Catskill Park Trail Conditions - Update 12/6/18

Looking ahead to the weekend, we should have two dry days with cool winter temperatures. Expect overnight frosts to make the trails icy during most of the day on Saturday and Sunday. Read on to learn how to best prepare for current winter trail conditions.

 Backpacking is a great way to see the Catskills. Plan your trip with a  2018 Trail Conference map  or by visiting the CIC.

Backpacking is a great way to see the Catskills. Plan your trip with a 2018 Trail Conference map or by visiting the CIC.

Trail Conditions and Winter Hiking Tips: Much of the snow has melted at low elevation areas. A few inches of packed down snow will still be present as you hike up to higher Catskill elevations with up to a foot of packed snow at the highest elevations. To stay safe on ice, make sure you have a pair of microspikes. This week you should be able to leave snowshoes at home. Good layering skills are key now throughout the winter; keeping warm layers on when moving slower and lighter layers when you start to exert your body. Stay hydrated with ample water.

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

Many seasonal roads 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 will be mostly sunny with a slight chance of snow showers before 3 pm. The high is about 26° and the low is 9° with a wind chill value as low as -3° . Saturday will be mostly sunny with a high reaching 23° and a low overnight of 15°. Sunday expect mostly sunny skies with a high of 28° and a low of 17°.

Hunting Season: Regular deer and bear hunting seasons continue through the weekend ending on Sunday, December 9th. Muzzleloading and late bowhunting seasons begin on Monday, December 10th. Hunters can sign up for licenses with the DEC’s resource list of local outfitters. Hikers should plan to dress in bright colors or wear vests to stay obvious.

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 are the keys to enjoying the outdoors. Sunsets are about 4:25 pm this weekend. In case of unexpected night hiking, keep a headlamp with you. If you’re planning to backpack, the NYSDEC has a cheat sheet of state camping regulations.

  • Help Keep Wildlife Wild –  Fall is a sensitive time of year for all wildlife foraging here in the Catskills. Keep a safe distance from wildlife 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 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 present but icy this weekend. 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.

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

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

For More Information: Visit the Catskill Park's visitor center, the Maurice D Hinchey Catskill Interpretive Center (CIC) at 5096 Route 28 in Mt Tremper, NY. The Center is open everyday from 9:30 to 4:30, and until 6:30pm on Fridays. Staff and volunteers can provide trail information and updates. The CIC's Gift Shop carries trail mapstrail guides and more for purchase. You may also shop from home at the Catskill Interpretive Center Online Gift Shop. You can call the CIC at 845-688-3369 or email them at info@catskillcenter.org.

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

Photo Credit: Alex McClain

 The special edition Catskills, America’s First Wilderness shirt is only available for a limited time! Get one now and it’ll be delivered before Christmas. All proceeds benefit the Catskill Center and its work to preserve and protect the Catskills!  www.bonfire.com/catskills-americas-first-wilderness

The special edition Catskills, America’s First Wilderness shirt is only available for a limited time! Get one now and it’ll be delivered before Christmas. All proceeds benefit the Catskill Center and its work to preserve and protect the Catskills! www.bonfire.com/catskills-americas-first-wilderness

Catskill Park Trail Conditions - Update 11/30/18

Snowy adventures await on the trails this weekend! While it will be rainy at times on Saturday and Sunday, expect several inches of remaining snow on most Catskills trails and summits. Hikers are reporting the need for snowshoes at the highest elevations, as well as microspikes for lower elevations, gaiters, and waterproof boots. If you sneak outside between the raindrops, beautiful trails can be found!

 Wet, fluffy snow can be found at all higher elevations this weekend.

Wet, fluffy snow can be found at all higher elevations this weekend.

Trail Conditions and Tips: The snow has stayed put this week, in many cases leading to close to a foot near the summits! An important reminder to keep your eyes peeled for heavy, snow-laden tree branches which are at risk of breaking under the weight. Stick to the paths as much as possible to avoid falling tree limbs. Definitely bring snowshoes with you as well as microspikes if you have them. Even the most prepared hiker should expect to get a little wet on the trails, so consider bringing extra dry socks and base layers in your bag if you plan to be out for more than a couple of hours.

Roads and Trailhead Status: All marked and officially designated hiking trails in the Catskill Park are currently open to the public. That said, many of the roads that lead to certain Catskills trailheads are not maintained or plowed starting November 1st (such as Platte Clove Road leading to Devil’s Path and Old Dinch Road near the Red Hill Fire Tower).

