News And Announcements

The 18th Annual Catskills Lark in the Park will be Saturday, October 2nd through Monday, October 11th, 2021

But it will be different again this year.  Due to COVID’s continued effects, we will be having just a small roster of in-person outdoor events and a number of virtual events. Keep checking the Catskills Lark In the Park website to see the events as they are added. Right now we have scheduled

-paddles

-hikes.

 

High Use Issues Have Been Rising in the Catskills

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.

How to hike safely now

There’s danger out in nature too – ticks are serious business …read more

 

SUNY Delhi Students Work on the Bulldog Trails at Delaware Academy

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!

Work at the Delhi Trails

April 21, 2021     This 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.

Happy Hiking.

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

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.

Andes Rail Trail gets some love….

“The Andes rail-trail in its four short miles offered me beauty, quiet, history, and it made me laugh.”

Thank you, Susan Barnett and Hudson Valley One for this wonderful article on the Andes Rail Trail and Bullet Hole Spur.

Click on the first page, below, to see the whole article.  Here thanks to permission from Susan Barnett.

CMC Trails Featured in The Reporter

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.

 

 

 

CMC Announces Three New Hiking Programs with Patches

October 6, 2020   The CMC is excited to add three new hiking programs that, when completed, will earn qualifiers a beautiful  embroidered patch and a certificate commemorating their achievement.

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 info@catskillmountainclub.org.

Summer 2020 Newsletter

The Summer edition of the CMC News is available here.  Check it out for stories about Volunteers, summer in the woods, news about the Club and about recreational opportunities in the Catskills region.

A Guide to the CMC Trails 2nd Edition is available now!

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.

 

Sustainable and Safe Hiking Practices During the Pandemic and Beyond

Simple Rules to Help Everyone Stay Safe

During the Pandemic:

  • Stay close to home.  Driving to distant sites increases the likelihood of spreading the disease.
  • Keep a 6 foot distance between you and other hikers (except those in your household)
  • If you are not feeling well, stay home.
  • Do not expect to use any bathroom or other facilities.
  • Do not share equipment except with members of your household.
  • Take care when signing in to use your own pen or sanitize your hands immediately after signing. Only have one party member sign in per group.
  • Do not share rides except with members of your household.
  • Leash your dogs and practice social distancing rules with them.

Guidelines for all times:

  • Avoid high use areas or go at off times.
  • If the parking lot is full, visit a different location. For visitor safety and the safety of others, do not park on roadsides and only park in designated parking areas.
  • Alert others as you pass or step to the side to let other hikers pass.
  • Be sure to sign in at the registration box.
  • Practice tick prevention and check for ticks after your outing at all times. Tick borne diseases are always possible and can cause serious illness.

We are thankful to first responders and essential workers. Please show your appreciation by maintaining a six foot distance from others while shopping and by wearing a mask to help prevent the spread of the virus. The virus can be transmitted days before symptoms appear, as well as by asymptomatic people shedding the virus.

How the Pandemic is Affecting Our Annual Events

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.

Be safe.

Ashokan Quarry Trail Opens to the Public

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:
https://catskillmountainclub.org/…/wh…/ashokan-quarry-trail/

Spring 2020 CMC Newsletter

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.

Spring 2020 Coronavirus Edition Newsletter

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.

Announcing the Formation of the Friends of Bramley Mountain Fire Tower

Bramley Mountain Fire Tower and cabin c. 1950

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.

16th Annual Lark in the Park | October 5th – 14th, 2019

Lark in the Park view from Giant Ledge

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

Delhi Town Council Supports the Bramley Mountain Fire Tower Project

Visitors at the Bramley Mountain Fire Tower, 1950s

July 30 2019   The Catskill Mountain Club is happy to announce that the Town of Delhi has passed a resolution in support of the CMC’s efforts to restore the Bramley Mountain Fire Tower to its former home on the mountain’s summit, overlooking vast areas of the Catskills. The tower, originally raised in 1950, was decommissioned and then removed by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation in 1975. At that time, the Clark family of Delhi bought the tower, removed it, and has stored it in a barn since then, well protected from the elements. We are grateful to the Clarks for their generous offer to lease the tower to the Town for $1 so it can be placed on the summit again. This is an exciting development that will provide a great new recreational destination in the western Catskills and benefit the communities of Delhi and Bovina with the business of the many hikers who will visit the tower.

Continue reading

News about the CMC in the Oneonta Daily Star

The CMC was featured in the Oneonta Daily Star recently.  We are grateful for the recognition of our work on behalf of outdoors enthusiasts and of the communities of the Catskills that benefit from the great recreational assets of our region.

Oneonta Daily Star

Go take a hike

Catskill Mountain Club’s trails encourage folks to get outdoors

Go take a hike

Photo contributed by the CMC – The Pepacton Reservoir as seen from the  Shavertown Trail.

