With great company, it was a nice way to spend a summer’s day. We hope to see many more of you at next year’s festivities!
Most of us take for granted the almost endless opportunities we have to get out into the great outdoors. Whether we’re hitting the trail, casting for trout, paddling, or going rogue by ‘whacking our way into the unknown, we know well how important that chance to connect with nature is. And we appreciate it deeply.
For some of us, getting that feeling isn’t so easy. Our friends and family members who have limited mobility need and deserve resources that can accommodate them so they can get out and experience that connection with nature, too. The Americans with Disabilities Act has encouraged the development of infrastructure to make getting out easier. The NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, the NYC Department of Environmental Protection, other governmental agencies and even some non-governmental organizations have accessible facilities all around the Catskills, including trails, fishing areas, water access points, picnic pads, camping pads, pavilions and restrooms. Recent improvements have been completed at Kenneth Wilson Campground, a DEC facility in the Town of Woodstock and the DEC has filed notice for comments on a plan to improve and add to the accessible facilities at the North-South Lake Campground near Haines Falls. Accessible attractions also include iconic spots like Kaaterskill Falls and the Ashokan Reservoir Promenade. For travelers, easy to get to trails and other amenities can be found at the Catskill Interpretive Center in Mt. Tremper.
Here are links to pages that list where many of these facilities are located.
NYSDEC Accessible Recreation Destinations listed by county.
NYS Parks – search by the park name or location and look for the “Amenities and Activities” section.
There are two recent additions to the trail system on Overlook Mountain. The Meads Meadow Trail and the Overloop Trail provide new easy to moderate hikes that loop north off the Overlook Spur Trail, which has been extended to the new Meads Meadow Trailhead parking area. Together they add 1.8 miles of new trails. Going forward, those trails are being added to the list of trails that must be hiked in order to complete the All Trails Challenge requirements. With their inclusion their are now 347 miles of designated hiking trails that must be hiked to receive your cetificate, patch and shirt. More Happy Hiking!
Overlook Mountain Wild Forest map.
The CMC’s first annual picnic will be held on Saturday, July 28 at Belleayre Beach in the heart of the Catskills. The picnic, which is open to CMC members and their guests, will feature local hikes, games, swimming and paddling. Hikes to the summit of Belleayre or at Rochester Hollow will start the day, beginning at 10 AM and returning to the lake in the early afternoon. Snacks, yard games, swimming, paddling (boats and boards can be rented on site) and fishing (NYS license required) will be available all day. After the hikes we’ll have a picnic, with hamburgers, hotdogs and non-alcoholic beverages provided by the CMC (vegetarian options will be served). All parties should bring a dish to share. You may bring beer and wine (not allowed on the beach).
Not a current member? Join or renew below. We hope to see you there!
What you need to know:
Belleayre Beach at Pine Hill Lake is a state owned and operated facility in the village of Pine Hill. It features a beach, rental kayaks and lifeguards on duty. It serves as the trailhead for the Giggle Hollow Trail.
The picnic is free for all CMC members, including individuals and families with children up to 18 years old. Family and significant others who are not CMC members are welcome to attend for a fee of $5 per person. Kids under 12 are free. Please pay by cash or check at the sign-in table when you arrive.
Hours: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM. Lunch at 2:00 PM.
Registration is required by July 23rd. (Click the link to go to the registration page.)
Park Entrance Fee: $14 per car with up to seven passengers, or $5 per person if you walk in. (Parking outside the gate is limited.)
Paddling rental fee: $15 per hour, or bring your same-day steam cleaned boat. (Click here for a list of approved steam cleaners.) PFDs required.
What you’ll need:
If you’re hiking, bring good hiking shoes and comfortable clothing, plenty of water and a snack. Hiking poles are suggested.
Swim suits, sunscreen, and insect repellant. Change of clothes and folding chairs, if desired.
A dish to share. Organizers will ask for a side dish, a dessert or a salad.
