A warm spring weekend is predicted with daytime temperatures in the 80s. Afternoon rain showers are possible and cooler evening temperatures are expected. Pack extra dry layers and a rain jacket for hikes this weekend! New regulations are in place now through September 15th in the Peekamoose Valley Riparian Corridor and a permit is required to visit the area 7 days a week. Read on for more information about new permit regulations. Please continue to follow CDC and New York State Recommendations for COVID-19 safety.
Trail Conditions: Trails are in mostly dry condition right now with some patches of mud and water. Streams and springs are flowing at a healthy rate. Expect some flies and mosquitoes, and always check yourself and your pets for ticks after a hike! Staying on 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, a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms after 2pm. Mostly sunny with a high near 85. Chance of precipitation 20%. Friday night, mostly cloudy with a low around 62. Saturday, a chance of showers with thunderstorms possible after noon. Mostly cloudy with a high near 84. Calm wind around 6 mph in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation 40%. Saturday night, partly cloudy with a low around 63. Sunday, a chance of showers and thunderstorms after 2pm. Mostly sunny with a high near 85. Chance of precipitation 30%. Sunday night, a chance of showers and thunderstorms before 8pm, then a chance of showers between 8pm and 2am. Mostly cloudy, low around 54. Chance of precipitation is 30%. (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
State Campgrounds: Most state campgrounds around the Catskills reopen this weekend on May 21st for seasonal camping. Walk-in camping will be 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/
Hunting Season Alert: Spring turkey hunting season is open from May 1st through May 31st. Wearing blaze orange apparel and avoiding red, blue, and white clothing for the month of May can help hikers stay seen.
Leave No Trace Tip of the Week: Leave What You Find – Especially in the spring it can be tempting to pick wildflowers or berries. Leaving what you find can help preserve the next hiker’s experience of the wild, as well as helping animals by protecting their spring and summer food sources.
Temporary Closures: The following destinations are closed in the Catskills. For any information or clarification, please feel free to call the Catskills Visitor Center at (845) 688-3369 or email firstname.lastname@example.org:
– Platte Clove Road will be closed until Tuesday, May 25th due to rock fall blocking sections of the road: “the easterly 2.5 miles of the Town of Hunter Route 9, known as Platte Clove Mountain Road will remain closed for repairs until May 25, 2021. The town is awaiting the delivery of guardrails that will finalize the project.” (from the Town of Hunter’s website)
-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.
*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
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:
– 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 and leftover snow and ice on the trails instead of walking around these areas. This protects fragile plants and ecosystems, as well as keeping the trails in good condition.
– Temperatures are still low overnight and at high elevations. Bringing a full clothing layering system with you in your pack is essential for day hikes and overnight hikes. This includes noncotton layers, warm hat and gloves, and a “puffy” – an insulated jacket that’s easy to take on and off throughout your hike.
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.