 

Second Annual Members Picnic | Sunday, August 11, 2019 @ 10:00 AM

🎵 Summer’s here and the time is right for picnicking in the park!  🎵
       At North-South Lake, that is!

North-South Lake from Sunset Rock

It’s time for our Annual Members Picnic!  Join us on August 11th from 10 to 5 at the South Lake pavilion for food, games, hikes, swimming, paddling and just a plain old good time chatting with like minded lovers of the great outdoors.

Your club will provide free hamburgers, hot dogs, snacks and non-alcoholic beverages. You bring a dish to share.

The picnic is free for all CMC members, including individuals and families with children up to 18 years old.  Family and significant others who are not CMC members are welcome to attend for a fee of $5 per person.  Kids under 12 are free. Please pay by cash or check at the sign-in table when you arrive.

Not a current member? Join or renew below.

Hours: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM.  Lunch at 1:00 PM.

Registration is required by August 6th.  Click here to go to the registration form.

There is a day use area entrance fee to the facilities, and if you want to paddle you’ll need to rent or bring your own kayak or canoe.

First thing in the morning, we’ll depart on one or two easy hikes to one of the amazing attractions along the Escarpment. Sunset Rock, Inspiration Point and Kaaterskill Falls are all possibilities.

For those who prefer not to hike, choose from several other options.   Afterwards, we’ll return to the pavilion for a cookout followed by a few more hours of relaxing, swimming, boating or playing a friendly yard game or two.

What you’ll need to bring:

If you’re hiking, bring good hiking shoes, comfortable clothing and plenty of water. Hiking poles are suggested.  Bring swim suits, sunscreen, insect repellent, a change of clothes and folding chairs, if desired.

Bring a dish to share. Organizers will ask for an appetizer, a side dish, a dessert or a salad.  Please see the registration form.

Questions can be directed to Rick Roberts at hikerrick2000@yahoo.com

Driving directions:   From SR 23A in Haines Falls turn north onto North Lake Drive and bear right at the Twilight General Store, continuing to the entrance gate.

Make your reservations here:
https://catskillmountainclub.org/events/cmc-annual-picnic-registration/

Views from the Watershed | July 13th and August 3rd, 10 AM – 4 PM

Ashokan Reservoir spillway

The CMC is excited to announce that tickets for the much anticipated “Views from the Watershed” tours of the NYC Catskill and Delaware watersheds are now available for purchase. Tour dates are Saturday, July 13th and Saturday, August 3rd.

Led by watershed educator and artist Lize Mogel and featuring special guests including historians Diane Galusha, Marianne Greenfield, the DEP’s Adam Bosch and CMC Executive Director Wendell George, the all-day bus tours will explore the landscape, history, and politics of the NYC water supply in the Catskills. Hear stories of the water system from the multiple perspectives of people who live and work in it, and who manage it. These tours are a great opportunity for newer or part-time residents of the Catskills and for visitors to learn more about the past, present, and future of how water shapes their environment.

The tour begins and ends at the Catskills Visitor Center in Mount Tremper. With stops at the Ashokan and Pepacton Reservoirs and sites in between, the tour will visit several points of interest as it winds through the scenic Catskill Park. Be sure to bring a camera! Lunch will be available for pre-purchase to be eaten at a stop along the way.

These tours are supported in part by an education grant awarded by the Catskill Watershed Corp. to the Catskill Mountain Club.

For more information visit Walking the Watershed.

Outdoors Day at the Catskills Visitor Center | June 8th, 9:30 AM

Hike the Tanbark Trail with the CMC.

This moderate hike is about 2 miles long.    We’ll meet at the CVC at 9:30 and travel together to the trailhead from there.  The hike should last about two hours and along the way we’ll visit two nice viewpoints.  After the hike we’ll come back to the Visitor Center for refreshments and to participate in the festivities there.

Please bring something to drink. Dress for comfort and wear good hiking shoes. Hiking poles are suggested.

This event is limited to 15 hikers.  Please register by contacting wendell@catskillmountainclub.org or by calling 845-586-6273.

More about Outdoors Day.

The Catskills All Trails Challenge Gets a Facebook Group

April 24, 2019    With the growing interest in the Catskills All Trails Challenge (CATC), we have created a Facebook group dedicated to the folks who are hiking the Challenge. The page gives you a place to connect with one another, share information and advice about the trails, ask questions, make plans, share routes, find hiking and carpooling partners and post pictures and descriptions of your adventures on the trails of the Catskill Park.

Anyone who has hiked or is interested in hiking the All Trails Challenge is welcome to join the group.  You’ll need a Facebook account to join.  Simply go to the following link and ask to join. Catskills All Trails Challenge on Facebook.

