Weekend of July 3rd

Last updated: July 3, 2020

For the holiday, outdoor spaces may be busier than usual. Recreate Responsibly guidelines are ever more important. Saturday for July 4th there is a slight chance of rain, Sunday the 5th looks sunny and clear. Seeking out less popular outdoor areas, wearing a mask, having a back up plan, and recreating as locally as possible are all ways to keep yourself and others safe. We hope you have a wonderful, safe Fourth of July weekend.

Trail Conditions: The trails are in mostly dry condition right now with patches of mud from recent rain this week. Stay off mountaintops and open spaces as much as possible during potential storms this Friday and Saturday. Water sources should be running this weekend. Be aware of critical closures of Catskill Park destinations as well as some openings with restrictions. Full list below.

Nature’s Fireworks! A picture of wild bergamot by Joshua Mayer. Join us this Saturday by using the hashtag #CatskillsFourthofJuly to show your Catskills Pride on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or the social media platform of your choice.

Weekend Weather Forecast (reporting for Mt. Tremper, NY): Friday, a chance of showers and thunderstorms in the morning and afternoon. High near 85, chance of precipitation is 80%. Friday night, showers and thunderstorms likely before midnight. Cloudy with a low around 61. Saturday for Independence Day, isolated showers and thunderstorms after 1pm. Mostly sunny, high near 85, 20% chance of precipitation. Saturday night, mostly clear, low around 60. Sunday, mostly sunny with a high near 88. Sunday night, partly cloudy, low around 63. (Source: National Weather Service, NOAA)

Catskills Camp-In: Today and tomorrow, join us for a schedule on Facebook of videos and activities on a wide range of Catskills topics. From birdwatching to making nature zines, becoming a citizen scientist, stargazing, listening to live music, and more, we hope you’ll tune in!

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.

Reopenings and Temporary Closures: For any information or clarification, please feel free to call (845) 688-3369 or email info@catskillcenter.org.

  • Kaaterskill Falls trail via Route 23a is closed. Laurel House Trail and the trails above the falls have been reopened.
  • Shavertown Trail in Andes, NY.
  • NYSDEC fire tower trails and staircases in the Catskills (Balsam Lake, Hunter, Overlook, Red Hill, Tremper, Upper Esopus) are reopened to hikers. Use hand sanitizer and wear a mask if you choose to climb a tower. The Hunter Fire Tower cab will be open on a limited schedule this weekend, all other fire tower cabs are closed presently.
  • 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, however starting Saturday, July 4th window service will be available for visitor information. Phone calls will be answered Mondays-Saturdays from 9-4. Visitor Center trails are open.
  • DEC has temporarily stopped issuing permits for backcountry camping for groups of 10 or more (link to: the DEC’s website). As of June 11, the 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: As of Friday, July 3rd all permits have been issued for the weekend. 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 New York Reserve America website.

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 theCatskill 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.”

Recreate Responsibly: 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!

Weather: 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. Window information and limited service will be available starting Saturday, July 4th from 9-4 on the side porch of the building. 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 encounter others.

Call us at the Catskills Visitor Center: (845) 688-3369 or e-mail us at info@catskillcenter.org.

The Center’s online store carries trail mapstrail guides and more for purchase.  

Most Recent Trail Update | NYSDEC Catskill Backcountry Info | CVC Online Gift Shop

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