CMC WIll Resume In-person Events Schedule on May 1st

April 8, 2021     After a long hiatus due to the pandemic, we are happy to restart our in-person event schedule. The Annual Ephemeral Wildflower Hike in Kelly Hollow is always popular. Check it out and register early as space is limited.
We will continue to follow social distancing protocols, with masks on in the parking lot and optional on the trails. Please maintain safe distancing at all times.
We discourage carpooling unless occupants are from the same household, or have all been vaccinated.  We will not arrange carpooling at this time.


CMC Comments on Proposed Pumped Storage Project in the Catskill Park



An Unacceptable Proposal

We want to call your attention to a proposed energy development here in the Catskills that is audacious and concerning. Premium Energy Holdings of California has filed an application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to begin a preliminary study for a project that would build a dam in the Catskill Park. The resulting reservoir would be the source of water that would be released periodically to generate electricity by turning turbines that would be installed below ground level. The water would be drawn and pumped up from NYC’s Ashokan Reservoir. In addition, power lines would need to be installed. Interestingly, the company, Premium Energy, did not notify the NYCDEP, the controlling agency, of their plans to file for a permit. Nor did they explore the idea with any other Catskills entity, apparently. They have demonstrated a lack of respect for the Catskill Park, the watershed and for local communities that suggests a warning for how they will proceed if they receive a permit.
Three possible sites for the dam have been proposed. Each would create major impacts on Catskills communities, the protected lands of the Catskill Park, important infrastructure, Catskills fisheries and, of course, on water quality in the NYC watershed supply system. Each would flood approximately 200 to 300 acres and require a dam of over 2000 feet in length.

While we support all responsible efforts to create alternative means of producing electric energy, those efforts must take into account the effects on communities and on conserved areas that are vital to the ecological health and well being of our planet. The Catskill Park, America’s First Wilderness, is such a place. Established by New York State and protected by the state constitution as “forever wild’, it deserves and must receive the highest degree of protection possible. The Premium Energy project would cause permanent and irreparable harm, and, therefore, it must be rejected.

It is the CMC’s opinion that the proposal is without merit and that FERC should deny the application. We encourage individual citizens; to express their opposition by posting a comment with FERC by using this link: https://ferconline.ferc.gov/QuickComment.aspx. Comments are due no later than April 12.

For more information, you can read comments by the Town of Olive and from other sources here: https://town.olive.ny.us/news/ferc-proposal-for-the-ashokan-pumped-storage-hydro-facility/

VIDEO:  Ashokan Pumped Storage Project Informational Meeting by the Town of Olive

Annual Ephemeral Wildflower Hike at Kelly Hollow | Saturday, May 1st at 11:00 AM

Spring Beauties

What better way to begin the restart of CMC in-person events than with our Annual Ephemeral Wildflower Hike at Kelly Hollow?  This perennial favorite comes when the forests are springing back to life, with budding trees and early wildflowers galore.

This a chance to find and identify the beautiful Spring ephemeral wildflowers which are so named because they appear in early spring when they flower and fruit and then die back, all in a short period before the trees have had a chance to leaf out. Most hikers never see these flowers because they wait for late spring or summer to get into the woods. We will look for Trillium, Spring beauties, Trout Lily, Hepatica, Violets, Squirrel Corn, Dutchman’s Breeches, Jack-In-The-Pulpit and many others. We may also find some early mushrooms and ramps.

Kelly Hollow is one of the most beautiful short trails in the Catskills with rocky streams and waterfalls. It has a combination of coniferous and deciduous forests with a lovely abandoned beaver pond near a lean-to at the top. The trail is an easy to moderate loop of about 4 miles. Bring lunch and/or snacks to have at the lean-to (there is a privy nearby.)

We will continue to follow social distancing protocols, with masks on in the parking lot and optional on the trail. Please maintain safe distancing at all times.

Event Duration: About 3 hours

Level of Difficulty: Easy-Moderate

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New Requirements for the 4 Seasons and Grid Programs Begin March 21st

March 12, 2021   Beginning on March 21st, the first day of spring, the requirements for completing the 4 Seasons 140 and Catskills Grid 420 programs will reflect the closure of Doubletop and Graham Mountains to public access by replacing them with Dry Brook Ridge (3465′) and Mill Brook (Ridge) Mountain (3465′), respectively. Both replacements are only 35′ lower than the official high peaks and are in the same Western Catskills region as Doubletop and Graham.  Unlike the trailless peaks they replace, both Mill Brook Mountain and Dry Brook Ridge can be traversed on trails. By adopting them for our program, we have chosen to avoid encouraging increased hiking on other trailless peaks.  Our choice also aligns the new requirements with those of the Catskills All Trails Challenge.

