News And Announcements

Fantastic Day at Kaaterskill Falls, Sunset Rock, Inspiration Point




March 16, 2014  –  Sunday’s trip to Kaaterskill Falls and the North Lake area couldn’t have been better….see for yourself!    You’ll think “Hudson River School” looking at quite a number of the pictures.




Click continue reading to see the slideshow.

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

2014BoatStewards (2) March 5, 2014  –  CRISP is gearing up to educate the public about the problem of aquatic invasive species in the Catskills. Find out how you can help by volunteering for a few days this summer. You’ll be providing a public service and learning some skills while gaining valuable experience, too.

Click on the image for more information.

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

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


Early start on trail maintenance

March 4, 2014  –  The trail maintenance season is coming soon, but some CMC members got a head start on it by doing trail work on the Big Pond to Alder Lake segment of the Touch-Me-Not Trail.   We were out in the snow putting up new trail markers and clearing some downed wood.   We’ll be back on this trail again to get the blackberries in the early summer.  We’ll be out building and maintaining trails in full force really soon.  We hope you’ll come and join us!


We thought we were busy as beavers until we spied this beaver’s work on the way home from Alder Lake.

beaverDamSectionIMG_2721 beaverDamIMG_2718

Think Spring and Cycling in the Catskills

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”.

Read the rest of this great post  here.   Check out the other great posts on Riding the Catskills as well.


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

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

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

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


CMC Participates in Catskill Park Awareness Day

March 1, 2014  –  On Tuesday, February 25 the CMC participated in Catskill Park Awareness Day by traveling to Albany to talk with our representatives in state government. Along with delegates from 35 other organizations that have banded together in the new Catskill Park Coalition, four members of the CMC board went to speak on behalf of programs that are focussed on improving the economy of the Catskills and on the stewardship of the Catskill Park. Continue reading

Learn about another invasive insect threatening our forest

You’ve heard about the Asian Longhorn Beetle, the Emerald Ash Borer — now learn about the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid.

HWAdelgidOn 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.

Snow Donuts Redux, and other snow oddities

You’ve probably had enough of snow by now, but as we say goodbye to it,  we have another look for you…

We think our snow donut is nicer than the one in the photo contest (link below)…we went back to check on ours a little while ago and it was definitely worse for the wear, but still pretty cool …

snowDonutP1050572 snowDonutP1050573

Science Friday Photo contest snow donut.

Other Science Friday winter photo contest entries are really worth checking out….

We found some other great snow stuff on the Alder Lake to Beaver Meadow hike…


Snow Donuts?

February 24, 2014  –  Members of the CMC spotted the rare and calorie free snow donut while cross country skiing on the Catskill Scenic Trail in Roxbury. This interesting phenomena occurs when snow conditions are just right, and we were lucky to be there to see it.

Read about what causes snow donuts:

on NPR:   Snow Doughnuts Are the Real Thing

and on wikipedia


“How Wolves Change Rivers”

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

From Sustainable Man.

CMC Comments on Proposed NYSDEC Black Bear Management Plan

February 10, 2014  –  The Catskill Mountain Club has issued a comment regarding the proposed NYSDEC black bear management plan. While supporting several initiatives to better manage the black bear population in the Catskills including an increased bag limit and greater promotion of the sport of bear hunting, the CMC opposes the creation of a new black bear hunting season. If approved, the current proposal by the DEC would establish a new hunting season that would run from the first Saturday after Labor Day for 16 days. The new season would coincide with one of the most used and beloved times of the year for hikers and many other outdoor recreation enthusiasts. Continue reading

Alder Lake Parking Area Closed Until Spring

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

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

Great Hike on Wallkill Valley Rail Trail

On Sunday, December 8th, a fine group of hikers took on a 12 mile section of the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail. We thought we could do this section in 4 hours but there was just too much to look at and photograph!  If you have not checked out this trail, we highly recommend it.   You can do much shorter sections, or longer.   We hope to come back soon on our cross country skis!
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The Catskill Mountain Club News for Fall/Winter is Here

November 17, 2014  –  The CMC has a newly published newsletter which we invite you to read here. Along with a report on a very successful year of accomplishments, it contains information about hiking in both the hunting season and winter. Check out the photos and the useful information about how you can receive our news and announcements directly in your inbox. We look forward to hearing from you.

