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.
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
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 treat, filter, 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 firstname.lastname@example.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 maps, trail 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 email@example.com.