Trail should be in great, dry condition for hiking right now. Rain may be headed our way this weekend, with a 50-60% chance of rain on Saturday and Sunday. Thursday and Friday look like the best days weather-wise. Packing rain gear in your bag just in case, and an extra set of dry hiking layers are a good idea now throughout the weekend.
This week’s Trail Conditions are brought to you by Trout Unlimited’s Ashokan-Pepacton Watershed Chapter: Trails should be in great, dry condition for hiking right now, with some rain headed our way this coming weekend. Expect rain and thunderstorms on Saturday heading into Sunday, which will make the trails a little muddier. Waterproof shoes, rain gear, and gaiters are all great to have. Ideally plan to walk directly through wet trail sections rather than walking around them. Expect higher elevations to be cooler than the trailheads or the towns, prepare with a lightweight warm layer.
Sunrise this weekend is at 5:39 am and sunset is 8:05 pm. Always remember to bring a headlamp or flashlight when you head out and never rely solely on phone flashlights. Temperatures will drop as the sun begins to sets.
Weekend Weather Forecast (reporting for Mt. Tremper, NY): Thursday: mostly sunny, high near 78 Thursday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 58. Calm wind. Friday: Partly sunny, with a high near 76. Calm wind. Friday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 62. Saturday: A chance of showers with thunderstorms possible after 2pm. Mostly cloudy with a high near 77. Chance of precipitation is 50%. Saturday Night: A chance of showers and thunderstorms, mainly between 11pm and 2am. Mostly cloudy with a low around 61. Sunday: Showers likely after 2pm. Partly sunny with a high near 81. Chance of precipitation is 60%. Sunday Night: Showers likely, mainly after 8pm. Mostly cloudy with a low around 61. Chance of precipitation is 60%. (Source: National Weather Service.gov)
This week’s hiking tip:
-Do a thorough tick check after any time spent in the woods.
Ticks are around this time of year, in fact they can be found outdoors any time the temperature is above freezing. Wearing light colors, tucking your pant legs into your socks, and using products like permetherin and deet are all great ways to easily spot and prevent ticks. Staying on trail is also one of the best methods for preventing ticks, as ticks are frequently found living in high grasses and on thorny plants like barberry and multiflora rose.
For more information on hiking during mud season visit Leave No Trace.
If you’d like more spring tips, please visit the Catskills Visitor Center’s website here.
Catskills Fire Tower Challenge 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.
Catskills Visitor Center (CVC): in Mt. Tremper, NY is open from 9:30-4:00 pm every day except Tuesday including newly installed exhibits, maps, information, and a gift shop. A fire tower is located on the property as well as nature trails. Call the Visitor Center at 845-688-3369 or email email@example.com. Visitor Center trails are open from dawn to dusk.
DEC Notices: A burn ban is in effect from March 16 through May 14. Backyard fire pits and campfires less than three feet in height and four feet in length, width, or diameter are allowed. Small cooking fires are allowed, but only charcoal or dry, clean, untreated, or unpainted wood can be burned. Never leave any fire unattended.
Hunting Season Notices: Regular hunting season has ended, however, some small game is still in season. Please review the DEC hunting season map for specific 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 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)
- 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.
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 building of 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 every day except Tuesday. Trails open from dawn to dusk.
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