Welcome to the Catskill Mountain Club

Looking up Kaaterskill Clove from Palenville Overlook with Indian Head in the foreground.

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 outdoor 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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CMC EVENTS CALENDAR

Photo courtesy of Bill Palmer – Palmer Hill Photography

 

December 2018

Sunday

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

1
2 Chanukah 4 5 6 7 8
9

Regular Big Game Hunting Season Ends at Sundown

 

10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21  Winter Solstice 22
23 24 25  Christmas 26  Kwanzaa 27 28 29

8:30 AM

Giant Ledge and Panther Mountain

30 31 1  

New Year’s Day

10:30 AM

First Day Hike in Kelly Hollow

2018 Calendar Template © calendarlabs.com

Hike Giant Ledge and Panther Mountain | Saturday, December 29, 8:30 AM

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Panther Mountain and Giant Ledge from Slide Mountain

From the hairpin turn on Rt 47, we’ll hike (or snowshoe) over Giant Ledge and Panther, finishing at the Fox Hollow parking area. Weather permitting, we’ll enjoy some of the best views in the Catskills. We’ll complete the entire Giant Ledge – Panther – Fox Hollow Trail, and a short section of the Phoenicia – East Branch Trail. This hike will satisfy one of the Catskill 3500 Club’s winter peak requirements.

 

Event Duration: 8.2 miles, 6 hours

Level of Difficulty: Difficult

 

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Regular Big Game Hunting Season Begins Soon – Hike Safely at These No Hunting Locations

Beginning November 17th and lasting through December 9th, the popular regular deer and bear hunting season means that everyone who goes into the woods in the Catskills needs to be aware, be alert and ALWAYS BE DRESSED IN ORANGE (dogs included). Whether you are on forest preserve, state forest or NYCDEP lands, the three week period during which hunters are permitted to use rifles is a time for added care.

Alternatives where hunting is not permitted do exist. Most are not within the Catskills proper, but all are close enough to make a day trip practical. It is advisable to wear orange even when hiking on these trails. The added precaution affords peace of mind.
Listed below are 16 great places to get outdoors where hunting is not permitted. We suggest that you consider exploring new territory or revisiting your favorites. Happy Trails!

Andes Rail Trail/Bullet Hole Spur (in Andes)
Bear Mountain State Park (near West Point)
Black Creek Preserve (near Esopus)
Delhi Trails (in Delhi)

Ferncliff Forest & Fire Tower (Rhinebeck)
Harriman State Park (near Harriman)
High Banks Preserve (near Ulster Park)
Highland Lakes State Park (near Middletown)
Mills-Norrie State Park (near Staatsburg)
Minnewaska State Park Preserve* (near New Paltz)
Riddell State Park (near Laurens/Oneonta)

Thacher State Park** (near Voorheesville)
The Willows at Brandow’s Point (Athens)
Wallkill Valley Rail Trail (Kingston to Gardiner)
Walkway Over the Hudson & 
Franny Reese State Park (can be combined) (Poughkeepsie/Highland)

The North-South Lake Day Use Area is one place in the Catskill Park where hunting is not permitted. Be aware that the area does not include Kaaterskill Falls or the Escarpment Trail to the south of the intensive use area. It does extend on all trails north to Badman Cave.

*No bear season. For deer seasons, no hunting in the vicinity of hiking trails – check map here: https://parks.ny.gov/parks/attachments/Minnewaska2017HuntingMapMinnewaska.pdf?fbclid=IwAR0c-LusE0CwKNafcBrJidoc2K73nagbtsEll1HXmv4a3iyKKLo-aSllsJY

**hunting allowed in a some areas. See map for details: https://parks.ny.gov/…/ThacherThacherStateParkHuntingMap.pdf

First Day Hike in Kelly Hollow | Tuesday, January 1, 10:30 AM

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Join the CMC for a First Day hike in partnership with the NYSDEC. We’ll celebrate the New Year with an exploration of the winter beauty of remote and wild Kelly Hollow in the western Catskills. The trail passes through a nice variety of terrain and forests before reaching an old beaver pond and a lean-to near the high point. This is an easy-moderate hike. With luck, we’ll have good conditions for snowshoeing.

Event Duration:  3 miles, 3.5 hours     Level of Difficulty:  Easy-Moderate

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Woodland Watershed Hike Pine Hill Walk n Talk | Monday, November 12, 9:30 AM

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Birch Creek in Pine Hill

A short walk to observe the many water features of Pine Hill; we’ll cross 3 different streams over historic stone bridges, and check out one of the main springs in this small hamlet. Discussion to follow at the library about the importance of pure spring water in the history of the town. Books and DVDs relating to the Watershed and reservoirs of the area will be available to take out from the library.

Event Duration:  2 miles, 2 hours

Level of Difficulty:  Easy

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Woodland Watershed Hike on Phoenicia’s Tanbark Trail | Monday, November 5, 9:30 AM

Phoenicia from tan bark trailA short but steep and challenging hike up above Phoenicia where we can observe the hamlet of Phoenicia and the nearby Esopus Creek. There will be a discussion of the history of the former leather tanning industry, and the importance of clean water.

This hike is partnering with the Morton Memorial Library 22 Elm Street in Pine Hill.

Event Duration:  2.2 miles, 2 hours

Level of Difficulty:  Moderate

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A Watershed Woodland Walk on the Pine Hill Rail Trail | Monday, October 29, 9:30 AM

A short woodland walk following part of the Ulster/Delaware rail trail, heading to a small spring in a clearing, passing the site of the historic Crystal Springs bottling facility.
Brief discussion about the history of Crystal Springs Water Company and the importance of protecting the waterways in our area.

This hike is partnering with the Morton Memorial Library 22 Elm Street in Pine Hill.

Event Duration:  2 miles, 2 hours

Level of Difficulty:  Easy

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Watershed Woodland Walk across the Ashokan Reservoir | Monday, October 22, 9:30 AM

Ashokan Reservoir panorama (from wikipediaWe’ll be crossing the Ashokan Reservoir on a paved promenade with stunning views of the reservoir and mountains, possibly an eagle! A brief session of yoga stretches and a discussion about the recent and past history of the reservoir and the hamlets that preceded it will be included.

Event Duration:  5 miles, 3 hours

Level of Difficulty:  Easy

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New Trail/New Hike on the River to Ridge Trail | Friday, October 19, 10:30 AM

MohonkA new six-mile loop trail connecting the village of New Paltz to the Shawangunk Ridge has recently opened and the Andes Hikers of the CMC are planning to check it out. Built by the Open Space Institute, the trail is a multi-use hiking and cycling path.

Event Duration:  6 miles, 3 hours

Level of Difficulty:  Easy-Moderate

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Watershed Woodland Hike with Yoga | Monday, October 15, 9 AM

Summertime vista (courtesy of Lillian Browne)

Shavertown vista (courtesy of Lillian Browne)

A moderate hike suitable for novice hikers leads to a spectacular view of the Pepacton reservoir and a scenic pond where we will have a short yoga stretch, and a brief discussion of the recent and past history of the reservoir, including the towns that used to populate the area.

Event Duration:  2.5 miles, 2 hours

Level of Difficulty:  Easy-Moderate, 760′ ascent

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POSTPONED: Pine Hill – West Branch Trail End to End | Saturday, October 27, 8 AM

Hike the Pine Hill – West Branch Trail’s entire length while summiting three high peaks: Big Indian, Eagle and Balsam Mountains.  The hike passes the stream side Biscuit Brook lean-to before climbing steeply to Big Indian. From there it’s a ridgeline hike to Balsam before descending from Belleayre’s false summit into Pine Hill.

This is a challenging 15 mile hike with over 3100 feet of climbing. Headlamps are required since we’ll be finishing after dark. Depending on the pace of the group, the hike could take  longer than the estimated 12 hours.

Event Duration:  15 miles, 12 hours

Level of Difficulty:  Difficult

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Kaaterskill High Peak Hike | Tuesday, October 9, 9:15 AM

We’ll hike to the summit of Kaaterskill High Peak. Our route will include marked trails, unmarked trails, bushwhacking and interesting scrambles. We’ll have lunch at Hurricane Ledge, with one of the best views in the Catskills; and we’ll visit the sites of 2 plane crashes. Our pace will be moderate with frequent, short snack/water breaks. This hike is listed as difficult because of the scrambles, and the bushwhack.

Event Duration: 8 miles, 6-8 hours

Level of Difficulty: Difficult; Bushwhack

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It’s time for the CMC’s ANNUAL DINNER and RAFFLE! | Sunday, October 14, 5 PM

This year’s party will take place on Sunday, October 14 at the Emerson Resort’s Catamount Restaurant in Mount Tremper. We’ll begin at 5 PM with a chance to talk to fellow members and guests while munching appetizers and enjoying a beverage from the bar. You can enjoy the views of Tremper Mountain while listening to the Esopus Creek from the expansive deck. Following the three course dinner, we’ll hear noted guide book authors Russell Dunn and Barbara Delaney give a presentation based on the recently published book Rambles to Remarkable Rocks, the perfect introduction to some new destinations for Catskills hikers. Russ is well known for his Catskill Region Waterfall Guide and other titles covering hiking in the Catskills, Adirondacks, Hudson River Valley, as well as the Taconics and Berkshires.

