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An Unacceptable Proposal
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/
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.
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.
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.
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.
October 6, 2020 “The Hiker’s Guide to the Catskills”, a recently published article in The Reporter, features the CMC trails and lots of other useful info and news about hiking in the Catskills from the CMC, the NYSDEC and the NYCDEP.
Click on the images to expand the view.
In honor of opening the sixth trail built by the CMC since 2012, we are founding a new hiking program for hikers who qualify by hiking each of the trails built by the club. (A seventh trail will open in 2021, but hikers are free to apply based on completing each of the existing six.) These trails have been designed to appeal to most hikers, both novice and expert. They are on some of the most beautiful lands in the Catskills, are easy to moderate in difficulty and are located near major highways and villages.
Two of these programs are being adopted by the CMC, which will assume sponsorship of the Catskills 4 Seasons 140 and the Catskills Grid 420 programs from the Rip van Winkle Hikers. After decades of service to the Catskills which included organizing hikes, maintaining trails and working through membership in the Catskill Park Coalition to bring our issues to Albany, the Rips decided to dissolve the club as of the end of 2019. Among their legacies are these two hiking programs that have earned the respect of serious hikers in our region. The CMC is proud to ensure that these programs will continue into the future.
Find out more about these programs, about the Catskills All Tails Challenge and about each of the trails on their pages on the CMC website.
Note: Previous 4 Seasons qualifiers can receive the newly redesigned patch free of charge by contacting the CMC at firstname.lastname@example.org.
August 8, 2020 The 2nd Edition of the Guide to Catskill Mountain Club Trails has just been published. You can find it at the trailheads, at the Catskills Visitor Center and at several area merchants.
In the Guide you will find maps, descriptions and trailhead locations for all of the trails. Updated information for the Morris Hill Trail, which is still under construction, will be in an upcoming revision.
To view and download the Guide, click this link.
Note: For best results use 11″ x 14″ paper.
July, 3 2020 In keeping with recommendations and requirements intended to keep us all safe during the Covid-19 crisis, the CMC has decided that we will not offer our Annual Picnic nor our Annual Dinner in 2020.
We continue to evaluate the situation as we think about offering outdoor recreational events again. At this time, the resurgence of cases in the country is of great concern. It remains important to recreate locally, to socially distance when in groups and to wear masks when in close contact or when passing unrelated parties. We recommend stepping off trail to allow others to pass. We will continue to monitor developments. Like everyone, we look forward to resuming normal activities as soon as possible.
July 18, 2020 Yesterday we and our partners, the NYC Department of Environmental Protection, opened the new trail officially. Also in attendance was a representative from the Ashokan Watershed Stream Management Program, which supplied a grant to pay for interpretive signage. Unfortunately, in an abundance of caution we were not able to invite the public to the ceremony. While it’s always fun to have a big event, the important thing is that the trail is finished and that you are invited to hike it whenever you can!
The two mile trail begins just off Rte. 28A about 0.2 miles west of the Ashokan Reservoir Promenade. There is a dedicated parking area just 100 feet into the woods. From there follow the blue markers and yellow directional signs. Just before making the turn towards the top of the old Yale Quarry, a source of rock during the construction of the reservoir, pass the ruins of an old stone building that was used to store explosives. There are sweeping views of the Catskills, including four high peaks, from the high, open ledges along the top of the quarry wall. The path is through a mixed forest of hardwoods and pine, with a 200′ foot section passing through dense mountain laurel.
Be sure to check out the remnants of the railroad loading zone on a short spur trail near the southern end of the main loop trail. A large seasonal vernal pool fed by water falling from the quarry walls is an added point of interest in spring. Although It retains water year round, it becomes very low in summer. As you return to the parking lot, pass through an interesting area with large mounds of tailings that line both sides of the trail.
This is an easy hike with about 200 feet of elevation gain.
For more information and to print a map and trail guide visit:
Andes Rail Trail Hiking Guide
The ART begins at the restored Andes Train Station. The easy- moderate out and back hike totals four miles. It follows the old rail bed for about 0.8 miles until ending at private property. This scenic section overlooking the Tremperskill Valley is flat and wide with a few short detours provided for use in wet conditions. Along the way are several nice viewpoints, including one over a beaver pond dammed up on the creek by the resident beavers.
From there the trail turns west (right) uphill onto the Bullet Hole Spur, which climbs the slopes of Hemlock Knoll. The trail is moderate in difficulty, with some short but fairly steep ups and downs.
After a short distance, the trail turns north (right) and after about 0.1 miles makes a sharp switchback to begin climbing a steeper section. This section passes some nice rock formations and glacial erratics in a mixed hardwood forest.
