Welcome to the Catskill Mountain Club

Alder Lake in early Spring

Welcome to the Catskill Mountain Club.

Check out our UPCOMING EVENTSread NEWS about work we’ve done, find HIKES AND OTHER outdoor activity suggestions,  and find out more about the benefits of JOINING the Catskill Mountain Club  or just add your name to our email list.

Founded in 2004, the year of the 100th Anniversary of the Catskill Park, the CMC has dedicated itself to providing a broad range of non-motorized recreational activities to its members, to residents and to visitors in the Catskills. Whether you hike, camp, kayak, canoe, snowshoe, ski, or cycle, the CMC offers activities to meet your interests.


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Our Friends at CRISP are Seeking Volunteers to Help Fight Aquatic Invasive Species in the Catskills

2014BoatStewards (2) CRISP is gearing up to educate the public about the problem of aquatic invasive species in the Catskills. Find out how you can help by volunteering for a few days this summer. You’ll be providing a public service and learning some skills while gaining valuable experience, too.

Click on the image for more information.

Fantastic Day at Kaaterskill Falls, Sunset Rock, Inspiration Point




Sunday’s trip to Kaaterskill Falls and the North Lake area couldn’t have been better….see for yourself!    You’ll think “Hudson River School” looking at quite a number of the pictures.




Click continue reading to see the slideshow.

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Work set to begin on new Palmer Hill Trail in Andes

IMG_2773smallSizeThis is the view you’ll have at the start of the Palmer Hill Trail.   Yesterday the CMC got approval from the DEP for the route we’ve planned, and work will begin on the trail very soon. The Palmer Hill trail will be a very different Catskills hiking experience, taking you through beautiful open fields with ancient trees and stone walls in addition to wooded portions. At the right time of year you can even find a snack as there are several great apple trees near the trail.

Look for the grand opening of this trail on June 7th! If you are interested in helping with trail building and haven’t already signed up as a trail worker, please email Wendell@CatskillMountainClub.org.

Temporarily Restricted Parking at Woodland Valley P.A. Beginning April 14

The DEC has announced that, beginning April 14, part of the parking area at Woodland Valley will be closed for at least two weeks to allow for the removal of ash trees infested with emerald ash borer, an invasive insect species that attacks and kills ash trees. For those planning to hike the Burroughs Range or on the Phoenicia-East Branch Trail, alternative parking is available at other parking areas. For more information see the April 14 update on the NYNJTC’s Catskills Hiking Trail Status and Conditions page.


Wonderful article on our new Andes trails in Kaatskill Life


A big Thank You to Peter Senterman and Kaatskill Life for this great article on the Andes Rail Trail/Bullet Hole Spur and the Shavertown Trail.

The article states: “All in all, this is one of the nicest trails in the area, interesting in its variety, and a comfortable trail for those who like to wander in the woods. It is short enough to walk in a couple of hours, and interesting enough for repeated visits. The Catskill Mountain Club did a superb job with this trail. Congratulations!”

We couldn’t agree more!

Hopefully they’ll like the coming Palmer Hill trail just as much.

(click the picture or here to read the article)

Discover & Explore the NEW Andes Rail Trail
by Pete Senterman
Reprinted with permission from Kaatskill Life, Spring 2014


Mothers’ Day Weekend – Wildflowers Along the Route of an Historic Hike – From our friends at the CNPS and the MTHS in partnership with the Torrey Botanical Society and the Olive Natural Heritage Society

Joel Fry-MTHS-CNPS2Our friends at the Catskill Native Plant Society and the Mountain Top Historical Society have announced a hike that will be of interest to all who love wildflowers and other flora and to those who love history. The hike will follow the path of 18th century botanist and author John Bartram and his son, William, as they explored the Catskills in 1753.  There will be a lecture Saturday evening. Click on the image to learn more.


Spring wildflowers — they’ll be here soon — are you ready? Garden Talk on Wednesday, April 23, 2014, 7:00 PM

If you can’t make the Annual Ephemeral Wildflower hike Sunday, April 27 with our man of the woods, Howard Raab, or if you can and want to be knowledgeably prepared, you might want to attend the the Garden Talk on spring wildflowers four days earlier in Delhi.

Hosted by the Delhi Beautification Committee


Native Northeastern Spring Wildflowers
Guest Speaker: Lisa Tessier of SUNY Delhi
7:00 PM, Wednesday,  April 23, 2014
Also hear about: New community garden, hiking and walking trails; spring & summer plantings; 2014 holiday decorations; and more
Location:  United Ministry of Delhi,  Court House Square, Lower Level, Macintosh Hall

Will be served; no charge

Sunday, April 27, 11 AM – Annual Ephemeral Wildflower Hike

Join with CMC board member Howard Raab for the fourth Annual Ephemeral Wildflower hike at Kelly Hollow.

