The DEC is currently working to improve public safety at Kaaterskill Falls after several deaths in recent years. They ask that you avoid going to the Falls entirely this summer.
The Laurel House Road Trail and parking area will be closed for the remainder of the summer and fall. You can still access the falls from 23A however the trail past the wooden fence is closed, anyone found either past the fence or on the Laurel House road side will be ticketed by the DEC.
This is to allow the DEC to build new stairs and other improvements that will make Kaaterskill Falls a safer and more enjoyable experience for all. Please give the DEC and contractors the space they need for yours and their safety. Work should be completed by the end of the work season, keep checking the trail update page for the latest information.
More details on the work and the closures can be found here: http://www.dec.ny.gov/press/102427.html
Our friends at the Watershed Post have compiled a list of other great places to visit —
And we have our own list of 20 Favorite Hikes as well as a more complete list of Outdoor Activities by Catskill Region — Hiking, Cycling, etc.
Now that our harsh Winter of 2015 seems over, hikers are preparing for getting into the woods. We have had several recent inquiries about the Catskills All Trails Challenge that we think many hikers might like to know about.
Several people have asked if hikers must complete road walks when trail segments connect via a road route. The answer is no. The CATs Challenge is to hike the hiking trails.
Some people have wondered about multi-use trails. CATs hikers must hike multi-use trails when one of the designated uses is hiking. You do not need to hike trails that are designated for cycling, equestrian or snowmobile use.
Due to some recent changes to the trail system in the Bluestone Wild Forest, our list of trails has been updated. (You can download it on the CATs page.) The Jockey Hill – Wintergreen Ridge Trail succeeds the Jockey Hill Trial. The entire trail is marked yellow. The distances for the three Onteora Lake Trails (red, blue and yellow) have been adjusted, but the trails remain the same. The most recent map is available on the DEC website: http://www.dec.ny.gov/docs/lands_forests_pdf/recmapbswf.pdf
We will begin posting hikes on some of the less well known and used Catskill Park trails shortly. Please join us for the fun of these explorations in search of sights and features seldom seen.
If you have questions about the CATs Challenge, please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org. or ask them in the comments section at the bottom of the CATs page. We are happy to clarify any issues and know that many people will find the answers useful.
Hardy CMC members braved the cold to cross country ski at Mountain Trails in Tannersville, Presidents’ Day 2015
We did have the sense to postpone it to Monday from Sunday though.
Ice skating is another wonderful family activity, as well as great exercise. You don’t need to know what a salchow is to have a great time out on the ice.
The Town of Delhi, in Delaware County, opened an ice skating rink last year, and it is in frozen operation right now. The rink is located in Sheldon Park near Delware Academy. The Town of Delhi website says “Ice Skating 2015 Opening Day – Saturday, January 10 — Borrow skates for free on site…or just stand by the fire and watch the cool kids skate”.
Another area rink was just opened in Downsville, in Pepaction Park. Two Downsville women who created the Best Dam 5k in 2013 have turned their efforts and the money raised by the run, to create a free public skating rink. The Oneonta Daily Star has more details on this terrific effort, here.
Other area rinks are:
- Badgley Park in the Village of Middleburgh
- Livingston Manor rink in Rotary Park on Pleasant Street in Livingston Manor — it has a Facebook page! (Pleasant St. is one block southwest of the stoplight on Main Street)
- Hodges Pond, Oneonta — ice conditions can be checked by calling 607-432-7997
- Windham Adventure Park
- If your taste in rinks goes more to the indoor, well groomed rinks, Saugerties has what you’re looking for in the Kiwanis Arena
- The Empire State Plaza in Albany has turned into Empire Skate Plaza.
- Mohonk Mountain House, in New Paltz, has a refrigerated rink in their Pavillion
- Of course, if you don’t mind travelling further afield, Lake Placid has many skating options
Note that except for the Saugerties and Mohonk indoor rinks, these rinks are subject to the vagaries of our weather. Ice conditions aren’t guaranteed. Some of these rinks have contacts to call to check conditions and others you’ll have to chance. Many, but not all, of the above rinks are free to skate.
If you know of any other ice skating rinks in the Catskill region, please let us know!
