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Palmer Hill Trail Opens to the Public

DSC_0901r_TMJune 9, 2014 – We 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 20, 8:00 AM – Hike the Shavertown Trail

Join CMC Board Member Amy Beveridge, as she leads LiveFit ™ Challenge participants on the Shavertown Trail in Andes, NY.
LiveFit™ Challenge is sponsored by the Cardio Club and Dance Studio in Delhi and consists of a friendly competition including mini indoor & outdoor challenges, weight loss, nutritional instruction, fitness games and more! This contest was designed to build camaraderie across Delaware County and the surrounding area while encouraging community members to lead a healthy lifestyle! The full trail is 5.3 miles. Live Fit challenge participants will receive a stamp for reaching Snake Pond and view point (located at mile 1.3). From Snake Pond, Amy will lead the group on or participants may turn around at their discretion.

All participants are required to wear sturdy sneakers or hiking shoes (no flip flops or sandals) and bring a bottle of water!

To register, contact Amy Beveridge at albeveridge04@gmail.com or call 607-278-5461. (No dogs on this one, please!)

Directions: From SR 28 in Andes, turn south onto CR 1 and travel 8 miles to the Shavertown Bridge Boat Launch on the right. From SR 28/30 in Margaretville, go west about 3 miles to the dividing of the highways. Turn south onto SR 30 and go 8 miles to the Shavertown Bridge Boat Launch on the left, just after turning right onto CR 1. Meet at the trailhead sign.

 

Saturday, July 12, 9:30 AM – Hike the New Section of the Long Path

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Sneak peaks. Do you recognize them? (Answers below*)

On June 7 the newest section of the Long Path officially opened. Running from Phoenicia to the junction with the Wittenberg-Cornell-Slide Trail in Woodland Valley, this outstanding example of sustainable trail construction principles offers a fabulous ridge hike and some of the finest views to be found in the Catskills. Come out and join us for this exciting CMC hike. Congratulations to the NYNJTC and its dedicated trail crews for perservering to make this wonderful re-route from Woodland Valley Road a reality. And thanks to the NYSDEC for making it all possible. Continue reading

Thursday, July 10, 10 AM – Hike to Giant Ledge in Search of an Invader!

Molly Marquand of the CRISP at the Catskill Center (and co-founder of the Catskill Native Plant Society) will lead a hike to Giant Ledge to examine a grove of American Ash trees for the presence of Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), an invasive beetle that is devastating ash trees in the Catskills. Please join us for this opportunity to learn more about this pest. You will learn to identify the insect and the signs of its presence. With that informaton, you can monitor the condition of ash trees on your property and help report their presence in trees that you see while hiking. The American Ash is ubiquitous in the Catskills and, as one of our most important forest species, tracking its health is of great importance.

Giant Ledge is one of the most spectacular spots in the Catskills, offering incredible views both east and west. It’s a short hike out with a huge payoff. Whether you haven’t been or if you know it well, you won’t want to miss this hike! Continue reading

Monday, July 7, 8:30 AM – Maintenance of the Long Path on Kaaterskill HP

Working with the RVW Hikers, the CMC/NYNJTC Catskill Roving Trail Crew will help maintain the Long Path from the snowmobile trail intersection to Palenville. The trail crosses the south rim of Kaaterskill Clove, offering great views to South Mountain and the Hudson Valley. We’ll be clearing blowdowns, cleaning waterbars and cutting understory growth that obscures the trail and markers. We’ll have plenty of tools to lend or bring your favorite pruners or loppers. Continue reading

Sunday, June 29, 8:00 AM – Delaware Academy Trail Construction

Last week the CMC began construction of a new trail in the Village of Delhi. Located on Delaware Academy property and on adjacent parcels belonging to both the Village and the Town of Delhi, the new trail will be a great asset to the people of Delhi. As with other CMC built trails, the Delaware Academy Trail will bring the opportunity for health, recreation and economic benefits to the community. When complete, the trail will rise through forest, partly on old woods roads,  to the summit of about 2060′, offering views of the village and the surrounding mountains.