Weekend Weather Forecast: Friday will be partly cloudy with a small chance of snow showers. The temperature will get to a high of about 34° and a low overnight of 25°. Saturday will start out as partly sunny with a high of 34°. By 3 p.m. possible rain and sleet are in the forecast, becoming rain by late afternoon. The overnight low for Saturday is 30° and there is a 90% chance of freezing rain after 1 a.m. Sunday rain is likely before 1 p.m. Temperatures will reach a high of 46°. Mild winds and 70% chance of precipitation. The low on Sunday night is about 37° with a small chance of rain.

Hunting Season: Regular deer and bear hunting seasons are here and continue now through mid-December. The DEC’s website has some useful maps of New York to stay current with region and species-specific hunting information. Hunters can sign up for licenses with the DEC’s resource list of local outfitters. Hikers should dress in bright colors or florescent vests to stay obvious and visible.

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 are the keys to enjoying the outdoors. Sunsets are about 4:29 pm this weekend. In case of unexpected night hiking, keep a headlamp with you. If you’re planning to backpack, the DEC has a cheat sheet of New York State camping regulations.

  • Help Keep Wildlife Wild –  Fall is a sensitive time of year for all wildlife foraging here in the Catskills. Keep a safe distance from wildlife and store food properly both at home and in the backcountry. Animals across the park are preparing for winter and may be more active than usual. Keep a particularly close eye on your food and food scraps.

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 present but icy this weekend. If necessary boil snow for water. 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.

Local Resources for Winter Hiking Tips: Information is power! The Catskills 3500’ Club is hosting a Winter Prepardedness Class on December 1st. The Pine Hill Community Center will be hosting a meeting of the New York Citizen Preparedness Corps on December 6th (email mlemire@pinehillcommunitycenter.org for more information).

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

For More Information: Visit the Catskill Park's visitor center, the Maurice D Hinchey Catskill Interpretive Center (CIC) at 5096 Route 28 in Mt Tremper, NY. The Center is open everyday from 9:30 to 4:30, and until 6:30pm on Fridays. Staff and volunteers can provide trail information and updates. The CIC's Gift Shop carries trail mapstrail guides and more for purchase. You may also shop from home at the Catskill Interpretive Center Online Gift Shop. You can call the CIC at 845-688-3369 or email them at info@catskillcenter.org.

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

Photo Credit: John Wamsley

Catskill Park Trail Conditions - Update 11/23/18

Friday is shaping up to be a cold, sunny day! Bundle up and prepare for ice with extra glove liners, balaclava, or wool clothing. Cold and sunny will give way to cool, wet, and messy weather on Saturday and a milder day on Sunday. On both days prepare to stay dry with rain gear, gaiters, and waterproof shoes. They say a cold weather walk is just as rejuvenating as a strong cup of coffee! Stay safe and enjoy.

 Winter in November is pretty, albeit a little unusual.

Winter in November is pretty, albeit a little unusual.

Trail Conditions and Tips: Snow and ice will be present in the Catskills this weekend as well as some very cold winter temperatures on Friday. Some trails still have 6-8” of snow with many of them broken by hikers this past week. Whether you plan to hike or ski, dress in warm clothing with extra layers tucked in your pack. Crampons or microspikes are highly recommended. Saturday should see a mixture of wintry precipitation (snow, sleet, and rain); stay up-to-date with weather tracking as conditions can change. If you’re accustomed to using your phone for trails maps and navigation, don’t forget that batteries drain fast when temperatures drop! Purchase a paper map from one of the local towns, or stop by the Catskill Interpretive Center for maps and recommendations.

Roads and Trailhead Status: All marked and officially designated hiking trails in the Catskill Park are currently open to the public. The following roads that lead to certain Catskills trailheads are not maintained or plowed starting November 1st:

  • Platte Clove Road

  • Roaring Kill Road

  • Russell Brook Road

  • Mary Smith Road

  • Ploutz Road

Weekend Weather Forecast: Friday will be sunny and clear with a high of 23 and a low of 19. Saturday expect a wet, wintry mix most of the day (80% chance of snow, rain, and sleet until 4 p.m.), then rain and snow overnight with no expected accumulation. Temperatures on Saturday will reach a high of about 36 and a low of 33. Sunday will see a chance of rain in the morning changing to partly sunny in the afternoon. Mild winds on Sunday with a high near 42 degrees and a low of 34.

