Catskill Park Trail Conditions - 1/10/19

The Overlook Mountain trail on Wednesday with a light dusting of new snow.

The Overlook Mountain trail on Wednesday with a light dusting of new snow.

This weekend is shaping up to be cold! Daytime temperatures in the upper teens and low twenties, nighttime temperatures in the single digits with wind chills below zero. If you’re planning to hike, keep you and your hiking partners warm with some hot beverages! The trails will have light snow and a fair amount of ice.

Trail Conditions: Expect ice on all trails and very cold temperatures this weekend. Winds are expected to be particularly strong on Friday, so plan for that at higher elevations with a good layering system. Check overheard whenever possible for potential widowmakers.

Road Status: Platte Clove Road is closed now through April. All roads in the Catskills see snow and ice—when driving, prepare for seasonal mountain weather throughout the Park.

Weekend Weather Forecast (reporting for Hunter, NY): Friday, mostly sunny with a high near 18°. Wind chill values as low as -10°. Wind ranging from 17 mph up to 28 mph. Friday night, a low around 6° with a wind chill near -5°. Saturday, mostly sunny with a high near 21°. Wind coming from the northwest at around 6 mph. Saturday night, a slight chance of snow after 1 am, low temperature around 10°. Sunday, partly sunny with a high near 21°. Sunday night, partly cloudy with a low around 9°.

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!

The Catskill Guide to Leave No Trace: Essential skills and outdoor ethics are crucial for enjoying the Catskill Park in a safe and responsible manner. Read on to discover the top three Leave No Trace considerations this week.

  • Know Before You Go – Planning ahead for any adventure is necessary but planning ahead for a winter adventure can mean the difference between a great day out and a backcountry emergency. Warm liquids, such as tea or hot water are great for warming from the inside out. Extra layers are critical for staying dry and warm and will keep your group warm and happy. For more information visit the Catskill Interpretive Center on Route 28 in Mt. Tremper.

  • Keep Wildlife Wild –  Bears, and other mammals like squirrels are for the most part hibernating through the winter months. Even though many types of fauna are sleeping through the cold weather, you will still see many signs of life in the backcountry. With this in mind, keep plenty of distance between yourself and wildlife in the winter. These cold temperatures keep animals working hard to survive. Our presence can cause unnecessary stress, or worse, cause them to flee into dangerous environments such as water bodies. When in doubt, use the Thumb Trick to keep a proper distance.

  • Share Our Trails and Manage Your Pet – Skiing, snowshoeing, hiking and more. Plenty of options for wintertime adventures. Using the trails for your favorite activity can lead to unintended impacts to the snowy trails. With snow on the ground, skis and snowshoes are much safer to navigate the trails while also preventing post-holing. Post-holing makes the trail incredibly difficult to use for all users and should be prevented.

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.

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.

Winter Hiking Opportunities: The Catskill Mountain Club is hosting a 4.1 mile hike on Saturday, January 19th of Bramley Mountain. Contact Wendell George at wendell@catskillmountainclub.org to sign up by 1/18/19!

The Maurice D. Hinchey Catskill Interpretive Center now 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. Through the winter, we’re open 7 days a week from 8 am to 3 pm. Come at the start of the day for discounted ski and snowboard lift tickets! The Center’s gift shop also carries trail mapstrail guides and more for purchase.  

Call us at the Center: 845-688-3369 or email us at info@catskillcenter.org.

Most Recent Trail Update | NYSDEC Catskill Backcountry Info | CIC Online Gift Shop | Gear Suggestions

Photo credit: Matthew Heiss

Catskill Park Trail Conditions - 1/3/19

Ice in the Burroughs Range this week.

Ice in the Burroughs Range this week.

The first weekend of 2019 is a great time to reward yourself with a hike! A slight chance of rain on Saturday means some ice, mud, and high-flowing streams.

