Weekend of January 27
The Catskills will see cloudy skies this weekend with a peek of sunshine early Saturday morning and occasional snow showers mixing with rain Sunday. Temperatures will be in the mid 30s. Overnight lows will be in the 20s. Trails will be snow covered from Wednesday’s storm, as well as wet, icy, and muddy. Snow accumulations will be greater at higher elevations. Snow depths can look deceiving, and snow can be a lot deeper once you are off trail. Stick to the trail. Stay dry, dress in layers, and pack traction aids. Microspikes, snowshoes, and trekking poles are available for sale or rental at the Catskills Visitor Center.
Trail Conditions: This week’s trail conditions are sponsored by Erickson’s Automotive.We’ll see snow-covered trails this weekend with possible ice accumulation. Higher elevations will have snow and ice. Temperatures will be in the 30s and overnight temperatures will be below freezing. Prepare for your hike with proper boots, ankle gaiters, and trekking poles to ensure easy travel through the middle of muddy sections. It is recommended to pack snowshoes and traction devices. Conditions can change quickly in the backcountry so carry extra clothes and gear. Know your skill level and physical capabilities; choose trails within your or your group’s ability. Slow down when you need to. Go slow and take smaller steps to help avoid slipping.
Sunrise is at 7:14 am and sunset is at 5:05 pm. This weekend brings a Waxing Crescent moon. Always bring a headlamp or flashlight with you and never rely solely on your phone flashlight.
Weekend Weather Forecast (reporting for Mt. Tremper, NY): Friday: Partly cloudy. High 33F. Winds W at 5 to 10 mph. Friday night: Considerable cloudiness. Low 24F. Winds SW at 5 to 10 mph. Saturday: Some sun in the morning with increasing clouds during the afternoon. High 38F. Winds WSW at 5 to 10 mph. Saturday night: Considerable cloudiness. Low near 25F. Winds light and variable. Sunday: Occasional snow showers mixing with rain in the afternoon. High near 40F. Winds SW at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of precip 40%. Sunday night: Mainly cloudy. Low 27F. Winds light and variable.
THIS WEEK’S HIKING TIP: Take care of your core. When your fingers are cold, it’s natural to focus on what you’re wearing on your hands, but don’t neglect the rest of your body, especially your core (torso). Wear warm layers and adjust what you’re wearing based on your activity level and changes in weather. With a warm core, your body will be able to pump out plenty of heat to your extremities, like fingers and toes.
Free Fishing Days: NYSDEC is offering free Fishing Days Feb 18-19, for President’s Day weekend. Residents and non-residents who are 16 and older can participate in fresh water fishing without a license. Even though a license is not needed, all other fishing regulations apply.
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 of the 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.
Most Recent Trail Update | NYSDEC Catskill Backcountry Info | CVC Online Gift Shop
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