Catskill Mountain Club
January 30, 2015
Contact: Ann Roberti 845-676-3643
The Catskill Mountain Club and Andes Works! announce that they are the recipient of an additional grant from Parks and Trails New York for work on the Andes Rail Trail. Grant funds were received from PTNY in December to allow the groups to purchase and install a trail registration box and three interpretive signs for the Andes Rail Trail.
The registration box, built by Andes resident Fred Reckner, has already been installed on the trail and is recording the comings and goings as well as comments of users of the trail. The information garnered from the trail registers is invaluable for planning trail maintenance, for future trail building projects and to support discussions with town governments, business leaders and communities about the benefits of these trails.
“I have always wanted to have an interpretive sign near the old train turntable on the Rail Trail to show trail users how the operators of the train turned the locomotives 180 degrees using only human power and well-designed mechanisms. It is a fascinating piece of history on the trail that people pass without even noticing” says Ann Roberti, the CMC leader of the Rail Trail project. “Having an interpretive sign with pictures and a description of the turntable will be a wonderful addition to the trail.”
Also planned are signs focusing on additional history as well as the flora and fauna of the trail.
The Andes Rail Trail has previously received grants from Parks and Trails NY which funded the construction of the kiosk and roadside sign as well as the printing of an informational brochure and map.
For more information about the Andes Rail Trail, see the link in Where to Go, above. To learn about becoming a member of the Catskill Mountain Club, click on the Join/Renew/Donate link above. To volunteer for our trail building/trail maintenance work, email Wendell at catskillmountainclub.org.
It is really amazing out here in the mountains now! Now that the first real snow has arrived in the Catskills, it’s time to break out the snowshoes and cross country skis, grab your camera and get out there!
With the right equipment, anyone can have an amazing time!
If your idea of snowshoes is still oversize wooden tennis rackets, you have to look again. Snowshoeing is easier and more fun than ever. New snowshoes are lighter and have teeth to keep the traction on the uphills. Morgan Outdoors in Livingston Manor, the Storehouse in Phoenicia and Mountain Trails in Tannersville are some local outfitters that rent snowshoes, a great way to give it a try. You can snowshoe just about anywhere you can hike, but Rail Trails are great for snow shoeing and Palmer Hill and Shavertown are places we’ve enjoyed lately.
Cross Country Skiing has also seen improvements in equipment. Again, you can rent equipment to give it a try — cross country skiing is free at Belleayre Mountain and ski rentals are available at Jimmy’s Ski Shop at the base of Belleayre. Other great places to ski for free are the Catskills Scenic Trail (packed down by snowmobiles — you’ll be sharing the trail with these courteous folks who have a different idea of outdoor recreation from us) and the Andes Rail Trail. Mountain Trails in Tannersville has ski rentals and groomed trails. And new, this winter, the Storehouse in Phoenicia is renting skis.
CMC Board Member and NYNJ Trail Conference Senior Program Coordinator, Jeff Senterman, has some great winter hiking tips in the blog, Adventures in the Outdoors.
The NYNJ Trail Conference maintains a Catskill Mountain Trail conditions page here, and the 3500 Club has a summary of winter trailhead parking area plowing here – keep in mind it may not be 100% accurate any given year — you should always carry a shovel because you might even need to dig out of a parking area after your hike.
If you don’t know what the lucky few of us already know, that hiking in the winter is a different and glorious experience, come and learn more at the Winter Gear and Gab at Spillian in Fleischmanns on December 14th from 1 to 4 pm. This event is free and open to the public but you must register by Friday 12/12/2014 (see below).
Avid Catskills hiker, CMC Board Member and Trail Conference Catskills Assistant Program Coordinator, Heather Rolland, will present a short program exploring getting started and getting inspired to get outside this winter, with a focus on gear, safety, and special concerns for kids and dogs while in the great outdoors.
Will Soter, the NYNJTC’s Trails Chair for the southern Catskills, will lead a walk on the Spillian grounds, and discuss the many volunteer opportunities available on local trails.
Local outfitters Kenco The Work & Play Outfitter, Catskill Mountain Storehouse and Morgan Outdoors will be on hand to answer questions about winter gear, offer suggestions for must haves and stocking stuffers, and yes – they will have a wonderful array of great stuff to help you get outside and play.
Refreshments will be served.
With the right gear, anyone can enjoy getting out this winter!
