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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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Palmer Hill view by Bill Palmer_MG_0139

                    Photo courtesy of Bill Palmer – Palmer Hill Photography

March 2018








1 2 3

8:30 AM – Hunter Mountain Fire Tower Snowshoe


9:30 AM

POSTPONED until September Hike Balsam Lake Mountain

5 6 7 8 9 10

DST begins

9:00 AM

Family Friendly Hike on the Palmer Hill Trail

12 13 14 15 16 17

11:00 AM – Kelly Hollow Hike

18 19 20  Spring Equinox 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31 Passover

9:00 AM – Woodhull & Van Wyck Hike

10:00 AM – Hike the Huckleberry Loop Trail

2018 Calendar Template © calendarlabs.com

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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


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, 9:00 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


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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Saturday, May 26, 11 AM | Paddle the Pepacton

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. 

We will launch promptly at 11AM from the Shavertown Bridge Recreational Boating Launch site on the north side of the bridge.

Life jackets required. All boats must be steam cleaned prior to arrival on site and have a valid DEP access sticker. Many vendors store boats on site, requiring only that you visit the store to pay and to pick up paddles and PFDs. For more information on regulations, please visit the NYCDEP website: http://www.nyc.gov/html/dep/pdf/recreation/Pepacton_Boating_Brochure.pdf

Pre-register by Friday, May 25th by emailing Ann Roberti at aroberti@catskill.net.

Directions: 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,  turning north onto CR 1 just before crossing the bridge. The Boat Launch is on the left.

From SR 28 in Andes, turn south onto CR 1 and travel 8 miles to the Shavertown Bridge Boat Launch on the right.


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.


Catskill Park Day 2018: A Call to Action

CPC graphic


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.


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.


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

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:

The Bramley Mountain Trail is Set to Open on JULY 29 at 12:00 PM

We are thrilled to announce, along with the NYC DEP, that the new Bramley Mountain Trail will be officially opened to the public on July 29 at Noon. The CMC designed and built the trail, our third in partnership with the DEP. There will be a brief ceremony followed by a guided hike. The event is free and DEP permits are not required to hike on this parcel.untitled-59
The trail is on a 1243 acre parcel and summits the mountain at 2817′, one of the two westernmost 2800+ foot peaks in the Catskills. Bramley was once the site of a fire tower. The spectacular views from the summit ledges take in parts of the southern high peaks, Mount Pisgah and the mountains traversed by the Finger Lakes Trail. A short hike west is a view over the northwestern foothills and the farms that occupy them. Other features of the hike include a significant abandoned bluestone quarry, a small pond, numerous stone walls and foundations, and the fabulous cliffs and caves that lie between the quarry and the summit.
untitled-67We invite you to come join the fun on this special day. If you can’t, the trail is open year round. The trailhead is located on Glen Burnie Rd., about 0.7 miles south of CR 18 in Delhi.

Sunday, August 14th 1 pm | 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 1PM from the Shavertown Bridge Recreational Boating Launch site on the north side of the bridge. 

Life jackets required. All boats must be steam cleaned prior to arrival on site and have a valid DEP access sticker. Many vendors store boats on site, requiring only that you visit the store to pay and to pick up paddles and PFDs. For more information on regulations, please visit the NYCDEP website: http://www.nyc.gov/html/dep/pdf/recreation/Pepacton_Boating_Brochure.pdf

Pre-register and questions to Ann Roberti at news@catskillmountainclub.org.

This paddle is part of Andes Community Day events.  See more by clicking here.

Directions: 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,  turning north onto CR 1 just before crossing the bridge. The Boat Launch is on the left.

From SR 28 in Andes, turn south onto CR 1 and travel 8 miles to the Shavertown Bridge Boat Launch on the right.

Saturday, July 9, 2 PM | Hike Plattekill Mt. from the Ski Center Lodge

In conjunction with the NYS Outdoor EXPO, CMC President Rick Roberts is leading a hike up Plattekill Mt. using existing ski trails. Beautiful views at the top. This moderately difficult hike is about 2.5 miles long with 800′ gain.

Wear good hiking shoes and bring plenty of water. Well behaved dogs are welcome. Pre-registration is not required for this event.

Directions: Take NYS Route 28 to NYS Route 30 in Margarettville . Go north approximately 8 miles and turn west onto Cold Spring Road. Or take NYS Route 23 to Grand Gorge and turn south onto Route 30. Go 11 miles and turn west onto Cold Spring Road.  Follow signs to Ski Plattekill  – 3 miles off Route 30.

