Safety First: Catskill Visitor Center is Renting Crampons
Winter hiking in the Catskills requires preparedness. While the ground outside your door may seem fine for regular hiking footwear, the trails could tell a different story. You can buy or rent crampons from the Catskills Visitor Center.
The Smith Pond Trail is closed until further notice. Due to a construction project that will address drainage issues near Rte. 28, the trailhead to the Smith Pond Trail is being used as a staging area. As soon as the work allows, the trail will be reopened. For those who are working on the CMC Hiking Trails Challenge, the requirement to hike the Smith Pond Trail is temporarily suspended. You may submit applications without hiking this trail. After we announce its reopening, It will be required hiking again for new applicants. Thanks for your cooperation.
Founded in 2004, the year of the 100th Anniversary of the Catskill Park, the CMC has dedicated itself to providing a broad range of non-motorized outdoor recreational activities to its members, to residents and to visitors in the Catskills. Whether you hike, camp, kayak, canoe, snowshoe, ski, or cycle, the CMC offers activities to meet your interests.
The enjoyment of classic cross-country skiing is greatly enhanced by skiing on a groomed surface. These conditions are made possible by proper grooming equipment to prepare the snow. Fortunately, SUNY Delhi College has acquired a specialized utility vehicle with snow treads and a classic track setter. The result is a quality trail system at the college’s Golf Course, which is open to the public at no cost. David DeForest, Assistant Professor in Applied Sciences, is the leading force in maintaining the trails each winter. The trails begin at the Bluestone Pub and Restaurant at the foot of Scotch Mountain Road (off Arbor Hill Road). There are about four miles of trails with easy and intermediate loops. They are situated in a peaceful setting that includes two crossings of the Little Delaware River and great views of Bell Hill. Complete grooming of the trail system takes about three hours, while re-grooming is also conducted to keep the surface and tracks clean and firm. This promotes the skiing experience because the recessed tracks allow the skier to look around, enjoy the scenery, and maintain good form, instead of trudging through snow.
April 18, 2021 Usage of the Catskill Park and its facilities has grown tremendously for the past several years. During the pandemic of 2020-21, the growth only increased as folks everywhere turned to the great outdoors for a safe space to seek recreation. As the pandemic winds down, we anticipate a sustained increase in Park visitorship and in use of our trails, other infrastructure and wild places throughout the Catskills.
The rise in usage has resulted in crowded parking lots, illegal roadside parking and an exponential increase in garbage being left behind by park visitors at high use areas like Kaaterskill Falls, Kaaterskill Clove and Colgate Lake. To help mitigate these problems, parking regulations have been expanded and strictly enforced. Dozens of volunteers have been helping park staff and trail stewards clean up after the heavy traffic of weekend visits. Please be responsible and pack out what you pack into these beautiful natural environments.
Another effect of increased usage is seen on the trails themselves. Foot beds are widening far beyond the acceptable width, trampling adjacent plant life and contributing to erosion. Hikers should stay on the trail, avoid walking side-by-side and pass other hikers carefully, yielding where possible and maintaining single file at all times. It is up to us to protect the Catskills wilderness and preserve it for future generations. To do so, it is important that we cooperate in practicing sustainable use that benefits us all.
Always follow Leave No Trace principles when recreating in conserved natural places wherever you go.
SUNY Delhi students volunteered with the CMC to join in Community Service Day activities in Delhi. Part of the Village of Delhi Bicentennial celebration, the crew worked on maintenance of the Bulldog Trails on Delaware Academy lands. The day’s vols were 4-year veterans of the CMC/SUNY Delhi collaboration. We are so proud to work with these great students on a project that serves the Delhi and Catskills hiking communities.
Thanks to Dominic Croce, Amber Garcia, Ryan Ford, Logan Grasso and Fletcher Nisbet!
April 21, 2021This past year has been a time change for the Delhi Trails. First, a logging operation began that forced the closing of the northern section of the Gribley Trail last fall and was then suspended for winter. It will resume soon. Watch for an announcement of the temporary closing of the trail.
Second, the southern section of the Smith Pond Trail was closed due to the wishes of the private landowner, who had previously permitted it. We are currently working on a rerouting that will include two sections. One section will return to the Smith Pond kiosk on Rt. 28. A spur will connect to the parking lot at the Immanuel Lutheran Church. Hikers will be able to hike a loop and return to either of the parking areas. (Please do not park in the church lot during Sunday services.) Overflow parking is available at the Sheldon Drive parking lot on the north side of Delaware Academy.
Third, later this year we will reroute part of the Gribley Trail so that the hiking trail is not co-aligned with the snowmobile trail. By doing so, we will create a safer and better experience for snowmobilers and for hikers.
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.