Winter does not want to seem to leave the Catskills! Colder than normal temperatures and snow this week have kept winter conditions present in the Catskills. Snow is falling across the region today. At higher elevations there continues to be a significant snowpack. You can expect winter conditions on most trails across the Catskills through this weekend above 2,500 feet. Snowshoes and/or traction devices are needed on those trails due to the current snow depth. Snowshoes are required for high elevation bushwhacks, as there remains a deep snowpack off trail. Icy conditions may return over the weekend as snow melts, but runoff freezes on cold nights. Low elevation trails are likely to be wet and muddy.
Snow Right Now: It is snowing lightly across the Catskills right now with expected accumulations of 2-4 inches. Road conditions are highly variable, depending on elevation and location. Be prepared for delays in driving.
Forecast: Snow will continue falling throughout the day on Friday, occasionally mixing with rain. High temperatures are expected to be around 35 degrees and snow accumulations should be 2-4 inches across the region. The low Friday night will be about 25 degrees. Saturday will be partly cloudy with a high around 34 degrees. Saturday night will be very cold for this time of the year, with a low in the upper teens. Sunday is expected to be mostly sunny with a high around 33 degrees and a low Sunday night in the lower 20s.
Expect Winter Conditions: Above 2500 feet in elevation there is still a significant snowpack, with the deepest snow at the highest elevations in the Catskills. See the NERFC Snow Page for current snow information. The use of snowshoes is necessary throughout the region at higher elevations. Avoid postholing, which creates a dangerous situation for other users and increases your likelihood of injury.
Trail Status: All marked and officially designated hiking trails in the Catskill Park are currently open to the public. All trailheads are open, but gates are closed for interior parking areas (see road and gate closure information below).
Trail Conditions: Most trails, especially above 2,500 feet in elevation are snow covered to a depth that requires snowshoes. Most trails have been traveled and therefore may be packed and icy, which will require traction devices. When bushwhacking at higher elevations, snowshoes will be required.
Kaaterskill Falls Trail: The Kaaterskill Falls Trail from Route 23a to the base of Kaaterskill Falls is very icy and snowy. Traction devices and/or snowshoes MUST be worn to use this trail safely. The better option is to visit the viewing platform at the top of the Falls, accessible from the parking lot on Laurel House Road. This trail also has ice and snow.
Seasonal Roads and Gates: The following seasonal roads are not maintained in the winter, may be gated closed and become impassable when snow is on the ground:
- Platte Clove Road - Indian Head Wilderness (Greene County, Town of Hunter)
- Roaring Kill Road - Indian Head Wilderness (Greene County, Town of Hunter)
- Russell Brook Road - Delaware Wild Forest (Delaware County, Town of Colchester)
- Mary Smith Road - Delaware Wild Forest (Delaware County, Town of Colchester)
- Ploutz Road - Dry Brook Wild Forest (Delaware County, Town of Middletown)
The Gates at Alder Lake (Balsam Lake Wild Forest) remain closed, but the gate at Onteora Lake (Bluestone Wild Forest) has been opened.
The snowmobile gates at Upper Cherrytown Road and Trails End Road (Sundown Wild Forest) have been closed and locked due to lack of ice and snow cover.
Weather: Always be aware of and prepared for weather conditions. Being properly prepared for the weather and conditions will help to ensure a safe and enjoyable time in the outdoors. Check the current 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 also provides detailed forecasts for the Hudson Valley and the Catskills.
The Catskill Interpretive Center now hosts a weather station in the MesoWest Network. Check the current conditions at the CIC in Mount Tremper, NY.
Winterize Your Car: Make sure that your vehicle is in good working order before you head out in this cold weather. Carry a survival kit (sleeping bag, blanket, extra jacket, hat, gloves, hand warmers, etc) should you become stuck with your vehicle or are unable to start it. Also keep a shovel in your vehicle in case you need to get your vehicle unstuck.
The Catskill Park is a carry it in, carry it out park - please be sure to take all of your trash home and be sure to Leave No Trace during your visit to the Park.
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
For More Information: Visit the Maurice D Hinchey Catskill Interpretive Center located at 5096 Route 28 in Mt Tremper, NY. The Center is open everyday from 9:30 to 4:30, and until 6:30pm on Fridays. The CIC is the Visitor Center for the Catskill Park. Staff and volunteers can provide trail information and updates. The CIC's Gift Shop carries trail maps, trail guides and other last minute items for purchase and through the Catskill Interpretive Center's online store.