This year’s raffle offers another great line up of prizes including two Osprey day packs, a Thule kayak roof rack, snowshoes, artwork by naturalist Jack Mesick and a day rental for two of a kayak for a run down the East Branch of the Delaware. You do not have to be present to win, so purchase your tickets online or at the dinner. All proceeds go to help support the CMC’s work.
Get your RAFFLE tickets here: http://catskillmountainclub.org/…/2018-raffle-dinner-prizes/
Make DINNER RESERVATIONS here: http://catskillmountainclub.org/e…/tickets-for-annual-dinner

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Hike the Trail on the old U&D RR in Pine Hill | Tuesday, September 4, 4 PM

Meet at the Pine Hill Community Center for a short hike on the rail trail in Pine Hill; optional $5 yoga class to follow at the Pine Hill Community Center.

Event Duration:  1.5 miles, 1 hours

Level of Difficulty:  Easy-Moderate

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Slide Mountain with Yoga on Top | Wednesday, August 15, 9:00 AM

Slide Mountain from the south

Slide from Denning is the perfect way to do this summit in Summer! Come join us for this less used but pretty ascent via the Phoenicia-East Branch and Curtis-Ormsbee Trails, enjoying some great views of the Southern High Peaks.

Bring a small towel to sit on for some fun yoga on the Catskills highest peak! The hike leader is an experienced yoga teacher. Enjoy a moderate pace for this summer hike.

Event Duration: 11.2 miles,  8-9 hours

Level of Difficulty: Difficult

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The First Annual CMC Picnic was a Perfect Way to Spent a Beautiful Summer’s Day!

We had a great day for the first Annual CMC Picnic yesterday. The weather quickly warmed up and the skies stayed sunny for most of the day, making for a great day to swim or just sit at the beach. We all agreed that Belleayre Beach was a perfect place to get together. The grounds are beautiful, the facilities well kept and the lake and surrounding mountains are a great setting. We had some good corn hole and bocce ball matches, and a great hike at Rochester Hollow to begin the day. With Rick Roberts, CMC president, at the grill, the burgers and hotdogs were excellent eating with lots of great homemade side dishes and plenty of desserts to top it all off.

With great company, it was a nice way to spend a summer’s day. We hope to see many more of you at next year’s festivities!

Accessible Outdoor Recreation Destinations in and around the Catskills

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Accessible Trail at Little Pond Campground

Most of us take for granted the almost endless opportunities we have to get out into the great outdoors. Whether we’re hitting the trail, casting for trout, paddling, or going rogue by ‘whacking our way into the unknown, we know well how important that chance to connect with nature is. And we appreciate it deeply.

For some of us, getting that feeling isn’t so easy. Our friends and family members who have limited mobility need and deserve resources that can accommodate them so they can get out and experience that connection with nature, too. The Americans with Disabilities Act has encouraged the development of infrastructure to make getting out easier. The NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, the NYC Department of Environmental Protection, other governmental agencies and even some non-governmental organizations have accessible facilities all around the Catskills, including trails, fishing areas, water access points, picnic pads, camping pads, pavilions and restrooms. Recent improvements have been completed at Kenneth Wilson Campground, a DEC facility in the Town of Woodstock and the DEC has filed notice for comments on a plan to improve and add to the accessible facilities at the North-South Lake Campground near Haines Falls. Accessible attractions also include iconic spots like Kaaterskill Falls and the Ashokan Reservoir Promenade. For travelers, easy to get to trails and other amenities can be found at the Catskill Interpretive Center in Mt. Tremper.

Here are links to pages that list where many of these facilities are located.

NYSDEC Accessible Recreation Destinations listed by county.

Accessible Catskills Hiking, Camping and Outdoors

NYS Parks – search by the park name or location and look for the “Amenities and Activities” section.

Hike the Long Path from Peekamoose Rd. to Upper Cherrytown Rd. | Saturday, August 18, 8:00 AM

Vernooy Falls

We’ll hike the section of the Long Path from Peekamoose Rd to Upper Cherrytown Rd. The first 1.1 miles will be a steep 1150 foot climb from Peekamoose Rd to Bangle Hill. After that we’ll have about 8.4 miles of relatively easy hiking. If it’s hot, we should have an opportunity to cool off at Vernooy Falls, 1.7 miles from the end of the hike. Our pace will be moderate with frequent, short snack/water breaks.

Event Duration:  9.5 miles, 7 hours

Level of Difficulty:  Moderate-Difficult

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Balsam Lake Fire Tower and Millbrook Mountain* | Sunday, August 12, 9:00 AM

Balsam Lake Mt. Fire Tower from Mill Brook Ridge Trail

*Note the change in the route.
Hike with us to the Balsam Lake Fire Tower and Millbrook Mountain from using the  Beaverkill Rd. approach.  Enjoy scrambles and views. Do a fire tower! We may do the bushwhack to Woodpecker Ridge.  A fun day hike! For experienced hikers.
Poor weather will redate this hike.

Event Duration: 10 miles,  8 hours

Level of Difficulty: Difficult

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Explore the Michael Kudish Natural History Preserve | Postponed, date tbd

This hike will be lead by noted naturalist Dr. Michael Kudish.  Although not difficult in terms of miles, Mike will give much talk about flora, fauna and the history of the land and its use.   We will also check out some shrub thickets near steep outcrops that may or may not be first growth. Expect a bit of science!

Event Duration:   4-5 hours

Level of Difficulty:  Moderate

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Paddle the Pepacton | Sunday, August 12, 1:00 PM

P5260785smExperience an incredible outdoor adventure, paddling the beautiful Pepacton Reservoir. Join Catskill Mountain Club board member Ann Roberti for a scenic paddle on this recently opened NYC reservoir. Bring your own CANOE or KAYAK (it must be steam cleaned prior to putting it in the reservoir — see more below) or rent from a local business that has kayaks stored on site. 

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Hike the Escarpment’s Windham and Burnt Knob | Wednesday, August 29, 8:30 AM

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Blackhead Range from Acra Point

Hike this lovely western section of the Escarpment to Windham High Peak via Burnt Knob and Acra Point.  Come enjoy ups and downs and fabulous views! Perfect hike to do some All Trails and get a high peak, too.  Not for beginners or pets.

 

Event Duration: 10.5 miles,  8 hours

Level of Difficulty: Difficult

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Woodland Hike with Yoga: Giant Ledge | Monday, August 6, 9:00 AM

From Giant Ledge by WG

From Giant Ledge

This moderately difficult climb up to Giant Ledge will include a short Yoga session at the viewpoint, one of the prettiest and most expansive in the Catskills.  It’s the perfect place to combine yoga with the beauty of nature. Take your memories home with you and use them again and again to set the mood for meditation or for stretching after a busy day.

Event Duration:  3.5 miles, 3 hours

Level of Difficulty:  Moderate-Difficult

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Boot-brush Unveiling and Hike at the Shavertown Trail | Friday, July 13, 10:30 AM

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DEP TO UNVEIL BOOT BRUSH STATION AND HOST COMMUNITY HIKE AT SHAVERTOWN TRAIL IN DELAWARE COUNTY

Boot brush, designed to combat invasive species, is among the first in the Catskills

DEP will also co-host community hike at Shavertown on July 13 with Catskill Mountain Club

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) will co-host a community hike and unveil its new boot-brush station at the Shavertown Trail near Pepacton Reservoir on July 13. The event, which is free and open to all, will begin at 10:30 a.m. The Catskill Mountain Club and DEP will lead the hike, which will take participants along a new section of the trail that was recently constructed by volunteers.

The event will begin at the trailhead on County Route 1 in Andes, just north of its intersection with Route 30. DEP this month installed a boot-brush station at the trailhead to help minimize the spread of invasive species. The station is among the first of its kind in the Catskills. It includes a mounted brush on which hikers can clean their boots, information to help identify several invasive species that are approaching the region, and a gravel pad that is intended to trap any seeds that might get brushed off.

The boot-brush station will help prevent the spread of many types of invasive species, especially invasive plants such as bittersweet and barberry. Invasive plants cannot move far on their own. Even wind-dispersed seeds generally do not blow too far. Most new infestations are started by people who unintentionally move the seeds through recreational activities such as hiking, hunting or fishing. That’s why boot-brush stations are becoming more common throughout New York, especially in the northern and western parts of the state where outdoor recreation is popular. Continue reading

Catskills All Trails Challenge: Adding the New Overlook Mountain Trails

There are two recent additions to the trail system on Overlook Mountain. The Meads Meadow Trail and the Overloop Trail provide new easy to moderate hikes that loop north off the Overlook Spur Trail, which has been extended to the new Meads Meadow Trailhead parking area. Together they add 1.8 miles of new trails. Going forward, those trails are being added to the list of trails that must be hiked in order to complete the All Trails Challenge requirements. With their inclusion their are now 347 miles of designated hiking trails that must be hiked to receive your cetificate, patch and shirt. More Happy Hiking!

Overlook Mountain Wild Forest map.

