News And Announcements

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.