of permits issued per day to visit the Peekamoose Blue Hole in the town of Denning.
DEC permits are required to visit this site on weekends and holidays from May 15 – October 15. Permits are available as late as one day in advance, but more no more than seven days in advance. Permits can be acquired from Reserve America at: https://newyorkstateparks.reserveamerica.com
Catskill Center Stewards will be present at Peekamoose Blue Hole and the Platte Clove Preserve on weekends now through October.
Catskills Stewards Tip of the Week
Bring more water than you think you will need. When replenishing water that you lose from sweat and exertion, don’t forget to also replenish your electrolytes. We need minerals like salt, magnesium, potassium, and calcium which are also lost through sweat.
Recreate Responsibly: A great new set of guidelines put together by several outdoor organizations.
- Stay as close to your home as you can; find a local park, less visited trail, rail trail, or other outdoor area you never knew was right in your neighborhood!
- Check to make sure you have the 10 essentials
- Pick up a trail map beforehand. Be prepared with multiple hikes in case any parking lots are full when you arrive. Ask questions of local sources.
- Bring enough food and water. At a minimum, bring 2 liters / 67 or more ounces of water for a day hike, more if you plan to be out for more than 3-4 hours. If you have pets with you, bring a lot more water to keep them hydrated.
- Give other hikers 6 feet minimum distance on hiking trails.
- Wear a mask.
- Plan to pack out what you bring with you – face masks, empty water bottles, disposable gloves, should all taken back with you.
Weekend Weather Forecast (reporting for Mt. Tremper, NY)
Friday, a chance of showers with possible thunderstorms after noon. High near 78. Chance of rain 50%. Friday night, showers likely, low around 63. Saturday, a chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, high near 77. Chance of rain 30%. Saturday night, partly cloudy with a low around 48. Sunday, sunny, with a high near 67. Sunday night, mostly clear with a low around 43. (Source: National Weather Service, NOAA)
Carry It In, Carry It Out
The Catskill Park is a carry it in, carry it out park—please be sure to hike out all of your trash and dispose of it properly!
Be aware of and prepared for changing weather conditions in the Catskills. Stay current with the National Weather Service Weather Forecast. The NY Mesonet has stations in and just outside of Catskills that provide real time weather data and forecasts. Hudson Valley Weather provides detailed forecasts for the Hudson Valley and the Catskills.
In An Emergency: Report backcountry emergencies, such as lost or injured hikers and forest fires to the DEC Forest Rangers at 518-408-5850 or call 911.
The Congressman Maurice D. Hinchey Catskills Visitor Center (CVC) hosts a weather station in the MesoWest Network. Check the current weather conditions. The Center is located at 5096 Route 28 in Mt Tremper, NY. The Visitor Center building is currently closed, however trails remain open. Please remember to socially distance when visiting the CVC’s trails by giving other visitors 6 feet minimum distance and wear a mask.