Hunting Season: Regular deer and bear hunting seasons have begun and will continue through December. The DEC’s website has some useful maps of New York to stay current with regional hunting information. Hunters can sign up for licenses with the DEC’s resource list of local outfitters. Hikers should dress in bright colors or florescent vests to stay obvious and visible.

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 are the keys to enjoying the outdoors. Sunsets are about 4:29 pm this weekend. In case of unexpected night hiking, keep a headlamp with you. If you’re planning to backpack, the DEC has a cheat sheet of New York State camping regulations.

  • Help Keep Wildlife Wild –  Fall is a sensitive time of year for all wildlife foraging here in the Catskills. Keep a safe distance from wildlife and store food properly both at home and in the backcountry. Animals across the park are preparing for winter and may be more active than usual. Keep a particularly close eye on your food and food scraps.

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 present but icy this weekend. If necessary boil snow for water. 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.

Local Resources for Winter Hiking Tips: Information is power! The Catskills 3500’ Club is hosting a Winter Prepardedness Class on December 1st. The Pine Hill Community Center will be hosting a meeting of the New York Citizen Preparedness Corps on December 6th (email mlemire@pinehillcommunitycenter.org for more information).

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

For More Information: Visit the Catskill Park's visitor center, the Maurice D Hinchey Catskill Interpretive Center (CIC) at 5096 Route 28 in Mt Tremper, NY. The Center is open everyday from 9:30 to 4:30, and until 6:30pm on Fridays. Staff and volunteers can provide trail information and updates. The CIC's Gift Shop carries trail mapstrail guides and more for purchase. You may also shop from home at the Catskill Interpretive Center Online Gift Shop. You can call the CIC at 845-688-3369 or email them at info@catskillcenter.org.

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

Catskill Park Trail Conditions - Update 11/16/18

Earlier than expected, the first snow of the season has come through. Bellayre is reporting six to eight inches of snow and all of the ski resorts will be open this weekend. With sun and warmer temperatures, be prepared for wet, melting snow on the trails. Snowshoes and microspikes are both great to keep with you!

 Friday morning brought a layer of white to the Catskills. Taken in Mt. Tremper, NY.

Friday morning brought a layer of white to the Catskills. Taken in Mt. Tremper, NY.

Roads and Trailhead Status: All marked and officially designated hiking trails in the Catskill Park are currently open to the public. Please make a note that the following roads that lead to some Catskills trailheads are not maintained or plowed starting November 1st:

  • Platte Clove Road

  • Roaring Kill Road

  • Russell Brook Road

  • Mary Smith Road

  • Ploutz Road

Trail Conditions and Tips: The trails throughout the Park will have at least two to four inches of snow accumulation this weekend with more near the summits. First thing in the morning expect some ice and slippery conditions from the overnight frosts. As Friday and Saturday warm up through late morning and afternoon, be prepared for wet snow with some melting. As always, it’s a good idea to start hiking with fewer layers on and carry extra layers for when you slow down. Don’t forget snowshoes and microspikes, as well as gaiters over boots!

Weekend Weather Forecast: Friday the 16th, snow in the morning leads to mostly sunny conditions and a high of about 37°. Low on Friday of 28°. Saturday should be partly sunny with moderate wind gusts, high of 36° and a low of 24° overnight. On Sunday, snow showers are likely (60% chance of precipitation) in the early to mid-afternoon. Mostly cloudy skies on Sunday with a high of 31° and an overnight low of 26°.

Hunting Season: This weekend, November 17th sees the start of the season for regular deer and bear hunting. The DEC’s website has some useful maps of New York to stay up-to-date with regional hunting information. Hunters can sign up for licenses with the DEC’s resource list of local outfitters. Hikers should dress in bright colors to stay visible!

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 are the keys to enjoying the outdoors. Sunsets are about 4:34 pm this weekend. In case of unexpected night hiking, keep a headlamp with you. If you’re planning to backpack, DEC has a cheat sheet of New York State camping regulations.

  • Help Keep Wildlife Wild –  Fall is a sensitive time of year for all wildlife foraging here in the Catskills. Keep a safe distance from wildlife and store food properly both at home and in the backcountry. Animals across the park are preparing for winter and may be more active than usual. Keep a particularly close eye on your food and food scraps.

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.

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 should be flowing, and if necessary boil snow for water. You should always plan to treatfilter, or boil any surface water before drinking.

Weather: With increasing unpredictability, 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.