The height of land is reached in about 0.2 mile. The trail then begins a descent soon coming to a lovely fern glade. Just past the glade is a stone wall. The trail makes a sharp turn south before coming to a step-up and crossing the wall.
Directly ahead lies a large spruce plantation. The trail continues straight ahead following a row through the trees before coming to nice views of the adjacent field and the hills beyond. At this point it bears slightly right and descends towards a beautiful grove of old hemlocks.
After crossing the ruins of another stone wall the trail again swings right and loops through the hemlocks. The Bullet Hole Creek (on private land) can be heard and glimpsed to the left side of the trail.
As you walk through the hemlock forest pay careful attention to the markers. You will come to a place where the trail turns north (right). Going straight enters private lands. The trail soon crosses a largely flattened stone wall before reclimbing the hill through the spruce trees and returning to the step-up stone wall crossing. From this point retrace your steps back to the parking lot.
© Catskill Mountain Club (Publish for non-commercial distribution with attribution. Otherwise, contact for permission.)
The Spring edition of the CMC News is available here. Check it out for stories about Earth Day, news about the Club and about recreational opportunities in the Catskills region. Learn more about where to hike during the pandemic, about the signs of spring in nature and learn about a yoga exercise that will help you be a better hiker.
Find out what you need to know about current hiking conditions in the Catskills during the pandemic, tips for hiking safely at this time and more stories about the Catskills. Click here to view the newsletter.
|1 New Year’s Day
January 21, 2020 The newly formed Friends of the Bramley Mountain Fire Tower group held its first meeting on the evening of January 6th at the O’Connor Hospital in Delhi. The Friends were formed to organize the reconstruction of the fire tower that was decommissioned by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation in 1970 and removed in 1975. The tower was purchased by Pete Clark, who meticulously stored the tower’s parts right down to the nuts and bolts in his barn. It is well preserved as a result. Three years ago Tom Clark, the current owner, approached the Catskill Mountain Club with an offer to allow the tower to be restored if the CMC could lead the effort. With the formation of the Friends group, the effort to raise funds and complete the resurrection of the tower has officially begun.
In 2008 the NYC Department of Environmental Protection acquired the Bramley Mountain parcel and in 2016 the DEP allowed the Catskill Mountain Club to build a trail to the summit. The trail has been very popular with the public, drawing over 1500 hikers a year, some of them from as far away as Europe and Africa. Now, with the support and cooperation of the Town of Delhi and of the DEP as well as widespread support in Bovina, Hamden, Kortright, Andes and other local communities, the CMC has formed the Friends of the Bramley Mountain Fire Tower to move the project to completion.
For more information, to donate to the Friends, to volunteer and to sign up for the email contact list click here.
The hike to Huckleberry Point is one of the most satisfying in the Catskills, While it’s a short and moderately difficult trail, it’s in one of the most famously rugged parts of the Catskills, beginning at the Devil’s Kitchen and reaching its stunning destination on the escarpment ledges high above the deep valleys below. The breathtaking views of the ancient mountains of the eastern Devil’s Path Range will make you thankful you came, whether you’ve been before or not. Truly a bucket list hike. We’ll sit for awhile and enjoy the views while we picnic.
Event Duration: 4.8 miles, 4 hours
Level of Difficulty: Moderate
Leader(s): Deanna Felicetta
Bring: Dress and bring attire/gear for varied temperatures of the season. Have appropriate footwear. Bring lunch, snacks and plenty of water!!!
Registration required by November 5th. Use registration form below to register.
Group size is limited to 12 so register early.
Dogs allowed: Yes, only with permission of event leader. Bring a leash for when needed.
Additional Information: PLEASE contact leader and cancel if you are not able to come as others may want to. Remember we hike together for safety and FUN!
Questions about this event can be directed to: email@example.com or call 845-216 2021 and NO TEXTING PLEASE! Leave name and number. Please contact leader if you need to cancel.
From Exit 20 of the NYS Thruway: Go west 2.1 miles on CR 212 to Blue Mountan Rd,/Rte.35. Turn north 1.4 miles to W. Saugerties Rd./Rte. 33 and turn west. Go 1.9 miles to Platte Clove Rd. and continue straight up the clove. Follow for 2.4 miles until you reach the parking area on the right.
From Tannerville: Just west of town, turn onto Bloomer Rd, and follow it as it becomes Platte Clove Rd. for 6.3 miles until you reach the parking area on the left.
See NY/NJTC trail map # 141.
The Lark in the Park is coming soon. As usual, we will host many events over a 10 day celebration of the Catskill Park. Whether you prefer hiking, paddling, cycling, mountain biking, art, science, cultural studies, fishing, service, yoga or more, we’ll have something for you. Wheelchair accessible events included.
Check it all out at catskillslark.org