Trail Conditions and Tips: After a couple of days with temperatures above freezing, a lot of the heavier snow has melted in the Park. Slick mud and moisture are on trails, and ice will be found on all trails at elevation. Check maps before heading out to see if any stream crossings are on your expected route! Streams are running high in the Park with additional rain accumulation in the last two weeks. Trekking poles and sturdy shoes can be helpful in getting across a creek or stream. A reminder to stay hydrated and fueled while out hiking in winter as shortages of water or nutrition can be prior conditions for hypothermia.

Roads and Trailhead Status: All marked and official hiking trails in the Catskill Park are open to the public. Many seasonal roads and parking lots are not maintained in the winter. Keep this list in mind if your car isn’t ready for snow/ice:

Platte Clove Road (Indian Head Wilderness), Roaring Kill Road (Indian Head Wilderness), Russell Brook Road (Delaware Wild Forest), Mary Smith Road (Delaware Wild Forest), Ploutz Road (Dry Brook Wild Forest)

Weekend Weather Forecast (reporting for Hunter, NY): Friday is looking mild and sunny with a high near 41°. The overnight low is 29°. Saturday, a 50% chance of precipitation with potential freezing rain until 11 am when it will change to rain. High of 37° and a low at night of 28°. Sunday should be mostly sunny with a high of 36°. The evening looks partly cloudy with a low of 19°.

Hunting Season: Small game is open now through the end of winter. Hunters can sign up for sporting licenses at the Catskill Interpretive Center, or through a local outfitter on the DEC’s site.

The Catskill Guide to Leave No Trace (LNT): Essential skills and outdoor ethics are crucial for enjoying the Catskill Park in a safe and responsible manner. Read on to discover the top three Leave No Trace considerations this week.

  • Plan Ahead and Prepare: One of the best ways to prepare for a hike is to have a printed map and to study it before you head out. Cellphones can be useful navigational tools—unfortunately, they can also be hard to rely on in the winter when batteries die more quickly. Information like total mileage, change in elevation, and parking accessibility will give you a great sense going into a hike what to expect and approximately how long you’ll be outdoors. Especially in winter, this knowledge will tell you how much water, food, and clothing to bring.

  • Leave What You Find: It can be tempting to bring home a bird feather or another artifact that you see while hiking. If you’re following best LNT practice, leaving what you find helps other hikers to really see the Catskills and all of the treasures that it has in store.

  • Hike on Durable Surfaces: If possible, walk straight through a muddy section of trail rather than around it. The trails will become less wide over time and soil compaction will be lessened as well.

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.

Water Sources: Reliable water sources shown on trail maps are flowing. To be safe, you should treatfilter, or boil any surface water before drinking.

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 the Catskills that provide real time weather data and forecasts. Hudson Valley Weather provides detailed forecasts for the Hudson Valley and the Catskills.

The Catskill Interpretive Center (CIC) now hosts a weather station in the MesoWest Network. Check the current conditions in Mount Tremper, NY.

Winter Hiking Opportunities: The Catskill 3500’ Club has regular weekend hikes coming up on their winter schedule. The Catskill Mountain Club has an advanced hike and/or snowshoe planned for next week. Check with group leaders for more information about gear and skill level!

For More Information: The Maurice D. Hinchey Catskill Interpretive Center is located at 5096 Route 28 in Mt Tremper, NY and is open everyday from 8 am to 3 pm now through the winter. Come at the start of the day for discounted ski and snowboard lift tickets! The CIC's Gift Shop also carries trail mapstrail guides and more for purchase.  

Call us at the CIC: 845-688-3369 or email us at info@catskillcenter.org.

Most Recent Trail Update | NYSDEC Catskill Backcountry Info | CIC Online Gift Shop | Gear Suggestions

Photo credit: Bill Chriswell

Catskill Park Trail Conditions - 12/27/18

A mixture of sun, clouds, and precipitation are in the weather forecast this weekend. There’s a possibility of freezing rain on Friday and snow showers on Saturday morning. Whether you’re a hiker or a skier, celebrate the start of 2019 by spending it in the Catskills!

