Catskill Park Trail Conditions - 8/15/19

Variable weather with potential thunderstorms this weekend means it’s a good idea to pack an extra dry layer and rain protection if you plan to hike. During predicted thunderstorms, heavy rainfall is also likely. Consider options and contingency plans if you might be on or near summits in the afternoon.

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Trail and Hiker Information: Continue to prepare for the possibility that a water source on a map may be running low or dry this time of year. Plan to pack extra water, especially when it’s humid, to rehydrate! The typical hiker needs about 3-4 liters per day, and more if including water for pets.

Forecast (reporting for Mt. Tremper, NY): Friday, a chance of showers and thunderstorms, mainly after noon. Chance of precipitation 30%. High near 78. Friday night, mostly cloudy with a low of 62. Saturday, mostly cloudy with thunderstorms possible after noon. High near 81. Chance of precipitation 50%. Saturday night, a chance of showers and thunderstorms before 2am, then rain possible overnight. Sunday, scattered showers and thunderstorms after 2pm. Partly sunny with a high near 88. Chance of precipitation is 40%. Sunday night, mostly cloudy with a low around 65, slight chance of overnight showers. (Source: National Weather Service, NOAA)

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 and comfortable on hot days. 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).

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, get out of the way! Prepare for potential lightning and thunderstorms by checking regular weather updates for your area. If you’re near a summit or a ridgeline it is safer to descend than to stay in exposed areas. Lightning Safety Tips are available for hikers from the American Hiking Society.

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.

Minimize Our Impact: When camping or using the bathroom be sure to stay 150’ feet from trails or water sources. That’s about 70 adult steps.

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.

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 credit: Lou Berrios