Saturday, November 15th was the first day of “regular” deer hunting season, which continues until December 7th. It is followed by muzzle loading and late bow season which go from 12/8 to 12/16.
That doesn’t mean you have to stay out of the woods for these 4 weeks. You can continue to hike if you follow some common sense practices in hunting season:
• Avoid hiking close to dawn and dusk when hunters are more likely to be in the woods
• Wear blaze orange – hats, pack covers, jackets, etc. Do not wear white, which can be mistaken for the flash of a deer’s tail.
• Don’t forget about orange for your pets as well.
• Stay on trails. This is not the best time of year to bushwhack in areas open to hunting.
• Hike where deer, and therefore hunters, are less likely to be found. Don’t hike in areas that you know are popular with hunters.
• If you hear hunters or gunshots, announce in a loud but polite voice, “Hikers on Trail”
Opening weekend is always the busiest for hunters so consider hiking where hunting isn’t allowed. Check nearby state park regulations here and also check propertiess held by land conservancy organizations.
There is no hunting allowed on the newly opened Delhi Trails, a wonderful hiking experience! Check it out if you have not hiked it yet. Click here to see more about the Delhi Trails.
If you haven’t tried the Walkway over the Hudson, it’s another great hunting season option. The walkway is 1.3 miles and it is connected to a 3.5 mile paved trail west of the Hudson River and 13 miles east of the Hudson.
October 3, 2014 The Catskill Mountain Club is excited to announce the Catskills All Trails Challenge. If you needed a new excuse, uh “reason”, to go hiking in our beautiful Catskill Park, here it is!
For many years our friends at the Catskill 3500 Club have offered an incentive to share in the joy of climbing each of the Catskill peaks that stand more than 3500 feet high. Thousands of hikers have taken that challenge, met the requirements and been thrilled with the experience.
Now the CMC is offering an opportunity for a different kind of Catskills hiking accomplishment. The new Catskills All Trails (CATs) patch will be awarded to individuals who successfully hike all of the 87 designated hiking trails in the Park, totaling 349.3 miles of trails. Upon completion, hikers will be awarded a Certificate of Completion, recognizing their accomplishment. They will also receive a Catskill Park All Trails patch and shirt to commemorate their feat. But more than anything, they’ll come to know and love all that the Catskills offer to those who enjoy the great outdoors.
The CMC is proud to encourage hikers to explore all parts of the Catskills. Indeed, one of the club’s most important goals is to expose the public to the tremendous hiking in our region, whether to the summits of the high peaks, on the many smaller mountains that offer equally spectacular and sublime views, or in the hollows and valleys with their streams, waterfalls and ponds. Every part of the Catskill Park and region holds great hiking experiences for hikers of all interests and abilities. This new award will honor the most intrepid hikers for their efforts exploring all that the Catskill Park has to offer. Really, what better excuse do you need?
Whether you’re a day hiker or a backpacker, to get started simply go to the CATs page on this website, download the list of trails, grab your boots and gear and GO!
Show your support for the CMC in style! The CMC’s gear selection has grown to include our very popular moisture wicking tees in a new long sleeve version. We’ve also added some new short sleeve colors, so check those out too. Same great performance and quality at a very affordable price!
Look for them at the CMC’s 10th Anniversary Dinner during the Catskills Lark in the Park, Sunday October 12th at the Catamount Restaurant in Mt. Tremper.
You can also purchase CMC gear online. All prices include sales tax, shipping and handling.
The CMC fall newsletter is out — read about the upcoming CMC dinner, October 12th, and the Catskills Lark in the Park….
As a founding partner of the Catskills Lark in the Park, the CMC takes great pride in the wealth of various outdoor activities offered each year to recreational enthusiasts during this great celebration of the Catskill Park’s founding. These events are led by volunteers from many organizations that regularly organize outings in the Catskill region. Many are led by CMC members.
Together with our partners, the Catskill Center, the New York/New Jersey Trail Conference and the NYS DEC, we look forward to seeing you out and about in the Catskills this year from October 4 through October 13. Come for one event or for 10 days full of activities. Pick your pleasure from hikes, paddles, cycling trips, natural and cultural explorations, educational events and more – truly something for everyone!
After the Lark, regular CMC scheduling will resume.
