Expect winter conditions throughout the Catskills this weekend. Snowshoes and/or traction devices are needed on all trails and should always be carried, now that there is at least 8" of snow at higher elevations. There are extensive areas of ice on all trails that will require traction devices to safely traverse.
Forecast: Following a quick thaw last week, temperatures dropped across the Catskills this week with a snow storm providing 4-8 inches of new snow across the Catskills this past Tuesday into Thursday. For the weekend expect generally sunny weather with highs in the upper 30s.
Friday's high will be around freezing with sunny skies. The low Friday night will be in the 20s. Saturday will be a sunny day with highs in the upper 30s and lows in the 20s. Sunday will see more clouds, but with high temperatures in the upper 30s and a low Sunday night in the 20s. Snow will start Sunday night and transition into a wintry mix and then likely rain on Monday.
Expect Winter Conditions: Snow and significant areas of ice are present throughout the Catskills at the highest elevations. Snow depths range from 2 to 12+ inches, the most in the highest elevations. See the NERFC Snow Page for current snow information. Be prepared for winter conditions on Sunday. The use of snowshoes is warranted at higher elevations 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 will be needed in numerous icy areas.
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 past week's cold temperatures and snow storm have maintained snow depths and allowed the growth of ice throughout the Catskills. Snow depths currently increase from a few inches at the lowest elevations to more than a foot of snow at the highest elevations. In addition, ice is building on all trails. Traction devices should always be carried and will likely be required along many trails. Snow depths have reached levels, especially at the higher elevations, where snowshoes should be used.
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.
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 Interpretive Center now hosts a weather station in the MesoWest Network. Check the current conditions.
Winterize Your Car: Make sure that your vehicle is in good working order before you head out in this cold weather. Carry a survival kit (sleeping bag, blanket, extra jacket, hat, gloves, hand warmers, etc) should you become stuck with your vehicle or are unable to start it.
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.