Weekend of April 21
We’ll see mostly cloudy skies throughout the weekend in the Catskills with Friday being the exception. Mostly clear skies on Friday with a high near 75 degrees will make for a great day to hit the trails. Saturday will be overcast with a chance of rain later in the afternoon and a high of 68 degrees. Sunday will be cooler and rainy with a high of 61 degrees. Heavy rainfall is expected. Higher elevations could be much cooler so remember to carry extra layers. Trails can be wet, muddy, or even icy in early spring; wear waterproof footwear and gaiters. When packing for a spring hike, it’s always better to overcompensate than to feel miserable in chilly weather due to improper clothes and underpacking essential gear.
Trail Conditions: This week’s trail conditions are sponsored by Gordon Hunter Mountain Realty LLC. It’s shaping up to be a great weekend to hit the trails if you don’t mind a little rain. It will be damp and wet on Saturday and Sunday. Friday will be 75F with sunny skies. Friday night will be 49F and cloudy. Saturday will be 68F and cloudy, with showers developing in the afternoon. Saturday night will be rainy with a low of 48F. Sunday will be cooler, cloudy and rainy with a high of 61F. Heavy rainfall is expected. Sunday night will see rain with a low of 39F. Prepare for your hike with proper boots and ankle gaiters, and walk directly through mud puddles to prevent trail widening and damaging fragile plants.
Sunrise is at 6:07 am and sunset is at 7:44 pm. We’ll see a Waxing 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: Mostly sunny skies. High around 75F. Winds SSE at 5 to 10 mph. Friday night: Partly cloudy skies early will become overcast later during the night. Low 49F. Winds SE at 5 to 10 mph. Saturday: Cloudy with light rain developing later in the day. High 68F. Winds SE at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 60%. Saturday night: Rain likely. Potential for heavy rainfall. Low 48F. Winds SSE at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 100%. Rainfall possibly over one inch. Sunday: Cloudy with occasional rain showers. High 61F. Winds NW at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 60%. Sunday night: Showers in the evening, then partly cloudy overnight. Low 39F. Winds NW at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 40%.
THIS WEEK’S HIKING TIP: Watch out for snakes. Snakes love to say hello to hikers during the early spring mornings. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for snakes at all times, as they could be lurking within holes on a trail. They also love to poke their heads out of nearby bushes and grass, which makes it too easy for hikers to step on one. If you do end up getting bit by a snake, whether it’s venomous or not, be sure to quickly identify its color, shape, and size, and seek medical attention right away.
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:
- 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: firstname.lastname@example.org, 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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