Heading into the July 4th holiday, expect a mixed weather weekend with Friday and Saturday seeing rain and scattered thunderstorms. Sunny conditions predicted for Thursday and Sunday. With humidity levels rising, be sure to pack extra water and consider packing extra dry layers! Visiting Peekamoose Blue Hole will require a permit on holiday weekdays and weekends through to Columbus Day.
Trail Conditions and Stream Information: During July, younger black bears start to go off on their own and food is in shorter supply in the woods before berries begin to grow. It’s a good time of year to ask ourselves if we’re doing everything we can to protect our food sources from wildlife (source: NYSDEC).
Stay prepared for changing weather conditions, especially unexpected rain storms, by carrying an extra dry layer and water protection. Waterproof shoes or boots are highly recommended for when you encounter stretches of wet, muddy terrain. All streams and springs marked on a map in the Catskills should be flowing. It’s suggested that those water sources are treated or filtered before drinking to be safe.
Forecast (reporting for Mt. Tremper, NY): Thursday for July 4th, high of 88, patchy fog then mostly sunny. Thursday night, partly cloudy, low of 62. Friday, high of 87, scattered showers and thunderstorms. Friday night, scattered thunderstorms, low of 66. Saturday, heavy rain expected, high of 86. Saturday night, mostly cloudy low of 62. Sunday, mostly sunny, high of 81. Sunday night, mostly clear with a low around 56.
Peekamoose Blue Hole: A free day use permit is required to visit the Peekamoose Blue Hole on weekends and holidays. Sign up at least 24 hours in advance to ensure a spot. Permits can be obtained through the Reserve America Website.
Camping: State campgrounds throughout the Catskills are open for the season (with the exception of Devil’s Tombstone, closed this year for repairs). 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 spring and summer and a fishing license is required. The Catskills Visitor Center (5096 State Route 28, Mt. Tremper, NY 12457) is issuing fishing licenses throughout the season.
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 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. Check out our recommendations for tick and bug safety.
The Catskills 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.
· Respect Wildlife and Protect Your Food - 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. Bear bags can be a challenge for even the most experienced hikers, but they’re a very important part of camping. An alternative way to protect your food and scented items on a overnight backpacking trip is to bring a bear canister. There are lots of resources to be found online for practicing bear bag hangs, especially by searching for the PCT bear bag method.
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 maps, trail guides and more for purchase.
Call us at the Catskills Visitor Center Center: 845-688-3369 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.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 Saturday and Sundays.