News And Announcements

Parking Problems at Overlook Mountain Trailhead

IMG-20160312-00606 These pictures are from a recent weekend at the Meads trailhead on Overlook Mountain. The popularity of the hike means that the trailhead parking area is full to capacity early on any weekend and on many other days, too. People then park on the sides of the road, often illegally, which creates hazardous conditions for drivers and pedestrians. The narrow road can become difficult for IMG-20160312-00593emergency vehicles to use, so it is crucial that hikers park legally. You can download a map of the area below, which will help you avoid getting a parking ticket.     Overlook_parking

 

 

 

 

 

Print PDF map here: Overlook_parking

IMMEDIATE ACTION NEEDED! LET’S STAND TOGETHER FOR THE CATSKILL PARK AND FOREST PRESERVE!

March 14, 2016

IMG_4171crOver the next several days, the NY State budget for the coming fiscal year will be drawn up. It is crucial that New Yorkers act now to support the budget request for a line in the Environmental Protection Fund designating $4M for the Catskill Park and Forest Preserve. Never before have we had such an opportunity to secure support for the ongoing infrastructure, environmental protection, and community development needs of our Park. When enacted, this budget line will, for the first time, allow long term planning and timely response to developing needs in the Catskills. As we deal with issues from invasive species management to stewardship of our vast public lands and ecosystem, from maintenance and development of recreational facilities to plans for the increasingly greater tourism in the Catskill Park and region, it is incumbent on us to put in place the means for addressing these needs. By securing a line in the annual state budget, we will have the ability to do this important work. The Assembly and the Senate Democrats have agreed to our request. We now need Senate Republicans to sign on.

PLEASE take a minute right now to show your support for the Catskill Park. Catskill Park Coalition member Catskill Mountainkeeper has posted a letter online that you can sign onto. Click here to be taken to the letter: http://www.catskillmountainkeeper.org/park_budget.  Just fill in the required fields and your letter will be delivered. When you’ve finished, please pick up the phone and call Governor Cuomo’s office (518-474-8390) and let him know that you support a dedicated $4M Catskills line in the EPF.

If you live in the Catskills, you can have a significant additional impact by calling your state senator. Their districts and phone numbers are as follows:

James Seward,     S 51               (607) 432-5524

John Bonacic,       S 42               (845) 344-3311

George Amedore, S 46               (845) 331- 3810

The CMC in partnership with nearly 30 other area organizations formed the Catskill Park Coalition to better represent the needs of our Park and area to our state and local government leaders. The fact that we are in a position to accomplish such a significant goal is testament to that vision, to our work and to the support of our communities.

Thank you for your support of this important initiative!

 

Welcome to the (very exclusive) Club

IMG_3627crThe CMC is happy to announce that two more long time hikers have qualified for the Catskills All Trails Challenge Certificate of Completion. Kathy Mario (#18) and Jim Gebhard (#19) completed the requirements this winter. Both Jim and Kathy say that they were encouraged by friends who are themselves qualifiers! That makes us feel like we’ve started something pretty cool.

The Challenge attracts dedicated hikers, new and experienced, to our 350 miles of hiking trails, all of which must be hiked in order to qualify for the awards. Nope, you can’t buy a membership, nor can you buy the shirt or the patch. Not with money, anyway. A little blood, sweat and tears will do. You can learn more about it here.

Watershed Steward Program

cannonsville2Many of us who paddle the Pepacton Reservoir frequently tout its many charms to other paddlers and would-be paddlers.  We also pick up litter and debris we find, and help people who want to know how they can paddle, sail or fish on the Reservoir.  The DEP is looking for people who are interested in doing this in a more formal manner, as part of their pilot Watershed Stewards Program.   If you’d like to join us and become part of this program, click here to learn more and then contact

Lydia Lewis at the DEP at (845) 340-7855 or llewis@dep.nyc.gov

We hope to see you at the training session on March 30th at 6:30 at the Catskill Watershed Corp. in Margaretville.