Insects and Ticks (Tick Safety Tips):  A tick check after hiking is always a good idea to ensure there are no ticks on your body, even when temperatures are near freezing. If you find a tick, make sure to remove it mouth parts first.

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

For More Information: Visit the Catskill Park's visitor center, the Maurice D Hinchey Catskill Interpretive Center (CIC) at 5096 Route 28 in Mt Tremper, NY. The Center is open everyday from 9:30 to 4:30, and until 6:30pm on Fridays. Staff and volunteers can provide trail information and updates. The CIC's Gift Shop carries trail mapstrail guides and more for purchase. You may also shop from home at the Catskill Interpretive Center Online Gift Shop. You can call the CIC at 845-688-3369 or email them at info@catskillcenter.org.

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

Photo credit: Catskill Interpretive Center

Catskill Park Trail Conditions - Update 11/8/18

 Where did the Catskill Mountain range go? Spooky fog along the Ashokan Reservoir this past week.

Where did the Catskill Mountain range go? Spooky fog along the Ashokan Reservoir this past week.

This holiday weekend in the Catskills expect a mixture of snow and rain followed by Sunday sunshine. Embrace the chilly temperatures on Sunday and Monday and test your outdoor weather skills! Bring layers, good company, and a Thermos with a hot beverage. The trails are starting to see ice, so pack a pair of microspikes!

Trail Status and Closures: All marked and officially designated hiking trails in the Catskill Park are currently open to the public. All trailheads are open, and all gates are open for interior parking areas.

Trail Conditions and Tips: The trails will be wet and a little slippery this weekend as we see rain and frosts across the Park. Entering November, microspikes are a great investment for hiking and essential for traction on icy trails. Consider taking a pair in your pack this weekend in addition to some sturdy rain gear.

Weekend Weather Forecast: Friday, snow in the morning will interchange with rain in our area throughout the day. Chance of precipitation is 100% with winds 6-11 mph. The high on Friday is near 37°, the low at night is 32°. Saturday brings a small (20%) chance of snow showers in the morning, turning into partly sunny skies by afternoon. Temperatures should reach a high of 36° and a low of 24°. Expect breezes ranging from 11 to 21 mph with highs of 37 mph. Sunday for Veterans Day is looking mostly sunny with a high of 32° and a low overnight of 23°.

Hunting Season: Hunting is open for a few different species; the DEC’s website has some useful maps of New York with regional and species-specific hunting information. Hunters can sign up for licenses with the DEC’s resource list of local outfitters. Hikers should plan to dress in bright colors to stay visible!

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 and preparing are the keys to enjoying the outdoors! With daylight savings time last weekend, sunsets are about 4:42 pm this weekend. In case of unexpected night hiking, keep a handy headlamp with you. If you’re planning to backpack, DEC has a cheat sheet of New York State camping regulations.

  • Stick to Trails and Camp Overnight Right – While the mud puddles are lingering, consider wearing tall boots and gaiters. As always, the best option when encountering a muddy section of trail is to hike straight through it, ultimately reducing the effect of trail widening!

  • Help Keep Wildlife Wild –  Fall is a sensitive time of year for all wildlife foraging here in the Catskills. Keep a safe distance from wildlife and store food properly both at home and in the backcountry. Animals across the park are preparing for winter and may be more active than usual. Keep a particularly close eye on your food and food scraps. Keep in mind that ticks are still around in areas and checks should still be done after each adventure.

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

Insects and Ticks (Tick Safety Tips):  A tick check after hiking is always a good idea to ensure there are no ticks on your body, even when temperatures are near freezing. If you find a tick, make sure to remove it mouth parts first.

Water Sources: Reliable water sources shown on trail maps are flowing steadily, as are most seasonal streams. You should always plan to treat or filter any surface water before drinking.

Weather: Always be aware of and prepared for changing weather conditions in the Catskills. Check the current 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 now hosts a weather station in the MesoWest Network. Check the current conditions in Mount Tremper, NY.

For More Information: Visit the Catskill Park's visitor center, the Maurice D Hinchey Catskill Interpretive Center (CIC) at 5096 Route 28 in Mt Tremper, NY. The Center is open everyday from 9:30 to 4:30, and until 6:30pm on Fridays. Staff and volunteers can provide trail information and updates. The CIC's Gift Shop carries trail mapstrail guides and more for purchase. You may also shop from home at the Catskill Interpretive Center Online Gift Shop. You can call the CIC at 845-688-3369 or email them at info@catskillcenter.org.

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

Photo credit: Kelli Huggins