The leaves are filling in and spring green can be found around the Catskills! A mixture of rain and sun is expected this weekend, with chilly mornings and evenings, and great day time temperatures for hiking.
Trail Conditions: Expect a mixture of wet and dry trails this weekend. Spring thaw and rain have brought extra moisture to the area. Prepare with waterproof hiking boots, gaiters to go over boots, and extra layers (waterproof and for insulation). A reminder to walk through the center of trails as much as possible to protect fragile spring plants and to keep the trails in the best condition! Micro spikes will not be needed for hiking.
Weekend Weather Forecast (Reporting for Mt. Tremper, NY): Friday, partly sunny with a high near 62. Calm wind becoming southeast 5 to 8 mph in the morning. Friday night, a chance of showers, mostly cloudy with a low around 39. Chance of precipitation is 40%. Saturday, a chance of showers, mostly cloudy with a high near 55. Light and variable wind in the morning. Chance of precipitation is 50%. Saturday night, partly cloudy with a low around 37. Sunday, mostly sunny with a high near 61. Sunday night, a chance of rain, mostly cloudy with a low around 40. Chance of precipitation is 50%. (Source: National Weather Service)
Burn Ban in Effect: A burn ban on open burning of debris in New York State continues to be in effect until May 14th. Wildfires can start and spread more easily in the spring with warmer temperatures and leftover leaf litter from last year. Learn more about Fire Danger here on the DEC’s website.
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.
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 email@example.com:
– Platte Clove Road will be closed until the end of the day on May 14th due to rock fall blocking sections of the road: the easterly two- and one – half miles of Town of Hunter Route 9, known as Platte Clove Mountain Road which is a seasonal limited use highway is tentatively scheduled to re-open at 4:30 PM on Friday, May 14, 2021 (from the Town of Hunter’s website). Trailheads on Platte Clove Road can still be accessed from the west side by approaching from Tannersville, NY.
-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. 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.
*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. 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.
Peekamoose Blue Hole: No permits are required at this time. DEC permits are required to visit this site from May 15 – September 15. Permits can be acquired from the Reserve America website at: https://newyorkstateparks.reserveamerica.com
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 non-cotton 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 please 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.