A light layer of snow fell in the Catskills this week, from a dusting at lower elevations to an inch or two at higher elevations. There is a likelihood of rain and temperatures above 50 on Saturday which should add moisture to the trails and melt some of the ice and snow. Expect that temperatures will be colder at higher elevations than in towns, bring extra warm layers and waterproof layers for any hikes. Prepare for wet sections of trail with waterproof hiking boots and don’t forget traction devices for your shoes for stability on ice and snow.
This week’s Trail Conditions are sponsored by Camp Catskill: Prepare for mixed conditions on trails this weekend, with leaves down, light snow this past week, and rain expected on Saturday. Waterproof hiking shoes, gaiters, and foot traction devices are all important to have. Trekking poles can help a lot with stability on icy sections of trail as well as support when descending. Walk directly though muddy sections to limit the effects of trail widening. Reminder: hunting season is in effect.
Weekend Weather Forecast (reporting for Mt. Tremper, NY): Thursday Night, cloudy with a low around 27. Friday, mostly cloudy with a high near 45. Friday night, a low around 34, rain likely after 1am. Chance of precipitation 70%. Saturday, high near 62 showers likely, then showers and possibly a thunderstorm after 1pm. Saturday night, a chance of showers before 10pm, a low around 32. Breezy. Chance of precipitation is 50%. Sunday, sunny, a high near 43. Sunday night, mostly clear, with a low around 30. (Source: National Weather Service, NOAA)
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
- Daily hunting hours for deer and bear extended to 30 minutes before sunrise until 30 minutes after sunset.
- Hunters must wear a fluorescent orange or fluorescent pink hat or vest when hunting deer or bear with a firearm.
- Antlerless harvest allowed again during the early muzzleloader season in Northern Zone WMUs 6A, 6F, 6J.
- Bear season in the Adirondacks is simplified by extending the regular season to cover the full hunting period.
- 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.
- 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:
- 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.
Catskills Visitor Center: in Mt. Tremper, NY is open from 9:30-4pm every day except Tuesday. Staff members are answering phone calls at 845-688-3369. 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:
- 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. For any information or clarification, please feel free to call (845) 688-3369 or email firstname.lastname@example.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)
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 as well as 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: email@example.com, or call us at (845) 688-3369.
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