Please come out to lend a hand to this exciting community project. We’ll be clearing trees and limbs, improving the path by cutting back growth and marking the trail over the next several weeks. Bring loppers, shears, or pruners if you have them. And bring plenty of water, snacks and lunch. Dress in comfortable clothing and wear good hiking boots. No dogs due to safety concerns. For more information and to sign up to help, contact CMC board member Amy Beveridge at thebeveridges@yahoo.com.

We hope to see you there!

Directions: Come to Sheldon Park at the end of Sheldon Dr., off SR 28. Sheldon Drive provides access to the Delaware Academy campus.

 

Sunday, June 22, 9 AM – Hike the Catskill’s Highest, Slide Mtn. plus Cornell

This hike is a challenging climb up the Catskill’s Highest, Slide Mtn. for a great view. Then we will decend into the col, scrambling down and up to top Cornell and look out to a great Catskills peak view.  The hike is the full day and great fun. Please be prepared for changeable weather, and bring plenty of water. As hikers are committed to completing their peaks, please be serious about commitment to this group event at all times on the hike for the event’s safety. It is a fun and challenging day in the Catskills! Hope you will join us. Continue reading

Thursday, June 19, 9 AM – Maintenance on the Seager and Pine Hill-West Branch Trails

These trails are maintained by the NYNJTC Catskill Roving Trail Crew. We’ll hike out on the Seager Trail and go to the ridge where we’ll turn south and work to Big Indian Mountain. We’ll be clearing blowdowns, cleaning waterbars and cutting understory growth that obscures the trail and markers. We’ll have plenty of tools to lend or bring your favorite pruners or loppers. Bring plenty of water, lunch and snacks. Continue reading

Saturday, September 6, 11am – Hike to Balsam Lake Mountain Fire Tower

Meet at either the Balsam Lake Mountain trailhead (at end of Beaverkill Road NE of Lew Beach/Livingston Manor) or the  Mill Brook Road trailhead (S of Margaretville)  for simultanious hikes to the Balsam Lake Mountain summit, 4.4 miles roundtrip (5.9 miles from Mill Brook side).  Rock scramble ascent, gentler route option downhill. Tour of tower and ranger cabin by knowledgeable staff, followed by a ceremonial handing out of Catskill Fire Tower patches and Five Fire Tower Passports (sponsored by Watershed Post and Morgan Outdoors).  A corps of trained volunteers staff all five fire renovated towers every weekend Memorial Day to Columbus Day weekend, keeping their history alive. A great opportunity for adventure and amazing views of the Catskills! Pack a picnic lunch and water, wear sturdy footwear and layered clothing. Moderately strenuous.

Hike leaders: Lisa Lyons and Bob Moses. Register for the Sept. 6th hike with Lisa at 845/439-5507 or info@morgan-outdoors.com Please call to cancel by 9 AM Saturday morning, if you can’t attend. Group size limited to 15. Heavy rain or threat of lightning will cancel.  Contact Lisa for more information.

 

POSTPONED, TBD – Hike Balsam Lake and Graham Mountains

Join us for a hike in one of my favorite sections of the Catskills with quiet woods, scrambles, ups and downs in a  lovely area of the western Catskills. Balsam Lake is a lovely evergreen mountaintop with an expansive firetower view! The way to Graham is a woodsy trek to the top with it relic of bygone days, and early communications tower. This is a 10 mile challenge but great fun. See the NYNJTC Catskill Trail MAP # 142. Continue reading

Saturday, June 7, 2 PM – Today’s the Day! Palmer Hill Trail Opening

We’re opening the new Palmer Hill Trail today, Saturday, June 7 at 2 PM. Join us for a brief ceremony and the inaugural hike on this new trail.  Passing through open wildflower meadows, it is a hike unlike others in the Catskills. We hope to see you there.

The trail is a partnership between the CMC and the NYC DEP, built and maintained by the CMC on recently opened DEP watershed lands. No permit is required. The Town of Andes has been a great supporter and partner in this project, too.

The trailhead parking area is at the scenic viewpoint on Finkle Rd., just off SR 28 between Andes and Margaretville.

