This weekend is a good example of the variable nature of March weather in the Catskills! At lower elevations and in the eastern section of the Park there’s a mix of rain and snow showers today, Friday. Further north and west we’re seeing a few inches of new, wet snow. Today and Saturday will be mixed with rain and snow. Sunday should be a sunny day with highs in the 40s. Prepare for changeable wintry weather.
Trail Conditions and Information: Additional rain and some scattered snow accumulation is in the forecast this weekend, the winter may be over but it’s still snowy and icy outside! Trail reports are suggesting micro spikes as well as snowshoes for patches of remaining snow on trails and snow that is coming down this week.
Weekend Weather Forecast (reporting for Hunter, NY): Friday, high of 38°, snow before noon when it will turn to rain, 90% chance of precipitation. Friday night, snow likely, cloudy with a low of 20°. Saturday, high near 31°, a chance of snow showers between 9am and 3pm. Windy, with a northwest wind between 20 and 23 mph, some wind speeds up to 40 mph. Saturday night, a low around 22°, mostly clear. Sunday, a high near 48°, sunny. Sunday night, a low around 31°, partly cloudy.
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 adventure in colder weather 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 early April. 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. These temperature inversions 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 snow-filled 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.
Ski Slope Information: I Ski NY is a great resource for up-to-date snow depth on the four Catskill Mountain slopes. Check their reports here!
Winter Hiking Opportunities: The Rip Van Winkle Hikers are hosting a 5-mile moderate hike of North Point in Haines Falls, NY on Sunday, March 24th at 8:30 am. The Catskill Mountain Club is hiking sections of the Pepacton Range to Trout Pond next week on Thursday, March 28th at 10 am. Contact group leaders for more information and to sign up!
The Maurice D. Hinchey Catskill Interpretive Center (CIC) 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.