Weekend of May 12
The Catskills will see partly cloudy skies and warm temperatures this weekend. There’ll be a few passing clouds on Friday, with a high of 82 degrees. Saturday will reach 76 degrees and be partly cloudy with a slight chance of rain. Sunday will be partly cloudy with a high of 65 degrees. Higher elevations could be much cooler so remember to carry extra layers. Trails can be wet and muddy in early spring; wear waterproof footwear and gaiters. In muddy sections, go slow and take smaller steps to try to avoid slipping.
Trail Conditions: This week’s trail conditions are sponsored by Zen Mountain Monastery. Expect good trail conditions this weekend with temps in the 80s on Friday. Saturday will be partly cloudy with a high of 76F and a slight chance of rain. Sunday will be partly cloudy with a high of 69F. 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 5:40 am and sunset is at 8:07 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: Except for a few afternoon clouds, mainly sunny. High 82F. Winds WNW at 5 to 10 mph. Friday night: Partly cloudy during the evening followed by cloudy skies overnight. Low 58F. Winds WNW at 5 to 10 mph. Saturday: Partly cloudy. Slight chance of a rain shower. High 76F. Winds NW at 10 to 15 mph. Saturday night: A few clouds. Low around 45F. Winds NNW at 10 to 15 mph. Sunday: Partly cloudy skies. High near 65F. Winds NNW at 10 to 15 mph. Sunday night: A few clouds from time to time. Low 43F. Winds NW at 5 to 10 mph.
THIS WEEK’S HIKING TIP: Keep feet dry and comfortable.
The right gear can make a big difference. Be sure to wear waterproof boots in the spring. Ankle gaiters will also help keep your feet dry. With proper waterproof boots, socks, and gaiters, you can keep your feet warm, be steady on your feet and be able to walk in the middle of the trail to prevent additional erosion and trail damage.
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 required beginning May 15 (through Sept 15) every day of the week to access the entirety of the Peekamoose Valley Riparian Corridor. This includes day hike access to Peekamoose and Table Mountains, camping, access to the Blue Hole, and Buttermilk Falls. NYS Department of Environmental Conservation 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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