Wednesday, June 11, 7 PM – Alan Via Talks about the Unknown Catskill Mountains at the Andes Roundtable

If you often wonder about the mountains that surround us, their names and what it’s like to hike them, here is an opportunity for you to satisfy your curiosity. Alan Via is the author of The Catskill 67 – A Hiker’s Guide to the Catskill 100 Highest Peaks Under 3,500′ and a CMC hike leader.  He will be debuting a brand new slide presentation at the Andes Roundtable, which is held at the Hunting Tavern in Andes, NY. The presentation is titled ‘Off the Beaten Path – A Celebration of the Catskill ‘Hidden Peaks’ in Four Seasons’. The slide show consists of photographs of mostly unknown or little hiked Catskill mountains, progressing through the four seasons.

Directions: Located on SR 28 in the hamlet of Andes, the Hunting Tavern Museum is at 288 Main St.

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

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

 

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

 

Sunday, June 1, 10 AM – Hike Indian Head Mountain

This is a great loop hike at the eastern end of the challenging Devil’s Path. It is a strenuous hike for the those experienced in the outdoors and who love to hike. The hike is the full day and great fun with lovely woods, great scrambles up and down and VIEWS of the Hudson area. Please be prepared for hot or cold by dressing in layers and have water and serious food snacks. As hikers are committed to completing their peaks, please be serious about commitment to this group event at all times on the hike for the event’s safety and the fun of the day. Hope you will join us. Continue reading

Saturday, May 31, 9 AM until 2 PM – Understanding Wilderness Ethics and Leave No Trace™ Principles

Leave No Trace™ – it’s a phrase you’ve heard before, but just what are those principles and how do you put them into practice? Even if you already pick up litter, and march straight through the center of the trail despite the mud, you may find that there are additional practices and perspectives that will help you tread even more lightly upon the earth. Join NYS DEC Ranger Joe Bink for an introduction to wilderness ethics and a brief review of these principles – both in the classroom and on the trail. Ranger Bink will share knowledge and review concepts, then lead a hike to put those ideas into action. Continue reading

Friday, May 30, 8 AM – Birdwatching on the Andes Rail Trail

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

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

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

Wednesday, May 28, 9:30 AM – Palmer Hill Trails Construction Continues, Part IV

We’ve made good progress on building these new trails, but there’s more to do. Please come lend a hand if you can. We will be opening the trails on National Trails Day, June 7, so we’re eager to get busy and we’ll be focussing most of our efforts here for the next several weeks. Continue reading

Saturday, May 24, 11 AM – Paddle the Pepacton

Experience 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. Provide your own CANOE or KAYAK or rent from a local business.  We will launch promptly at 11AM from the Shavertown Bridge Recreational Boating Launch site on the north side of the bridge. Continue reading

Friday, May 23, 9:30 AM – Palmer Hill Trails Construction Continues, Part III

We’ve made good progress on building these new trails, but there’s more to do. Please come lend a hand if you can. We will be opening the trails on National Trails Day, June 7, so we’re eager to get busy and we’ll be focussing most of our efforts here for the next several weeks. Continue reading

Sunday, May 18, 10 AM – Dry Brook Ridge Trail Maintenance

Join Laura Battelani, CMC Board Member, as she inspects and clears the trail she adopted for the NY/NJ TC. Hike Pakatakan Mountain and follow the ridge, passing by a 700 year old bog, to arrive at a beautiful lookout over the Pepacton Reservoir. The return may be on the same trail or we may continue onto the German Hollow trail. Continue reading

Saturday, May 17, 9 AM – Hike Mt. Pleasant and Romer Mountain

Mt. Pleasant, though only a little over 2800′, is highly visible to Catskill visitors. It’s very prominent location makes it a landmark from Mt Tremper, Wittenberg and a number of other Catskill summits. Mt Pleasant is one of those  ‘I wonder what mountain that is’ peaks, as it sits on the south side of  NY28, towering over the hamlet of the same name. Continue reading

Saturday, May 17 – Mount Tremper Hike and Fire Tower Volunteer Training

Mount Tremper Fire Tower is perched high above Phoenicia, circled by the tallest mountains in the Catskills, and looks out to the Hudson Valley. Volunteer Interpreters with the Catskill Fire Tower Project open the cab at the top of the fire tower on weekend days from Memorial Day through Columbus Day, giving hikers a chance to enjoy the view from inside the cab and learn about the fire tower.

On Saturday, May 17, we will hike to the summit of Mount Tremper for Volunteer Interpreter Training. It is a two-hour training with a nice chance for lunch at the fire tower. This ‘Difficult’ hike is three miles each way, a six-mile day, and ascends 2,000 feet.

