Much of the Catskills saw a spring snowstorm last weekend and there is still snow and ice present on many of the higher elevation trails. Lower elevation areas will be muddy this weekend with scattered ice. Streams will be running higher as we see rain accumulation on Sunday.
Trail Conditions and Information: At higher elevations, expect snow and ice, prepare with snowshoes and micro spikes. If hiking at lower elevations there will be snowmelt, mixed ice, and mud. Wherever you plan to hike, wear good traction hiking boots and gaiters if you have them to keep moisture out of your boots.
For more information on the Catskills and the outdoors, join outdoor vendors and exhibitors this Saturday, March 30th at the second annual Catskills Great Outdoor Expo (Best Western Hotel, 503 Washington Avenue, Kingston, NY 12401). The event runs from 10am until 5pm.
Weekend Weather Forecast (reporting for Hunter, NY): Friday, high of 50°, showers before 4pm (chance of precipitation 40%). Friday night, low of 43°, a slight chance of showers (40%). Saturday, high of 59°, a slight chance of showers (20%). Saturday night, low of 37°, and rain showers are likely. Sunday, high of 42°, rain and potential snow showers before 2 pm (chance of precipitation 80%). A quarter of an inch of rain possible. Sunday night, low of about 21°, and partly cloudy.
Fishing Season and Outdoor Opportunities: April 1st marks the first day of Trout Fishing season in the Catskills! Please take a look at Catskills Trout Tales for a calendar of hikes and fishing-related events to celebrate the season from April through May. The Catskill Interpretive Center (5096 State Route 28, Mt. Tremper, NY 12457) will be issuing fishing licenses now throughout the spring.
Burn Ban in New York State: From March 16th through May 14th, there is a statewide ban on open burning of residential yard or brush debris and household trash. There are a few exceptions mentioned on the DEC’s website, please read the site thoroughly before having any fires during this time and help prevent springtime wildfires.
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!
Insects and Ticks: As the temperature goes above freezing more consistently, ticks will be on the move. One of the best ways to prevent tick bites is to check yourself regularly, wear lighter colors if possible, and consider treating your clothing with permethrin, which stays on fabric through 20-30 washes. Tick Encounter is an excellent resource for tick information from the University of Rhode Island.
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 to have with you 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.
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. We’re open seven days a week from 9am through 4pm. 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.