August 30, 2014 – The Catskill Mountain Club opened the newly constructed Delhi Trails on Saturday, August 30. The well attended ceremony was held at the trailhead in the Immanuel Lutheran Church parking lot on SR 28 in Delhi. Amy Beveridge, project coordinator and CMC board member, welcomed the crowd and thanked several community organizations and property owners for their support in making the new trails possible. The Delhi Trails were built on lands that belong to the Delaware Academy Central Schools, to the Village of Delhi and to the Immanuel Lutheran Church. They were built with the assistance and financial support of the Town of Delhi, the Bassett Healthcare Network O’Connor Hospital, the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Delaware County, the Rural Health Alliance, the Catskill Ladies Association to Support and Inspire (C.L.A.S.I.) and by SUNY Delhi. Many individuals came out to help with construction, and their efforts were greatly appreciated by all.
After the brief remarks, the crowd headed out onto the trails for an inaugural hike. The weather was perfect and so were the trails as nearly 40 people enjoyed the beautiful woods, cliffs and views. The three trails, two named for characters in the novel My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George and one in honor of the Delaware Academy mascot Bulldogs, together cover about 4.5 miles and offer the option of shorter hikes of varying degrees of difficulty. The longer Gribley Trail crosses the mountain ridge above the village in a little over three miles. The Bulldog Run can be combined wih a section of the Gribley to create a loop hike of over two miles. And the Frightful Falls Trail is a short connector, the steepness of which makes its name seem appropriate.
This trail project is another built by the CMC to bring hiking opportunities closer to Catskill communities. The trails are designed to accommodate hikers of all ages and most abilities. The CMC feels that these trails will contribute to the physical, social and economic health of our communities. Offering the ability to easily access a place to go for a hike, however long or short, is an important way to help individuals maintain their health. The availability of a nearby place to spend time alone or with friends, family and children will offer a wonderful opportunity for relaxation, fun and meaningful time spent together in an awe inspiring and peaceful setting. And visitors from near and far will avail themselves of the services provided by local businesses when they come to town for a hike. We are convinced that everyone will benefit in some way from the presence of these new trails and that the Catskills will become an even better place to live and to visit.
For more information about the trails, including maps, visit the CMC website at catskillmountainclub.org. And please consider becoming a member while you’re there. Your support will help with our work to improve outdoor recreational facilities and access in the Catskills.
The NYS DEC has decided to implement a new bear hunting season in the Catskills. The early season begins September 6 and runs until September 21. This additional hunting season coincides with one of the most attractive and busy hiking seasons in the Catskills. Because plants continue to be fully leafed out, visibility will be more difficult for all concerned and extra caution is important.
The CMC urges all hikers to wear blaze orange caps and/or vests when hiking. It is advisable to hike in groups in order to increase visibility and draw attention to your presence in the woods. Be observant, be careful and be safe.
Another CMC Trail Opening! Join us on August 30th at 2 pm in Delhi to celebrate the creation of the newest trail.
August 15, 2014 – The CMC, in partnership with key community members and organizations including Village, Town, and the School boards, Immanuel Lutheran Church and O’Connor Hospital created this lovely multi-route trail system. Meet at the Immanuel Lutheran Church parking lot at 2:00 p.m. and join Catskill Mountain Club members and volunteers as they lead guided hikes on the four miles of much anticipated, newly established hiking trails.
The Delhi hiking trails consist of over four miles of hiking trails, named for beloved characters in the classic 1959 children’s novel My Side of Mountain which was set in Delhi.
Read more about the Delhi Trails here in the press release
August 12, 2014 – The Summer 2014 CMC News is chock full of interesting news and information. Learn some valuable tips for taking that perfect photograph on your hike. Find out about the Finger Lakes Trail and its 90 mile plus route through the Catskills. Read about how to have a good time hiking while improving your physical fitness (yes, even couch potatoes can hike)! Check it out here.
Did you know that you can get the CMC News sent to your inbox for free? We’d love to have you join the club, but if you’d like to give it a test drive first you can sign up for the newsletter and our announcements via email here. Just provide your contact information and check yes for “Send Me All Event Announcement Emails”. You can unsubcribe at any time by clicking the link at the bottom of the announcement.
To read the full story, click the image and go to page 7.