Whether you are interested in volunteering for the fire tower this season, or you would like to join the group for a good hike, a visit to the fire tower, and a chance to learn a little about Catskill fire towers, join us for this fun day on Mount Tremper.

Contact Jonathan Mogelever for training day details: jmogelever@catskillcenter.org  or call 845-586-2611. Registration required by Thursday, May 15.

Thursday, May 15, 9 AM – Southern Pine Hill – West Branch Trail Maintenance to Big Indian Mountain

The CMC/NYNJTC Roving Crew will be working on the southern end of the Pine Hill – West Branch Trail next. Join us and our friends from the Rip van Winkle Hikers for this maintenance hike from the Biscuit Brook trailhead to Big Indian Mountain. We’ll be doing the usual, removing any downed limbs and trees from the trail, cleaning waterbars out and pruning back anything that is growing into the trailbed. Bring your loppers and pruners and a longer blade folding saw if you have one. No tools, no problem: we have plenty to supply you. Continue reading

Monday, May 12, Noon – Palmer Hill Trails Construction Continues, Part II

The CMC will continue our work constructing the two new trails at the soon to be opened DEP’s Palmer Hill parcel. With its open terrain and spectacular views, it will be sure to please the Catskill hiker accustomed to our wooded trails.

Come lend a hand to this exciting project, if you can. We will be opening the trails on National Trails Day, June 7, so we’re eager to get busy and we’ll be focussing most of our efforts here for the next several weeks. Continue reading

Sunday, May 11, 11 AM – Annual Ephemeral Wildflower Hike: Second Chance

You are invited to you to join with CMC board member Howard Raab for the fourth Annual Ephemeral Wildflower hike at Kelly Hollow on Sunday, May 11. Our first such hike was an overwhelming success, so we’re offering a slightly later opportunity which promises even more to see.

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, May 7, 9:30 AM – Palmer Hill Trails Construction Continues

The CMC will continue our work constructing the two new trails at the soon to be opened DEP’s Palmer Hill parcel. With its open terrain and spectacular views, it will be sure to please the Catskill hiker accustomed to our wooded trails.

Come lend a hand to this exciting project, if you can. We will be opening the trails on National Trails Day, June 7, so we’re eager to get busy and we’ll be focussing most of our efforts here for the next several weeks. Continue reading

Tuesday, May 6, 9 AM – Western Black Dome Trail Maintenance to Thomas Cole

The CMC/NYNJTC Roving Crew will be working on the western end of the Black Dome Trail next. Join us and our friends from the Rip van Winkle Hikers for this maintenance hike over the Camel’s Hump and on to Thomas Cole Mountain. We’ll be doing the usual, removing any downed limbs and trees from the trail, cleaning waterbars out and pruning back anything that is growing into the trailbed. Bring your loppers and pruners and a longer blade folding saw if you have one. No tools, no problem: we have plenty to supply you. Continue reading

Saturday, May 3, 9:30 AM – Palmer Hill Trails Construction Begins!

The CMC and its CMC/NYNJTC trail crew will begin building the Palmer Hill trails this coming Saturday. This will be our second project in partnership with the NYCDEP. It’s going to be a trail unlike any other in the Catskills, with lots of hiking through open meadows and with one of the best views in the Catskills.

Come lend a hand to this exciting project, if you can. We will be opening the trails on National Trails Day, June 7, so we’re eager to get busy and we’ll be focussing most of our efforts here for the next several weeks. Continue reading

Friday, May 2, 9 AM – Balsam Mountain Trail Maintenance

We’ll begin our CMC/NYNJTC Roving Crew trail maintenance for 2014 on the Pine Hill-West Branch trail loop over Balsam Mountain, beginning at Rider Hollow.