A pair of Microspikes can greatly improve winter traction.

A pair of Microspikes can greatly improve winter traction.

Trail Conditions: Packed down snow can be found on most summits. Trails will be icy this weekend, especially as you get above 2000’. Plan for ice and snow by bringing winter traction devices. With possible freezing rain on Friday, tree branches will be wet and icy. Use your best judgement and check above as well as below!

Winter Hiking Information: What are “Microspikes” and “crampons”? Microspikes is a brand name (like Kleenex) for stretchy foot traction devices that have studded chains on the sole. There are some made for walking on sidewalks and driveways that have a light amount of traction, and there are more serious ones for hiking (usually more expensive) that have sharper studs on the underside. These will do a good job of gripping icy trail surfaces (not vertical) and packed down snow surfaces. Microspikes are also technically crampons, however crampons describe a “step up” in terms of traction and price. Crampons have at least two sharp points on the front and strap on to hiking or mountaineering boots. There are a few different varieties and they can be used to walk on glaciers, to ice climb, or to hike particularly steep, icy trails.

Roads and Trailhead Status: All marked and official hiking trails in the Catskill Park are open to the public. Many seasonal roads and parking lots are not maintained in the winter. Keep this list in mind if your car isn’t ready for snow/ice:

Platte Clove Road (Indian Head Wilderness), Roaring Kill Road (Indian Head Wilderness), Russell Brook Road (Delaware Wild Forest), Mary Smith Road (Delaware Wild Forest), Ploutz Road (Dry Brook Wild Forest)

Weekend Weather Forecast (recorded for Hunter, NY): Friday, rain/freezing rain, becoming all rain after 7 am. High of 48° with moderate winds, a low temperature of 36°. Saturday, a small chance (20%) of snow showers in the morning then becoming partly sunny with a high near 37°. Moderate winds on Saturday. Low temperature around 16°. Sunday, mostly sunny with a high near 25° and a low of around 20°.

Hunting Season: Small game continues through the winter. Hunters can sign up for sporting licenses at the Catskill Interpretive Center, or through a local outfitter on the DEC’s site.

The Catskill Guide to Leave No Trace (LNT): Essential skills and outdoor ethics are crucial for enjoying the Catskill Park in a safe and responsible manner. Read on to discover the top two Leave No Trace considerations this week.

  • Dispose of Waste Properly — This may seem obvious, however not everyone knows that biodegradable waste should also be packed out on an outdoor trip. This includes things like apple cores, tissues, and toilet paper. The cleaner we keep the Park the better it will be for the next generation of outdoor adventurers!

  • Help Keep Wildlife Wild –  Keeping animals away from our food protects us as much as it does them, both at home and in the backcountry. You can take a bear canister for an overnight hike or hang a bear bag to keep your food and toiletries safe. Bear bags should be hung at least 15 feet from the trunk of a tree and the ground below.

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!

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.

Water Sources: Reliable water sources shown on trail maps are flowing but icy. You should always plan to treatfilter, or boil any surface water before drinking.

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.

The Catskill Interpretive Center (CIC) now hosts a weather station in the MesoWest Network. Check the current conditions in Mount Tremper, NY.

Winter Hiking Opportunities: Throughout the Park there are hikes coming up on January 1st to start the New Year, including here at the CIC. Browse through the DEC’s website to read more and to sign up!

For More Information: The Maurice D. Hinchey Catskill Interpretive Center is located at 5096 Route 28 in Mt Tremper, NY and is now open everyday from 8 am to 3 pm and will continue early hours through the winter. Come at the start of the day for discounted ski and snowboard lift tickets! The CIC's Gift Shop also carries trail mapstrail guides and more for purchase.  

Call us at the CIC: 845-688-3369 or email us at info@catskillcenter.org.