Announcing the First Annual CMC Picnic | Saturday, July 28, 10 AM – 5 PM

Belleayre Beach

Belleayre Beach

The CMC’s first annual picnic will be held on Saturday, July 28 at Belleayre Beach in the heart of the Catskills. The picnic, which is open to CMC members and their guests, will feature local hikes, games, swimming and paddling. Hikes to the summit of Belleayre or at Rochester Hollow will start the day, beginning at 10 AM and returning to the lake in the early afternoon. Snacks, yard games, swimming, paddling (boats and boards can be rented on site) and fishing (NYS license required) will be available all day.  After the hikes we’ll have a picnic, with hamburgers, hotdogs and non-alcoholic beverages provided by the CMC (vegetarian options will be served). All parties should bring a dish to share. You may bring beer and wine (not allowed on the beach).

Not a current member?  Join or renew below. We hope to see you there!

What you need to know:

Belleayre Beach at Pine Hill Lake is a state owned and operated facility in the village of Pine Hill. It features a beach, rental kayaks and lifeguards on duty. It serves as the trailhead for the Giggle Hollow Trail.

The picnic is free for all CMC members, including individuals and families with children up to 18 years old. Family and significant others who are not CMC members are welcome to attend for a fee of $5 per person. Kids under 12 are free. Please pay by cash or check at the sign-in table when you arrive.

Hours: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM.  Lunch at 2:00 PM.

Registration is required by July 23rd(Click the link to go to the registration page.)

Park Entrance Fee: $14 per car with up to seven passengers, or $5 per person if you walk in. (Parking outside the gate is limited.)

Paddling rental fee: $15 per hour, or bring your same-day steam cleaned boat. (Click here for a list of approved steam cleaners.) PFDs required.

What you’ll need:

If you’re hiking, bring good hiking shoes and comfortable clothing, plenty of water and a snack. Hiking poles are suggested.

Swim suits, sunscreen, and insect repellant. Change of clothes and folding chairs, if desired.

A dish to share. Organizers will ask for a side dish, a dessert or a salad.

Questions can be directed to Rick Roberts at hikerrick2000@yahoo.com

Driving Directions: Belleayre Lake is on Friendship Manor Road and is visible from SR 28 in Pine Hill. Coming from the east it is just before the entrance into Pine Hill. From the west on SR 28 it is 1 mile past Galli-Curci Road (to Belleayre Ski Center) in Highmount.

Hike to Huckleberry Point | Wednesday, August 22,11:30 AM

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Devil’s Path Range from Huckleberry Point

The hike to Huckleberry Point is one of the most satisfying in the Catskills,  While it’s a short and moderately difficult trail, it’s in one of the most famously rugged parts of the Catskills, beginning at the Devil’s Kitchen and reaching its stunning destination on the escarpment ledges high above the deep valleys below.  The breathtaking views of the ancient mountains of the eastern Devil’s Path Range will make you thankful you came, whether you’ve been before or not.  Truly a bucket list hike.  We’ll sit for awhile and enjoy the views while we picnic.

 

Event Duration:   4.8 miles,  4 hours

Level of Difficulty:  Moderate

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Woodland Hike with Yoga: Shavertown Trail to Snake Pond | Friday, July 13, 9:00 AM

Summertime vista (courtesy of Lillian Browne)

Summertime vista (courtesy of Lillian Browne)

A moderately challenging climb with a short yoga session at the Snake Pond vista on the recently rerouted Shavertown Trail.  The views of the Pepacton Reservoir are widely admired, and the area around the pond is a great place for birding, with sightings of cedar waxwings, blackbirds, blue herons and Baltimore orioles among others.

Event Duration:  3 miles, 3 hours

Level of Difficulty:  Easy-Moderate

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Hike to Quick Lake and Hodge Pond Mountain | Wednesday, June 27, 9:00 AM

IMG_2530We’ll hike 7.2 miles on the Quick Lake Trail to the Quick Lake shelter. After lunch we’ll retrace our path about 1/4 mile beyond Coyote Junction before bushwhacking about 1 mile (with about 200 ft elevation gain) over Hodge Pond Mountain (#99 of Catskill Hundred Highest) to Junkyard Junction. From Junkyard Junction we’ll follow the Flynn Trail 3.3 miles to the parking area. Our pace will be moderate, and we’ll have frequent, short water/snack breaks. This hike is listed as difficult because of the length (14.5 miles) and the unpredictable nature of the short bushwhack.

Event Duration:  14.5 miles, 10 hours

Level of Difficulty:  Difficult due to length, Bushwhack

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Hike Bramley Mountain | Thursday, July 12, 10:00 AM

Slide, Pisgah, Balsam Lake Mountains

Slide, Pisgah, Balsam Lake Mountains

Bramley Mountain was once the site of a fire tower and the views from the summit to the Catskills ranges are impressive. Along the way the trail visits an abandoned bluestone quarry, caves and many outcroppings.

Event Duration:  4.1 miles, 4 hours

Level of Difficulty:  Moderate-Difficult

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Trail Maintenance on the Delhi Trails | Saturday, June 9, 8:30 AM

Enjoy fresh country air and great conversation in a relaxed work environment. Come for as little or long as you can.

Event Duration:  about 4 miles, 6 hours

Level of Difficulty:  Moderate-Difficult

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Alder Lake, Cradle Rock Ridge & Balsam Lake Fire Tower | Saturday, June 30, 8:00 AM

IMG_4032From the Alder Lake parking area, we’ll hike 2.6 miles to the Beaver Meadow lean-to (via the Southern half of the Alder Lake loop). After a snack we’ll leave the trail and bushwhack 1.3 miles to Cradle Rock Ridge (3160 feet, Catskill Hundred Highest #68). After returning to the lean-to, and another snack, we’ll continue along the Mill Brook Ridge trail 5.4 miles to the junction with the Balsam Lake Mountain trail. Turning North .25 miles, we’ll summit Balsam Lake Mountain (3723 feet). After visiting the fire tower we’ll descend 1.75 miles to the Balsam Lake parking area. Our pace will be moderate and we’ll have frequent, short water/snack stops. This hike is listed as difficult because of its length (13 miles), the unpredictable nature of the bushwhack to Cradle Rock Ridge, and the steep terrain descending from Balsam Lake Mountain.

If the weather is hot, we’ll have an optional swim in Alder Lake after the hike.

 

Event Duration:  13 miles, 9 hours

Level of Difficulty:  Difficult  — Bushwhack

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Map and Compass Workshop: Essential Knowledge | Sunday, July 15, 10:00 AM

858_map-compassMany hikers have become reliant on their gps unit or their smartphone to navigate in the mountains. They work great until they don’t, then you’re up a creek without a paddle unless you have these millenia old tools. They only weigh a couple of ounces, so don’t be concerned about adding to your burden. They are among the most valuable tools you will carry.  Knowing how to use them can save your day, or even save your life.

CMC Board member Will Soter is a NYSDEC licensed guide. This free hands on Map and Compass class will cover the basics of reading a map, plotting a course on a map, following a course in the field, recording a path of travel, and locating yourself on the map.

Participants should bring a baseplate compass.

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Alder Lake, Cradle Rock Ridge & Balsam Lake Fire Tower | Saturday, June 30, 8:00 AM

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Balsam Lake Mountain Fire Tower

From the Alder Lake parking area, we’ll hike 2.6 miles to the Beaver Meadow lean-to (via the Southern half of the Alder Lake loop). After a snack we’ll leave the trail and bushwhack 1.3 miles to Cradle Rock Ridge (3160 feet, Catskill Hundred Highest #68). After returning to the lean-to, and another snack, we’ll continue along the Mill Brook Ridge trail 5.4 miles to the junction with the Balsam Lake Mountain trail. Turning North .25 miles, we’ll summit Balsam Lake Mountain (3723 feet). After visiting the fire tower we’ll descend 1.75 miles to the Balsam Lake parking area. Our pace will be moderate and we’ll have frequent, short water/snack stops. This hike is listed as difficult because of its length (13 miles), the unpredictable nature of the bushwhack to Cradle Rock Ridge, and the steep terrain descending from Balsam Lake Mountain.

Event Duration:  13 miles, 9 hours

Level of Difficulty:   Difficult, Bushwhack
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Southern Plattekill and Round Top | CANCELLED

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From South Plattekill

South Plattekill and Round Top are two of the Catskills 100 highest – just over 3000ft.  There is an old road that circles just below these two peaks (we may or may not actually summit either of them).  North Plattekill – the ski area – is also accessable from this road. we plan to spot a car and do a 5 or 6 mile circle. There may be some bushwhacking.

Event Duration:  5 miles, 5-6 hours

Level of Difficulty:  Moderate

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Trail Maintenance on the Dry Brook Ridge Trail and German Hollow Trail | Sunday, June 17, 10:00 AM

Follow Laura Battelani, CMC Board Member, and David Lucas, volunteers for NY/NJ Trail Conference, as they inspect and clear the trails they adopted for the NY/NJ TC. We’ll hike Pakatakan Mountain and follow the ridge, passing by a 700 year old bog, to arrive to a beautiful look out of the Pepacton Reservoir. The return will be on the German Hollow trail.

