Weekend of April 7
We’ll see a mix of sun and clouds this weekend in the Catskills with temperatures steady in the 50s. Friday will be partly cloudy with temps near 50. Saturday will be partly cloudy with a high near 50. Sunday will be mostly sunny with a high of 54 degrees. Stay dry, dress in layers, and pack traction aids for your next hiking adventure. You’ll find microspikes, snowshoes, and trekking poles for rent at the Catskills Visitor Center. We also have microspikes for sale. Trails can be wet, muddy, or even icy in early spring; wear waterproof footwear, gaiters, and (at least pack) crampons. Watch for rocks and tree roots as they become slippery when wet.
Trail Conditions: This week’s trail conditions are sponsored by Catskills Candle Studio. Trails will likely be muddy and wet in some areas from Thursday’s rain showers. We’ll still see some snow and ice coverage at higher elevations. Friday will be 49 degrees with cloudy skies. Friday night will be 27F. Saturday will be cloudy with a high of 51F. Saturday night will be clear with a low of 28F. Sunday will be sunny with a high of 54F. Sunday night will be clear with a low of 30F. Prepare for your hike with proper boots, ankle gaiters, and trekking poles to ensure easy travel. It is recommended to pack traction devices. Walk directly through mud puddles to prevent trail widening and damaging fragile plants.
Sunrise is at 6:29 am and sunset is at 7:29 pm. We’ll see a Waning Gibbous 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 cloudy skies. High 49F. Winds NW at 10 to 20 mph. Friday night: Partly cloudy. Low 27F. Winds NW at 10 to 20 mph. Saturday: A few clouds early, otherwise mostly sunny. High 51F. Winds NW at 5 to 10 mph. Saturday night: Mostly clear skies. Low 28F. Winds NW at 5 to 10 mph. Sunday: Sunny skies. High 54F. Winds light and variable. Sunday night: A mostly clear sky. Low around 30F. Winds light and variable.
THIS WEEK’S HIKING TIP: Stick to the trail.
Sometimes our instinct is to avoid the mud and travel either off the trail or on the edge of the trail. The muddy trail will recover better than the fragile vegetation stepped on off-trail, so be sure to travel through the middle of the trail. Vegetation serves as a vital ground cover, preventing erosion and providing food and habitat for wildlife.
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.
2023 Trees for Tribs Buffer in a Bag Program: The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s (NYSDEC’s) Trees for Tribs Buffer in a Bag program provides free tree and shrub seedlings for organizations and private landowners to create or improve stream buffers on their property. Learn more about the 2023 Buffer in a Bag program, application requirements, and the April 7 deadline on the DEC website.
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: 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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