Welcome to the Catskill Mountain Club

Pepacton Reservoir from Shavertown Trail - courtesy of Lillian Browne

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. Continue reading

The NYC DEP highlights CMC trails in Newsletter

coverDEPNewsletter The Shavertown Trail made the cover of the DEP’s Watershed Recreation Newsletter.

To read the full story, click the image and go to page 7.

Maps of Palmer Hill, Shavertown and Andes Rail Trail/Bullet Hole Spur available here!

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You can now print your own map of The Palmer Hill Trail, the Shavertown Trail and the Andes Rail Trail/Bullet Hole Spur.   You can also see them live and interactive!

 

Trail Printable Map Live Map
 IMG_024SpringVista from Palmer Hill

Palmer Hill Trail

Click Here to Open Printable Map Click Here
 ShavertownsummerbyLillianBrowne_ubp

Shavertown Trail

Click Here To Open Printable Map Click Here
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Andes Rail Trail/

Bullet Hole Spur

Click Here To Open Printable Map Click Here

Driving directions to the three trails can be found here

 

Map software provided by  www.MappingSupport.com

Catskill Forest Festival — July 26th, 10:00am – 4:00 pm

Our friends at the Catskills Forest Association are hosting the 5th Annual Catskill Forest Festival on Saturday, July 26th at the  Pavilion in the Village of Margaretville,  Delaware County.   This is always an entertaining and informative event celebrating our region’s forests.   FREE ADMISSION.

The event features:

  • Maple Producers
  • Wood Products
  • Forestry Equipment
  • Firewood Processor & Sawmill
  • Forest Management Education &   Services
  • Arts & Crafts Made From the Forest
  • Recreation Vendors
  • Game of Logging Competition
  • Food and Beverage Tent

Hope to see you there!

Free Fishing Weekend in NY is Here! – June 28 and June 29 are Your Lucky Days

Summer’s here and it’s time to go fishing!. Yeah, you can fish year round, but what could be better than sitting by a pond, wading in a stream or floating your boat on one of our beautiful reservoirs in this warm and easy going time of year?

But wait you say, don’t you need a license to fish in New York? Well, usually the answer is a resounding “yes”. But not this weekend, you lucky sometime anglers! Saturday, June 28 and Sunday, June 29 are Free Fishing Weekend in NY. So grab your gear (or borrow your brother’s or sister’s) and head for one of the Catskills’ premier streams or ponds. Be aware that you still must follow all other regulations. You can find those here: http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/7917.html.

And if fishing on a reservoir is your thing, you can now rent a boat that is stored on site. Just go to the vendor’s store, pay your fee, pick up a PFD and a paddle, drive to the reservoir and you’re set. Licensed vendors and steam cleaners are listed here: http://www.nyc.gov/html/dep/pdf/recreation/boat-rental-and-steam-cleaning-vendors.pdf. Bear in mind that you’ll need a DEP Access Permit, which is available online and for free here: https://a826-web01.nyc.gov/recpermitapp. For more information about the reservoirs and regulations look here: http://www.nyc.gov/html/dep/html/recreation/cannonsville_boating_program.shtml.

Best of luck to all!

 

Palmer Hill Trail Opens to the Public

DSC_0901r_TMWe woke up to a lovely day on Saturday, National Trails Day. And that wasn’t half as good as the rest of it! Over 50 people assembled at the trailhead of the brand new Palmer Hill Trail to celebrate our work and new prize. After a brief ceremony featuring remarks by Andes Town Supervisor Marty Donnelly, NYC DEP Recreation and Property Manager Charlie Laing and CMC President Rick Roberts, we had some refreshments, congratulated one another on a great partnership and its beautiful product and headed off for one of our more satisfying hikes in quite a while.