CATSKILL PARK AWARENESS DAY IS A GREAT SUCCESS

NYS Capitol in winter_commonsimage45 volunteers from the CMC and our Catskill Park Coalition partners paid a visit to Albany yesterday to talk with some 47 members of the New York State Senate and Assembly. We took the message of our plans and needs for the Catskill Park, and its role as a main economic driver for our region, seeking support for funding a wide variety of priorities to improve and protect this great natural ecosystem and recreational destination. These included funds to fight invasive species, build and improve infrastructure, and support programs that help our visitors better enjoy their time in the Catskills. (Read more about our goals and how you can help: https://catskillparkawarenessday.splashthat.com/) CMC President Rick Roberts and Vice President Wendell George served as team leaders for the day, along with six other partners. We are happy to report that we received a great deal of encouragement and support from many of the legislators that we visited.

While there, the Coalition delivered over 1835 petitions of support for our requests to the governor from members of the public. The following weeks will be very important to our success. So, if you have not already, please click on the link above and use it to find and contact your representatives in Albany. Let them know of your support for our efforts. All New Yorkers, and especially those who reside in or love to recreate in the Catskills, will benefit from our success as we BUILD A MODERN PARK.

Catskill Park Awareness Day 2016 – A Time for Action

IMG_2783On February 9, the CMC and some 30 partner organizations of the Catskill Park Coalition will head to Albany to deliver a call to action to our state government leaders. The message will focus their attention on the needs and aspirations of our region and, especially those of the Catskill Park.

Even while we suffered massive cuts in funding for stewardship, planning and capital improvements during the recent great recession, we have had a huge increase in usage. Economic realities that saw many people focus their travel plans closer to home have now combined with increases in visitors from around the world. From feature articles naming the Catskills one of the top “must visit” destinations in the world (see here and here) to Governor Cuomo’s recently announced initiative to spend $5M on advertising to promote the Catskills worldwide, we realize that these important achievements mean that we must rise to the occasion to meet the challenges that the increased use of our recreational assets will bring. On the basis of this knowledge, we are seeking funding for a number of programs and initiatives that will help address these needs.

Please take a look at our list of priorities on the web page linked to here. You will find a sample letter that you can use to send a message of support to your state legislators. You’ll also find a petition to sign that will be delivered with our requests. Your support is crucial to our success, so please act now. It will take a few minutes to inform yourself and act, but the positive results for the Catskills that we love will last for years.

The January 2016 Newsletter is out!

January 2016 NewsletterClick to read
newsletterJan2016picture

 

 

4th Annual “Christmas Decorating is for the Birds Hike” on the Andes Rail Trail, Sunday, December 13th at noon

Join the Catskill Mountain Club for the 4th Annual “Christmas Decorating is for the Birds Hike” on the Andes Rail Trail, Sunday, December 13th at noon.

‘Tis the Season, and we’re planning our annual “Feed the Birds Hike” on the Andes Rail Trail. Join us on Sunday December 13 at 12 noon. Meet at the Andes Rail Trail on Cabin Hill Road, just outside the village. Bring something that will feed the birds, to hang on the tree in the field just passed the boardwalk. We’ll spread cheer amongst ourselves and at the same time help to soften the extreme hardness of the Catskill winters.

After the hike we will enjoy snacks at the newly restored Train Station. Bring something to share (holiday treats, snacks, goodies, drinks).

Leashed, well behaved dogs are welcome.

RSVP to aroberti@catskill.net

Nov. 21 – Dec. 13 | Regular Deer and Bear Hunting Season for 2015

New York’s rifle hunting season for deer and bear begins on Saturday, November 21 and ends on Sunday, December 13. This is followed by a week of muzzleloading and crossbow hunting from December 14 until December 22. Opening weekend is always the busiest for hunters.

The CMC suggests that you hike in areas where hunting is prohibited or unlikely during this season. The Delhi Trails, the Andes Rail Trail, the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail, the Marbletown O&W Rail Trail and the Walkway Across the Hudson are good choices. Much of Minnewaska State Park Preserve is free of hunting. Other nearby state parks with no hunting are Robert V. Riddell near Oneonta, Mills-Norrie near Staatsburg and Highland Lakes near Middletown. Check nearby state park regulations here and also check properties held by land conservancy organizations.