Wear sturdy hiking boots/shoes, bring water and food and dress in layers for comfort. If you also want to help with the cleaning of the trail, bring hand tools, gloves and eye protection.

Event Duration:  6 miles, 6 hours

Level of Difficulty:  Moderate-Difficult

 

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Leave No Trace Awareness Hike | Saturday, June 23, 9:00 AM

CMC Board member Will Soter is a NYSDEC licensed guide and a Leave No Trace Master Educator.  He will demonstrate techniques for educating and influencing those we hike with, as well as those we meet.  For those of us who have grown up enjoying the outdoors or have been enjoying them for awhile, we can easily mistake our common experiences for common knowledge.  While our efforts to behave as stewards of the resources while we recreate are important, we cannot do it all.  So it is important to be able to influence those around us.  We will explore several techniques that allow us to educate and empower others to make changes in how they enjoy their time in the woods.  We will discuss our own journey of discovering how we impact the resources we use for enjoyment, and we will review the Seven Principles of Leave No Trace.

Event Duration:  4.1 miles, 5 hours

Level of Difficulty:  Moderate

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Family Friendly Hike on Bramley Mountain | Sunday, June 10, 12:00 PM

Southeast from Bramley Mountain

Southeast from Bramley Mountain

Join NYSDEC licensed guide Will Soter for a tour of the CMC’s newest trail. The Bramley Mountain Trail is located on a NYC DEP parcel in the Towns of Delhi and Bovina.  This is the part of the Catskills where the mountains are smaller, rounder and gentler under foot. There is also a greater sense of the scale of the landscape as the views from the summits and the valleys include more wide open sky compared to the deep narrow valleys of the eastern Catskill High Peaks.  The complete loop visits the 2817′ summit with its site of a former fire tower, a beautiful abandoned bluestone quarry, and the impressive cliffs and caves that lie between.  The hike to the quarry is on a woods road with little elevation gain, making an easy hike of about 0.9 miles.  After the quarry, the trail continues as a footpath designed to gradually ascend about 1.2 miles through mixed hardwoods while passing stone walls and many impressive rock outcroppings and cliffs, some with caves.  The Summit Trail, a 1.8 mile long direct hike to the top with its views to the west and to the southern high peaks, Mount Pisgah and the mountains traversed by the Finger Lakes Trail, has some steep pitches alternating with long gentle climbs.  We will be hiking the Quarry Trail to the top and descending on the Summit Trail to get the best views of all the sights this trail has to offer.

Event Duration:  4 miles, 3.5 hours

Level of Difficulty:   Moderate-Difficult

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Guided Hike on the Trails at the CIC | Saturday, June 9, 10:30 AM

IMG_3954If you’re unfamiliar with the trails on the Catskill Interpretive Center grounds or are just looking for an opportunity to explore them more thoroughly, CMC Executive Director Wendell George will lead a hike on the entire system as part of the Get Outdoors Day events on June 9th.  Join us for a look at the CIC’s sculpture and interpretive trail, a short representative hike in the Catskill woods and a hike out to the Esopus Creek, a notable trout fishing stream which ffeds water into NYC’s Ashokan Reservoir.  Much of the hike is on ADA accessible trails.

Woodland Hike with Yoga: Kelly Hollow Beaver Pond | Wednesday, June 20, 12:00 PM

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Kelly Hollow pond and lean-to

A relaxed woodland hike with a short yoga session at the Beaver Pond on the beautiful Kelly Hollow Trail.

Event Duration:  3 miles, 3 hours

Level of Difficulty:  Easy-Moderate

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Balsam and Belleayre: From Mine Hollow to Lost Clove | Saturday, June 16, 8:30 AM

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Balsam and Belleayre from Slide

Truly this is when Belleayre and Balsam Mountain are the most lovely, as Spring turns to Summer here. The plant life and views are wonderful. Sometimes you get to see the shy animals and birds that live here, too, as we traverse from Mine Hollow across the mountain tops to descend on Lost Clove.

Event Duration:  8 miles, 7 hours

Level of Difficulty:  Difficult

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Landscaping with Non-Invasive Plants / iMapInvasives Training | Saturday, June 2, 9:30 AM

Learn about best choices for landscaping your yard without introducing invasive ornamentals.

The fight against invasive species in the Catskills and throughout New York is a high priority. the Catskill Regional Invasive Species Partnership is the local agency for this effort. If you would like to volunteer to help, you can get started by attending a CRISP iMapInvasives workshop at the Catskill Interpretive Center on June 2.

Become part of New York’s invasive species early detection network by learning how to use iMapInvasives, an online mapping system shared by citizen scientists, educators, and natural resource professionals. All interested groups are encouraged to help keep the map up-to-date and accurate by reporting invasive species locations and control efforts. You can even use your smartphone to report new findings. The NY Natural Heritage Program will offer free sessions throughout the state this spring, with beginner and advanced levels, plus identification sessions at some of the locations. Visit www.nyimapinvasives.org for schedule details and registration, and contact imapinvasives@nynhp.org with general questions.

We hope you wll get involved with this critical effort to protect our forests and native species.

CRISP logo

 

 

iMapInvasives is an online mapping tool that supports efforts to protect New York State from invasive species. Learn about the program and become trained to contribute data by attending an iMapInvasives training session!

When: June 2, 2018 10:00am – 2:00pm

Where: Catskill Interpretive Center 5096 Route 28

Mt. Tremper, NY 12457

Agenda:

9:30am‐10am – Gather and coffee
10:00am‐11:00 am‐ Alternatives to Ornamental Invasive Plants

11:00 am ‐ 12:00pm – Basic iMapInvasives and iMap Mobile app
12:00 pm ‐ 12:30 pm – Brown bag lunch
12:30 pm ‐ 2:00pm – Site visit and how to submit invasive species using the

Mobile App.
To Register: visit www.NYiMapInvasives.org

Questions? Contact:

imapinvasives@nynhp.org

The Invasive Species Database Program is supported by the NYS Environmental Protection Fund through a contract with the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation.

www.NYimapinvasives.org

National Trails Day Hike on Ticeteneyck Mountain | Saturday, June 2, 9:30 AM

Ticeteneyck Mountain

Ticeteneyck Mountain

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) will host a community hike to the summit of Ticeteneyck Mountain on June 2 to celebrate National Trails Day. Participants will meet at 9:30 a.m. at the Catskill Interpretive Center, located at 5096 Route 28 in Mount Tremper.  Led by DEP and DEC staff, the CMC is happy to co-host this event.

 

 

Ticeteneyck Mountain

Ticeteneyck Mountain from Thomas Cole

Hikers will learn about the principles of Leave No Trace, the Catskill Park and Forest Preserve, and Ashokan Reservoir’s role in providing clean drinking water to New York City. Ticeteneyck Mountain is located in Ulster County along the town border of Olive and Woodstock. This moderate hike will comprise a 3.5-mile round trip. The hike follows old woods roads and ridgelines that open to spectacular views of the Catskill Mountains,Shawangunk Mountains and Ashokan Reservoir.

Because the event is limited to 15 people, participants must pre-register by clicking here or by visiting DEP’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/nycwatershed. Participants are also encouraged to bring water, snacks or lunch, and wear proper attire for hiking.

 

Thru Hike German Hollow and Dry Brook Ridge to Huckleberry Loop | Sunday, June 3, 8:30 AM

IMG_0065This traverse/shuttle will ascend up German Hollow with spring flowers to Dry Brook Ridge. We will check out the new shelter and go on to views on Dry Brook over the Pepacton. Then we will return north to the Huckleberry Loop Trail and descend to our parked cars.

Event Duration:  9.5 miles, 7.5 hours

Level of Difficulty: Difficult

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Ashokan High Point | Thursday, June 21, 10:00 AM

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Ashokan Reservoir from Ashokan High Point

This is a fairly long lollypop hike (loop at the end of a stick) with great views of the Askokan Reservoir and the Burroughs Range. The hike passes the wreckage of small plane. Most of hike is relatively easy, but there are some steep pitches. The trail follows the Kanape Brook for more than half the hike.

Event Duration:  8.1 miles, 7 hours

Level of Difficulty:  Moderate-Difficult

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Balsam Mountain from Rider Hollow | Thursday, May 31, 10:00 AM

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Balsam Mountain Vista

With great rewards for the effort, this is one of the most representative hikes of the Catskills. The relatively short loop takes in lovely streams, waterfalls, huge hemlocks, some steep and rocky terrain, and a tremendous vista.

Event Duration:  5.1 miles, 5 hours

Level of Difficulty:  Moderate-Difficult

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Hike the Shavertown Trail | Thursday, May 17, 10:00 AM

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Pond on Shavertown Trail

The Shavertown Trail begins with a moderately difficult climb to a woods road. From there it climbs gently to a lovely pond and beautiful views of the mountains over the Pepacton Reservoir. Beyond the pond is a moderately easy hike to a short loop ending, followed by the return hike.

This will be one of the last opportunities to hike the full trail until late this year due to a planned forestry project that will necessitate closing the trail above the pond for several months.

Event Duration:  5.3 miles,  4 hours

Level of Difficulty:  Moderate; 800′ elevation gain.

