Weekend of April 14
The Catskills will see warmer than usual temperatures this weekend with a near record high on Friday, which will be sunny with a few passing clouds and temps near 87 degrees. Saturday will be overcast with a chance of rain and a high of 72 degrees. Sunday will be rainy for most of the day with a high of 65 degrees. Although there will be summer-like temperatures at the trailhead, higher elevations could be much cooler. Stay dry, carry extra layers, and pack traction aids for your next hiking adventure. Trails can be wet, muddy, or even icy in early spring; wear waterproof footwear, gaiters, and (at least pack) crampons. It’s important that you carry plenty of water for your hike, as you could add unanticipated time if you get lost or have to detour. You need an entire liter of water for every two hours of hiking.
Trail Conditions: This week’s trail conditions are sponsored by Restaino Design P.C., Landscape Architecture. It’s looking like a great weekend to hit the trails. Trails conditions will be mixed and dependent on location — dry in lower elevations and muddy in some areas from snow melt. There’s still lingering snow and ice coverage at higher elevations. Friday will be 87F degrees with abundant sunshine. Friday night will be 57F and cloudy. Saturday will be cloudy with a chance of a rain shower. High of 72F. Saturday night will be 55F with occasional rain showers. Sunday will be cloudy and rainy with a high of 65F. Sunday night will start with rain showers then remain cloudy with a low of 52F. Prepare for your hike with proper boots, ankle gaiters, and trekking poles to ensure easy travel. Walk directly through mud puddles to prevent trail widening and damaging fragile plants.
Sunrise is at 6:18 am and sunset is at 7:37 pm. We’ll see a Waning Crescent moon this weekend. Always bring a headlamp or flashlight with you in case your hike takes longer than planned, and never rely solely on your phone flashlight.
Weekend Weather Forecast (reporting for Mt. Tremper, NY): Friday: Sunshine and clouds mixed. Near record high temperatures. High 87F. Winds light and variable. Friday night: Partly cloudy skies during the evening will give way to cloudy skies overnight. Low 57F. Winds light and variable. Saturday: Cloudy with occasional showers for the afternoon. High 72F. Winds SE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 50%. Saturday night: Occasional rain. Low near 55F. Winds light and variable. Chance of rain 70%. Rainfall around a quarter of an inch. Sunday: Considerable cloudiness with occasional rain showers. High around 65F. Winds ESE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 50%. Sunday night: Showers early, becoming a steady rain late. Low 52F. Winds light and variable. Chance of rain 90%.
THIS WEEK’S HIKING TIP: Choose the right shoe/sock combo. Blisters can ruin an otherwise perfect hike, and they can occur if your shoes and socks aren’t right for the trip. Visit your local outdoor shop and get fitted for boots that are right for you. They should be snug but not too tight. Your socks can also make or break your hike, so it’s important to think about the proper length in conjunction with your boot. A merino wool, crew-length sock is the standard general-purpose hiking sock, and a good pair is definitely worth the investment.
Annual Burn ban in effect through May 14. Open burning is the single greatest cause of wildfires in NYS. Since the spring burn ban was implemented in 2009, the number of wildfires has decreased by more than 40%. Click here for more information.
To report a wildfire, call 1-833-NYS-RANGERS (1-833-697-7264) or contact a forest ranger in your area.
Fishing Notice: Trout season runs from April 1-Oct 15. For more information, visit NYSDEC.
Hike Smart by packing the proper gear. See the NYS DEC’s recommended packing list (PDF) and safety tips.
Catskills Fire Tower Challenge 2023: The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) 2023 Fire Tower Challenge is under way and runs through Dec 31, 2023. Hikers can earn a prize and a certificate for climbing all six fire towers in the Catskill Park — Overlook, Red Hill, Balsam Lake, Mount Tremper, Hunter, and the Upper Esopus (at the Catskills Visitor Center). Stewardship of the fire towers is a partnership with the Catskill Center. Learn more by visiting the Catskill Fire Tower Project website and the DEC’s Fire Tower Challenge website.
Recreate Responsibly: There is an informative 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.
Trail Register Information: (the books found inside metal boxes at the start of all hiking trails) The NYSDEC encourages all visitors to continue to sign in and out at trail registers. These registers provide important information on trail usage and hiker safety.
Seasonal Roads and Trailhead Closures: The following roads are seasonal roads that are not maintained during winter months and are generally closed from November to April 15 of each year:
- Platte Clove Road – Indian Head Wilderness (Town of Hunter) – closed Nov 1 to April 15
- 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)
- Molly Smith Trailhead on Route 23A – Kaaterskill Wild Forest (Town of Hunter)
DEC recommends visitors access Kaaterskill Falls by parking at the Laurel House Road, Schutt Road, or South Lake parking areas.
511NY road closure map (updated daily)
- Catskills Trail Conditions Facebook Group (updated regularly by locals and visitors to the area)
- Catskills 3500 Club Facebook homepage with updates
- Ulster County Road Closures
Doubletop and Graham Access: Public access to the two peaks has ended. We at the Catskill Center are thankful to the landowners who have made their property accessible to hikers for many years and respect their decision. The Catskill 3500 Club has decided that the remaining 33 peaks will make up the collection of Catskill mountains to be hiked for club membership..
Peekamoose Blue Hole: Permits are not required at this time, as it is off-season. Permits are required every day of the week to access the entirety of the Peekamoose Valley Riparian Corridor during the permit season. This includes day hike access to Peekamoose and Table Mountains, camping, access to the Blue Hole, and Buttermilk Falls. DEC permits are required to visit this site from May 15 – Sept 15. Permits can be acquired from the Reserve America website at: https://newyorkstateparks.reserveamerica.com
Carry In, Carry Out: The Catskill Park is a carry in, carry out park — please be sure to hike out with all of your trash and dispose of it properly. Note that most trails will not have any garbage receptacles. Always be prepared to take any garbage back with you.
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 open from 9:30 am-4 pm Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday from December through March. Trails open from dawn to dusk. Email us at the Catskills Visitor Center: email@example.com, or call us at (845) 688-3369. The Center’s online store carries trail maps, trail guides, and more for purchase.
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