If you are hiking in the Catskill Forest Preserve, choose your route wisely. Hunting is rare on many of the Catskill High Peaks. Look for trails that are steep and avoid relatively flat areas and/or areas that are readily accessible by motor vehicle.  Be aware that many DEP properties allow hunting. Check here. The CMC urges all hikers to wear blaze orange caps and/or vests when hiking. It is a good idea 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.

• Avoid hiking close to dawn and dusk when hunters are more likely to be in the woods. Weekends are the busiest time.
• 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. Don’t bushwhack in areas open to hunting at this time of year.
• 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 voice, “Hikers on Trail”.

Great Start to Lark in the Park 2015

AnnAndScreetchOwlThe first day of the Catskills Lark in the Park 2015 was rainy and raw, causing some events to be postponed or cancelled.  The would-be Pepacton paddlers headed instead to Woodchuck Lodge with hopes of clearing weather and a late afternoon paddle after getting an up close look at many wonderful birds.  We didn’t get to paddle, but we had a great time seeing and learning about Great Horned Owls, Barred Owls, Barn Owls, Screetch Owls, Red Tail Hawks, Broad Wing Hawks and Kestrels.  A couple of us even got a turn holding owls!

The weather couldn’t have been nicer for Sunday’s events….here are a few pictures from the bird program and the Shavertown Trail Hike.  Here is Annie Mardiney, Wildlife Rehabilitator with a few of her charges:

IMG_6115 kestrelAnnieMardiney

 

 

 

 

 

The Shavertown Trail

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The Catskills Lark in the Park is Under Way!

During the 10 days from October 3 thru October 12, the Catskill Mountain Club along with our partners, the New York/New Jersey Trail Conference and the Catskill Center for Conservation and Development, host the 2015 Catskills Lark in the Park. The premier annual event celebrating the outdoor recreational opportunities available in the Catskills, as well as lectures and other events exploring diverse topics about the history of and conservation efforts in the Catskills, the Lark in the Park offers over 50 events to hikers, paddlers, cyclists and so many others.

Join us for these ten days of fall color adventure. To check the schedule and register for our events, visit CatskillsLark.org.

Fall hike to Belleayre Ridge

View from Belleayre Ridge

View from Belleayre Ridge

The weather couldn’t have been finer for the Catskill Mountain Club’s recent hike to Belleayre Ridge. The views from the deck of Sunset Lodge to the south and at the top of the ski trails to the north were clear and cloud free. Continue reading

We’ve entered the double digits in the Catskills All Trails Challenge!

Congratulations to our Catskills All Trails Challenge Finishers!

#1 David White
#2 Ralph Bressler
#3 Carol White
#4 Mike Dwyer
#5 Ellen Dwyer
#6 George Grzyb
#7 Laura Smith
#8 Ken Morgan
#9 Mark Petrie
#10 Tom Martone
#11 Jim Bryden
#12 Laurel Bryden
#13 Heather Rolland
#14 Rick Taylor
#15 Steve Emanuel

If you’d like to know more about this great milestone of Catskills Hiking, read more …..

Trail Maintenance at Eagle Mountain

The Catskill Mountain Club’s 2015 trail maintenance efforts continued on Wednesday, September 9 as several CMC members ventured out to maintain the Pine Hill-West Branch trail over Eagle and Haynes mountains. Continue reading

The Summer Newsletter is here

Click on the image to view the newsletter
Summer2015Newsletter

Saturday August 8th, 2 pm, Hike the Andes Rail Trail and Bullet Hole Spur

FernGladesmJoin the Catskill Mountain Club on an Andes Community Day walk on the Andes Rail Trail and Bullet Hole Spur.  The hike begins at 2pm to give participants time to enjoy the parade, fun, food and other goings on around Andes for Community Day.

The group will walk on the railbed portion of the trail and will then separate into two groups, one continuing on the Bullet Hole Spur and another returning to the trailhead.

