Weekend of December 16th

Last updated: December 16, 2021

As we move from the shoulder season to the official first day of winter next week, a chance of snow and some cooler temperatures are moving in on Saturday and Sunday, with a good chance of mixed rain and snow Friday night into Saturday. Lows in the teens are predicted on Sunday. Daytime temperatures on Friday will be mild with a high near 53.

Photo by Al Purdy

Trail Conditions: Recent rain and high winds mean to expect some patches of water, mud and ice on trails this weekend, and to keep an eye out for loose tree branches, above and on trails. Traction devices are recommended to have now through the fall and winter for traction on ice, as well as hiking boots and gaiters to keep feet warm and dry. Trekking poles can help a lot with stability on icy sections of trail as well as support when descending. Sunsets are at about 4:30pm this weekend, sunrises are at about 7:15am. Reminder: hunting season is in effect.

Weekend Weather Forecast (reporting for Mt. Tremper, NY): Thursday night, a chance of showers before 2am. Cloudy, then becoming clear, low around 42. Strong winds, some as high as 29 mph. Friday, sunny with a high near 53. West wind 7 to 11 mph, gusts as high as 24 mph. Friday night, a chance of rain and snow between 1am and 4am, then snow likely. Mostly cloudy with a low around 31. Chance of precipitation 60%. Saturday, sleet, mixed with snow before 10am, then rain and sleet before 1pm. Rain after 1pm. High near 37. Light east wind. Chance of precipitation 100%. Saturday night, rain likely before 1am, than a chance of rain and snow until 4am. A chance of snow after 4am. Low around 28. Chance of precipitation is 70%. Sunday, partly sunny with a high near 36. Sunday night, partly cloudy with a low around 17. (Source: National Weather Service, NOAA)

First Day Hikes: Happening throughout New York State on January 1st 2022, the First Day Hikes are organized in partnership between NYS Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation and the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation. Here at Catskill Center we are offering two First Day Hikes. 1) Overlook Mountain Fire Tower from 7:45 am to 12 pm, hike limited to 8 people and foot traction devices are required.  2) The Upper Esopus Fire Tower at the Catskills Visitor Center will be open from 9:30 am to 4 pm. Please register in advance by emailing Olivia at obernard@catskillcenter.org or by calling the Visitor Center at 845-688-3369, all registrants receive a free gift.

Hunting Season Notices: Please review the DEC hunting season map for specific information. Hunting season is in effect, consider wearing bright colored clothing while hiking. NEW Deer and Bear Hunting Opportunities and Requirements for 2021

  1. Daily hunting hours for deer and bear extended to 30 minutes before sunrise until 30 minutes after sunset.
  2. Hunters must wear a fluorescent orange or fluorescent pink hat or vest when hunting deer or bear with a firearm.
  3. Antlerless harvest allowed again during the early muzzleloader season in Northern Zone WMUs 6A, 6F, 6J.
  4. Bear season in the Adirondacks is simplified by extending the regular season to cover the full hunting period.
  5. 12- and 13-year old hunters may hunt deer with a firearm or crossbow in counties that passed a local law to participate in the opportunity. See Junior Big Game Hunting for a map of participating counties.
  6. Holiday Deer Hunt is an extension of the late bow and muzzleloader season from December 26 – January 1 in the Southern Zone.

Fishing Season Notices:

  1. From October 16th to March 31st, trout fishing is permitted for catch and release only. Valid fishing licenses and artificial lures are required.
  2. 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.

Catskills Visitor Center: in Mt. Tremper, NY is open from 9:30-4pm every day except Tuesday including newly installed exhibits, maps, information, and a gift shop. Staff members answer phone calls at 845-688-3369 and emails at info@catskillcenter.org. Visitor Center trails are open from dawn to dusk.

Seasonal Roads and Trailhead Closures: The following are seasonal roads and are not maintained during winter months and are generally closed from November to April 15th of each year:

Temporary Closures: The following destinations are closed in the Catskills. For any information or clarification, please feel free to call (845) 688-3369 or email info@catskillcenter.org:

– 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

New lean-to installed by the DEC on Terrace Mountain, photo by Al Purdy

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.

Fall into Winter Hiking Tips:

– Trekking poles, boots, gaiters, and traction devices are useful to keep dirt, snow and ticks out of your boots. Finish each hike or excursion outdoors with a thorough tick check.

– Fall brings with it slick and hard to see trails. Be prepared to take your time on these trails to avoid personal injury.

– Keep a close eye and ear to encroaching weather and morning frost and prepare by bringing rain gear and warm layers on all hikes. Consider bringing a water filter on longer hikes.

– Temperatures are frequently below freezing overnight. Bringing a full clothing layering system with you in your pack is essential for day hikes and overnight hikes. This includes non-cotton layers, warm hat, gloves, and a “puffy” – an insulated jacket that’s easy to take on and off throughout your hike. Avoid sweating in your layers, which can lead to hypothermia.

– For more cold weather hiking tips, gear recommendations, and suggestions of places to rent or purchase foot traction devices, please visit the Catskills Visitor Center’s website here!

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!

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 currently closed, however trails remain open. Please remember to socially distance when visiting the CVC’s trails by giving other visitors 6 feet minimum distance and wearing a mask when you meet others.

Email us at the Catskills Visitor Center: info@catskillcenter.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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