Trail Conditions and Information: Expect wet trails this weekend and a mix of sun and clouds in the forecast. Trees and native plants like trillium are in bloom all around the Catskills. Respect Leave No Trace principles wherever you’re traveling to keep the Park clean and to help plants flourish.
As we head into camping season, take a look at the DEC’s guidelines for best camping practices, whether you’re staying at a state campground or backcountry camping.
Weekend Weather Forecast (reporting for Hunter, NY): Friday, high of 59°, chance of showers throughout the day with a possible thunderstorm after 5pm. Friday night, low of 48° and new precipitation likely. Saturday, high of 60°, a small chance of rain in the early morning. Partly sunny during the day. Saturday night, low of 47°, showers likely (60% chance). Sunday, high near 55°, showers likely (70% chance). Sunday night, low of 44°, mostly cloudy.
Outdoor Opportunities this Week: Help the Catskills by volunteering this weekend on Saturday, May 4th for one of the I Love My Park Day trail maintenance events happening throughout the state. The Catskills Visitor Center will be participating with the DEC from 9am until 3pm. For more information and to sign up, please visit Parks and Trails New York’s site.
Fishing and Hunting: Spring turkey season is open and will continue now through May 31st. Hunters must have a spring turkey permit in order to participate and a general hunting license. Fishing season is open for the spring and summer. The Catskills Visitor Center (5096 State Route 28, Mt. Tremper, NY 12457) will be issuing fishing licenses and turkey permits now throughout the season.
Road Closures: Platte Clove Road will reopen this Friday, May 3rd.
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: Ticks are here to stay for the warmer weather in the Catskills, even when temperatures dip into the 30s and 40s. 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 three Leave No Trace considerations this week.
· Travel on Durable Surfaces - In mud season it can be 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.
· Respect Wildlife - Animals have begun to come out of hibernation throughout the Preserve. Help reduce human-bear conflicts whenever possible. At home you can do this by protecting your food, trash containers, and bird feeders. In the backcountry, you should always hang a bear bag or carry a bear canister when camping overnight.
· 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: 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 NYSDEC’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.
Photo credit: Olivia Bernard