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Ashokan High Point & Little Rocky | Saturday, May 26, 8:00 AM

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The Burroughs Range from Ashokan High Point

This hike combines a 9 mile trail loop to Ashokan High Point (3080 feet, Catskill Hundred Highest #83) with a 5+ mile bushwhack to Little Rocky (3015 feet, CHH #95) and a short bushwhack to Little Ashokan. If the weather is clear we’ll have great views of Ashokan Reservoir and several high peaks. We’ll visit the site of a WW II trainer crash. Our pace will be moderate, and we’ll have frequent, short water/snack breaks. This hike is listed as difficult because of its length (about 15 miles), and because of the the unpredictable nature of the bushwhack to Little Rocky.

Event Duration:  15 miles, 10 hours

Level of Difficulty:  Difficult  — Bushwhack

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Rochester Hollow Hike | Sunday, May 13, 10:30 AM

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Rochester Hollow Trail

Historic Rochester Hollow follows a stream for awhile on an old woods road towards the former site of an estate. Along the way is a memorial plaque to Catskills’ native son, naturalist and widely read author John Burroughs.

Event Duration:  4 miles, 3 hours

Level of Difficulty:  Moderate

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Hike the Palmer Hill Trail | Thursday, April 26, 10:00 AM

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Palmer Hill

Get out for an early Spring hike on the Palmer Hill Trails. The always great views, including to the western high peaks, will be even better with the leaves off the trees.

Event Duration:  4 miles, 3 hours

Level of Difficulty:  Easy-Moderate

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Escarpment Trail at Kaaterskill Clove and Hardytown LP Traverse | Sunday, July 8, 9:00 AM

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This hike follows the ESCARPMENT above Kaaterskill Clove, with views across the clove and out to the Hudson River Valley. We’ll follow the Harding Road Trail down the slopes of South Mountain.

Do join us for a lovely hike full of fabulous views and wildflowers! Hike about 7.2 miles over steep terrain with many views and scrambles. The yellow marked White Road sectionwill be included for All Trails Challenge hikers. See NYNJTC map #141 map and inset.

Event Duration:  7.2 miles, 6-7 hours

Level of Difficulty:  Moderate-Difficult

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Andes Rail Trail Gets Some Big Improvements

April 10, 2018

IMG_5326Parking has always been a bit tricky for visitors to the Andes Rail Trail and Bullet Hole Spur, but no longer. There has been a great improvement to the parking situation thanks to the Town of Andes, landscaper Mel Bellar and CMC board member Ann Roberti. The entrance to the Trail and to the historic train station has been opened up and improved so that parking is now available adjacent to the trailhead. The trailhead itself has a newly redesignedIMG_5323 entrance. The parking area was paved with crushed stone by LaFever Excavating. While there, they generously donated work to improve a long existing drainage problem on the trail. The CMC thanks all those involved in these projects for a great job.

Hike to Split Rock | Thursday, May 10, 10:00 am

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Split Rock

Nice spring walk out to Split Rock and return. Just a short hike for a spring day. Spring ephemeral wildflowers may be in bloom.

Event Duration:  3 miles, 2.5 hours

Level of Difficulty: Moderate

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Annual Ephemeral Wildflower Hike @ Kelly Hollow | Sunday, May 13th, 11:00 AM

Trout Lilly D

Trout Lily

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.

Kelly Hollow is one of the most beautiful short trails in the Catskills with rocky streams and waterfalls. It has a combination of coniferous and deciduous forests with the remains of a lovely beaver pond near a lean-to at the top. The trail is an easy to moderate loop of about 4 miles. Bring lunch and/or snacks to have at the lean-to (there is a privy nearby.) Continue reading

Hiking the Bluelines: Exploring Catskill Mountain Streams

Diamond Notch Falls-MikeTodaro

Diamond Notch Falls

This is a series of nine hikes sponsored by the Catskill Mountain Club (CMC) and led by Team Danger Girl (TDG), a Catskill Mountain-based hiking group. Join members of TDG for a scientific and exploratory engagement with Catskill mountain streams. Dorcinda Knauth and Dany Davis will lead this series of off trail explorations. Dany is a geologist with 17 years of experience studying Catskill Mountain streams and will lead the scientific part of these explorations. Other environmental scientists may join some of the hikes. The theme of these hikes can be along the lines of the saying “the journey is the destination”. In other words, the purpose of these hikes is not to put peaks in a collection bag, so the summit is not the ultimate destination. Instead, the hikes will focus on landscape interpretation, exploring wild sections of popular mountains by following the paths of streams, collecting data for a regional Catskill streams study, and maybe getting to the top of a mountain on some of the hikes.

There will be two categories of hikes: off trail adventurous explorations and trail-side family friendly engagements with streams. Both categories will include plenty of time sharing observations of the stream channel, ecosystem and riparian environment. We will stop often for discussions on the role of streams in the mountains, collecting some data on the stream’s shape and condition, as well as sharing lessons in landscape interpretation.

The family friendly hikes will focus on hands-on engagement in studying a stream at specific stream locations, walking the stream channel corridor to observe changes (expect to get wet) and encourage hikers to appreciate the role of streams in the Catskill environment. If children join, it would be best for the children to be school age and capable of hiking a couple of miles. These hikes will be limited to 10 participants plus the hike leaders (maximum group size is 12-14 depending on the hike).

The adventurous off trail explorations will be stream corridor bushwhacks up/down wild Catskill mountain terrain with some trail hiking. Science will be a central part of these hikes and there may be more stream data collection than in the family friendly hikes. The hikes are rated “Most Difficult” due to the variability of the headwater stream terrain, hiking in steep boulder streams, plenty of downed trees, and the ever present unknown one encounters when heading up/down a steep mountain drainage. Each of these hikes will have a mountain summit destination in mind; however, the science and exploration is the primary goal. Conditions may preclude getting to the top of the mountain. The hikes will be limited to 6-8 people plus the hike leaders (no more than 8-10 hikers total). Please note: your hike leaders will not have previously hiked some of these routes so obstacles to forward progress are unknown for some of these hikes – that is part of the adventure. Each hiker will need to consider themselves expert in off trail hiking in mountains. Footwear should be capable of hiking in and out of water (no sandals!).

See event listing links below for details. Contact Dany Davis at wddavis2@gmail.com with questions about the hikes and to register.

The proposed hikes and schedule are subject to change:

May 5  8AM – Dark

Bear Hole Brook to Van Wyck Mountain. Rating: Most Difficult. Meeting Place: Bear Hole Brook PA on Ulster County Route 42 (Peekamoose Road). The inaugural Bluelines hike will include stream-whacking up Bear Hole Brook to access the Catskill Divide between Van Wyck and Table Mountains. The return trip will be via the Van Wyck ridge. Be prepared for biting insects, loose rocks and other stream scrambling hazards, thick forest, cliffy bits and Catskill yetis. Total Distance: 6-8 miles depending upon the route.  NOTE: This hike is full.

June 2  8AM – Dark

Biscuit Brook to Fir Mountain. Rating: Difficult. Meeting place: Biscuit Brook trailhead. This will involve hiking the Biscuit Brook trail to the NYS land/Frost Valley land boundary and then following the stream corridor to the col between Big Indian and Fir Mountains. If Fir Mountain is summited the return trip will be by herdpath and trail back to the Biscuit Brook trailhead, or if adventure prevails the unnamed stream between Fir and Spruce Mountains. There will be ongoing research in this watershed by Colorado State University so we may get some fresh insights into Catskill stream geomorphology! Be prepared for biting insects, stinging nettles, loose boulders and other stream scrambling hazards, thick forest, cliffy bits and Catskill yetis. Total Distance: 8-10 miles depending upon the route.  NOTE: This hike is full.

June 23 10AM – 4PM

Explore Kanape Brook watershed to the summit of Ashokan High Point. Rating: Moderate. Meeting Place: Kanape Brook PA in the Town of Olive. The hike will include stopping at specific locations along the brook to observe channel and riparian forest conditions. Data collection will be part of the activities for a local study, and participants will be shown techniques for participation.  Be prepared for biting insects, stinging nettles, loose rocks and other stream scrambling hazards, and very excitable stream scientists!  Total Distance: ~3 miles for the stream (out and back) or 7-8 if including Ashokan High Point.

July 7 9AM – Dark

West Kill stream to Hunter Mountain. Most Difficult. Meeting place: West Kill Trailhead. This hike is likely to be the most challenging and should only be attempted by those capable of hiking in the Catskill’s most rugged terrain. This will involve hiking the West Kill stream corridor up the drainage toward the summit of Hunter Mountain.  The approach to Hunter’s summit will involve very steep terrain in thick balsam forest (what fun!). If Hunter is summited, the hike may take a trail back down or, if adventure prevails take another stream back down. Be prepared for biting insects, loose rocks and other stream scrambling hazards, thick forest, cliffy bits and Catskill yetis. Total Distance: 7-10 miles depending upon the route.

July 21 10AM – 4PM

Explore Rochester Hollow Creek. Rating: Moderate. Meeting place: Rochester Hollow PA in the Town of Shandaken. This will involve meeting at the Rochester Hollow parking area and taking the trail up the valley for approximately 1.5 miles and then returning back to the parking area by way of the stream.  The hike will include stopping at specific locations to observe stream channel and riparian forest conditions.  Data collection will be part of the activities for a local study, and participants will be shown techniques for participation. Be prepared for biting insects, stinging nettles, Loose rocks and other stream scrambling hazards, and very excitable stream scientists!  Total Distance: ~ 3 miles.