We’ll be looking for fallen limbs and trees to cut and remove, cleaning out the leaves from waterbars and lopping off limbs that have protruded over the trail. At this time of year, we’ll have the added pleasure of looking for early wildflowers and seeing the views through trees that haven’t leafed out yet. Continue reading

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

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

 

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

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

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

Thursday, April 17, 9 AM – Three Peaks via the Long Path: Bangle, Samson and Spencer’s Ledge

IMG_2376rJoin us as we venture off the beaten path. Natures spectacular beauty will greet us even before we arrive at the trailhead. The drive down Peekamoose Rd. is stunning with waterfalls pouring from the valley walls into the creek that parallels  the road. We will follow the Long Path south, and then east up to Bangle Hill.  The first mile or so of the hike will yield the majority of our elevation. Our effort will be rewarded with wonderful views across the valley towards Van Wyck, Table, and Peekamoose. The trail will ease as we turn east, then we will leave the trail behind for a gradual climb to the first of our trailless summits, Samson Mtn.  From here we can expect (weather permitting of course) views to our north and west. Continue reading

Sunday, April 13, 10 AM – Spring Waterfall Hike in Kaaterskill Clove

Kindred Spirits by Asher B. Durand - 1849Since John Bartram’s visit in 1753, Kaaterskill Falls, New York’s highest at 260′, has been the Catskills most famous waterfall.  Painted by Thomas Cole, Asher B. Durand and numerous other members of the Hudson River School and invoked by writers of myth and nature such as Bryant, Cooper and Irving, Kaaterskill is an icon of American Romanticism.

Nearby, and so impressive that many visitors never get to Kaaterskill Falls because they are fooled by its majesty into thinking that they have arrived, Bastion Falls sits roadside at the curve in the road near the foot of Kaaterskill’s deeply carved gorge.

 

Kindred Spirits by Asher B. Durand – 1849

Continue reading

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

2014BoatStewards (2) March 5, 2014  –  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.

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

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

 

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

Marck 1, 2014  –  The DEC is proposing to make several improvements in the Bluestone Wild Forest. They are:

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

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

 

CMC Participates in Catskill Park Awareness Day

March 1, 2014  –  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

“How Wolves Change Rivers”

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

From Sustainable Man.

CMC Comments on Proposed NYSDEC Black Bear Management Plan

February 10, 2014  –  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

Alder Lake Parking Area Closed Until Spring

2013Cat142_AlderLakeClosingMap courtesy of the New York – New Jersey Trail Conference

February 10, 2014  –  Due to a significant accumulation of ice and snow on the access road into the Alder Lake Parking Area, the lower gate at the entrance has been locked.  The DEC estimates that the lot will be closed to cars until early spring. However, the area remains open for non-motorized activities such as hiking, snowshoeing and XC skiing. Exercise caution while parking on the side of the road and observe town laws regarding winter parking regulations. Alder Lake is located in the southwestern Catskills within the Balsam Lake Mountain Wild Forest.

Saturday, March 8, 9:00 AM – Hunter and Leavitt (SW Hunter)

On this great route, as varied as any, we will climb two of the Catskill’s 35 highest.  Hunter, at 4040′, is the second highest of our mountains and is topped by one of the five restored fire towers in the Park. Needless to say, the views are spectacular. Leavitt, at 3740′ and the most recently designated “high peak”, requires a short bushwhack to find its summit. Our loop will take us up the Devil’s Path and down the Spruceton Trail for a distance of about 9 miles, including the bushwhack. The hike is strenuous and will take about seven hours.

Proper footwear and clothing are a must for this hike. You will likely need snowshoes, microspikes and possibly full crampons. Dress in layers of wicking materials that can be easily taken off and put on. Wear a water and wind resistant outer layer. Hiking poles are suggested. Bring plenty of water or warm beverages and lunch. For more advice about winter hiking read this: http://catskillmountainclub.org/events/skills-and-info/

The group size is limited. Register no later than 6 PM, March 7 with CMC board member Wendell George at: wendell@catskillmountainclub.org or 845-254-4546. If you need to cancel, please contact me before 7:30 AM, March 8. Well behaved dogs allowed – please contact me for approval.

Poor weather conditions will postpone this hike, so be sure to check your email or call the leader if inclement weather is forecast.

Directions: From either SR 28 in Shandaken or SR 23A in Lexington, turn onto CR 42 and go to Spruceton Rd. in West Kill. Turn east and travel 6.7 miles, almost to the end of the road. Note well: the large parking area is on the north (left) side of the road .