2 miles round trip for railbed only portion, 4 miles round trip for rail trail and Bullet Hole Spurt.

No advanced registration necessary — just show up at the trailhead on Cabin Hill Road at 2:00 pm.

DIRECTIONS: Meet at the train depot on Cabin Hill Road/CR 2 just past the flashing red light in downtown Andes

Learn more about the Trail

Very Limited Access to Kaaterskill Falls

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 —

10 Catskill Mountain Waterfalls to Visit

Places to swim in the Catskills

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.

 

POSTPONED – Hike Ashokan High Point

Come walk the Ashokan High Point Trail and hike along the Kanape Brook on your way to the great views at Ashokan High Point. Elevation of 3080 feet makes this mountain a hundred highest. The hike is approximately 7 miles and is strenuous. Come discover this lovely trail with me in Summer and maybe we will get to pick berries together!

Bring lunch and plenty of water (at least 2 quarts). Wear moisture wicking clothing and good hiking shoes. Well behaved dogs are permitted.

You can register by phone or email by Friday, July 10th .  After that please use PHONE ONLY. Must leave a reachable contact phone for use on evening before/ morning of hike with your name to be registered on hike, please.

Contact Deanna at felicetta.deanna@gmail.com    Phone 845- 216-2021.

Directions: NYNJTC Catskill Trail Map 141 – Kanape Brook. Trailhead is on Peekamoose Road (CR 42), best accessed from SR 28 to 28A, to West Shokan, then to Rte. 42/Watson Hollow Rd. going West. From SR 17 take Liberty exit to 55/ 55A, on to Rte. 151 and Peekamoose Road (CR 42).

Monday, June 15 – From our friends at the Catskill Conservation Corps

Help Improve the Kaaterskill Falls Trail on June 15, 2015

KaaterskillFallsJoin the Catskill Conservation Corps and the Trail Conference’s Catskills Trail Crew on the Kaaterskill Falls Trail as we work to improve this trail.

For more info and to sign up to help visit: http://catskillconservationcorps.org/2015/05/06/help-improve-the-kaaterskill-falls-trail-on-june-15-2015/

The Finger Lakes Trail in the Catskills – Talk and Hike! June 6th

On National Trails Day, Saturday, June 6th at 1:00pm, Rick Roberts, Catskill Mountain Club President and Catskill Maintenance Coordinator for the Finger Lakes Trail (FLT) will be at Morgan Outdoors in Livingston Manor, NY to present an overview of the 90-mile section of the trail as is makes its way through the Catskills.

The talk will touch on the history of the 570-mile FLT, the governing body of the Finger Lakes Trail Conference, and the highlights of the FLT in the Catskills, starting near the Cannonsville reservoir and ending near Slide Mt. Items to be handed out will include maps of the Catskill portion of the FLT, information cards, and copies of the Finger Lakes Trail News.

To reserve a seat, call Lisa at 845 439 5507. Directions available at www.morgan-outdoors.com. This free public event is sponsored by the Catskill Mountain Club, with support from Morgan Outdoors.

Following the talk Rick will lead a 2.5 mile hike to Split Rock along the FLT section comprising the Mary Smith and Pelnor Hollow Trails. This hike is relatively easy with only one steep section as we near the Split Rock overlook. The hike will start at the Mary Smith trailhead on Holliday/Berry Brook Rd. at approximately 2:30 pm.

Morgan Outdoors will lend Leki hiking poles at no cost to the first 6 people who reserve them in celebration of National Trails Day.

May 29th, 11 am. Grand Opening and hike for the new FLT, Pines Lookout Fire Tower Trail

Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting and hike for the new FLT, Pines Lookout Fire Tower Trail.   Location:  Intersection of NYS Rte 10 and NYS Rte 268 on the Cannonsville Reservoir, 12 miles west of Walton on Rte 10.  The hike is a 7 mile loop with strenuous sections and an elevation gain of 1000′.