This a chance to find and identify the beautiful Spring Ephemeral wildflowers which are so named because they appear above ground in early spring when they flower and fruit and then die back into the ground, all in a short period before the trees have had a chance to leaf out. Most hikers never see these flowers because they wait for late spring or summer to get into the woods. We will look for Trillium, Spring beauties, Trout Lily, Hepatica, Violets, Squirrel Corn, Dutchman’s Britches, Jack-In-The-Pulpit and many others. We may also find some early mushrooms. Continue reading

Saturday, May 10, 4 PM – Hike at Bluestone Wild Forest/Onteora Lake

As part of Trailfest at Kenco Outfitters, the CMC will lead a hike in the eastern Catskills’ Bluestone Wild Forest. Among the features of the area is Onteora Lake. The hike through mixed forest is an easy one, suitable for hikers of all ages including children. John Exter, a past CMC board member, will lead the hike. Meet at the CMC/Catskill Center Trailfest table at 3:45 for the short drive to the trailhead.

Wear good hiking boots and comfortable clothing. Bring a quart of water and maybe a snack. About 3.4 miles and 2 hours.

Directions: Kenco is located at the junction of SR 28 and Hurley Mountain Rd. in Kingston, about ½ mile west of US 209.  Bluestone WF/Onteora Lake Parking Area is off SR 28, approximately 3 miles west of Kenco.

Friday, May 16, 8 AM – Birdwatching on the Andes Rail Trail

Join CMC member Fred Reckner for a quiet hike on the Andes Rail Trail in search of our avian neighbors. Early starts provide the best chance of success. Because quiet is a virtue, there will be no dogs allowed on this hike. You may want to bring binoculars and a spotting scope with tripod.

The Andes Rail Trail has two distinct parts. The old railbed is flat and wide open, with great views of the Trempers Kill and the meadows and fields around it. It’s about .9 miles long. The Bullet Hole Spur Trail goes up into the woods at the end of the railbed section, climbing gradually into a diverse set of forest types. That portion passes through mixed hardwoods, split boulders, a fern glade, spruce forest and ends in hemlocks above the Bullet Hole Creek.

The diverse habitats should host many kinds of birds. And it’s a beautiful hike that’s guaranteed to please, no matter your bird spotting success. Continue reading

Sunday, May 17, 9 AM – Bushwhack on Mt. Pleasant

This untrailled mountain, though only a little over 2800′, is visible on Catskill maps. It’s very prominent location makes it a landmark from Mt Tremper, Wittenberg and a number of other Catskill summits. Mt Pleasant is one of those  ’I wonder what mountain that is’ peaks, seen from NY28, towering over the hamlet of its same name.
The 4 mile bushwhack will ascend 2,000ft but we hope to locate a woods road that one of the leaders has previously discovered. Participants should be prepared for an ‘exploratory’ hike. Bring lunch and water. Strenuous. Well behaved dogs allowed by prior arrangement with the leaders.
Depending on conditions, this hike may be postponed. The leaders will notify registrants of any change.
Register by May 8th with leaders:
Alan Via: Peakbagr100@gmail.com or Jim Hopson: hoppycat1@hotmail.com

Directions: We will meet at the parking lot located just to the west of the Emerson Resort on SR 28 between the hamlets of Mt.Tremper and Phoenicia.

Saturday, June 7 – 19th Annual Delhi Covered Bridge Run

19th Delhi Bridge RunHere’s a worthy cause to support and a great day to be enjoyed. Run or walk for your health, for fun and for your community. The event consists of a 10K Run, a 5K Run and a 5K Health Walk. Proceeds from the race benefit scholarships to two Delaware County graduating Seniors.  Plus the Catskill Mountain Club will be awarded a grant for building trails in Delaware County. After building two enormously popular trails in 2013, the club will build two more this year, including one in the Town of Delhi and one in the Town of Andes.


Register and get more information by visiting this site: http://www.clasiladies.com/delhi-covered-bridge-run.html


Early start on trail maintenance

The trail maintenance season is coming soon, but some CMC members got a head start on it by doing trail work on the Big Pond to Alder Lake segment of the Touch-Me-Not Trail.   We were out in the snow putting up new trail markers and clearing some downed wood.   We’ll be back on this trail again to get the blackberries in the early summer.  We’ll be out building and maintaining trails in full force really soon.  We hope you’ll come and join us!


We thought we were busy as beavers until we spied this beaver’s work on the way home from Alder Lake.

beaverDamSectionIMG_2721 beaverDamIMG_2718

Think Spring and Cycling in the Catskills

Want to learn more about cycling in the Catskills?    Check out a great post from Anton Tutter, co-author of the cycling blog, Riding the Catskills, which chronicles off-the-beaten-path cycling routes in the region.    In this post, he shares his adventures cycling over some beautiful, rugged Delaware County roads as he “pass hunts” his way from Bloomville to Bovina to Andes and back to Bloomville.   His description and photos will have you longing for bicycling weather – as if this winter wasn’t already doing that for some.  Check out other rides in the Catskills at the rest of the website as well.

