News And Announcements

We have a new “Wildflowers of the Catskills” page!

Visit our newly expanded page covering Wildflowers of the Catskills.

We now list over 130 species and cover the seasons from early spring through fall. With Spring arriving and a new year of blooms on the way, what better way to enjoy them than to get prepared by familiarizing yourself with them? Our page is set up for quick reference and it focusses on the flowers you will see right here in the Catskills! Check it out.

HIGHLIGHTS OF CMC’S 2016 SEASON

STEWARDSHIP– The CMC annually maintains five CMC trails totaling 20 miles and seven DEC trails totaling nearly 25 miles. In 2016, 36 trail maintenance hikes were conducted totaling 750 volunteer hours, all headed by the Club’s VP , Wendell George.

TRAIL BUILDING– Since 2011, the CMC has built 5 new hiking trails on lands owned by NYC DEP as well as Delaware Academy. The newest trail, that to the former fire tower on Bramley Mountain near Delhi NY, was opened on July 29th . The opening ceremony was attended by nearly 40 hiking enthusiasts, local, state and City officials and followed by a hike to the summit.
The five CMC trails have been very popular since their openings. Over the past year nearly 5600 hikers have signed-in on these trails. Approximate counts by trail are:

  • Delhi Trails – over 1000 visitors in 2016
  • Palmer Hill Trails – 1300 in the last year
  • Shavertown Trail – 1200 in the last year.
  • Andes Rail Trail & Bullet Hole Spur- 1500 in the last year
  • Bramley Mountain Trails – 600 hikers from opening day thru December

This year the CMC produced a brochure/map highlighting these five trails. The brochure is being distributed at all CMC trailheads as well as various informational kiosks and at the Catskill Interpretive Center in Mt. Tremper. The maps of the five CMC trails can also be viewed on our website from the Where to Go menu.

CMC EVENTS– CMC members led over 40 Hikes, paddles and other CMC events in 2016 that were enjoyed by 400+ participants. In addition CMC members are leading over 25 events for this year’s Catskill Lark in the Park. Upcoming hikes and other CMC events can be viewed on the CMC website at Upcoming Events.

ADVOCACY – The CMC is involved with several organizations advocating for outdoor recreational concerns affecting the Catskill area.
The Catskill Park Coalition is a partnership of many Catskill organizations, all concerned with outdoor recreation and related public land concerns. Each February the Coalition members travel to Albany for Catskill Park Awareness Day, advocating for increased funding for outdoor recreation, conservation and tourism related issues. In 2016 the Coalition succeeded in obtaining $500,000 dedicated for use within the Catskill Park. Part of this allocation is being used for the creation of a new comprehensive recreation plan as well as various infrastructure improvements. In addition, the continuation of the NYS Ranger Academy was stressed as well as the hiring of 2 assistant Forest Rangers, both which were granted. Also, $994,000 was asked for and allocated for the Catskill Interpretative Center, which opened on NYS Rte 28 in Mt. Tremper in July of 2015. The funding will allow for the building of a full scale old style fire tower, a fire warden’s cabin, a picnic pavilion, an amphitheater and new road side signage.
Information on the 2017 Awareness Day can be viewed at catskillcenter.org/awareness-day/.

The Catskill Park Advisory Committee –  The Committee is a group of local government representatives, agencies and  area organizations representing the various communities and user groups of the Catskill Park and the Catskill Watershed. The purpose of the Committee is to provide assistance, advice and guidance to the NYSDEC, the New York City Department of Environmental Protection and other land managers in the management of the New York State Forest Preserve, the Catskill Park and the Catskill Watershed. The CMC is a charter member of this Committee and meets with it on a quarterly basis.

STAFFING of the Maurice Hinchey Catskill Interpretitive Center (CIC) – The CMC is one of five operating partners for the CIC and provides part of the volunteer staff operating the center 363 days a year. In all,  CMC members volunteered over 600 hours for its operation in 2016. The CIC opened in July, 2015. catskillinterpretivecenter.org.