Saturday, May 9, 2015 1:00 PM – Community Fit Day Hike

Join CMC Board Member Amy Beveridge for a Community Fit Day Hike.

Delhi, NY, Hike the Delhi Trails, Bulldog Run Loop (2.3 miles) This hike is geared toward everyone from the beginner to avid hiker. The terrain is a moderately difficult; hikers should expect two strenuous short inclines to start and a wooded path with trees lining both sides of the trail for most of the way. Friendly, leashed dogs are welcome. Children under 15 must be accompanied by an adult. Please wear sturdy footwear, comfortable clothes, and bring a bottle of water. Leave no trace rules (If you carry it in, you carry it out) will be reviewed prior to the hike and obeyed during the event. This hike is part of Delhi’s Community Fit Day.  A donation for the Heart of the Catskills Humane Society is strongly encouraged. Suggested items for donation include: paper towels, non clumping cat litter, cash/check.

R.S.V.P to Amy Beveridge at (607) 278-5461 or email albeveridge04@gmail.com.

For more information about Community Fit Day Details visit http://www.clasiladies.com/community-fit-day.html.

For details and a map of the Delhi Trails, click here

Meet at 1 at the Immanuel Lutheran Church,  Andes Road/Rt 28, Delhi, NY

 

 

Fun morning watching birds!

Birdwatch

 

An intrepid group of bird enthusiasts turned out for the spring bird watching hike on the Andes Rail Trail.  The highlight: we were treated to many flashes of the ruby crown of the Ruby Crowned Kinglet.   The full list of the birds sighted and heard is available in this checklist.  Thank you Andy Mason for a great morning!

Andes birdwalk  Checklist 4-26-2015

May is Schoharie Watershed Month — with lots of events to celebrate

Now in its sixth year, Schoharie Watershed Month (May)  offers a series of free events to celebrate the region’s beauty and natural resources.  Presented by Greene County Soil & Water Conservation District and New York City Department of Environmental Protection — and in partnership with many area organizations and individuals — the events will focus on water quality and watershed appreciation throughout the Schoharie Basin.

There are plenty of great events and workshops. Of particular interest to CMC members might be:

Saturday, May 23rd – Paddle the Schoharie Reservoir! Catskill Outback Adventures will provide kayaks and canoes and lead this trip from Snyder’s Cove on opening weekend. Registration required. Space is limited. Contact Michelle Yost (518) 589-6871 or michelle@gcswcd.com.

Saturday May 30th – Hike Bearpen Mountain. 9 AM – 2 PM.   Join Peter Manning for this 7-mile hike with panoramic views of the Schoharie Watershed. Moderate – Difficult. Bring lunch. Registration required by 5/29: localtouristpqm@gmail.com (Rain date: May 31st).

Saturday May 30th – “The Schoharie Basin and Its Ice Age History” Bob and Johanna Titus tell the story of how glaciers shaped the Schoharie Basin and created its most scenic views. 6 PM at the Mountaintop Historical Society, 5132 Route 23A, Haines Falls.  The Tituses gave an entertaining and informative presentation at a CMC dinner a couple of years ago  — this talk is sure to be great.

Read More Here.    For complete activity listings with descriptions, updates, sponsors, and other details please visit www.catskillstreams.org or contact the Schoharie Watershed Program of Greene County SWCD at (518) 589-6871 or michelle@gcswcd.com.

 

Sunday, April 26th, 8 AM – Bird Watching Hike on the Andes Rail Trail

Join us as we host Andy Mason of the Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society for a spring bird walk on the Andes Rail Trail!

The Delaware-Otsego Audubon Soc. has scheduled a spring bird walk on the Andes Rail Trail for Sun. April 26.  Returning spring migrants including warblers, thrushes, flycatchers as well as resident species can be expected.  Participants should meet at the Depot St. trailhead at 8 a.m.  The walk will last approximately two hours.

For further information, contact Andy Mason, (607) 652-2162, AndyMason@earthling.net.

Andy will be speaking at the Andes Round Table on April 1st, giving us a preview of the birds we will see when spring finally does arrive

 

CATs Challenge Updates

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 activities@catskillmountainclub.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.