Questions can be directed to Rick Roberts at email@example.com
Driving Directions: Belleayre Lake is on Friendship Manor Road and is visible from SR 28 in Pine Hill. Coming from the east it is just before the entrance into Pine Hill. From the west on SR 28 it is 1 mile past Galli-Curci Road (to Belleayre Ski Center) in Highmount.
If you’re unfamiliar with the trails on the Catskill Interpretive Center grounds or are just looking for an opportunity to explore them more thoroughly, CMC Executive Director Wendell George will lead a hike on the entire system as part of the Get Outdoors Day events on June 9th. Join us for a look at the CIC’s sculpture and interpretive trail, a short representative hike in the Catskill woods and a hike out to the Esopus Creek, a notable trout fishing stream which ffeds water into NYC’s Ashokan Reservoir. Much of the hike is on ADA accessible trails.
Learn about best choices for landscaping your yard without introducing invasive ornamentals.
The fight against invasive species in the Catskills and throughout New York is a high priority. the Catskill Regional Invasive Species Partnership is the local agency for this effort. If you would like to volunteer to help, you can get started by attending a CRISP iMapInvasives workshop at the Catskill Interpretive Center on June 2.
Become part of New York’s invasive species early detection network by learning how to use iMapInvasives, an online mapping system shared by citizen scientists, educators, and natural resource professionals. All interested groups are encouraged to help keep the map up-to-date and accurate by reporting invasive species locations and control efforts. You can even use your smartphone to report new findings. The NY Natural Heritage Program will offer free sessions throughout the state this spring, with beginner and advanced levels, plus identification sessions at some of the locations. Visit www.nyimapinvasives.org for schedule details and registration, and contact firstname.lastname@example.org with general questions.
We hope you wll get involved with this critical effort to protect our forests and native species.
iMapInvasives is an online mapping tool that supports efforts to protect New York State from invasive species. Learn about the program and become trained to contribute data by attending an iMapInvasives training session!
When: June 2, 2018 10:00am – 2:00pm
Where: Catskill Interpretive Center 5096 Route 28
Mt. Tremper, NY 12457
9:30am‐10am – Gather and coffee
10:00am‐11:00 am‐ Alternatives to Ornamental Invasive Plants
11:00 am ‐ 12:00pm – Basic iMapInvasives and iMap Mobile app
12:00 pm ‐ 12:30 pm – Brown bag lunch
12:30 pm ‐ 2:00pm – Site visit and how to submit invasive species using the
To Register: visit www.NYiMapInvasives.org
The Invasive Species Database Program is supported by the NYS Environmental Protection Fund through a contract with the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation.
The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) will host a community hike to the summit of Ticeteneyck Mountain on June 2 to celebrate National Trails Day. Participants will meet at 9:30 a.m. at the Catskill Interpretive Center, located at 5096 Route 28 in Mount Tremper. Led by DEP and DEC staff, the CMC is happy to co-host this event.
Hikers will learn about the principles of Leave No Trace, the Catskill Park and Forest Preserve, and Ashokan Reservoir’s role in providing clean drinking water to New York City. Ticeteneyck Mountain is located in Ulster County along the town border of Olive and Woodstock. This moderate hike will comprise a 3.5-mile round trip. The hike follows old woods roads and ridgelines that open to spectacular views of the Catskill Mountains,Shawangunk Mountains and Ashokan Reservoir.
Because the event is limited to 15 people, participants must pre-register by clicking here or by visiting DEP’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/nycwatershed. Participants are also encouraged to bring water, snacks or lunch, and wear proper attire for hiking.
April 10, 2018
Parking has always been a bit tricky for visitors to the Andes Rail Trail and Bullet Hole Spur, but no longer. There has been a great improvement to the parking situation thanks to the Town of Andes, landscaper Mel Bellar and CMC board member Ann Roberti. The entrance to the Trail and to the historic train station has been opened up and improved so that parking is now available adjacent to the trailhead. The trailhead itself has a newly redesigned entrance. The parking area was paved with crushed stone by LaFever Excavating. While there, they generously donated work to improve a long existing drainage problem on the trail. The CMC thanks all those involved in these projects for a great job.