You can now print your own map of The Palmer Hill Trail, the Shavertown Trail and the Andes Rail Trail/Bullet Hole Spur. You can also see them live and interactive!
|Trail||Printable Map||Live Map|
Palmer Hill Trail
|Click Here to Open Printable Map||Click Here|
|Click Here To Open Printable Map||Click Here|
Andes Rail Trail/
Bullet Hole Spur
|Click Here To Open Printable Map||Click Here|
Driving directions to the three trails can be found here
Map software provided by www.MappingSupport.com
June 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.
The 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.
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.
Many 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.
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
May 15, 2014 – The Spring Newsletter is here! We invite you to read here. There’s a great article on hiking with your dog, a book review, updates on the club goings on and the announcement of our new Lifetime Membership! And news about the great new CMC wicking shirts and caps
April 15, 2014 – This is the view you’ll have at the start of the Palmer Hill Trail. Yesterday the CMC got approval from the DEP for the route we’ve planned, and work will begin on the trail very soon. The Palmer Hill trail will be a very different Catskills hiking experience, taking you through beautiful open fields with ancient trees and stone walls in addition to wooded portions. At the right time of year you can even find a snack as there are several great apple trees near the trail.
Look for the grand opening of this trail on June 7th! If you are interested in helping with trail building and haven’t already signed up as a trail worker, please email Wendell@CatskillMountainClub.org.
April 10, 2014 – A big Thank You to Peter Senterman and Kaatskill Life for this great article on the Andes Rail Trail/Bullet Hole Spur and the Shavertown Trail.
The article states: “All in all, this is one of the nicest trails in the area, interesting in its variety, and a comfortable trail for those who like to wander in the woods. It is short enough to walk in a couple of hours, and interesting enough for repeated visits. The Catskill Mountain Club did a superb job with this trail. Congratulations!”
We couldn’t agree more!
Hopefully they’ll like the coming Palmer Hill trail just as much.
(click the picture or here to read the article)
Discover & Explore the NEW Andes Rail Trail
by Pete Senterman
Reprinted with permission from Kaatskill Life, Spring 2014
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.
March 3,2014 – Want to learn more about cycling in the Catskills? Check out a great post from Anton Tutter, co-author of the cycling blog, Riding the Catskills, which chronicles off-the-beaten-path cycling routes in the region. In this post, he shares his adventures cycling over some beautiful, rugged Delaware County roads as he “pass hunts” his way from Bloomville to Bovina to Andes and back to Bloomville. His description and photos will have you longing for bicycling weather – as if this winter wasn’t already doing that for some. Check out other rides in the Catskills at the rest of the website as well.
Last summer, Anton wrote: “I recently rode a hilly 45-mile route that connects three neighboring villages to retrace childhood memories; each holds fond memories for me. But more relevant to this post, cycling between these villages is a fun adventure in pass hunting– the sport of riding over mountain passes towards a goal of having completed a defined number of passes within a region. Popular in France (rules of the game), it’s gaining popularity here in the US. It’s sort of the cycling equivalent of hiking clubs, where the goal is to have hiked over a defined group of mountain peaks. So instead of following major roads between the villages that skirt around and thereby avoid the mountains, I opt to ride up and over the mountains along the most remote, least traveled mountain passes and carriage roads I can find, choosing dirt over pavement wherever possible”.
You’ve heard about the Asian Longhorn Beetle, the Emerald Ash Borer — now learn about the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid.
On Saturday, March 8, 2014, join Mine Kill State Park staff, regional biologists and the Student Conservation Association to learn about the hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA) and its terrible effect on New York’s eastern hemlock trees. There will be an informative presentation on the history, origins and current status of HWA in New York State by Cornell University Professor, Mark Whitmore. Following the presentation, participants will split into groups and learn how to survey hemlock trees for the presence of HWA. Data collected from the survey will be used to construct a comprehensive management plan for HWA at Mine Kill State Park. Additional surveys will provide further information on the status effort to contain HWA and preserve as many of Mine Kill’s beautiful hemlocks as possible.
And the adelgids don’t stop at the park’s borders.
March 8th, 10am to 2pm at the New York Power Authority Blenheim-Gilboa Visitors Center located on State Route 30 in North Blenheim, NY.
The program is free of charge to the public. A chili lunch and other refreshments will be provided.
Click the flyer to learn more.