Most Recent Trail Update | NYSDEC Catskill Backcountry Info | CIC Online Gift Shop | Gear Suggestions

Photo credit: RockyFeet.com

Catskill Park Trail Conditions - Update 12/20/18

With the official start of winter, flash flood warnings are present all around the Catskills this weekend. Expect very, very wet, muddy trails. Friday and Saturday have up to 3 inches of rain in the forecast.

Trail Conditions and Winter Hiking Tips: With heavy rain coming through on Friday and Saturday, trails will be wet with potential flooding throughout the weekend. Hikers should plan for very muddy, slick trail conditions. Bringing appropriate gear will be important to stay warm and dry. With frosts overnight there will also be ice, so it’s a good idea to keep microspikes or crampons in your pack.

Roads and Trailhead Status: All marked and official hiking trails in the Catskill Park are open to the public. Many seasonal roads and parking lots are not maintained in the winter. Keep this list in mind if your car isn’t ready for snow/ice:

Platte Clove Road (Indian Head Wilderness), Roaring Kill Road (Indian Head Wilderness), Russell Brook Road (Delaware Wild Forest), Mary Smith Road (Delaware Wild Forest), Ploutz Road (Dry Brook Wild Forest)

Weekend Weather Forecast (recorded for Hunter, NY): Friday for the winter solstice, heavy rain with wind between 14 and 17 mph. Chance of rain 100% with 1-2 inches expected. High of 54° and low of 37°. Saturday, rain and possible snow showers with a 60% chance of precipitation, a high of 38°, and winds 10-17 mph. Saturday night will be mostly cloudy with a low of 25°. Sunday will be the best day, partly sunny with a high of 32° and a low around 24°.

Hunting Season: Big game, turkey, and furbearers seasons have ended for the year. Small game continues through the winter. Hunters can sign up for sporting licenses at the Catskill Interpretive Center, or through a local outfitter on the DEC’s site.

The Catskill Guide to Leave No Trace (LNT): Essential skills and outdoor ethics are crucial for enjoying the Catskill Park in a safe and responsible manner. Read on to discover the top two Leave No Trace considerations this week.

  • Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces – With some very wet trails this weekend, this tenant of LNT can be difficult to stick to. Just as a reminder, it’s always better to walk on hard trail surfaces and to go through the mud rather than to walk around it. Thank you for doing your part to prevent trail erosion!

  • Help Keep Wildlife Wild –  Keeping animals away from our food protects us as much as it does them, both at home and in the backcountry. You can take a bear canister for an overnight hike or hang a bear bag to keep your food and toiletries safe. Bear bags should be hung at least 15 feet from the trunk of a tree and the ground below.

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!

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.

Water Sources: Reliable water sources shown on trail maps are flowing but icy. You should always plan to treatfilter, or boil any surface water before drinking.

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.

The Catskill Interpretive Center (CIC) now hosts a weather station in the MesoWest Network. Check the current conditions in Mount Tremper, NY.

Winter Hiking Opportunities: Throughout the Park there are hikes coming up on January 1st to start the New Year, including here at the CIC. Browse through the DEC’s website to read more and to sign up!

For More Information: The Maurice D. Hinchey Catskill Interpretive Center is located at 5096 Route 28 in Mt Tremper, NY and is now open everyday from 8 am to 3 pm and will continue early hours through the winter. Come at the start of the day for discounted ski and snowboard lift tickets! The CIC's Gift Shop also carries trail mapstrail guides and more for purchase.  

Call us at the CIC: 845-688-3369 or email us at info@catskillcenter.org.

Most Recent Trail Update | NYSDEC Catskill Backcountry Info | CIC Online Gift Shop | Gear Suggestions

Catskill Park Trail Conditions - Update 12/13/18

Plan for a diverse mix of snow, ice, and a little mud on the trails this weekend. Light rain is expected on Saturday and Sunday with temperatures in the low 40s and the high 30s.