CMC DONATIONS –  $1000 to Summit Stewards Program – Summit Stewards patrol the summit areas of Giant Ledge/Panther, Slide, Wittenberg, and Cornell mountains during the summer hiking period. They work closely with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, and address the unique concerns of these peaks to the hikers they encounter. See Summit Stewards.

$1000 to the Catskill Interpretive Center – The CIC is the Catskills Tourist Information Center.

LARK IN THE PARK 2016– Last year was the 12th annual Lark in the Park and featured 50 separate events over 10 days from October 3rd to the 12th and was enjoyed for nearly 750 attendees. For this year’s 2016 program we had 60 events , many being held by 19 Catskill Based organizations such as Mountain Keeper, Catskill Rec. Center, Trout Unlimited and the 3500 Club. The CMC has been the main driving force of this annual event celebrating the creation of the Catskill Park. CMC members have spent over 200 man hours, planning and leading events. See catskilsllark.org.

CATSKILL ALL TRAILS CHALLENGE– In 2014 the CMC created this unique opportunity for hikers
to receive recognition for the hiking of all 87 trails and 350 miles of Catskill Park Trails. This year we
had 15 hikers complete the Challenge bringing the total to 32. For more on the Challenge go to
https://catskillmountainclub.org/the-all-trails-hiking-challenge-redlining-the-catskills.

SOCIAL MEDIA– The Board of Directors of the CMC sees the use of the various social media platforms as vital for the future dissemination of CMC information, news, advocacy issues as well as trail conditions and hiker safety concerns. The CMC currently uses FaceBook for communicating with CMC members.

CMC BOARD OF DIRECTORS– The CMC Board meets every other month in Arkville, NY to discuss Club business, outdoor recreational issues, interface with other Catskill organizations and governments entities, plan events and review financial concerns During 2016 the all volunteer Directors spent on over 2000 man hours on club business.

IT’S HUNTING SEASON, SO WHERE CAN YOU HIKE?

Note:  For an updated post see here.

November 29 , 2016   Sadly, there have been four hunting fatalities in New York this year so far. This is an unusually high number. Two have resulted from self inflicted wounds, but two have been the result of hunters failing to positively identify their target before shooting. We cannot stress enough the importance of wearing BLAZE ORANGE when going into the woods where hunting is allowed. Be smart, be careful and be safe.

If you want to hike in the Catskills, the Catskill Park and DEP lands are open for hunting in most cases.
REMEMBER TO ALWAYS WEAR BLAZE ORANGE during hunting season!

We highly recommend that hikers who want to get out into the woods during regular hunting season consider going to a State Park or other lands where hunting is not allowed.

Listed below are a number of relatively nearby state parks and trails where hunting is not permitted. Click the links for maps. And don’t forget the CMC’s Andes Rail Trail/Bullet Hole Spur and Delhi Trails or the combined Walkway Over the HudsonFranny Reese State Park hike in Poughkeepsie/Highland.

Bear Mountain State Park (near West Point)
Harriman State Park (near Harriman)
Highland Lakes State Park (near Middletown)
Mills-Norrie State Park (near Staatsburg)
Minnewaska State Park Preserve* (near New Paltz)
Riddell State Park (near Laurens/Oneonta)

*no hunting in the vicinity of hiking trails – check map

$500,000 in Newly Released Funding Announced for a Catskills Comprehensive Recreation Plan and More

November 3, 2016   The Catskill Park Coalition, of which the CMC is a founding member, has successfully lobbied Albany for funds to support the Catskills since its founding four years ago. $500,000 has just been released for a variety of projects that will improve planning and public access. Read about the CPC’s latest success in this Watershed Post article. We will be in Albany again this February with our Coalition partners to speak to our government leaders about the needs of the Catskill Park and the region.

 

SUNY Delhi Students Work to Maintain Trails in the Western Catskills

img_0566On October 26 a group of SUNY Delhi students, led by Professor David DeForest of the Division of Applied Science and Recreation, maintained sections of the Mary Smith Trail and the Pelnor Hollow Trail from Berry Brook Road to Split Rock. The group cleared several blowdowns and lots of blackberries, etc. that had grown into the trail, making this area difficult to pass through.