August 4 8AM – 7PM

Explore East Branch Neversink River Headwaters and Slide Mountain. Rating: Difficult. Meeting place: Denning PA in the Town of Denning. The hike will start at the East Branch-Phoenicia trail to access the East Branch Neversink River valley. Depending on the ability and interest of the participants we will hike up the East Branch Neversink River or the Deer Shanty Brook toward Slide Mountain. The hike will focus on exploring the valley and stream environment and may include a bushwack summit of Slide Mountain if it seems feasible.  Total Distance is variable; assume a minimum 7 miles.

September 15 8AM – 7PM

An exploration of Woodland Creek’s headwaters TBD. Rating: Most Difficult. Meeting Place: Woodland Valley Campground PA. The plan will be to bushwhack across the base of the Wittenberg along NYS land to the headwater reaches of Woodland Creek. From there, the assembled group will pick a route up any of the several branches of Woodland Creek, potentially ascending Slide, Cornell or Wittenberg; or just turning around and heading back to the PA. Be prepared for biting insects, stinging nettles, loose rocks and other stream scrambling hazards, thick forest, cliffy bits and Catskill yetis. Total Distance: ~7-12 miles.

October 13 9AM – 6PM

Cascade Brook to Panther Mountain/Giant Ledge. Rating: Difficult. Meeting Place: Giant Ledge PA. The hike will include walking down CR47 to Cascade Brook (~1 mile) to reach the stream route up Panther Mountain then walking along the left descending side of the stream to stay on NYS land for the first 0.5 miles. After that, the hike stays in the stream drainage until it disappears in the talus below Panther’s summit. The route up Panther will be along a SW-trending ridge to the summit view point. From there the return hike is via trail to Giant Ledge and back to the PA. Be prepared for biting insects, loose rocks and other stream scrambling hazards, thick forest, cliffy bits and Catskill yetis. Total Distance: ~7 miles.

Volunteer with the CMC! You’ll Love It (and so will We).

CMC_logo_border_220x220Do You Have Some Time to Spare? Love to Pitch in on a Community Project? Looking for a Good Excuse to Get Out of the House (and Into the Woods)? We’ve Got You Covered!

We admit it. We’ve got big eyes. We look around at all of the great things happening in the Catskills and we want to jump into the action. But, alas, we could use lots more help. Here’s what’s coming up. See something that appeals? Just get in touch with us and we’ll tell you how you can help.

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Read All About It in the The CMC’s Winter 2018 Newsletter

CMCpatchStuckis

Yours free with membership. Or buy it for $5.

Winter 2018 Newsletter

Have you come home from a winter hike to find that a tick has attached itself to you!? Maybe you’ve been out on a little adventure on the trails and found yourself on your butt more times than you care to remember. Read our review of traction devices and you’ll soon be prepared for another, safer outing. These articles and much more are yours to read by clicking here. Subscribe to our mailing list to get future newsletters and CMC updates in your mailbox automatically. Just give us your name, email address and mailing address and you’ll be kept informed about CMC happenings. We promise not to flood your inbox.

Of course, our favorite option would be that you become a CMC member. Our modest membership dues are what we rely on to make the wheels go ’round. And you get some nice perks with your annual membership. Check it out. Thanks.

Saturday, March 31, 8:00 AM | Woodhull Mountain & Van Wyck Mountain Hike

Van Wyck, Woodhull, Red Hill from Slide

Van Wyck, Woodhull, Red Hill from Slide

This bushwhack will visit two Catskill Hundred Highest peaks, Woodhull & Van Wyck Mountains. We’ll travel at a slow to moderate pace. There will be excellent views of several nearby high peaks, and we’ll visit two plane crash sites.

 

Event Duration:  7 miles, 5 hours

Level of Difficulty: Difficult — Bushwhack

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Sunday, March 11, 9:00 AM | Family Friendly Hike on the Palmer Hill Trail

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Photo courtesy of Bill Palmer

Join NYSDEC Licensed Guide Will Soter for this family friendly hike along the Palmer Hill Trail. This is the first of a series of hikes, in which Will hopes to highlight some of his favorite family friendly adventures. Will would also like to showcase the great efforts of the Catskill Mountain Club, that has worked to open recreational access in the Catskills. The Palmer Hill Trail is the third trail created by the Catskill Mountain Club, and the second in partnership with the NYC DEP. The Catskill Mountain Club created this trail from design to construction, taking great care to highlight the splendid views for most of its 3.7 mile length.

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Saturday, March 31, 10 AM | Huckleberry Loop Trail

DSC03459fromLauraFrom the trailhead on Hill Road in Margaretville, we will have a nice spring walk to the lookout over the reservoir. On the way we will pass a bog which is only 700+ years old. At the lookout, you can see the way we hiked up the hill and the Pepacton Reservoir in the distance.

Event Duration:  6.6 miles, 5.25 hours

Level of Difficulty:  Moderate-Difficult

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Catskills All Trails Challenge: De-listing the Jockey Hill Trails

After careful consideration, the CMC has decided to de-list the Jockey Hill Trails as a hike required to qualify for the Catskills All Trails Challenge certificate of completion.

Like the Elm Ridge trails in Greene County, which were never listed as required hikes, Jockey Hill trails are multi-purpose and are designed with the needs of mountain biking users in mind. The Department of Environmental Conservation has indicated that the trail system at Jockey Hill will be expanded to serve those needs. These additions further change the hiking experience through the design of trails that form multiple loops. Similar improvements have been made at Elm Ridge, and the CMC applauds the decision of the DEC to expand mountain biking opportunities in the Catskill Park. However, such trails are not conducive to a satisfying hiking experience.

To those who have already hiked Jockey Hill in its current configuration, we say congratulations. We hope you enjoyed your explorations there. Feedback from some CATs hikers, along with consultation with the DEC about the expanded system have informed our decision. Of course, any hiker is more than welcome to explore both Jockey Hill and Elm Ridge. Until the current supply of CATs Challenge tee shirts runs out, Jockey Hill will continue to be listed on the shirt. It will be removed from the published list of required hikes.

As this development illustrates, the trail system in the Catskill Park in dynamic. New trails are sometimes added and old trails are sometimes rerouted or abandoned. We appreciate input from our members and friends and look forward to hearing from you as you continue the quest. Thanks for participating and for spreading the word about the Catskills All Trails Challenge and the wonderful trails and features that are discovered with each hike!

Saturday, March 17, 11:00 AM | Kelly Hollow Hike

beaverDamSectionIMG_2721Join us on this nice loop hike past a huge spruce plantation, waterfalls and out to an old beaver pond.  We’ll stop at the adjacent lean-to for lunch.

Event Duration:  4 miles, 2.25 hours

Level of Difficulty:  Moderate

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Sunday, April 8th 10:00 AM | Hike the Shavertown Trail

Hikers heading back after enjoying the view

Hike the Shavertown Trail near the Pepacton Reservoir’s Shavertown Bridge Boat Launch. After a good climb for the first mile there will be a beautiful view overlooking the reservoir.  We will enjoy the view and walk around Snake Pond.  If the group is inclined, we will continue up an easier climb for a 3.3 mile loop returning to the pond and then back to the parking area. The upper loop is an nice second growth forest and beautiful rock formations.  This is an enjoyable hike for almost everyone. The total distance 2.3 or 5.3 miles.

Wear sturdy shoes and bring water and snacks or lunch.

Register by April 6th by emailing aroberti@catskill.net.

Well behaved dogs with permission of the hike leader (email aroberti@catskill.net).

Directions: From SR 28 in Margaretville turn left on SR 30.  Continue 8 miles to the Shavertown Bridge. Turn right and park at the upper parking area by the boat launch.

From Livingston Manor, take the Beaverkill Road, to Barkaboom Road pass Little Pond continue to the Shavertown Bridge turn right across bridge and left to the upper parking area by boat launch.

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Catskill Park Day 2018: A Call to Action

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In only a few days the CMC and its Catskill Park Coalition partners will go to Albany for our annual Catskill Park Day. We’ll meet with our elected representatives, including the Governor and members of the legislature, to press for action on the policy priorities we have identified for 2018.

If you are not able to travel with us to Albany for Catskill Park Day, there’s a way to speak up and speak out right from the comfort of your home or office. By raising your voice, you amplify our message and add power to its effectiveness.

You can either send Governor Cuomo a brief letter of support for the priorities of the Catskill Mountain Club and its Catskill Park Coalition partners, or you can call the Governor’s office and give a brief message of support.

Catskill Park Coalition - Budget Priorities 2018 (Final)

Click to enlarge

Below are the specific requests made by the CPC for 2018. Simply glance at them, pick one or two that resonates with you and place your call telling the assistant who answers what you would like the Governor to support.

If you prefer to write a note, we have provided a link to the form used by the Governor’s office. You can simply copy and paste the message we have written below or edit it to suit your preferences.

