Catskill Park Trail Conditions - 7/19/19

A heat advisory is in effect for the region this weekend. Take extra care when spending time outdoors to stay hydrated and to minimize exertion.

Trail Conditions and Hiker Information: Trails and streams are getting drier as we head into the hottest parts of the summer. If you’re relying on a water source or a spring that’s on a map be prepared for the possibility that it will be just a trickle, pack extra water to be safe.

Replacing not only your water but also your electrolytes when hiking in hot weather ensures your body has enough important minerals that are lost from sweating like sodium, potassium, and calcium. Consider picking up some electrolyte replacement tablets at a local outdoor store to put into your water bottle before heading out this weekend.

Forecast (reporting for Mt. Tremper, NY): Friday, mostly sunny and hot with a high of 91. Heat index value closer to 98. Friday night, a low of 73, scattered showers and thunderstorms, mainly after 7pm and until midnight. Saturday, mostly sunny and hot with a high near 94. Heat index values reaching 104. Saturday night, partly cloudy with a low of 74. Sunday, scattered showers and thunderstorms, mostly after 2pm. High temperature of 95. Sunday night, mostly cloudy, low of 66.

Peekamoose Blue Hole: A free day use permit is required to visit the Peekamoose Blue Hole on weekends and holidays (Labor Day, Columbus Day, etc.) Sign up at least 24 hours in advance to ensure a spot and reserve 7 days or less in advance. Permits can be obtained through the Reserve America Website.

Swimming: Swimming is a good way to stay cool this weekend! Places to swim in the Catskills include New York State DEC campground beaches and most streams and ponds in the Forest Preserve and surrounding area. Visit the Catskill Center’s blog for some great information about suggested swimming areas (note that some require a day use fee and not all have lifeguards—call a campground to make sure).

Camping: State campgrounds throughout the Catskills are open for the season. As sites fill up quickly, it’s recommended that you reserve in advance through the Reserve America website. Take a look at the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s guidelines for best camping practices, whether you’re staying at a state campground or backcountry camping.

Fishing: Fishing season is open for the summer and a fishing license is required for anyone over 16. The Catskills Visitor Center (5096 State Route 28, Mt. Tremper, NY 12457) is issuing fishing licenses throughout the season.

Insects and Ticks: Ticks are definitely present in the Catskills. 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. Permethrin on clothes also helps to keep black flies and mosquitoes at bay. The Center for Disease Control has helpful information about ticks and tick removal here.

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 Catskills Stewards Leave No Trace Tip of the Week: Essential skills and outdoor ethics are crucial for enjoying the Catskill Park in a safe and responsible manner. Read on to discover a top Leave No Trace Catskills consideration this week.

Travel on Durable Surfaces - Many footprints can kill plants growing on the side of a trail - yours are one set of hundreds or thousands which can compact soil and prevent seeds from taking root. Especially visiting popular areas, stay on clearly marked trails and avoid following social trails or disturbing trails that have been covered with logs or branches to help them regrow and recover.

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.

Thunderstorms and Lightning Safety for Hikers: When lightning strikes, make sure you are out of the way! Lightning Safety Tips for hikers from the American Hiking Society.

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 mapstrail guides and more for purchase.  

Call us at the Catskills Visitor Center Center: 845-688-3369 or email us at info@catskillcenter.org.

Catskill Stewards at the Peekamoose Blue Hole, Kaaterskill Falls and Platte Clove: The Catskill Center’s Catskill Steward Program has launched for the 2019 season. Stewards will be present at the Peekamoose Blue Hole and Kaaterskill Falls (by the Upper Falls Parking Area) Thursdays through Mondays. A Steward will be present at Platte Clove on Saturdays and Sundays.

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Photo by Jeff Senterman