The CMC would like to thank all participants for coming out on a chilly day and showing some love for the path to the spectacular Split Rock view.

DEC Announces Start of Early Bear Hunting Season – Sept. 10-25

In southeastern New York, including the Catskills, the early bear season runs from September 10 – 25. The early bowhunting season for bears will open in the entire Southern Zone on October 1, followed by the regular firearms season beginning November 19.

For more about hunting in New York visit http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/7857.html

CMC Receives the 2016 Alf Evers Award for Excellence

We are very pleased and proud to have received the prestigious 2016 Alf Evers Award for Excellence from the good folks at the Catskill Center. The presentation occurred during the Annual Summer Gathering at the Catskill Center’s offices in Arkville, NY.
As an organization that greatly values cooperation and collaboration, we salute the Catskill Center for its continuing leadership in our region, and we thank them for recognizing the CMC for playing a constructive role in the work at hand.

Following are remarks made by Catskill Center Executive Director Jeff Senterman at the presentation.

The Alf Evers Award for Excellence from the Catskill Center is presented to an individual or organization for their distinguished service to the Catskill region.

We are blessed in the Catskills to have so many individuals and groups who
• work hard to be stewards of our natural resources
• educate visitors about the proper use of the great outdoors
• and who have a sense of community spirit to improve our region.

One such group is the Catskill Mountain Club.

Founded in 2004 on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the creation of the Catskill Park.

The early Catskill Mountain Club, which included many Catskill Center staff grew and evolved since it’s founding to become committed to efforts to ensure sustainable and safe outdoor recreation on public lands throughout the Catskill region.

Today the Catskill Mountain Club strives to raise public awareness and appreciation of the Catskill region, something they rightly describe as “America’s First Wilderness”

The Catskill Mountain Club offer dozens of guided hikes, paddles, snow shoe excursions, bike trips and more all over the Catskills.

Offering visitors and residents amazing opportunities to get out and experience all that our Catskill Mountains have to offer.

But the Catskill Mountain Club isn’t only taking advantage of our region’s vast outdoor recreation resources, they are doing something to help ensure they are available for generations to come!

The Catskill Mountain Club stresses and promotes volunteer stewardship of our Catskill Park and public lands by getting their hands dirty!

They have constructed five new trails in the Catskills over the last four years – an amazing accomplishment, especially when considering at least some of those trails have been on New York City Department of Environmental Protection lands!

Those five trails…
• The Andes Rail Trail
• The Delhi Trails
• The Palmer Hill Trail
• The Shavertown Trail
• And most recently
• The Bramley Mountain Trail

Representing almost 20 miles of new trails, the Catskill Mountain Club is offering the public more options and leading the way on opening DEP lands for public recreation!

When not building trail, the Catskill Mountain Club maintains miles of hiking trails throughout the Catskill Park for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

They offer workshops and take part in events that highlight
• The natural and human histories of the Catskills,
• The issues that are affecting the health and preservation of the Catskills
• And teach the skills that are needed to safely enjoy our great outdoors!

They join with others of the Catskill Park Coalition to knock on doors in Albany, helping to ensure that the Catskill Park is represented and receives ongoing support.

Members of the Catskill Mountain Club even find time to help staff the Catskill Interpretive Center where their expertise on everything outdoors comes in handy to educate visitors to the Park!

All this and the Catskill Mountain Club is an all-volunteer grass roots led organization – SIMPLY AMAZING!

The Catskill Mountain Club is helping to lead the way towards a sustainable outdoor recreation based economy that while utilizes our vast and beautiful open spaces, while teaching our visitors and park users the value of the region and how to protect it for posterity

As a former member of the Catskill Mountain Club’s Board of Directors, I am truly honored and humbled to have had the chance to be part of this amazing organization and the amount of work that that the members of this organization have put in since my time is astounding!

For their work
• Protecting our natural resources
• Raising awareness and appreciation of our Catskills
• Leading activities across the public lands of our region
• Working with DEP to increase public access to watershed lands
• Building almost 20 miles of new trails
• Maintaining miles of Catskill Park hiking trails and
• Staffing the Catskill Interpretive Center

And most importantly for their love of the Catskills and their ability to protect and preserve the region

I am pleased to present the Alf Evers Award for Excellence to the Catskill Mountain Club in recognition of their leadership in creating and expanding opportunities for the public to enjoy and understand the unique beauty and remarkable nature of our Catskill region.

