Weekend of November 18th
We’ll see a fair amount of clouds this weekend in the Catskills with temperatures in the mid 40s. Trails will be soggy. Intervals of clouds and sunshine are expected Sunday. Remember to dress in layers, with your base layer preferably made of a wicking material that will pull sweat away from your skin. Be prepared for shorter days as dusk settles in earlier. It’s a good idea to set a turnaround time when on the trail to give yourself ample time to hike back with enough daylight. Always carry a headlamp and/or a flashlight with extra batteries.
Trail Conditions: This week’s Trail Conditions are brought to you by Lamont Engineers. Cold temperatures are in store for the Catskills this weekend with the upper 40s expected. Trails may be slick in some areas. Temperatures are steadily becoming colder, especially at night. Be sure to stick to trails and walk directly through mud puddles to reduce trail widening impacts. Prepare for your hike with boots, ankle gaiters, and trekking poles to ensure easy travel through the middle of muddy sections. Conditions can abruptly turn wet, windy or chilly in the backcountry or an injury can result in an unplanned night out, so it’s necessary to carry extra clothes.
Sunrise is at 6:59 am and sunset is at 4:29 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: Sunshine and clouds mixed. High 36 degrees. Winds W at 5-10 mph. Friday night: Mostly clear skies, low around 20 degrees. Saturday: Mostly sunny skies, high near 34 degrees. Winds WSW at 5-10 mph. Saturday night: Partly cloudy, low around 21 degrees. Sunday: Intervals of clouds and sunshine, high of 31 degrees. Winds W at 10-20 mph. Sunday night: A few clouds from time to time, low 21 degrees.
DEC ANNOUNCES REGULAR FIREARMS SEASON FOR DEER AND BEAR BEGINNING NOV. 19. Click here for more details. From DEC commissioner Basil Seggos: “With most public land across New York State open to multiple forms of recreation, from hiking and nature photography to hunting and trapping, visitors should be cautious, courteous, and responsible when sharing the woods to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.” “DEC encourages all visitors to review the safety guidelines for hunting and recreating in the woods before going afield and respectfully sharing the outdoors with others.”
THIS WEEK’S HIKING TIP: Let people know where you’ll be hiking and when you expect to be back.
- This is important whether you are going on a day hike at a nearby park or on a multi-day hike. On a backpacking trip, plan where you’ll be camping each night as well as the section of trail you’ll be hiking each day, in case you need to be pinpointed for an evacuation. The best insurance is a written reminder with all your information left behind with someone who is not going and who is expecting you back or to check in by a certain time.
Additional Hiking Tips for Cold Weather:
- Wear layers. Layering is a three-part system that includes a base layer that wicks perspiration away from your skin, a mid layer that insulates you from the cold and a shell layer that keeps wind and moisture out. The goal with layering is to add and remove layers throughout your hike so you can stay warm and comfortable without overheating and getting sweaty. It can feel like a chore to stop and change clothes, but it’s really important to stay dry. Getting wet on a cold day can possibly lead to hypothermia.
- Say no to cotton: When cotton gets wet, it takes a very long time to dry, which can leave you feeling damp, cold and miserable. Synthetic and wool layers dry much faster and will move perspiration away from your skin.
- Cover your skin: Any skin that is exposed to freezing temperatures and cold wind is prone to frostbite. Take special care of your nose, cheeks, ears, fingers and toes.
- Wear a hat: You can lose heat through the top of your head, so pull a winter hat on if you’re feeling chilly.
- Bring goggles or sunglasses: Always protect your eyes from the sun and wind. Many goggles and some sunglasses allow you to swap lenses in and out so you can select the right lens tint for the weather.
- Apply sunscreen: Just because it’s cold out doesn’t mean you stop worrying about sunburn. In fact, if there’s snow on the ground, the sun’s rays can reflect back up at you, so you need to be diligent about applying sunscreen on the underside of your nose and chin and around your neck.
Catskills Fire Tower Challenge 2022: the DEC has announced the return of the Catskill Fire Tower Challenge for 2022! Starting on January 1st, 2022, and going through December 31st, 2022, hikers can earn a prize and a certificate for completing all six of the fire towers in the Catskill Park: Overlook, Red Hill, Balsam Lake, Mount Tremper, Hunter, and the Upper Esopus. Learn more by visiting the Catskill Fire Tower Project website and the DEC’s Fire Tower Challenge website.
Recreate Responsibly: 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.
Hunting Season Notices: Firearms hunting season opens up November 19th, 2022. https://www.dec.ny.gov/docs/wildlife_pdf/huntguide.pdf Remember that all hunters and those who accompany hunters are now required to wear fluorescent orange or fluorescent pink. Click here for more information.
Fishing Season Notices:
- From October 16th to March 31st, trout fishing is permitted for catch and release only. Valid fishing licenses and artificial lures are required.
- From April 1st to October 15th, trout fishing is permitted for harvesting with a valid fishing license. Three fish are allowed per day, with one over 12″.
Trail Register Information: (the books found inside metal boxes at the start of all hiking trails): The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation encourages all visitors to continue to sign in and out at trail registers. These 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 15th of each year:
- Platte Clove Road – Indian Head Wilderness (Town of Hunter) – closed November 1st to April 15th
- 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.
Temporary Closures: The following destinations are closed in the Catskills: Ashokan Quarry Trail- Closed for hunting season from November 19th- December 11th, 2022.
– DEC has temporarily stopped issuing permits for backcountry camping for groups of 10 or more (link to: the DEC’s website). As of June 11, the DEC resumed issuing permits for groups of fewer than 10 people who would like to stay for more than three nights at one location on state lands. DEC is also temporarily restricting lean-to use to members of a single household at a time.
- 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: As of Wednesday, January 13th, 2021 public access to the two peaks, Doubletop and Graham Mountain ended. We at 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 membership of the club.
Peekamoose Blue Hole: Permits are not required at this time. Permits are required every day during 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 – September 15. Permits can be acquired from the Reserve America website at: https://newyorkstateparks.reserveamerica.com
Carry It In, Carry It Out: The Catskill Park is a carry it in, carry it out park—please be sure to hike out 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 in your car 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-4:00 pm Trails open from dawn to dusk. The CVC does require masks upon entry to the building and please remember to socially distance when visiting the trails by giving other visitors 6 feet minimum distance and wearing a mask when you meet others.
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