 

The Palmer Hill Trail consists of three segments that can be hiked in four distinct combinations, allowing hikers the options of short and easy hikes or moderately strenuous and longer hikes. The hiker can make complete routes of 1.2, 2.2, 2.7 or 3.7 miles. Each takes you through beautiful wildflower meadows that offer wide open views of the surrounding mountains and hills and of the bucolic scenery that Delaware County epitomizes. Along the way are centuries old foundations, a lovely stream and age old trees. In season, there will be blackberries and apples galore for the hungry hiker. And in winter the cross country skiing will be a dream come true.

DSC_0910r_TMThe importance of this partnership between the DEP and the CMC is hard to overstate. With the help of the Town of Andes, we have collaborated on two new trails on DEP lands in less than a year, having opened the Shavertown Trail on August 30 of last year. Later this year we’ll open a trail on Bramley Mountain in the Town of Delhi. And there will be more to come, including one on the south side of the Ashokan Reservoir in Ulster County and, eventually, in both Greene and Sullivan Counties.

By making these properties available for public recreation, without fee or required permit, the DEP has made an important commitment to the needs of the residents of the Catskills. The benefits to the health and economies of our communities are already being felt. The CMC is thrilled to have an opportunity of this magnitude to work towards the success of our mission of promoting non-motorized outdoor recreation that is sustainable and environmentally responsible and that benefits the physical and economic health of our local communities.

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The Palmer Hill Trail will be a destination for those who love the Catskills and want to experience them as never before. So come out and enjoy the views. And, if you don’t already know, see one of the finest panoramas of the Catskill High Peaks anywhere. I won’t tell you where to look for it – come find out for yourself!

See video of the opening here. Thanks to Jessica Vecchione.

A Special Thanks to the Palmer Hill Trail Volunteers

IMG_3039crMany hikers and passers-by notice the signs that point us to the fabulous hiking trails that dot our fair Catskills. Most don’t think to ask how did that get here or who put that there. The truth is that the construction of new trails is an enormously labor intensive project – volunteers (yes, you read that correctly) spent well over 400 hours planning and building the new Palmer Hill Trail.

So with that said, I would like to extend an equally enormous thank you to those volunteers. They are truly deserving of thanks from all of us who hike and from those who understand the importance and ways of being good stewards of our natural resources. Their efforts benefit our personal health, our community health and our environmental health by giving us a chance to get out and experience the great outdoors. How better to learn?

Let me also invite you who are appreciative of this gift to join with us in the unending task of maintaining the Palmer Hill Trail and others in the Catskills, both those that the CMC has built and those that were given to us by previous generations of dedicated and generous hikers. You will be passing something of great value on to future generations.

Wendell George
Stewardship Chair
wendell@catskillmountainclub.orgIMG_2816cr

An Enormous Thank You to:

Ann Roberti          Bob Moses
Fred Reckner       Bill Palmer
Jeff Ditchek          John Exter
Rich Johnson       Austin Petrone
Edie Mesick          Laura Sanford
Kathy Mario          Tom Miano
Gale Kabat           Howard Raab
Nick Verni             Lou Capello
Bud Gladstone

Sunday, July 27, 9:15 AM – The Joy of Twin, Twice

Now if you like the Catskill woods, challenging scrambles and views this is the hike to do! It is about the most fun 8 miles the Catkills has to offer on the Devil’s Path. Dibbles Quarry, the beaver  pond, the Notches and VIEWS and songbirds at this time of year, too. Come see for yourself! It will be a full day and you should have a flashlite should it be needed. Wear good hiking boots and dress in layers of wicking materials. Bear in mind that the weather can be changeable in the Catskills over the course of a day. Bring lots of water, lunch and some snacks! Be aware that some of our hikers are working on Peaks and the full Devil’s Path and we will complete the hike unless the weather is not cooperative.  Continue reading

Friday, August 1, 9:30 AM – Hike in Minnewaska State Park Preserve

Who says we have to hike in the Catskills every time we go out? Not us! After all, within shouting distance of our beautiful Catskills lies the Shawangunk Ridge, designated by the Nature Conservancy as one of the “Last Great Places” on Earth. No doubt, some folks think that they’re one and the same. But, in fact, the Gunks are part of the Appalachian Mountain Range, while the Catskills are the easternmost part of the Allegheny Plateau.

