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 that happens to be very busy. This is a classic summer weekend filled with sun, rain, and thunderstorms primarily around midday and afternoons. Hike early, and stay off mountaintops during any storm rolling in this weekend.
The trails are in great albeit dry condition right now. Pack extra water and do not rely on streams or springs for your water source. The thunderstorms over the weekend may lead to flash flooding of streams and crossings, and of course stay off mountaintops and open spaces during storms this weekend. Be aware of critical closures of Catskill Park destinations. Full list below.
Weekend Weather Forecast (reporting for Mt. Tremper, NY)
Friday, isolated showers and thunderstorms after 2pm. Mostly sunny, with a high near 83. Northwest wind around 8 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%. Friday night, mostly clear, with a low around 60. Northwest wind around 5 mph becoming calm in the evening. Saturday, showers likely, with thunderstorms also possible after noon. Some of the storms could produce gusty winds. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 78. Light and variable wind becoming southwest 8 to 13 mph in the morning. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New rainfall amounts between a half and three quarters of an inch possible. Saturday night, scattered showers and thunderstorms before 2am, then isolated showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 61. Northwest wind 6 to 11 mph becoming light in the evening. Chance of precipitation is 40%. New rainfall amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms. Sunday, isolated showers, then scattered showers and thunderstorms after 2pm. Partly sunny, with a high near 84. Northwest wind around 5 mph becoming calm. Chance of precipitation is 30%. New rainfall amounts of less than a tenth of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms. Sunday night, scattered showers and thunderstorms before 8pm. Mostly clear, with a low around 61. Chance of precipitation is 30%. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms. (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 call (845) 688-3369 or email firstname.lastname@example.org:
- Kaaterskill Falls trail via 23a is closed. Laurel House Trail and the trails above the falls are now open.
- Shavertown Trail in Andes, NY.
- NYSDEC fire towers in the Catskills (Balsam Lake, Hunter, Overlook, Red Hill, Tremper, Upper Esopus) are now reopened to hikers. The trails that lead to the towers are open.
- Overnight camping is suspended in Peekamoose Valley, Sundown Wild Forest until July 1st. Beginning on the 1st primitive dispersed camping will reopen.
- The building of the Catskills Visitor Center in Mt. Tremper, NY is currently closed. Visitor Center trails are open.
- DEC has temporarily stopped issuing permits for backcountry camping for groups of 10 or more. As of June 11, DEC resumed issuing permits for groups of fewer than 10 people who would like to stay for more than three nights at one location on state lands. DEC is also temporarily restricting lean-to use to members of a single household at a time.
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
Hike Safe 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.
Call us at the Catskills Visitor Center: (845) 688-3369 or e-mail us at email@example.com.