We have had good results over the past several years and anticipate continued success with support from folks like you who love the Catskills and care about its future.

Thank you for your efforts!

Phone number of the Governor’s office: (518) 474-8390   Office hours: 9:00am to 5:00pm

Link to the Governor’s email system: https://www.governor.ny.gov/content/governor-contact-form

Sample letter:

Dear Governor Cuomo,

I am writing today to respectfully ask that you give your support to the priorities for the Catskill Park and region as expressed by the Catskill Mountain Club and its fellow members of the Catskill Park Coalition.

The Catskill Park is one of our nation’s great natural assets, encompassing hundreds of thousands of acres of pristine wilderness and sparkling clean waters. It is home to huge communities of rare wildlife and to one of the most diverse forests in the world. And it is one of New York’s greatest outdoor recreational areas, along with the Adirondack Park.

Please support the continuing improvements to the Catskills environment and Park infrastructure that allow members of the public to experience the great outdoors in all its glory in a way that is both safe and sustainable.

Sincerely,

Saturday, March 3, 8:30 AM | Hunter Mountain Fire Tower Snowshoe

Hunter Mtn.

Hunter Mtn.

Snowshoe at a slow to moderate pace to Southwest Hunter and Hunter Mountains. Excellent views from the Fire Tower, and Geiger Point. For those working on the Catskill All Trails Challenge, we’ll complete the Spruceton and Hunter Mountain trails, and will cover a part of the Devil’s Path. We’ll reach Southwest Hunter via a 3/4 mile unmarked trail off of the Devil’s Path. After the hike, a mile down the road on our way home, we can warm up by the fire at the West Kill Brewing tap room.

Event Duration:  10 miles, 8 hours

Level of Difficulty:  Difficult
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Saturday, February 17, 10 AM | Alder Lake to Beaver Meadow

IMG_3739We will meet at the entrance to Alder Lake and hike around Alder Lake and over a couple of hills to Beaver Meadow lean-to. It is a nice snowshoe if snow permits. The beavers are back in Alder Lake and will by their lodge on the way to the Lean-to.

Event Duration:  7 miles, 4.25 hours

Level of Difficulty:  Moderate

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Sunday, March 4, 9:30 AM | Balsam Lake Mountain

BLM winterThis great hike will begin on Mill Brook Rd. and follow the Dry Brook Ridge Trail to the BLM summit with its iconic fire tower. The hike will continue, completing the loop and returning to the starting point. Expect rewarding views and hope for a good base to permit snowshoeing.

Event Duration:  7 miles, 6 hours

Level of Difficulty:  Moderate-Difficult

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Saturday, February 10, 8 AM | Balsam & Eagle Hike

IMG_2066Snowshoe hike to two 3500 peaks, Balsam & Eagle, at a slow to moderate pace. There will be a nice view from the approach to Balsam Mountain. For those working on the Catskill All Trails Challenge, this hike will complete the Seager – Big Indian trail, and the Mine Hollow trail; and will cover part of the Pine Hill – West Branch trail, and a very small part of the Oliverea – Mapledale trail.

Event Duration: 8.6 miles, 7 hours

Level of Difficulty:  Moderate-Difficult Continue reading

Overlook Mountain: New Parking Area and Trail Will Relieve a Big Problem

Overlook Mountain new parking & trailsDecember 19, 2017

The DEC opened the new Meads Meadow Trailhead parking area on McDaniel Rd. today. A new trail system explores the Magic Meadow parcel, and the new connector trail leads to the existing trail to the summit and fire tower.

Severe overuse has long plagued hikers with parking problems that resulted in dangerous conditions on the road for hikers and drivers alike. A downloadable map is available on the CMC website here: Overlook Mountain new parking & trails.

New: Catskills Trail Conditions Reports from the Catskill Interpretive Center

The Catskill Interpretive Center has added a very valuable service for visitors who hike in the Catskills. The weekly updated trail condition reports offer vital news about all sorts of hazards and problems that hikers might encounter. Things like washouts, trail obstructions, weather related conditions and other related info can be found in one convenient spot. Check out the CMC Facebook page on Thursdays for a link to the new reports, or visit the Catskill Interpretive Center’s trail conditions webpage.

The CMC is an operating partner of the Catskill Interpretive Center. To support out work there, please consider donating to or joining the CMC. Thank you.

CMC Annual Dinner fun for all

Attendees enjoyed the company, fine food and the informative talk by Tom Davidock of the NYC DEP.davidockatdinner

 

Raffle Prize Winners!

 

First Prize:

Beth Waterman, who chose the snowshoes to replace her old style wooden snowshoes

 

Second Prize:

Jack McShane, who chose the Jack Mesick limited edition print. Jack is getting quite a collection of Jack Mesick prints, as he has won these twice in the past.

 

Third Prize:

Edie Mesick, kayak

 

We have a new “Wildflowers of the Catskills” page!

Visit our newly expanded page covering Wildflowers of the Catskills.

We now list over 130 species and cover the seasons from early spring through fall. With Spring arriving and a new year of blooms on the way, what better way to enjoy them than to get prepared by familiarizing yourself with them? Our page is set up for quick reference and it focusses on the flowers you will see right here in the Catskills! Check it out.

HIGHLIGHTS OF CMC’S 2016 SEASON

STEWARDSHIP– The CMC annually maintains five CMC trails totaling 20 miles and seven DEC trails totaling nearly 25 miles. In 2016, 36 trail maintenance hikes were conducted totaling 750 volunteer hours, all headed by the Club’s VP , Wendell George.

TRAIL BUILDING– Since 2011, the CMC has built 5 new hiking trails on lands owned by NYC DEP as well as Delaware Academy. The newest trail, that to the former fire tower on Bramley Mountain near Delhi NY, was opened on July 29th . The opening ceremony was attended by nearly 40 hiking enthusiasts, local, state and City officials and followed by a hike to the summit.
The five CMC trails have been very popular since their openings. Over the past year nearly 5600 hikers have signed-in on these trails. Approximate counts by trail are:

  • Delhi Trails – over 1000 visitors in 2016
  • Palmer Hill Trails – 1300 in the last year
  • Shavertown Trail – 1200 in the last year.
  • Andes Rail Trail & Bullet Hole Spur- 1500 in the last year
  • Bramley Mountain Trails – 600 hikers from opening day thru December

This year the CMC produced a brochure/map highlighting these five trails. The brochure is being distributed at all CMC trailheads as well as various informational kiosks and at the Catskill Interpretive Center in Mt. Tremper. The maps of the five CMC trails can also be viewed on our website from the Where to Go menu.

CMC EVENTS– CMC members led over 40 Hikes, paddles and other CMC events in 2016 that were enjoyed by 400+ participants. In addition CMC members are leading over 25 events for this year’s Catskill Lark in the Park. Upcoming hikes and other CMC events can be viewed on the CMC website at Upcoming Events.

ADVOCACY – The CMC is involved with several organizations advocating for outdoor recreational concerns affecting the Catskill area.
The Catskill Park Coalition is a partnership of many Catskill organizations, all concerned with outdoor recreation and related public land concerns. Each February the Coalition members travel to Albany for Catskill Park Awareness Day, advocating for increased funding for outdoor recreation, conservation and tourism related issues. In 2016 the Coalition succeeded in obtaining $500,000 dedicated for use within the Catskill Park. Part of this allocation is being used for the creation of a new comprehensive recreation plan as well as various infrastructure improvements. In addition, the continuation of the NYS Ranger Academy was stressed as well as the hiring of 2 assistant Forest Rangers, both which were granted. Also, $994,000 was asked for and allocated for the Catskill Interpretative Center, which opened on NYS Rte 28 in Mt. Tremper in July of 2015. The funding will allow for the building of a full scale old style fire tower, a fire warden’s cabin, a picnic pavilion, an amphitheater and new road side signage.
Information on the 2017 Awareness Day can be viewed at catskillcenter.org/awareness-day/.

The Catskill Park Advisory Committee –  The Committee is a group of local government representatives, agencies and  area organizations representing the various communities and user groups of the Catskill Park and the Catskill Watershed. The purpose of the Committee is to provide assistance, advice and guidance to the NYSDEC, the New York City Department of Environmental Protection and other land managers in the management of the New York State Forest Preserve, the Catskill Park and the Catskill Watershed. The CMC is a charter member of this Committee and meets with it on a quarterly basis.

STAFFING of the Maurice Hinchey Catskill Interpretitive Center (CIC) – The CMC is one of five operating partners for the CIC and provides part of the volunteer staff operating the center 363 days a year. In all,  CMC members volunteered over 600 hours for its operation in 2016. The CIC opened in July, 2015. catskillinterpretivecenter.org.

CMC DONATIONS –  $1000 to Summit Stewards Program – Summit Stewards patrol the summit areas of Giant Ledge/Panther, Slide, Wittenberg, and Cornell mountains during the summer hiking period. They work closely with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, and address the unique concerns of these peaks to the hikers they encounter. See Summit Stewards.

$1000 to the Catskill Interpretive Center – The CIC is the Catskills Tourist Information Center.