Sunday, March 2, 9:45 AM – Alder Lake to the Beaver Meadow

If you just like being out in the snow, this will be one of your favorite hikes. Rambling ups and downs, ruins, a gorgeous lake and a trek to Beaver Meadow. This is a wonderful snowshoe. Bring poles and microspikes.  Plan to bring warm drinks, water and snacks. Dress in warm layers; you may want handwarmers. Well behaved dogs welcome. Call for meeting time.
POOR WEATHER will cancel this Catskill Hike. (Call between 7-8 evening before hike for poor weather decisions). Limited registration open two weeks before hike. MUST leave a reachable phone #  and full name, please. NO EMAIL after Friday at 6:30 pm, call thereafter at 845 216 2021.
Come join the FUN!
Contact Deanna Felicetta at:  felicetta.deanna@gmail.com  or (845)216-2021.

Directions: From the south/west the best access is old RT. 17 to State Rd 151/152 known as Johnson/Beaverkill Road. This will become State Rd 54. From the North take Barkaboom Road past Big Pond to 54. At State Road 54 turn left and head NE. On 54 all will travel until reaching Turnwood. Here 54 MAKES A LEFT turn North and becomes Alder Road. Travel a few miles until public road ends at Parking for Mary Smith Trail.
Note that in winter park road is Closed, so please do not plan on driving on from this point. Park at Alder Rd Parking.

Saturday, February 15, 10 AM – Cross Country Skiing at Mountain Trails

The Catskills have a great cross country ski area located right in Tannersville. Mountain Trails has 35-kilometers of groomed, track-set trails with a nice variety of terrain and beautiful scenery. All levels of cross country skier can join us–we can break-up into different groups according to skill level.
Meet at 10 AM at the main lodge, it’s located on the west end of Tannersville, and plan to spend as much of the day as you would like. Mountain Trails charges a $20 track fee. Ski rentals are available for an additional charge. We will break for lunch at 12:30. For directions and ski area information visit www.mtntrails.com.
Lack of snow will cancel. Please sign-up by Noon on Friday, February 14, to confirm snow conditions. Contact: Jonathan Mogelever at jmogelever@gmail.com or call 845-586-2611.
COST: $20.  No dogs. Bring lunch and something to drink, or a light lunch is available at the lodge.

DIRECTIONS:  Mountain Trails is on Route 23A: on the west end of Tannersville—North side of the street. For detailed directions go to www.mtntrails.com

Friday, February 7th, 8:30AM – Windham High Peak

Join CMC members and NYS licensed guides Will Soter & Alex Marra as we climb Windham High Peak to its stunning summit views of the Hudson Valley and, on a clear day, four mountain ranges. We’ll hike along the Escarpment Trail over Burnt Knob on a through hike, starting and ending in the Black Dome Valley. Wear good boots and bring lunch and plenty of water. Dress in layers for your comfort. Weather conditions may vary greatly during the hike. It can be quite windy, and cold at the summit. Keep this is mind when selecting layers. Additionally, a traction device such as crampons, or micro spikes are required!  The hike is about 7 miles. Moderately strenuous. Registration is limited to 11. Well behaved dogs allowed. Register by February  6th by contacting CMC member Will Soter at upstateadventureguides@gmail.com or call 845-399-9948 
 
Directions: From SR 23 in Windham or SR 23A in Hunter turn onto CR 296. Travel to Maplecrest Rd. in Hensonville and turn East going 2.1 miles to Big Hollow Rd. Turn NE 1.8 miles to Peck Rd. We’ll meet and spot cars before proceeding to the trailhead.

Sunday, February 2, 8:45 AM – Slide Mountain

One of the Catskills most beautiful Winter hikes, and a great hike for experienced winter hikers. Hikers must plan to have snowshoes, full crampons, poles and microspikes for this hike. Plan to bring warm drinks, water and good snacks. Dress in warm layers, hand warmers suggested. Bring a flashlight just in case, as daylight is short. No dogs on this hike. Call for meeting time.
POOR WEATHER will cancel this Catskill Hike. (Call Between 7-8 evening before hike for weather decisions)  NO EMAIL AFTER 6:30 pm Friday before hike. Call thereafter at 845 216 2021. Registration open two weeks before hike. MUST leave a reachable phone # and full name, please. Limit 12 hikers.  See you on the trail!
Contact Deanna Felicetta at:  felicetta.deanna@gmail.com  or (845)216-2021.

