This weekend is going to be a beautiful one. Even with its mild temperatures be sure to plan for heat and cold weather alike. Pack extra layers for summits. Please continue to follow recommendations on safety and social distancing from New York State and the CDC. Use your best judgement when traveling and keep alternate plans in mind if you’re visiting a trailhead.
An absolutely gorgeous weekend is here to greet us in the Catskills! Trails will be wet in spots of shade and higher elevations due to storms earlier this week. However, the dry mild temperatures will make for prime conditions in the hills. Be aware of critical closures of Catskill Park destinations. Full list below.
Weekend Weather Forecast (reporting for Mt. Tremper, NY)
Friday, mostly sunny, with a high near 79. West wind 8 to 11 mph. Friday night, mostly clear, with a low around 45. Northwest wind 7 to 9 mph. Saturday, mostly sunny, with a high near 71. North wind around 6 mph. Saturday night, partly cloudy, with a low around 42. North wind 3 to 5 mph. Sunday, mostly sunny, with a high near 71. Northeast wind around 5 mph becoming calm in the afternoon. Sunday night, partly cloudy, with a low around 50. (Source: National Weather Service, NOAA)
Trail Register Information: (the books found inside metal boxes at the start of all hiking trails)
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation encourages all visitors to continue to sign in and out at trail registers. These provide important information on trail usage and hiker safety. It is suggested to choose one person in your group to fill in the register for everyone, consider bringing your own pen or pencil, and bring hand sanitizer to use before and after touching the trail register.
The following destinations are closed in the Catskills. For any information or clarification, please feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org:
- Kaaterskill Falls and all of the trails that lead to the falls in Palenville and Haines Falls, NY.
- Shavertown Trail in Andes, NY.
- NYSDEC campgrounds and pavilions are all currently closed to overnight visitation, no reservations are currently being accepted.
- NYSDEC 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 is 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.
Peekamoose Blue Hole
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) 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 the Reserve America website at: https://newyorkstateparks.reserveamerica.com
Catskill Stewards Tip of the Week
Bring a mask, even on the trails. While hiking with the people you live with, wearing a mask is not mandatory. However, while on summits, trailheads, points of interest, and even passing others please wear a mask to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Especially in areas such as parking lots and trailheads, there has been a reduction in people actively wearing masks. The continued use of masks in these areas is incredibly important for the general the health and safety of all in the Catskills.
Graham and Doubletop Mountain Access
From the Catskill 3500 Club. “For permission to hike on Graham or Doubletop, call Bill, the caretaker, at his office number: (845) 586-4099. He will be responding during Monday-Friday business hours. This is a landline, so texts will not work. He will no longer be replying to the cell number originally listed, even if it is a text. Follow the guidance for your region and only ask for permission to hike if travel is appropriate. Please be respectful of these protocols so that we do not lose access to these mountains.”
An informative and timely new set of guidelines put together by several outdoor organizations. The Catskill Center recommends following the Recreate Responsibly principles and taking precautions before, during, and after your outing to decrease your chance of exposure to COVID-19.
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 wearing a mask when you meet others.