SUNDAY, JUNE 25 | Balsam to Belleayre

IMG_1628Hike to Balsam and Belleayre Mountains. Views and more!.
Lovely 10 mile hike for experienced hikers and those seeking 3500 peaks, all trails and hundred highest! There is a lovely but serious climb up McKenley Hollow. We will traverse Balsam Mountain and go on to Belleayre where we will side track to see the sights from the ski mountain area, then end with a decent on the Cathedral Glen Trail. Come join the fun outdoors this summer! Continue reading

Thursday, June 16, 9 AM | Bramley Mountain Trail Construction One More Time

Bramley view wnwcrOn this trip we will finish the clearing of the trails and views. We’ll assess our work with an eye for small problems, checking areas where we have made improvements to be sure that they are in good condition after recent rainstorms and light use by the crew. We’ll have some tools to lend, but bring sturdy shears and/or loppers, if you have them. Work gloves will be useful. Continue reading

Congratulations to the Four New CATs Challenge Qualifiers

National Trails Day – June 4th, 2016

IMG_3258_WGThe CMC is happy to announce on this National Trails Day that four more hikers have recently completed the Catskills All Trails Challenge! Congratulations to Johnny Witter (#20), Richard Williams (#21), Brian Bacher (#22) and Michele Corn Farrell (#23).
It’s good to have a special day to celebrate hiking trails all across our land. It’s better to get out and hike them with dedication and love, as these four did when covering every foot of the 350 miles of hiking trails located in the Catskill Park!
As Michele put it, “Thank you for coming up with a patch and challenge to redline the Catskill Mountains. Without this I would have never discovered so many great remote and amazingly beautiful locations…..we would have whole days and sometimes a backpacking overnight filled with hours of mud, snow, rain, sweat, painful uphills, scrapes from over grown prickers, backtracking for little half-miles previously missed, silly circles to make sure every inch of trail was accounted for and thousands of hours of joy and laughter.” Now, that’s what it’s all about!

Postponed | Hike the Blacks, 3rd and 4th Highest Catskill Peaks


This hike was postponed due to an unanticipated scheduling conflict. It will be rescheduled during the Catskills Lark in the Park.

This wonderful hike begins on a lovely streamside trail coming up a pass between the peaks. We then get to enjoy great scrambles and gorgeous views from 3980′ Black Dome and 3940′ Blackhead, which is the highest point on the lovely Catskill Escarpment. This hike is for the experienced hiker who wants to have a full day of hiking fun in late Spring. The hike is perfect for peakbaggers and CATs redliners, as well as those who have done it all and just want that day outdoors. Come join this challenging fun day outdoors! Continue reading

Lucky Rescue on the Pepacton Leaves Victim Chipper

swimming chippy rBoaters at the CMC’s season opening May 28 chippy on bow rPaddle the Pepacton event rescued a chipmunk found struggling far from shore in the cold reservoir waters. We’ve seen beavers, deer, bears and other four-legged bathers in the past, but never before a chipmunk.


After picking the chippy out of the water, the rescuers paddled to shore with it sitting on the bow of a kayak as it watched the land approach. As soon as they were within jumping distance, the chipmunk leapt and scampered off into the woods, safe and dry.

chippy ready to jump rchippy on shore r





One can only the amazed that it managed to avoid being eaten by one of the many bald eagles or huge trout that call the Pepacton home. Now that’s a lucky day!

A Great Day Working on the Porcupine Caves Trail

Friday, May 27, 2016

IMG_0679Eight volunteers came out on a nice day yesterday to work on the new Bramley Mountain Trails. We put in about 40 hours of work collectively, cleaning the entire Porcupine Caves Trail of leaves, loose rocks, limbs and any remaining woody plants that were in the path. We did some sidehilling, built stairs and placed steps in potentially wet areas, too.  We also installed the roof on the trailhead kiosk. Our work is nearing completion and we’ll have a weekend work trip soon. As always, we welcome your help.IMG_0685




Special thanks to Kathy Mario, Don Harris, John Exter, Jeff Ditchek, Elda Stifani, Bob Moses, and Rick Roberts for coming out to lend a hand!

We’re getting excited about the upcoming official opening of the trails. Please look for more information regularly and join us for the ceremony and inaugural hike!


Invasive Species Workshops Prepare Volunteers for the Battle to Save Catskill Forests

iMapMobile_iPhone_webCRISP logoOn May 14 and then again on May 21 the CMC and several partners, including the Catskills Regional Invasive Species Partnership (CRISP), sponsored events at the Maurice D. Hinchey Catskill Interpretive Center that addressed the problem of two invasive insect species that are causing severe damage to Catskills forests. The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) and the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA) are spreading rapidly and causing the deaths of thousands of two of the most important tree species in the Catskills. The impacts, especially those from the loss of hemlocks, will be widespread and could fundamentally alter our ecosystem, affecting not only the forest and its inhabitants, but also our streams, our fish and other aquatic wildlife, and our water quality. Indeed, some impacts to the forests are already obvious to even casual observers.

