Weekend of May 5
Rain showers and cloudy skies are on tap for Friday in the Catskills followed by partly cloudy skies for both Saturday and Sunday. Expect considerable clouds and rain showers Friday, with a high of 58 degrees. We’ll see sunshine and clouds mixed on Saturday, with a high of 66 degrees. Sunday will be warmer, with a high near 70 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 especially muddy sections, go slow and take smaller steps to try to avoid slipping.
Trail Conditions: This week’s trail conditions are sponsored by West Kill Brewing. Expect trails to be wet and soggy in most areas from recent rain showers. Friday will be overcast and rainy with a high of 58F. We’ll see partly cloudy skies Friday night with a low of 41F. Saturday will be partly cloudy with a high of 66F. Saturday night will see clear skies with a low of 44F. Sunday will be partly cloudy with a high of 67F. Sunday night will have clear skies with a low of 46F. 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 5:48 am and sunset is at 8:00 pm. We’ll see a full moon this Friday. 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: Overcast. Slight chance of a rain shower. High 58F. Winds light and variable. Friday night: A few clouds from time to time. Low 41F. Winds light and variable. Saturday: Mostly sunny skies. High 66F. Winds NNW at 5 to 10 mph. Saturday night: Generally fair. Low 44F. Winds NW at 5 to 10 mph. Sunday: Some sun in the morning with increasing clouds during the afternoon. High 67F. Winds NW at 5 to 10 mph. Sunday night: A few clouds from time to time. Low 46F. Winds light and variable.
THIS WEEK’S HIKING TIP: Clean your hiking gear and boots before entering and leaving the recreation site. One of the simplest and most effective ways to prevent invasive species from spreading to new natural areas is by cleaning your gear and shoes before and after your adventure. Boot brushes are a low-cost, effective tool that can be purchased to clean off your boots before and after your hike. Boot brush stations can be found at various trail head locations and are simple to use and effective against the spread of invasive species.
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: 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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