The  CIC  ridge trail is a short hike that offers some mild elevation gain, switchbacks, and in winter, a pleasant view from some picnic tables.

The CIC ridge trail is a short hike that offers some mild elevation gain, switchbacks, and in winter, a pleasant view from some picnic tables.

Trail Conditions and Winter Hiking Tips: Continue to prepare for icy trails (with traction devices like microspikes and crampons), mud (hiking boots and gaiters), and snow (snowshoes). Even with some rain, the highest peaks have a good amount of snow on them and will most likely have up to a foot for the foreseeable future. There are plenty of fallen leaves on the trails which make it extra slippery at times and sometimes disguise mud or softer terrain below. Tread carefully and enjoy! As always, thank you for keeping the Catskills as you find them!

Roads and Trailhead Status: All marked and official hiking trails in the Catskill Park are currently open to the public.

Many seasonal roads and parking lots are not maintained in the winter. Keep this list in mind if your car isn’t snow-ready:

Platte Clove Road (Indian Head Wilderness), Roaring Kill Road (Indian Head Wilderness), Russell Brook Road (Delaware Wild Forest), Mary Smith Road (Delaware Wild Forest), Ploutz Road (Dry Brook Wild Forest)

Weekend Weather Forecast (recorded for Hunter, NY): Friday, expect clouds and a high of 38°. The low will be 35° with a 50% likelihood of rain overnight. Saturday should see light rain on and off before 1 pm with a high near 41° and a low of 28°. Sunday, a high of 34° with a 30% chance of rain and snow showers scattered throughout the day. Low on Sunday around 27°.

Hunting Season: Regular deer and bear hunting seasons have ended for 2018. Muzzleloading and late bowhunting seasons began last week and continue for another week. Hunters can sign up for sporting licenses at the Catskill Interpretive Center, or through a local outfitter on the DEC’s site. It’s still a good idea for hikers to dress in bright colors or wear safety vests throughout December.

The Catskill Guide to Leave No Trace: Essential skills and outdoor ethics are crucial for enjoying the Catskill Park in a safe and responsible manner. Read on to discover the top two Leave No Trace considerations this week.

  • Know Before You Go – Planning and preparing, always: sunsets are at about 4:26 pm this weekend. In case of unexpected night hiking, keep a headlamp handy. If you’re planning to backpack, the NYSDEC has a quick guide of state camping regulations.

  • Help Keep Wildlife Wild –  Fall is a sensitive time of year for all wildlife in the Catskills. Keep a safe distance from animals and store food properly both at home and in the backcountry. Bears are still present this time of year. You can take a bear canister for an overnight hike or hang a bear bag to keep your food and toiletries safe. Bear bags should be hung at least 15 feet from the trunk of a tree and the ground below.

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!

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.

Water Sources: Reliable water sources shown on trail maps are flowing but icy. You should always plan to treatfilter, or boil any surface water before drinking.

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.

The Catskill Interpretive Center (CIC) now hosts a weather station in the MesoWest Network. Check the current conditions in Mount Tremper, NY.

Winter Hiking Opportunities: Throughout the Park there are hikes coming up on January 1st to start the New Year, including here at the CIC. Browse through the DEC’s website to read more and to sign up!

For More Information: The Maurice D Hinchey Catskill Interpretive Center is located at 5096 Route 28 in Mt Tremper, NY. Starting Monday, December 17th the Center will be open everyday from 8 am to 3 pm and will continue early hours through the winter. Staff and volunteers can provide trail information and updates. Come at the start of the day for discounted ski and snowboard lift tickets! The CIC's Gift Shop also carries trail mapstrail guides and more for purchase.  

Call us at the CIC: 845-688-3369 or email us at info@catskillcenter.org.

Most Recent Trail Update | NYSDEC Catskill Backcountry Info | CIC Online Gift Shop | Gear Suggestions