Happy hiking!

Celebrate National Walking Day with a walk on the Andes Rail Trail — Wednesday, April 1, 1:00 — No Foolin’!

The Catskill Mountain Club is celebrating National Walking Day by taking a lunchtime walk on the Andes Rail Trail.   Come and join us!

Various Delaware County organizations are also celebrating — find out more by visiting the GetOutAndWalk.org website.

 

Hiking in the Catskills now? Be prepared to break trail wherever you go….previous tracks get covered up almost immediately.

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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.

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Ice Skating, anyone?

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!

Andes Rail Trail recipient of PTNY Grant

Immediate Release
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.

 

Let it snow!

Img_4033trailIt 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!

 

Rime Ice

Rime Ice

 

 

 

snowshoesIf 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.

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Skiing on the Catskill Scenic Trail in Stamford

Don’t let cold and snow keep you from the trails!

snowshoeingPalmerHillwiththeDEPIf 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!

This event is free and open to the public.  Please register by emailing Heather, calling the Trail Conference’s Catskills regional office at 518.628.4243 or by registering on the NYNJTC website.

See more about this event on facebook.

Photo above courtesy of the NYC DEP — CMC members snow shoeing at Palmer Hill Trail on November 29, 2014

 

November 2014 Newsletter is available now!

see our newest and most interesting newsletter yet!

November2014Newsletter

 

It’s “gun” season

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.

Catskill Park All Trails Challenge is Announced by the CMC

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!

CMC Long Sleeve Moisture Wicking Tees, Just in Time for Fall Hiking!

MensLongSleeveT womensLongSleeveTShow 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 Fall Newsletter — CMC Dinner,Catskills Lark in the Park!

The CMC fall newsletter is out — read about the upcoming CMC dinner, October 12th, and the Catskills Lark in the Park….

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For Upcoming Events, Check out the 11th Annual Catskills Lark in the Park Schedule

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.

 

New Delhi Trails Opened by the CMC

DSC_1022rcrAugust 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.IMG_3449cr

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.

New Bear Hunting Season Begins

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.

Join us on August 30th, at 2 PM for the opening of the new Delhi Trails

Join us in Delhi for the official opening of the new Delhi Trails.   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.

trailMapSmallViewClick on the map here for a full size printable version.

 

An interactive map of the new trails is here.

Map software provided by  www.MappingSupport.com

 

Join us tomorrow, Saturday, August 30th at 1 pm for the dedication of the interpretive plaque at Palmer Hill

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Join us for the dedication of this beautiful and informative sign.  The sign was generously paid for by Thomas and Janet Losavio in memory of their son, Thomas

Another CMC Trail Opening! Join us on August 30th at 2 pm in Delhi to celebrate the creation of the newest trail.

WendellInfrontofRockSmallersmallSquare TownViewImg_3449SmallSq TrailWorkerGroupShot Trail boardwalk DogAndRockLedgeSMallSquare

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

The Catskill Mountain Club News for Summer 2014 is here!

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.

The NYC DEP highlights CMC trails in Newsletter

coverDEPNewsletter July 21, 2014  –  The Shavertown Trail made the cover of the DEP’s Watershed Recreation Newsletter.

To read the full story, click the image and go to page 7.

Maps of Palmer Hill, Shavertown and Andes Rail Trail/Bullet Hole Spur available here!

mapGroup

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
 IMG_024SpringVista from Palmer Hill

Palmer Hill Trail

Click Here to Open Printable Map Click Here
 ShavertownsummerbyLillianBrowne_ubp

Shavertown Trail

Click Here To Open Printable Map Click Here
 walkingTheTrail

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

Catskill Forest Festival — July 26th, 10:00am – 4:00 pm

Our friends at the Catskills Forest Association are hosting the 5th Annual Catskill Forest Festival on Saturday, July 26th at the  Pavilion in the Village of Margaretville,  Delaware County.   This is always an entertaining and informative event celebrating our region’s forests.   FREE ADMISSION.