LARK IN THE PARK 2016– Last year was the 12th annual Lark in the Park and featured 50 separate events over 10 days from October 3rd to the 12th and was enjoyed for nearly 750 attendees. For this year’s 2016 program we had 60 events , many being held by 19 Catskill Based organizations such as Mountain Keeper, Catskill Rec. Center, Trout Unlimited and the 3500 Club. The CMC has been the main driving force of this annual event celebrating the creation of the Catskill Park. CMC members have spent over 200 man hours, planning and leading events. See catskilsllark.org.

CATSKILL ALL TRAILS CHALLENGE– In 2014 the CMC created this unique opportunity for hikers
to receive recognition for the hiking of all 87 trails and 350 miles of Catskill Park Trails. This year we
had 15 hikers complete the Challenge bringing the total to 32. For more on the Challenge go to
http://catskillmountainclub.org/events/the-all-trails-hiking-challenge-redlining-the-catskills.

SOCIAL MEDIA– The Board of Directors of the CMC sees the use of the various social media platforms as vital for the future dissemination of CMC information, news, advocacy issues as well as trail conditions and hiker safety concerns. The CMC currently uses FaceBook for communicating with CMC members.

CMC BOARD OF DIRECTORS– The CMC Board meets every other month in Arkville, NY to discuss Club business, outdoor recreational issues, interface with other Catskill organizations and governments entities, plan events and review financial concerns During 2016 the all volunteer Directors spent on over 2000 man hours on club business.

$500,000 in Newly Released Funding Announced for a Catskills Comprehensive Recreation Plan and More

November 3, 2016   The Catskill Park Coalition, of which the CMC is a founding member, has successfully lobbied Albany for funds to support the Catskills since its founding four years ago. $500,000 has just been released for a variety of projects that will improve planning and public access. Read about the CPC’s latest success in this Watershed Post article. We will be in Albany again this February with our Coalition partners to speak to our government leaders about the needs of the Catskill Park and the region.

 

SUNY Delhi Students Work to Maintain Trails in the Western Catskills

img_0566On October 26 a group of SUNY Delhi students, led by Professor David DeForest of the Division of Applied Science and Recreation, maintained sections of the Mary Smith Trail and the Pelnor Hollow Trail from Berry Brook Road to Split Rock. The group cleared several blowdowns and lots of blackberries, etc. that had grown into the trail, making this area difficult to pass through.

The CMC would like to thank all participants for coming out on a chilly day and showing some love for the path to the spectacular Split Rock view.

DEC Announces Start of Early Bear Hunting Season – Sept. 10-25

In southeastern New York, including the Catskills, the early bear season runs from September 10 – 25. The early bowhunting season for bears will open in the entire Southern Zone on October 1, followed by the regular firearms season beginning November 19.

For more about hunting in New York visit http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/7857.html

CMC Receives the 2016 Alf Evers Award for Excellence

We are very pleased and proud to have received the prestigious 2016 Alf Evers Award for Excellence from the good folks at the Catskill Center. The presentation occurred during the Annual Summer Gathering at the Catskill Center’s offices in Arkville, NY.
As an organization that greatly values cooperation and collaboration, we salute the Catskill Center for its continuing leadership in our region, and we thank them for recognizing the CMC for playing a constructive role in the work at hand.

Following are remarks made by Catskill Center Executive Director Jeff Senterman at the presentation.

The Alf Evers Award for Excellence from the Catskill Center is presented to an individual or organization for their distinguished service to the Catskill region.

We are blessed in the Catskills to have so many individuals and groups who
• work hard to be stewards of our natural resources
• educate visitors about the proper use of the great outdoors
• and who have a sense of community spirit to improve our region.

One such group is the Catskill Mountain Club.

Founded in 2004 on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the creation of the Catskill Park.

The early Catskill Mountain Club, which included many Catskill Center staff grew and evolved since it’s founding to become committed to efforts to ensure sustainable and safe outdoor recreation on public lands throughout the Catskill region.

Today the Catskill Mountain Club strives to raise public awareness and appreciation of the Catskill region, something they rightly describe as “America’s First Wilderness”

The Catskill Mountain Club offer dozens of guided hikes, paddles, snow shoe excursions, bike trips and more all over the Catskills.

Offering visitors and residents amazing opportunities to get out and experience all that our Catskill Mountains have to offer.

But the Catskill Mountain Club isn’t only taking advantage of our region’s vast outdoor recreation resources, they are doing something to help ensure they are available for generations to come!

The Catskill Mountain Club stresses and promotes volunteer stewardship of our Catskill Park and public lands by getting their hands dirty!

They have constructed five new trails in the Catskills over the last four years – an amazing accomplishment, especially when considering at least some of those trails have been on New York City Department of Environmental Protection lands!

Those five trails…
• The Andes Rail Trail
• The Delhi Trails
• The Palmer Hill Trail
• The Shavertown Trail
• And most recently
• The Bramley Mountain Trail

Representing almost 20 miles of new trails, the Catskill Mountain Club is offering the public more options and leading the way on opening DEP lands for public recreation!

When not building trail, the Catskill Mountain Club maintains miles of hiking trails throughout the Catskill Park for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

They offer workshops and take part in events that highlight
• The natural and human histories of the Catskills,
• The issues that are affecting the health and preservation of the Catskills
• And teach the skills that are needed to safely enjoy our great outdoors!

They join with others of the Catskill Park Coalition to knock on doors in Albany, helping to ensure that the Catskill Park is represented and receives ongoing support.

Members of the Catskill Mountain Club even find time to help staff the Catskill Interpretive Center where their expertise on everything outdoors comes in handy to educate visitors to the Park!

All this and the Catskill Mountain Club is an all-volunteer grass roots led organization – SIMPLY AMAZING!

The Catskill Mountain Club is helping to lead the way towards a sustainable outdoor recreation based economy that while utilizes our vast and beautiful open spaces, while teaching our visitors and park users the value of the region and how to protect it for posterity

As a former member of the Catskill Mountain Club’s Board of Directors, I am truly honored and humbled to have had the chance to be part of this amazing organization and the amount of work that that the members of this organization have put in since my time is astounding!

For their work
• Protecting our natural resources
• Raising awareness and appreciation of our Catskills
• Leading activities across the public lands of our region
• Working with DEP to increase public access to watershed lands
• Building almost 20 miles of new trails
• Maintaining miles of Catskill Park hiking trails and
• Staffing the Catskill Interpretive Center

And most importantly for their love of the Catskills and their ability to protect and preserve the region

I am pleased to present the Alf Evers Award for Excellence to the Catskill Mountain Club in recognition of their leadership in creating and expanding opportunities for the public to enjoy and understand the unique beauty and remarkable nature of our Catskill region.

They have made a true impact across the region and it gives me great joy to present this award to
• Rick Roberts, the President of the Catskill Mountain Club
• Wendell George, the Vice-President of the Catskill Mountain Club
• And all members of the Catskill Mountain Club

THANK YOU from the Catskill Center and from the Catskills!

Announcing Our New Trails Brochure!

TrailsBrochurecoverTo celebrate the opening of our fifth trail this past Friday, located on Bramley Mountain, we have published a brochure called “A Guide to the Trails” that provides a map and description of each trail. The full color brochure will be available at each trailhead, at several village kiosks, at the Catskill Interpretive Center and at other locations that distribute tourism information.

With the guide, you’ll be able to hike each of our trails with confidence. The trail maps show contours at 20′ intervals, show notable features and indicate where trailheads are located, making it easy to find your way. Pick one up and keep it in your car or with your pack. You’ll always be prepared!

You can also download our trail maps to your iPhone or Android device for free. Look for links to the Avenza App and directions for how to get the maps in the Where To Go menu on this site.

Bramley Mountain Trail Opens

Bramleyopening8On July 29 the CMC’s newly constructed hiking trail on Bramley Mountain in the Towns of Delhi and Bovina officially opened to the public. Built on NYC DEP lands, the 4 mile trail is open year round.
The ceremony began with comments by DEP Deputy Commissioner Paul Rush, Delaware County Chamber of Commerce President Ray Pucci and CMC President Rick Roberts. Each spoke about the importance of DEP’s efforts to open its lands to public recreational use. Among the benefits of greater access are increased options for a range of low impact outdoor activities, economic growth due to increased visitorship and improved health for community members due to the proximity of attractive recreational options.
Following the ribbon cutting, the laBramleyopening5rge crowd headed off for the inaugural hike. Some participants chose to take the easy hike to the quarry and then return to the parking area, while others continued up the trail. After we reached the summit and enjoyed the views we took a little break for lunch or a snack, only to be surprised by a brief shower that chased us off the top. As we descended, we ate raspberries growing beside the trail and noticed that the blackberries will be rippening soon. There are tons of them, so we’ll be back for the feast in a few weeks.
Bramleyopening1The Bramley Mountain Trail is one of five that the CMC has built over the last five years. To celebrate that work and for the convenience of hikers, we’ve published a brochure that provides a map and describes each of them. Look for it at the trail registers, in visitor information sites in the villages and at the Catskill Interpretive Center on State Route 28 in Mt. Tremper.
Click here for WBNG News coverage:
  http://www.wbng.com/news/local/A-new-hiking-trail-opens-at-Bramley-Mountain–388708722.html?vid=a