This is a series of nine hikes sponsored by the Catskill Mountain Club (CMC) and led by Team Danger Girl (TDG), a Catskill Mountain-based hiking group. Join members of TDG for a scientific and exploratory engagement with Catskill mountain streams. Dorcinda Knauth and Dany Davis will lead this series of off trail explorations. Dany is a geologist with 17 years of experience studying Catskill Mountain streams and will lead the scientific part of these explorations. Other environmental scientists may join some of the hikes. The theme of these hikes can be along the lines of the saying “the journey is the destination”. In other words, the purpose of these hikes is not to put peaks in a collection bag, so the summit is not the ultimate destination. Instead, the hikes will focus on landscape interpretation, exploring wild sections of popular mountains by following the paths of streams, collecting data for a regional Catskill streams study, and maybe getting to the top of a mountain on some of the hikes.
There will be two categories of hikes: off trail adventurous explorations and trail-side family friendly engagements with streams. Both categories will include plenty of time sharing observations of the stream channel, ecosystem and riparian environment. We will stop often for discussions on the role of streams in the mountains, collecting some data on the stream’s shape and condition, as well as sharing lessons in landscape interpretation.
The family friendly hikes will focus on hands-on engagement in studying a stream at specific stream locations, walking the stream channel corridor to observe changes (expect to get wet) and encourage hikers to appreciate the role of streams in the Catskill environment. If children join, it would be best for the children to be school age and capable of hiking a couple of miles. These hikes will be limited to 10 participants plus the hike leaders (maximum group size is 12-14 depending on the hike).
The adventurous off trail explorations will be stream corridor bushwhacks up/down wild Catskill mountain terrain with some trail hiking. Science will be a central part of these hikes and there may be more stream data collection than in the family friendly hikes. The hikes are rated “Most Difficult” due to the variability of the headwater stream terrain, hiking in steep boulder streams, plenty of downed trees, and the ever present unknown one encounters when heading up/down a steep mountain drainage. Each of these hikes will have a mountain summit destination in mind; however, the science and exploration is the primary goal. Conditions may preclude getting to the top of the mountain. The hikes will be limited to 6-8 people plus the hike leaders (no more than 8-10 hikers total). Please note: your hike leaders will not have previously hiked some of these routes so obstacles to forward progress are unknown for some of these hikes – that is part of the adventure. Each hiker will need to consider themselves expert in off trail hiking in mountains. Footwear should be capable of hiking in and out of water (no sandals!).
See event listing links below for details. Contact Dany Davis at email@example.com with questions about the hikes and to register.
The proposed hikes and schedule are subject to change:
May 5 8AM – Dark
Bear Hole Brook to Van Wyck Mountain. Rating: Most Difficult. Meeting Place: Bear Hole Brook PA on Ulster County Route 42 (Peekamoose Road). The inaugural Bluelines hike will include stream-whacking up Bear Hole Brook to access the Catskill Divide between Van Wyck and Table Mountains. The return trip will be via the Van Wyck ridge. Be prepared for biting insects, loose rocks and other stream scrambling hazards, thick forest, cliffy bits and Catskill yetis. Total Distance: 6-8 miles depending upon the route. NOTE: This hike is full.
June 2 8AM – Dark
Biscuit Brook to Fir Mountain. Rating: Difficult. Meeting place: Biscuit Brook trailhead. This will involve hiking the Biscuit Brook trail to the NYS land/Frost Valley land boundary and then following the stream corridor to the col between Big Indian and Fir Mountains. If Fir Mountain is summited the return trip will be by herdpath and trail back to the Biscuit Brook trailhead, or if adventure prevails the unnamed stream between Fir and Spruce Mountains. There will be ongoing research in this watershed by Colorado State University so we may get some fresh insights into Catskill stream geomorphology! Be prepared for biting insects, stinging nettles, loose boulders and other stream scrambling hazards, thick forest, cliffy bits and Catskill yetis. Total Distance: 8-10 miles depending upon the route. NOTE: This hike is full.