They have made a true impact across the region and it gives me great joy to present this award to
• Rick Roberts, the President of the Catskill Mountain Club
• Wendell George, the Vice-President of the Catskill Mountain Club
• And all members of the Catskill Mountain Club

THANK YOU from the Catskill Center and from the Catskills!

Announcing Our New Trails Brochure!

TrailsBrochurecoverAugust 1, 2016    To celebrate the opening of our fifth trail this past Friday, located on Bramley Mountain, we have published a brochure called “A Guide to the Trails” that provides a map and description of each trail. The full color brochure will be available at each trailhead, at several village kiosks, at the Catskill Interpretive Center and at other locations that distribute tourism information.

With the guide, you’ll be able to hike each of our trails with confidence. The trail maps show contours at 20′ intervals, show notable features and indicate where trailheads are located, making it easy to find your way. Pick one up and keep it in your car or with your pack. You’ll always be prepared!

You can also download our trail maps to your iPhone or Android device for free. Look for links to the Avenza App and directions for how to get the maps in the Where To Go menu on this site.

Bramley Mountain Trail Opens

Bramleyopening8July 30, 2016

On July 29 the CMC’s newly constructed hiking trail on Bramley Mountain in the Towns of Delhi and Bovina officially opened to the public. Built on NYC DEP lands, the 4 mile trail is open year round.
The ceremony began with comments by DEP Deputy Commissioner Paul Rush, Delaware County Chamber of Commerce President Ray Pucci and CMC President Rick Roberts. Each spoke about the importance of DEP’s efforts to open its lands to public recreational use. Among the benefits of greater access are increased options for a range of low impact outdoor activities, economic growth due to increased visitorship and improved health for community members due to the proximity of attractive recreational options.
Following the ribbon cutting, the laBramleyopening5rge crowd headed off for the inaugural hike. Some participants chose to take the easy hike to the quarry and then return to the parking area, while others continued up the trail. After we reached the summit and enjoyed the views we took a little break for lunch or a snack, only to be surprised by a brief shower that chased us off the top. As we descended, we ate raspberries growing beside the trail and noticed that the blackberries will be rippening soon. There are tons of them, so we’ll be back for the feast in a few weeks.
Bramleyopening1The Bramley Mountain Trail is one of five that the CMC has built over the last five years. To celebrate that work and for the convenience of hikers, we’ve published a brochure that provides a map and describes each of them. Look for it at the trail registers, in visitor information sites in the villages and at the Catskill Interpretive Center on State Route 28 in Mt. Tremper.
Click here for WBNG News coverage:
  http://www.wbng.com/news/local/A-new-hiking-trail-opens-at-Bramley-Mountain–388708722.html?vid=a

The Bramley Mountain Trail is Set to Open on JULY 29 at 12:00 PM

We are thrilled to announce, along with the NYC DEP, that the new Bramley Mountain Trail will be officially opened to the public on July 29 at Noon. The CMC designed and built the trail, our third in partnership with the DEP. There will be a brief ceremony followed by a guided hike. The event is free and DEP permits are not required to hike on this parcel.untitled-59
The trail is on a 1243 acre parcel and summits the mountain at 2817′, one of the two westernmost 2800+ foot peaks in the Catskills. Bramley was once the site of a fire tower. The spectacular views from the summit ledges take in parts of the southern high peaks, Mount Pisgah and the mountains traversed by the Finger Lakes Trail. A short hike west is a view over the northwestern foothills and the farms that occupy them. Other features of the hike include a significant abandoned bluestone quarry, a small pond, numerous stone walls and foundations, and the fabulous cliffs and caves that lie between the quarry and the summit.
untitled-67We invite you to come join the fun on this special day. If you can’t, the trail is open year round. The trailhead is located on Glen Burnie Rd., about 0.7 miles south of CR 18 in Delhi.