Ice, ice, ice! The trails this weekend are going to be slick everywhere. Thursday’s rain has primed the trails for a thick layer of ice across the Catskills. If you’re heading out be prepared with your choice of traction for boots.
Trail Conditions and Tips: With very low temperatures and sunny skies, this is going to be a good weekend for sharpening your crampons and micro spikes. Plan ahead with extra warm layers, a warm drink, and a backup plan.
With rain washing out ice this week, streams are running particularly high. Factor this in when looking at trail maps and trip planning, be prepared to turn around if a stream is too dangerous to cross.
Weekend Weather Forecast (reporting for Hunter, NY): Friday night, a low of 4º is to be expected. Friday, a slight chance of snow showers between 1pm and 3pm. Partly sunny, with a high near 24. Southwest wind 8 to 14 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%. Saturday, Partly sunny, with a high near 18. Southwest wind 6 to 8 mph. Saturday night carries the cold weather with a low of 11º. Sunday, Mostly cloudy, with a high near 29.
Road Status: Platte Clove Road is closed now through April. All roads in the Catskills see snow and ice—when driving, prepare for seasonal mountain weather throughout the Park.
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!
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 three Leave No Trace considerations this week.
· Know Before You Go – Planning ahead for any adventure is necessary but planning ahead for a winter adventure can mean the difference between a great day out and a backcountry emergency. Warm liquids, such as tea or hot water are great for warming from the inside out. Extra layers are critical for staying dry and warm and will keep your group warm and happy. For more information visit the Catskill Interpretive Center on Route 28 in Mt. Tremper.
· Keep Wildlife Wild – Bears, and other mammals like squirrels are for the most part hibernating through the winter months. Even though many types of fauna are sleeping through the cold weather, you will still see many signs of life in the backcountry. With this in mind, keep plenty of distance between yourself and wildlife in the winter. These cold temperatures keep animals working hard to survive. Our presence can cause unnecessary stress, or worse, cause them to flee into dangerous environments such as water bodies. When in doubt, use the Thumb Trick to keep a proper distance.
· Share Our Trails and Manage Your Pet – Skiing, snowshoeing, hiking and more. Plenty of options for wintertime adventures. Using the trails for your favorite activity can lead to unintended impacts to the snowy trails. With snow on the ground, skis and snowshoes are much safer to navigate the trails while also preventing post-holing. Post-holing makes the trail incredibly difficult to use for all users and should be prevented.
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.
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.
Winter Hiking Opportunities: On Saturday January 26th, Campmor and NYS Licensed Guide Moe Lemire are hosting a free 7.4 mile snowshoeing hike along the Kaaterskill Rail Trail. Find more information here!
The Maurice D. Hinchey Catskill Interpretive Center now hosts a weather station in the MesoWest Network. Check the current weather conditions. The Center is located at 5096 Route 28 in Mt Tremper, NY. Through the winter, we’re open 7 days a week from 8 am to 3 pm. Come at the start of the day for discounted ski and snowboard lift tickets! The Center’s gift shop also carries trail maps, trail guides and more for purchase.
Call us at the Center: 845-688-3369 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.