Last summer, Anton wrote:  ”I recently rode a hilly 45-mile route that connects three neighboring villages to retrace childhood memories; each holds fond memories for me. But more relevant to this post, cycling between these villages is a fun adventure in pass hunting– the sport of riding over mountain passes towards a goal of having completed a defined number of passes within a region. Popular in France (rules of the game), it’s gaining popularity here in the US. It’s sort of the cycling equivalent of hiking clubs, where the goal is to have hiked over a defined group of mountain peaks. So instead of following major roads between the villages that skirt around and thereby avoid the mountains, I opt to ride up and over the mountains along the most remote, least traveled mountain passes and carriage roads I can find, choosing dirt over pavement wherever possible”.

Read the rest of this great post  here.   Check out the other great posts on Riding the Catskills as well.


CMC comments on NYSDEC draft amendment to the Bluestone W.F. UMP

The DEC is proposing to make several improvements in the Bluestone Wild Forest. They are:

1) Construct and mark a new 2.5 mile mountain bike trail to be located within the Jockey Hill section of the unit.
2) Update the official trail network of the unit by designating appropriate trails and re-routing or closing inappropriate trails.
3) Manage Onteora Lake as a warm water recreational fishery.

We believe that the changes proposed by the NYSDEC are all very positive, and will greatly enhance this tremendous resource in the eastern Catskill Mountain region. These proposed changes will benefit the user groups that frequent these lands and waters, and likely invite additional users. We feel that the changes proposed by the NYSDEC will adequately balance this use and the protection of the natural resources within the Blue Stone Wild Forest.


CMC Participates in Catskill Park Awareness Day

On Tuesday, February 25 the CMC participated in Catskill Park Awareness Day by traveling to Albany to talk with our representatives in state government. Along with delegates from 35 other organizations that have banded together in the new Catskill Park Coalition, four members of the CMC board went to speak on behalf of programs that are focussed on improving the economy of the Catskills and on the stewardship of the Catskill Park. Continue reading

Learn about another invasive insect threatening our forest

You’ve heard about the Asian Longhorn Beetle, the Emerald Ash Borer — now learn about the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid.

HWAdelgidOn Saturday, March 8, 2014, join Mine Kill State Park staff, regional biologists and the Student Conservation Association to learn about the hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA) and its terrible effect on New York’s eastern hemlock trees. There will be an informative presentation on the history, origins and current status of HWA in New York State by Cornell University Professor, Mark Whitmore.  Following the presentation, participants will split into groups and learn how to survey hemlock trees for the presence of HWA.  Data collected from the survey will be used to construct a comprehensive management plan for HWA at Mine Kill State Park. Additional surveys will provide further information on the status effort to contain HWA and preserve as many of Mine Kill’s beautiful hemlocks as possible.        

And the adelgids don’t stop at the park’s borders.

March 8th, 10am to 2pm  at the New York Power Authority Blenheim-Gilboa Visitors Center located on State Route 30 in North Blenheim, NY.

The program is free of charge to the public.  A chili lunch and other refreshments will be provided.

Click the flyer to learn more.

Snow Donuts Redux, and other snow oddities

You’ve probably had enough of snow by now, but as we say goodbye to it,  we have another look for you…

We think our snow donut is nicer than the one in the photo contest (link below)…we went back to check on ours a little while ago and it was definitely worse for the wear, but still pretty cool …

snowDonutP1050572 snowDonutP1050573

Science Friday Photo contest snow donut.

Other Science Friday winter photo contest entries are really worth checking out….

We found some other great snow stuff on the Alder Lake to Beaver Meadow hike…


“How Wolves Change Rivers”

“How Wolves Change Rivers” is a short video about the restoration of ecological systems. This beautiful video may give you a deeper appreciation of the connectedness in all of nature.

From Sustainable Man.

CMC Comments on Proposed NYSDEC Black Bear Management Plan

The Catskill Mountain Club has issued a comment regarding the proposed NYSDEC black bear management plan. While supporting several initiatives to better manage the black bear population in the Catskills including an increased bag limit and greater promotion of the sport of bear hunting, the CMC opposes the creation of a new black bear hunting season. If approved, the current proposal by the DEC would establish a new hunting season that would run from the first Saturday after Labor Day for 16 days. The new season would coincide with one of the most used and beloved times of the year for hikers and many other outdoor recreation enthusiasts. Continue reading

The Catskill Mountain Club News for Fall/Winter is Here

The CMC has a newly published newsletter which we invite you to read here. Along with a report on a very successful year of accomplishments, it contains information about hiking in both the hunting season and winter. Check out the photos and the useful information about how you can receive our news and announcements directly in your inbox. We look forward to hearing from you.



We are proud members of the following outdoor recreation organizations:

NY-NJ Trail Conference           Finger Lakes Trail Conference               Leave No Trace             American Hiking Society