Expect FRIGID temperatures and winter conditions across the Catskills this weekend. Snowshoes will be needed on most trails at higher elevations as snow depths continue to increase. Traction devices should always be carried for icy conditions.
BE PREPARED FOR EXTREME COLD TEMPERATURES THROUGH THE WEEKEND!
Forecast: High temperatures today will stay in the single digits across the Catskills with a low around 0 tonight. Winds will be blowing near 10mph, creating dangerously cold wind chills well below zero. On Saturday there's a chance for light snow, accumulating 1-3 inches across the Catskills, throughout the day. The high temperature will be in the low teens and on Saturday night, the low will be around 0. Winds and wind chills will continue. Sunday will be sunny, but VERY COLD with a high of only 4 degrees and a low Sunday night several degrees below zero. For New Years Day (Monday), expect another VERY COLD day with a high of about 5 degrees and a low Monday night of several degrees below zero.
Trail Status: All marked and officially designated hiking trails in the Catskill Park are currently open to the public. All trailheads are open, but gates may be closed for interior parking areas (see road and gate closure information below).
Trail Conditions: This week's frigid temperatures have maintained snow depths and allowed the growth of ice throughout the Catskills. Snow depths currently increase from an 2-3 inches at lowest elevations to over a foot of snow at the highest elevations. In addition, ice has started to build up on all trails. Traction devices should always be carried. Snow depths have reached levels, especially at the higher elevations, where snowshoes should always be carried. Saturday's storm will add a few inches of snow on to existing snowpack.
Seasonal Roads and Gates: The following seasonal roads are not maintained in the winter and become impassable when snow is on the ground:
- Platte Clove Road - Indian Head Wilderness (Greene County, Town of Hunter)
- Roaring Kill Road - Indian Head Wilderness (Greene County, Town of Hunter)
- Russell Brook Road - Delaware Wild Forest (Delaware County, Town of Colchester)
- Mary Smith Road - Delaware Wild Forest (Delaware County, Town of Colchester)
- Ploutz Road - Dry Brook Wild Forest (Delaware County, Town of Middletown)
The Gates at Alder Lake (Balsam Lake Wild Forest) and Onteora Lake (Bluestone Wild Forest) have been closed for the winter season.
Expect Winter Conditions: Below freezing temperatures, snow, and ice are present throughout the Catskills. Snow depths range from 2 to 12+ inches, more in the highest elevations. See the NERFC Snow Page for current snow information. Be prepared for winter conditions. The use of snowshoes is warranted throughout the region and are encouraged to prevent "post-holing," avoid injuries, and ease travel on snow (Post-holing - leaving deep footprints in the snow - makes trails more difficult and more hazardous for others to use). Crampons or other traction devices should be carried and used in icy areas.
Weather: Always be aware of and prepared for weather conditions. Being properly prepared for the weather and conditions will help to ensure a safe and enjoyable time in the outdoors. 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.
The Catskill Park is a carry it in, carry it out park - please be sure to take all of your trash home and be sure to Leave No Trace during your visit to the Park.
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
For More Information: Visit the Maurice D Hinchey Catskill Interpretive Center located 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. The CIC is the Visitor Center for the Catskill Park. Staff and volunteers can provide trail information and updates. The CIC carries trail maps, trail guides and other last minute items for purchase in the Gift Shop and through the Catskill Interpretive Center's online shop.