Directions: Meet at the Slide Mountain Parking Area (P.A) on Oliverea-Frost Valley Rd. (CR 47). From SR 28 in Big Indian turn south onto Oliverea Rd. (becomes Frost Valley Rd.) and proceed about 10 miles to the Slide Mtn. P.A. (It will be past the hairpin turn at the Giant Ledge P.A.) From SR 55 west of Grahamsville turn north onto Claryville Rd. (CR19) and proceed 4.6 miles to Frost Valley Rd. in Claryville. Turn left (north) and proceed 10.6 miles to the Slide Mtn. P.A. (It will be past the Biscuit Brook P.A.)

Sunday, January 19, 11:30 AM – Hike Mt. Pisgah

Mt. Pisgah is the site of a former ski area in Andes. It’s one of the highest peaks in Delaware County and is the westernmost of the 3000 footers in the Catskills. We’ll climb an abandoned ski trail, getting great views.

There may be snow and/or ice, so bring snowshoes and a traction device such as Microspikes. Dress in layers of clothing made from a wicking material and expect the possibility of a steady wind and cold temperatures. Also bring plenty of water and lunch or a snack for the summit stop. Total climb is about 1000′ with a one way distance of about 1 mile to the summit and then we’ll do a bit of exploring.

To register, call Wendell George at 845-254-4546 or email wendell@catskillmountainclub.org.

Directions: From SR 28 in Andes turn north on Gladstone Hollow Rd. and continue 2.8 miles to Grommeck Rd. Turn right and go to the old ski lodge parking lot.

 

 

Thursday, January 16, 8:00pm – Full Moon hike on the Andes Rail Trail

Please join members of the Catskill Mountain Club for a full moon hike/snow-shoe on the fabulous Andes Rail Trail on Thursday, January 16.We’ll meet at the entry kiosk at 8:00pm and proceed for one mile to the beginning of the “Bullet Hole Spur” where those that wish to continue, will go on to complete the whole 3.9 mile round trip. We ask that noise be kept to a minimum while we are passing near occupied dwellings.Well behaved dogs are welcome but should be leashed. Be sure to dress appropriately for cold weather. To register contact Howard Raab at: howardjraab@gmail.com or 845-586-3112.

Directions: The Town of Andes is located on SR 28 between Margaretville and Delhi in Delaware County, NY.

Here is a description of the trail from “Andes Works”:The Andes Rail Trail is an easily accessible hiking trail in an idyllic setting, suitable for individuals and families of all ages.

The trail starts at the beautiful pergola and gate, at 266 Depot Street.  Pass the historic Depot Building, erected in 1907. The first section of the trail continues for one very flat mile (2 miles round trip) along the old rail bed, and provides a peaceful experience of field and woodland beauty and wonderful mountain views. In June 2013, the Bullet Hole Spur addition to the hiking trail was opened. The Spur extends the rail trail an additional 2.2 miles, bringing the option of the total walk to 3.9 miles round trip. The Spur climbs the ridge above the rail bed, taking hikers through mature hardwood forest, open woodlands covered in ferns and princess pine, an old pine plantation and hemlocks towering above the Bullet Hole Creek. The Spur is a bit more strenuous…there are a couple of well-designed moderately steep sections but they are followed by relatively flat sections so you get a nice breather after working a little harder.

A Beautiful Night on the Trail

A large group joined the CMC on Thursday, January 16 for a Full Moon hike at the Andes Rail Trail and Bullet Hole Spur. With a little fresh snow to help light the way, no wind, moderate temperatures and the moon peeping through the clouds regularly, we had near perfect conditions for this varied and lovely hike. Thirteen of us set out at 8 PM from the trailhead in the old village of Andes and hiked for nearly a mile paralleling the course of the Trempers Kill as it makes its way towards the Pepacton Reservoir. Along the way we were able to admire the light on the hills on the other side of the valley and listen to the sounds of the stream. We then hiked up and away from the rail trail through mixed forest types on a loop passing by open fields and through a deep hemlock woods. We were thrilled to hear an owl announcing its presence and then a pack of coyotes howling at some distance across the valley. As we neared the end, the skies cleared and we walked the rest of our way without the use of our headlamps, guided by the bright light reflecting off the snow and our tracks. A perfect ending to a perfect night.