While there is little snow across the region, traction devices are needed on all trails and should always be carried, as there are extensive areas of ice on the majority of trails. These icy areas will require traction devices to safely traverse. Sunday offers the potential for more snowfall and snowshoes may prove useful.
A quickly moving storm left an inch or two of snow across the Catskills last night. Most snowpack, except for the highest elevations has previously melted. The biggest concern about last night's snowfall is that it has covered many icy areas along trails. Be aware that there are significant areas of ice on most trails and today's new snow will make it harder to observe that ice. Wear traction devices. Snow is in the forecast for Saturday night through Sunday evening with a potential for 6 to 8 inches of total accumulation. Be aware of the forecast and current weather conditions. Roads and trailhead conditions may change quickly on Sunday.
Forecast: The cold and snow are moving back into the Catskills! Friday's high will be in the morning and will be around 15 degrees with partly cloudy skies. Temperatures will drop throughout the day with the lows on Friday night in the low single digits above zero. Winds will also increase, with a steady 10-20mph wind and gusts over 30mph. Wind chill values will be well below zero. Saturday will be a partly sunny, blustery, cold day with highs in the low 20s and lows in the upper teens. Snow will move into the region late Saturday night with snow becoming more widespread into Sunday. Sunday will snow all day, with a high temperatures near freezing and a low Sunday night around 20 degrees. Sunday's snowstorm offers the potential for at least 6 inches of new snow across the region. It is likely that road and trailhead conditions on Sunday during the snowstorm will be variable and not all trailhead parking areas will be plowed until Monday.
Expect Winter Conditions: Significant areas of ice are present throughout the Catskills. Snow depths range from a dusting at lower elevations to a few inches at the highest elevations. See the NERFC Snow Page for current snow information. Be prepared for winter conditions on Sunday with the potential for significant snowfall by the end of the day. Crampons or other traction devices should be carried and will be needed in numerous icy areas. Snowshoes may be needed on Sunday as snow depths increase.
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: The rain and thaw earlier and then the recent cold temperatures have fostered the growth of ice throughout the Catskills. Snow depths currently increase from no snow at the lowest elevations to a few inches at the highest elevations. Significant ice is building on all trails. Traction devices should always be carried and will likely be required along all trails. Snow depths have reached levels, especially at the higher elevations, where snowshoes should be used.
Kaaterskill Falls Trail: The Kaaterskill Falls Trail from Route 23a to the base of Kaaterskill Falls is extremely icy. Traction devices MUST be worn to use this trail safely. The better option is to visit the viewing platform at the top of the Falls, accessible from the parking lot on Laurel House Road. This trail also has some ice and traction devices 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. Hudson Valley Weather also 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 at the CIC in Mount Tremper, NY.
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