Expect a wet, cold weekend with a chance for freezing rain on Sunday.
Even as temperatures moderate and rain has fallen this week, winter has continued its hold on the high peaks of the Catskills. At the higher elevations there continues to be a significant snowpack. You can expect snow covered trail conditions on most trails across the Catskills this weekend above 2,500 feet. Traction devices and/or snowshoes are likely needed on those trails due to the current snow depth. Snowshoes are likely to be required for high elevation bushwhacks, as there remains a deep snowpack off trail.
Warning: This will be a wet, relatively cold weekend. Temperatures will be at or slightly above freezing, but the rainy, cold conditions can quickly get hikers wet and hypothermia is always a danger in situations like this. Wear layers and ensure you stay dry. If you do become wet, change into dry clothes or end your hike early if you do not have extra clothing.
Forecast: This Friday expect partly cloudy conditions this afternoon and evening with a low in the mid 40s. Clouds will thicken on Saturday with rain showers likely throughout the day. The high on Saturday will be warmest in the morning (mid 40s) with temperatures dropping throughout the day into the upper 30s. Rain will increase Saturday night and temperatures will fall to the freezing point. Icy conditions are possible late Saturday night and into Sunday morning. Sunday's high temperature will only reach 34 degrees with the potential for light rain and freezing rain throughout the day.
Expect Winter Conditions: Above 2500 feet in elevation there is still a significant snowpack, with the deepest snow at the highest elevations in the Catskills. See the NERFC Snow Page for current snow information.
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 are closed for some interior parking areas (see road and gate closure information below).
Trail Conditions: Most trails, especially above 2,500 feet in elevation are snow covered to a depth that requires snowshoes. Most trails have been traveled and therefore may be packed and icy, which will require traction devices. When bushwhacking at higher elevations, snowshoes will be required.
Kaaterskill Falls Trail: The Kaaterskill Falls Trail from Route 23a to the base of Kaaterskill Falls remains 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 snow.
Seasonal Roads and Gates: The following seasonal roads are not maintained in the winter, may be gated closed 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 at Onteora Lake (Bluestone Wild Forest) have been opened for the season.
The snowmobile gates at Upper Cherrytown Road and Trails End Road (Sundown Wild Forest) have been closed and locked due to lack of ice and snow cover.
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.
Carry It In, Carry It Out: 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 Catskill Park's visitor center, the Maurice D Hinchey Catskill Interpretive Center, which is 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'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.