The event features:

  • Maple Producers
  • Wood Products
  • Forestry Equipment
  • Firewood Processor & Sawmill
  • Forest Management Education &   Services
  • Arts & Crafts Made From the Forest
  • Recreation Vendors
  • Game of Logging Competition
  • Food and Beverage Tent

Hope to see you there!

Free Fishing Weekend in NY is Here! – June 28 and June 29 are Your Lucky Days

Summer’s here and it’s time to go fishing!. Yeah, you can fish year round, but what could be better than sitting by a pond, wading in a stream or floating your boat on one of our beautiful reservoirs in this warm and easy going time of year?

But wait you say, don’t you need a license to fish in New York? Well, usually the answer is a resounding “yes”. But not this weekend, you lucky sometime anglers! Saturday, June 28 and Sunday, June 29 are Free Fishing Weekend in NY. So grab your gear (or borrow your brother’s or sister’s) and head for one of the Catskills’ premier streams or ponds. Be aware that you still must follow all other regulations. You can find those here: http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/7917.html.

And if fishing on a reservoir is your thing, you can now rent a boat that is stored on site. Just go to the vendor’s store, pay your fee, pick up a PFD and a paddle, drive to the reservoir and you’re set. Licensed vendors and steam cleaners are listed here: http://www.nyc.gov/html/dep/pdf/recreation/boat-rental-and-steam-cleaning-vendors.pdf. Bear in mind that you’ll need a DEP Access Permit, which is available online and for free here: https://a826-web01.nyc.gov/recpermitapp. For more information about the reservoirs and regulations look here: http://www.nyc.gov/html/dep/html/recreation/cannonsville_boating_program.shtml.

Best of luck to all!

 

Palmer Hill Trail Opens to the Public

DSC_0901r_TMJune 9, 2014 – We woke up to a lovely day on Saturday, National Trails Day. And that wasn’t half as good as the rest of it! Over 50 people assembled at the trailhead of the brand new Palmer Hill Trail to celebrate our work and new prize. After a brief ceremony featuring remarks by Andes Town Supervisor Marty Donnelly, NYC DEP Recreation and Property Manager Charlie Laing and CMC President Rick Roberts, we had some refreshments, congratulated one another on a great partnership and its beautiful product and headed off for one of our more satisfying hikes in quite a while.

 

The Palmer Hill Trail consists of three segments that can be hiked in four distinct combinations, allowing hikers the options of short and easy hikes or moderately strenuous and longer hikes. The hiker can make complete routes of 1.2, 2.2, 2.7 or 3.7 miles. Each takes you through beautiful wildflower meadows that offer wide open views of the surrounding mountains and hills and of the bucolic scenery that Delaware County epitomizes. Along the way are centuries old foundations, a lovely stream and age old trees. In season, there will be blackberries and apples galore for the hungry hiker. And in winter the cross country skiing will be a dream come true.

DSC_0910r_TMThe importance of this partnership between the DEP and the CMC is hard to overstate. With the help of the Town of Andes, we have collaborated on two new trails on DEP lands in less than a year, having opened the Shavertown Trail on August 30 of last year. Later this year we’ll open a trail on Bramley Mountain in the Town of Delhi. And there will be more to come, including one on the south side of the Ashokan Reservoir in Ulster County and, eventually, in both Greene and Sullivan Counties.

By making these properties available for public recreation, without fee or required permit, the DEP has made an important commitment to the needs of the residents of the Catskills. The benefits to the health and economies of our communities are already being felt. The CMC is thrilled to have an opportunity of this magnitude to work towards the success of our mission of promoting non-motorized outdoor recreation that is sustainable and environmentally responsible and that benefits the physical and economic health of our local communities.

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The Palmer Hill Trail will be a destination for those who love the Catskills and want to experience them as never before. So come out and enjoy the views. And, if you don’t already know, see one of the finest panoramas of the Catskill High Peaks anywhere. I won’t tell you where to look for it – come find out for yourself!

See video of the opening here. Thanks to Jessica Vecchione.