Mud season is arriving in the Catskills and this weekend will likely see some rain accumulation on Friday and Sunday. Read below for information on hiking in muddy conditions and following best Leave No Trace practices.
Trail Conditions and Information: Snow and ice are still present on the highest elevations in the Catskills. If you’re summiting a peak or going above 2500’ make sure you have a pair of micro spikes with you. As we head into mud season in the Catskills and the Hudson Valley, it’s a good idea to have sturdy, waterproof boots, gaiters, and trekking poles for stability. Best Leave No Trace practice when you encounter mud is to walk directly through it rather than trying to avoid it. More information on mud season from the Catskills Visitor Center: here.
Weekend Weather Forecast (reporting for Hunter, NY): Friday, high of 52°, mostly cloudy. Friday night, low of 52°, showers after 11pm (chance of precipitation 80%). Saturday, a high of 65° and mostly sunny. Saturday night, low around 48°, partly cloudy. Sunday, high near 55°, rain likely (70% chance of precipitation). Sunday night, low around 48° with additional rain.
Fishing Season: Trout fishing season has begun 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 Catskills Visitor Center (5096 State Route 28, Mt. Tremper, NY 12457) will be issuing fishing licenses now throughout the spring.
Outdoor Opportunities this Week:
-DEC Wildlife Technician Emily Carrollo is coming to the Catskills Visitor Center on Saturday, April 13th from 11am to 12pm to lead an all-levels walk and discuss bears, Catskills bear safety, and wildlife tracking. All ages and abilities welcome.
-Catskill Mountain Club is hosting a hike on Thursday, April 18th of a lesser known area of the Catskills, 5.6 miles over a few peaks in the Pepacton Range. Please contact trip leader to register!
Road Status: Platte Clove Road is closed now through April 15th.
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. Some of the best ways to prevent tick bites are to check yourself regularly, wear lighter colors if possible, and consider treating your clothing with permethrin, which stays on fabric through many washes.
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 two Leave No Trace considerations this week.
· Travel on Durable Surfaces - In mud season it can be incredibly tempting to walk on the often less muddy “rails” of the trail, the sides that are not technically part of the trail itself. If you find yourself walking on those areas, be mindful that over time this can increase erosion and soil compaction, depleting trees of the oxygen they need to survive. It also widens trails over time, creating more of an impact by people. When in doubt, hike slower and take caution walking through sections of mud.
· Knew Before You Go - Information is half the battle when it comes to planning and preparing. Studying your map before heading out on the trail can tell you all kinds of things: am I encountering any stream crossings on my hike? How far will I be from the nearest road? What’s the total mileage and how long should I estimate to be outside? These questions and answers will lead the way in how to pack with appropriate layers for the day, food and water, and other things like first-aid kit and headlamp.
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.
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.
The Congressman Maurice D. Hinchey Catskills Visitor Center (CVC) 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.