After March 20th, hikes to the summit of South Doubletop will no longer qualify for the Catskills 4 Seasons 140 program. In no event should any hiker climb either Doubletop or Graham Mountains as they are on private property and have been closed to the public by the landowner, effective January 14th. Trespassers are subject to prosecution.

Smith Pond Trail section closed and a Delhi Trails change in permitted use.

Due to a recent decision by one of the property owners who has generously allowed the Smith Pond trail to cross their property, the southern trailhead on Arbor Hill/Back River Rd. is now permanently closed to the public. Please do not trespass. We will remove the kiosk as soon as weather conditions allow. In the future, we will redesign the trail. For now, hikers may enter at the northern trailhead on Rte. 28, opposite the Delaware Academy. The trail is closed past the bridge, so turn around at that point and retrace your path. Please do not proceed beyond the bridge onto closed private property.
On the Delhi Trails across the highway, a snowmobile trail has been authorized by the school board that is co-aligned with some sections of the hiking trail. It is marked accordingly, so be aware that you may encounter snowmobilers. The trail is closed to snowmobile use during school hours, M-F from 7 AM until 3 PM.
As soon as we have complete information of the new trail’s route, we will post it here and on the webpage: https://catskillmountainclub.org/…/delhi-trails-mt…/

Recent Updates to the Catskills All Trails Challenge Tally Sheet

February 10, 2021    The NYS DEC has recently opened the Red Hill Fire Tower Trail, a 1.4 mile addition that is combined with an older 0.6 mile section of trail to lead to the fire tower from Denning Road. The remainder of the the old trail from Dinch Road, 0.8 miles from the intersection, has been named the Dinch Road Connector.

Earlier, the DEC incorporated an old snowmobile trail into the Vernooy Kill Falls Trail, increasing its length to 3.5 miles.  There is a small trailhead in Greenville in addition to the one on Upper Cherrytown Rd.

Catskills All Trails Challenge Update

December 19. 2020    We’re adding a trail section to the list of required hikes! The Vernooy Kill Falls Trail was extended by DEC to be coaligned with the snowmobile trail that goes from Vernooy Falls to Greenville. The section is about 1.8 miles long and there is a small parking area at the Greenville trailhead. The trail is an easy hike and is marked Red. We will update the documents on the CMC webpage.


Doubletop and Graham Mountains are Closed to Public Access

January 14. 2021     Please note that both Doubletop and Graham Mountains are now closed to public access effective immediately.
The private landowners have generously allowed public access for many years. They have decided that recent trends of increased usage by hikers are having a significant negative effect on the wilderness character and ecology of these trailless mountains. Due to their long held concerns for conservation of wilderness, they will end access for all members of the public. As of today, hikers who encroach on these private lands will be in violation of laws against trespass and subject to enforcement measures, including arrest.
Our Catskills Grid and Catskills 4 Seasons programs will designate changes to the required peaks in concert with the decisions made by the Catskill 3500 Club for their list of qualifying hikes. Those new designations should be finalized and available in a few weeks. As of today, no future hikes of either Graham or Doubletop will be accepted as qualifying hikes for the CMC’s two programs.

Announcing a Temporary Partial Closure on the Delhi Trails

February 25, 2021   Update:  The logging operation has been suspended until June. As a result, the entire Gribley Trail is temporarily reopened.
Please note that a recent decision by the Delaware Academy School Board allowed snowmobile use of a section of the lower Gribley Trail. Please use caution when hiking with children or with dogs.
December 23, 2020  Update:  Due to severe weather related conditions, logging has been temporarily halted.  The reopening of the trail will be affected by this, possibly delaying it for several weeks.  Please continue to avoid the area until all work is completed.


November 17, 2020    We have just learned that the section of the Delhi Trails from the Sheldon Drive trailhead to the intersection of the Gribley Trail and the Frightful’s Falls Trail will be closed effective immediately for about 5 weeks due to a logging operation on Village of Delhi property. For your safety and that of the loggers, please do not use this part of the trail for any reason.
All other trails remain open to the public, including the Gribley Trail to the Immanuel Lutheran Church parking lot trailhead, the Bulldog Run Trail, the Frightful’s Falls Trail and the Smith Pond Trail.
We will announce the reopening when the work has been completed.