Besides their different geological histories, the Catskills and the Shawangunks have differing appearances and features. Unlike the heavily forested Catskills, the Gunks are characterized by large areas of exposed rock, sky lakes and by rare plant communities different from those in the Catskills. There are wide open views of the Hudson Valley to be had, paths through one of only two ridgetop dwarf pine barrens in the world and expansive stands of blueberries, once harvested commercially by a seasonal community of berry pickers. It’s common to see raptors soaring on the currents off the eastern slopes. Continue reading

Saturday, August 9, 3 PM – Hike the new Palmer Hill Trail

Join CMC Board Member Ann Roberti, as she leads an Andes Community Day walk on the brand new Palmer Hill Trail in Andes, NY.  It’s a really special hike – glorious views, extensive stone walls and old foundations, and vast open sky — truly an unusual Catskill trail. The trail meanders through open meadows with beautiful views of forested lands, productive apple trees and historic stone walls and foundations. It passes over Bryant’s Brook and also features excellent views of many of the Catskill High Peaks, including Graham, Doubletop, Balsam Lake, Eagle, Balsam and the Dry Brook Ridge. Continue reading

One more day! Official Opening of the Palmer Hill Trail — Saturday, June 7th at 2:00 PM

Img_3001IntersectionSignCome on out and join the CMC in celebrating National Trails Day at the opening of our newest cooperative venture: the Palmer Hill Trail! The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the Catskill Mountain Club (CMC) will open a new hiking trail on Palmer Hill on June 7, 2014 at 2 o’clock.

The trail, which was designed, built and will be maintained by the Catskill Mountain Club, features spectacular views for most of its 3.7 length. The trailhead is located just off Route 28, with parking available at the existing scenic overlook site on Finkle Road. It’s a really special hike – glorious views, extensive stone walls and old foundations, and more open sky than Montana. Ok, maybe that’s an exaggeration, but you have to hike the Palmer Hill trail to appreciate the incredible diversity the Catskill region offers. See photos of the trail and learn more about it  here….

DEP announces the Palmer Hill Trail Opening here.

IMG_024SpringVista from Palmer Hill Img_3034vista Img_3020cloudsOverTheHill

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Walking the meadows of the Palmer Hill Trail

After the opening “ceremony” and hike, we’re going to hang out and bask in the afterglow (or is that the bonfire we’re feeling)  at the after party at Spillian in Fleischmanns. Spillian, along with co-sponsors the NY-NJ Trail Conference  and the Catskill Mountain Club, will serve as the celebration headquarters for all of the trails opening in the area.  Enjoy the bonfire and back slapping celebrating National Trails Day and the great work that has been done this year to make more trails accessible to people in the region.  Free and open to the public, with a special invitations all hikers and trail-builders from all of the trails that are opening on this holiday.  Kansas City style BBQ available for $9 and a cash bar.  Reservations requested. http://spillian.com/events/national-trails-day/

Check out the CMC Spring 2014 newsletter

The Spring Newsletter is here!  We invite you to read here. There’s a great article on hiking with your dog, a book review, updates on the club goings on and the announcement of our new Lifetime Membership!   And news about the great new CMC wicking shirts and caps

!CMC shirts_green_blueIMG_3015       AnnBobWendellAtPalmerLillianBrownDSC_0109       CMC capsIMG_3009

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.

Wonderful article on our new Andes trails in Kaatskill Life

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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

 

Fantastic Day at Kaaterskill Falls, Sunset Rock, Inspiration Point

 

IMG_2756rwaterfall

 

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.

Continue reading

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.

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 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.

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

 

 

We are proud members of the following outdoor recreation organizations:

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