Many thanks to our presenters, Mark Whitmore of Cornell University, Jennifer Dean of the NY Natural Heritage Program and Dan Snider of CRISP for there insights and dedication. And thanks to all who attended for their concern and commitment to the task at hand.

For those who were unable to attend these events, training in recognition, assessment and reporting is available through the NY Natural Heritage Program’s iMapInvasives project and from CRISP. For more information please visit these websites.

Saturday, May 28, 8 AM | Hike Balsam Lake Mountain to Alder Lake

IMG_4032rOne of my favorite western Catskills hikes and I love company, so come join me. The hike has lovely combination of walking, ups, downs , scrambles and some grand views.  Note: this hike is for experienced hikers as the hike is about 9 miles, strenuous and at a steady pace. Great for peakbaggers and CATs Trail seekers.It is by far the prettiest way to enjoy this 3500 peak. Continue reading

Thursday, May 19, 9 AM – Maintenance of the Long Path on Kaaterskill HP

Join the RVW Hikers and the CMC Catskill Roving Trail Crew to help maintain the Long Path from the snowmobile trail intersection to Wildcat Falls. 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. Bring your favorite pruners, shears or loppers. Continue reading

Thursday, May 12, 9 AM – Maintenance of the Long Path on Kaaterskill HP

IMG_3341Working with the RVW Hikers, the CMC’s Roving Trail Crew will help maintain the Long Path from Palenville to Poet’s Ledge. 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

Saturday, May 14, 1 PM | The Impending Hemlock Woolly Adelgid Disaster and How to Stop It

HWA at Willow point 4 small

Hemlock tree under attack

For some years now, Hemlock Woolly Adelgid has been spreading through the forests of the eastern United States, including here in the Catskills. This tiny invasive insect attaches to the underside of hemlock needles and feasts on the plants vital fluids, resulting in the eventual death of the tree.

We here in the Catskills have the opportunity to stop HWA before it completely devastates our vast hemlock forests. Some other regions no longer have that option. In the Great Smokey Mountains the mortality has turned hills and valleys a deathly grey-brown, upending centuries of ecological balance and leaving huge vistas comprised of skeletal trees. If we fail to act here in the Catskills, our forests will share that fate.

HWA damage

HWA damage in the Great Smokey Mountains

Fortunately, New York is waking up to this possibility. Dedicated foresters, botanists and invasive species specialists are mobilizing to stop the attacks on living trees while they can be saved and stopping the spread on HWA in its tracks. But this is no small task as the hemlock is one of the foundational species of the Catskills, as well as of other areas in New York such as the Adirondacks. The battle requires the commitment of financial resources, and that seems to be beginning, though not nearly enough and too slowly still.

For outdoor enthusiasts, whether hikers, fishermen and women, hunters, birders and all others who venture into the woods, there is an important role to play. With sharp eyes and a little knowledge we can help to identify both existing and potentailly infected stands and report the conditions in those stands. In that way, we help make it possible for the professionals to work more efficiently and effectively. We can also let it be known to our elected officials that this fight is a high priority for us, and that we want their attention and support. Indeed, the Catskill Park Coalition (of which the CMC is a founding member) has taken the message to Albany. You can amplify that voice by contacting your legislators and the governor.

HWA adult

Hemlock Woolly Adelgid adult

On Saturday, May 14th at 1 PM a lecture and workshop on the scope of the problem, some solutions and how to get involved will take place at the Maurice D. Hinchey Catskill Interpretive Center in Mount Tremper. The following Saturday, May 21st a field training will be offered at the same time and place. On June 11, again at the CIC, noted Catskills forest historian Dr. Michael Kudish will give a lecture on the history of hemlocks in the Catskills from the ice age forward through the great harvesting of the trees for the tanning industry that once dominated the local economy. For the sake of our environment, our natural history and our economy, all who can attend will be equipped to help the cause of ending this threat. We hope to see you there!

Thursday, May 5, 9 AM | Black Dome Range Trail maintenance to Camel’s Hump


The Blackhead Range from Westkill Mountain

The CMC’s Catskills Roving Trail Crew will be working on the western end of the Black Dome Range Trail next. Join us and our friends from the Rip van Winkle Hikers for this maintenance hike to the Camel’s Hump. 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 7, 9:30 AM | Help Build the Bramley Mountain Trail

BramleyroadsidesignThe parking area is improved, the new trail section is flagged, and now it’s time to finish the construction of the CMC’s 5th trail (and 3rd on DEP land). This new trail will be a major addition to the hiking options in the Catskills. When finished, it will visit the summit site of a former fire tower, the site of a significant bluestone quarry and the impressive cliffs and caves that lie between.

