A warm, sunny weekend is predicted with a high probability of rain on Friday. Keep an eye on the weather forecast as thunderstorms are predicted on Friday and Saturday. Sunday should be a hot day with highs in the 80s and 90s. Please continue to follow CDC and New York State Recommendations for COVID-19 safety.
Trail Conditions: Trails should be in nice condition this weekend with a mixture of dry and wet sections. Recent rain has made for more moisture on the trails, expect there to be sections of mud and water on most trails. Streams and springs are currently flowing at a healthy rate. Expect some flies and mosquitoes, and always check yourself and your pets for ticks after a hike. Staying on the midline of trails as much as possible helps protect the trails, while also helping to protect hikers from tick bites or exposure to poison ivy.
Weekend Weather Forecast (Reporting for Mt. Tremper, NY): Friday, showers likely and a possible thunderstorm. Mostly cloudy with a high near 78. Southwest wind 3 to 6 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. Friday night, showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm before 9pm. Partly cloudy with a low around 59. Southwest wind 3 to 5 mph. Chance of precipitation 60%. Saturday, a 20% chance of showers and thunderstorms after 1pm. Sunny with a high near 83. Light wind increasing from 5 to 9 mph in the morning. Saturday night, a 20% chance of showers and thunderstorms before 9pm. Sunday, sunny and hot with a high near 91. Sunday night, mostly clear with a low around 65. (Source: National Weather Service)
Peekamoose Blue Hole: DEC permits are required to visit the site 7 days a week from May 15 – September 15, including any of the parking areas in the Peekamoose Corridor on Route 42 and there is a $10 day use fee in place. New regulations are now in effect for 2021. Catskill Center Stewards and DEC Rangers will be present at the site through September. For more information learn more here. Permits can be acquired from the Reserve America website at: https://newyorkstateparks.reserveamerica.com
-The seasonal access road Platte Clove Road has reopened on both sides.
-The Catskills fire towers have begun their volunteer seasons as of Memorial Day weekend. Top cabs of the Catskills fire towers will be open from now through mid-October on weekends and holiday Mondays, and volunteer interpreters will be present on most mountains (Balsam Lake Mountain Fire Tower’s top cab will remain closed however the staircase stays open 7 days a week). Please continue to maintain distance (6 feet or more) on mountain summits for the safety of fire tower volunteers and hikers outside of your group. Hikers are encouraged to wear masks on the fire towers and to use hand sanitizer before and after climbing a fire tower.
-State Campgrounds around the Catskills are open for seasonal camping. Walk-in camping is permitted at DEC Campgrounds, but advanced reservations are recommended. Learn more and book in advance (up to one day prior to arrival) on Reserve America’s website: https://newyorkstateparks.reserveamerica.com/
Thunderstorms and Lightning Safety for Hikers: When lightning strikes, make sure you are out of the way. Stay off higher elevations and don’t climb fire towers if there are thunderstorms or lightning in the forecast. Lightning Safety Tips for hikers from the American Hiking Society.
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:
-The Molly Smith Trailhead located on Route 23A will be closed indefinitely. In order to hike Kaaterskill Falls, please visit the trailhead at Laurel House Road leading to the observation platform. More information on the DEC’s website here. Wear good traction shoes and stay on designated trails.
– The building of the Catskills Visitor Center in Mt. Tremper, NY is currently closed, however a window service on the side porch is available for visitor information from 10-3, every day except Wednesday. Staff is answering phone calls at 845-688-3369. Visitor Center trails are open from dawn to dusk.
Additional Catskills Resources Online for Closures:
*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
*Catskill Trails, Hiking, Camping & Stewardship Facebook Group (updated regularly)
*The Catskill Mountains Facebook Group (updated regularly)
Doubletop and Graham Access: As of Wednesday, January 13th 2021 public access to the two peaks, Doubletop and Graham Mountain has 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.
Hiking Tips to Prepare for Spring:
– Rain and thunderstorms are more common this time of year. Bringing rain protection (rain jacket, poncho, rain pants, etc.) help to keep you dry and comfortable. An extra dry shirt to change into can make a big difference if you get wet or overheated.
– Trails can get more slick, slippery and muddy. Bring trekking poles for your hands and gaiters to keep the dirt and water out of your boots.
– During mud season (aka Spring) follow best Leave No Trace practices by walking through the midline of mud on the trails instead of walking around these areas. This protects fragile plants and ecosystems, as well as keeping the trails in good condition.
Don’t forget your mask, even on hiking trails! While hiking with the people you live with, wearing a mask is not mandatory. However, while on summits, trailheads, points of interest, and even passing others when social distancing is not possible, please help by wear a mask to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and continue using hand sanitizer. Especially in areas such as parking lots and trailheads, there has been a reduction in people actively wearing masks. The continued use of masks in these areas is incredibly important for the general the health and safety of all in the Catskills.
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 to decrease your chance of exposure to COVID-19.
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.