New benches at Shavertown Trail

November 14, 2014  –  Many thanks to the Catskill Forest Association for the beautiful benches they donated to the Shavertown Trail. The larch benches were created by Mike Porter from trees on nearby Dingle Hill. The CMC “bench” team installed the benches as winter descended on us. Thank you (I guess), to Frank Winkler, for his witticisms.

The Catskill Mountain Club Annual Dinner is a Huge Success

On Sunday, October 13, the Catskill Mountain Club held its annual dinner at the Catamount Restaurant.  

The 2nd annual dinner of the Catskill Mountain Club, held during the Lark in the Park celebrations, was a huge success. On the banks of the Esopus Creek in the elegantly rustic Catamount Restaurant, we enjoyed good company, good food and good drink.

Afterwards, we heard the wonderfully entertaining and informative presentation of Dr. Robert Titus, Professor of Geology at Hartwick College, and his wife, fellow researcher and author, Joanna Titus. They explained the transformative effects of the last glacial period on the Catskill Mountains and the adjacent Hudson River Valley.

We also honored our departing club president, Steve Berg, for his service to our club since its founding. And we welcomed incoming president Rick Roberts. We are excited about our prospects for continuing growth and success during his tenure.

Finally, we held the drawing for our tremendously successful raffle. The prizes included a kayak, original art by local nature artist and outdoorsman Jack Mesick, a water purification system and a spinning rod and reel.

We are already looking forward to next year’s event.


See more about the dinner and the hike before…..

Shavertown Trail Gets a Lot of Attention

The newly created Shavertown Trail is getting a lot of attention, both locally and in the hiking community.

IMG_2889rLooking south over Snake Pond.

September 1, 2014  –  The Catskill Mountain Club has been working since last year to build a trail on the NYC DEP owned parcel across from the Pepacton near the Shavertown Bridge.

The Shavertown trail offers families and novice hikers a unique opportunity in the Catskills – a spectacular view after only one moderately strenuous mile, followed by a fairly level mile and a half through beautiful rock ledges and wonderful forest to explore.

Read more about it here:

DEP Press Release

NY-NJ Trail Conference talks about our trail

The Watershed Post too

The CMC Joins with Partners to Build the Maurice Hinchey Catskill Interpretive Center

Catskill Interpretive CenterAugust 31, 2014  –  Watch for it! At long last and after the tireless efforts of many parties, most notably those of Congressman Maurice Hinchey, who championed the cause and secured funding from HUD, the Catskills are about to get the go to place for information about the park and region that has been needed for so many years. The CMC is proud to join with founding partners, including the Catskill Center for Conservation and Development, the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, the Friends of the Catskill Interpretive Center, the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference as well as Catskill Mountainkeeper in a public/private partnership that will manage, operate and staff the facility. The CIC will be located on SR 28 in Mt. Tremper. Projected groundbreaking will be in Spring, 2014. The Center is expected to open in Fall, 2014.

New Hiking Trail Added to the Andes Rail Trail

August 23, 2014  –  This sprinAndes RT smg brought the completion of the Bullet Hole Spur that extends the Andes Rail Trail an additional 2.2 miles, bringing the option of the total walk to 3.9 miles round trip.

The Spur climbs Hemlock Knoll, the ridge above the rail bed, taking hikers through mature hardwood forest, open woodlands covered in ferns and princess pine, magnificent rock outcroppings, an old pine plantation and hemlocks towering above the Bullet Hole Creek.   It is really a beautiful trail, giving the hiker a bit of many different Catskills environments. The Spur is more strenuous than the flat railbed, climbing 250 feet in a half mile, but switchbacks and stone steps help out.  The steep sections are followed by relatively flat areas so you get a nice break after working a little harder.

Trailhead located at 266 Depot Street, Andes

Summer Newsletter

August 15, 2014  –  Read about our work on the Andes Rail Trail and Bullet Hole Spur, the new Shavertown Trail, our new Stewardship Committee and more…..Click Here!

Request for Volunteers

The CMC is doing a lot of work keeping the trails you love open and clear of downed trees, skin ripping blackberry bushes and other hazards.  In addition, we’re laying out and building new trails.  We’d love to have your help….it really is a fun day in the woods and you’ll have the pride of knowing you contributed to the trails you love.   Click here to learn more….

February 2013 Letter from the President

Read the president’s letter HERE

Winter 2012 Newsletter

Read our trail news HERE



We are proud members of the following outdoor recreation organizations:

NY-NJ Trail Conference           Finger Lakes Trail Conference               Leave No Trace             American Hiking Society