The design of the trail will ascend to the summit gradually, providing a scenic and sustainable path for hikers. On this work day we will widen and level the path wherever the slope is too great for hiking comfortably. Sidehilling requires careful planning, special tools and precise work, so we will have tools available and will provide instruction in the methods and skills needed. Continue reading

Saturday, May 7, 9 AM | Community Fit Day Hike on Delhi Trails

Delhi trail viewCelebrate  Delhi’s Community Fit Day by joining Amy Beveridge and Sarah Kellogg on a guided hike of the Bulldog Run Loop of the Delhi Trails. Amy was instrumental in building these trails and can give you the back story of their creation.

Amy and Sarah will meet hikers in the Immanuel Lutheran Church Parking lot at 9:00 a.m.

Hikers should wear sturdy footwear and comfortable clothes. Bring bottled water. The trail is moderate level, however, the pace will be slow.    2.4 miles.

Contact Amy with questions; Amy can be reached at albeveridge04@gmail.com or call 607-278-5461.

Driving Directions: 565 Andes Rd, Delhi, NY 13753 (Rt 28). Across the road from O’Connor Hospital

Sunday, May 8th at 11:00 AM | Sixth Annual Ephemeral Wild Flower Hike At Kelly Hollow

Trout Lilly D

Trout Lily

There’s no need to bring flowers to mom when you can bring mom to the flowers this Mother’s Day. You are invited to join with CMC board members for the Sixth Annual Ephemeral Wildflower hike. 

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

Saturday, May 14, 1 PM | Help Stop Alien Invasive Species from Eating the Catskills’ Forests!

HWA at Willow point 4 smallYes, you read that right. Hemlock Woolly Adelgid and Emerald Ash Borer are causing a massive loss of two of the Catskills’ most important tree species. Already well established, these pests are expanding their territory rapidly. We’ve got to stop them or the resulting devastation will change the character of our forests and their viability as habitats for many of the amimals that live in them forever. Come to this lecture and workshop (and look for our May 21 event, too) to learn about the urgency of acting now. Learn what’s happening and how you can help stop it. Only if the hiking community and area residents get involved can we be successful in protecting the Catskills from losing these trees that have defined the region for centuries.

Mark C. Whitmore, forest entomologist at Cornell University, will present a program on controlling the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid and the status of the Emerald Ash Borer in the Catskills. The event will be held at the Maurice D. Hinchey Catskill Interpretive Center in Mount Tremper on May 14 at 1 PM.
Continue reading

Now Available! Maps of CMC built trails on your iPhone and Android devices!

MapbannerUsing the free PDF Maps App for iPhone or Android from Avenza, and the CMC’s free maps available in their map store, you can now follow your route as you hike the trails built by the Catskill Mountain Club: the Palmer Hill Trail, Shavertown Trail, Andes Rail Trail and Bullet Hole Spur, the Delhi Trails and soon, the Bramley Mountain Trail.  There is also a beta version for Windows phones.

find out more….



Bramley Mountain Trail Scheduled to Open in Late Spring

BramleyparkingareaWe’ve recently made some real progress in the construction of our new trail on Bramley Mountain. The trail route is nearly finalized… a few more tweaks are needed before we start clearing and grading the path.
The big news is that the parking area has been completed! We want to thank LeFever Excavating for donating culvert pipe and the Clark Companies for donating gravel for the project. Many thanks to SUNY Delhi students for designing and constructing our new trailhead kiosk. And special thanks to the Town of Delhi Highway Department crew and to Superintendent Darren Evans for bringing out the heavy Bramleyroadsidesignequipment and getting the job done. Nice work, guys!

ATV Bill Allowing Access to Park and State Forest Hiking Trails Defeated

Great news! The ATV bill was stricken from the New York state budget. The bill would have allowed ATVs to use the trails in our parks and forests, doing great damage to the environment and creating unsafe conditions for other users. Our efforts, along with those of many other allied organizations including the Adirondack Mountain Club, the New York/New Jersey Trail Conference, the Finger Lakes Trail Conference and the Catskill Center, paid off. Thanks to everyone who sent letters and made phone calls asking Albany to defeat this effort!


P1000348Want to report the trail conditions that you find while hiking the CATs? The recently formed CATSKILLS TRAIL CONDITIONS group on Facebook is a great place ot share your information and comments. You’ll need to have a Facebook account to access the group page and to post comments and pictures. By joining, you’ll be sharing helpful up-to-date information with a rapidly growing hiking community, and enjoying other members insights into what you may encounter on your hikes. Win, win! Sign up for a Facebook account and get started by signing in here: www.facebook.com/groups/CatskillsTrailConditions