June 23 10AM – 4PM
Explore Kanape Brook watershed to the summit of Ashokan High Point. Rating: Moderate. Meeting Place: Kanape Brook PA in the Town of Olive. The hike will include stopping at specific locations along the brook to observe channel and riparian forest conditions. Data collection will be part of the activities for a local study, and participants will be shown techniques for participation. Be prepared for biting insects, stinging nettles, loose rocks and other stream scrambling hazards, and very excitable stream scientists! Total Distance: ~3 miles for the stream (out and back) or 7-8 if including Ashokan High Point.
July 7 9AM – Dark
West Kill stream to Hunter Mountain. Most Difficult. Meeting place: West Kill Trailhead. This hike is likely to be the most challenging and should only be attempted by those capable of hiking in the Catskill’s most rugged terrain. This will involve hiking the West Kill stream corridor up the drainage toward the summit of Hunter Mountain. The approach to Hunter’s summit will involve very steep terrain in thick balsam forest (what fun!). If Hunter is summited, the hike may take a trail back down or, if adventure prevails take another stream back down. Be prepared for biting insects, loose rocks and other stream scrambling hazards, thick forest, cliffy bits and Catskill yetis. Total Distance: 7-10 miles depending upon the route.
July 21 10AM – 4PM
Explore Rochester Hollow Creek. Rating: Moderate. Meeting place: Rochester Hollow PA in the Town of Shandaken. This will involve meeting at the Rochester Hollow parking area and taking the trail up the valley for approximately 1.5 miles and then returning back to the parking area by way of the stream. The hike will include stopping at specific locations to observe stream channel and riparian forest conditions. Data collection will be part of the activities for a local study, and participants will be shown techniques for participation. Be prepared for biting insects, stinging nettles, Loose rocks and other stream scrambling hazards, and very excitable stream scientists! Total Distance: ~ 3 miles.
August 4 8AM – 7PM
Explore East Branch Neversink River Headwaters and Slide Mountain. Rating: Difficult. Meeting place: Denning PA in the Town of Denning. The hike will start at the East Branch-Phoenicia trail to access the East Branch Neversink River valley. Depending on the ability and interest of the participants we will hike up the East Branch Neversink River or the Deer Shanty Brook toward Slide Mountain. The hike will focus on exploring the valley and stream environment and may include a bushwack summit of Slide Mountain if it seems feasible. Total Distance is variable; assume a minimum 7 miles.
September 15 8AM – 7PM
An exploration of Woodland Creek’s headwaters TBD. Rating: Most Difficult. Meeting Place: Woodland Valley Campground PA. The plan will be to bushwhack across the base of the Wittenberg along NYS land to the headwater reaches of Woodland Creek. From there, the assembled group will pick a route up any of the several branches of Woodland Creek, potentially ascending Slide, Cornell or Wittenberg; or just turning around and heading back to the PA. Be prepared for biting insects, stinging nettles, loose rocks and other stream scrambling hazards, thick forest, cliffy bits and Catskill yetis. Total Distance: ~7-12 miles.
October 13 9AM – 6PM
Cascade Brook to Panther Mountain/Giant Ledge. Rating: Difficult. Meeting Place: Giant Ledge PA. The hike will include walking down CR47 to Cascade Brook (~1 mile) to reach the stream route up Panther Mountain then walking along the left descending side of the stream to stay on NYS land for the first 0.5 miles. After that, the hike stays in the stream drainage until it disappears in the talus below Panther’s summit. The route up Panther will be along a SW-trending ridge to the summit view point. From there the return hike is via trail to Giant Ledge and back to the PA. Be prepared for biting insects, loose rocks and other stream scrambling hazards, thick forest, cliffy bits and Catskill yetis. Total Distance: ~7 miles.
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.
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!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Well behaved dogs with permission of the hike leader (email email@example.com).
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.
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.
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
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.