We welcome all hikers who share our values of good stewardship of the Catskill Park. We endorse Leave No Trace principles and compliance with the rules and regulations written by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation in order to protect the Catskill Forest Preserve, which was created to protect these lands as “Forever Wild” by an Amendment to the New York State Constitution.  These regulations include limited hiking group sizes, with a legal limit of 20 without a special permit.  We suggest a limit of 12 to limit impacts on sensitive and endangered plant communities, and to preserve the quality of the wilderness experience.  For more, visit our page Recreational Use Regulations for the Catskill Park Forest Preserve.

Visit the CMC at the Catskills Great Outdoor Expo | Saturday, March 30, 2019

Catskills Great Outdoor Expo 2019 - Flyer

Catskill Park Day | Tuesday, February 5, 2019

NYS Capitol in winter_commonsimageTwo weeks from tomorrow on Tuesday, February 5th the CMC and our many partners in the Catskill Park Coalition will head up to Albany on Catskill Park Day. Our purpose is to talk to legislators, the governor and officials at the DEC about the recreational needs of our region, including stewardship of the Catskill Park, aid to our communities, protection of our environment, conservation and many other things that impact on the health and quality of our area’s great outdoor spaces.

Click here for a summary of our goals and how you can help advance them, even if you can’t go to Albany. Find the contact info for your legislators and for the Governor and give them a call or write a letter supporting our requests. And please join us on February 5th as we make our case to our state’s leaders. Thanks in advance for helping to protect and improve the Catskill Park!

For more info, contact us at wendell@catskillmountianclub.org.
Register to go, get contact info and find a sample letter here.
Follow on Facebook here.

Final+2019+Catskill+Park+Coalition+Priorities
Download a copy here:

Final+2019+Catskill+Park+Coalition+Priorities

Regular Big Game Hunting Season Begins Soon – Hike Safely at These No Hunting Locations

Note:  For an updated post see here.

November 15, 2018   Beginning November 17th and lasting through December 9th, the popular regular deer and bear hunting season means that everyone who goes into the woods in the Catskills needs to be aware, be alert and ALWAYS BE DRESSED IN ORANGE (dogs included). Whether you are on forest preserve, state forest or NYCDEP lands, the three week period during which hunters are permitted to use rifles is a time for added care.

Alternatives where hunting is not permitted do exist. Most are not within the Catskills proper, but all are close enough to make a day trip practical. It is advisable to wear orange even when hiking on these trails. The added precaution affords peace of mind.
Listed below are 16 great places to get outdoors where hunting is not permitted. We suggest that you consider exploring new territory or revisiting your favorites. Happy Trails!

Andes Rail Trail/Bullet Hole Spur (in Andes)
Bear Mountain State Park (near West Point)
Black Creek Preserve (near Esopus)
Delhi Trails (in Delhi)

Ferncliff Forest & Fire Tower (Rhinebeck)
Harriman State Park (near Harriman)
High Banks Preserve (near Ulster Park)
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)

Thacher State Park** (near Voorheesville)
The Willows at Brandow’s Point (Athens)
Wallkill Valley Rail Trail (Kingston to Gardiner)
Walkway Over the Hudson & 
Franny Reese State Park (can be combined) (Poughkeepsie/Highland)

The North-South Lake Day Use Area is one place in the Catskill Park where hunting is not permitted. Be aware that the area does not include Kaaterskill Falls or the Escarpment Trail to the south of the intensive use area. It does extend on all trails north to Badman Cave.

*No bear season. For deer seasons, no hunting in the vicinity of hiking trails – check map here: https://parks.ny.gov/parks/attachments/Minnewaska2017HuntingMapMinnewaska.pdf?fbclid=IwAR0c-LusE0CwKNafcBrJidoc2K73nagbtsEll1HXmv4a3iyKKLo-aSllsJY

**hunting allowed in a some areas. See map for details: https://parks.ny.gov/…/ThacherThacherStateParkHuntingMap.pdf

It’s time for the CMC’s ANNUAL DINNER and RAFFLE! | Sunday, October 14, 5 PM

This year’s party will take place on Sunday, October 14 at the Emerson Resort’s Catamount Restaurant in Mount Tremper. We’ll begin at 5 PM with a chance to talk to fellow members and guests while munching appetizers and enjoying a beverage from the bar. You can enjoy the views of Tremper Mountain while listening to the Esopus Creek from the expansive deck. Following the three course dinner, we’ll hear noted guide book authors Russell Dunn and Barbara Delaney give a presentation based on the recently published book Rambles to Remarkable Rocks, the perfect introduction to some new destinations for Catskills hikers. Russ is well known for his Catskill Region Waterfall Guide and other titles covering hiking in the Catskills, Adirondacks, Hudson River Valley, as well as the Taconics and Berkshires.

This year’s raffle offers another great line up of prizes including two Osprey day packs, a Thule kayak roof rack, snowshoes, artwork by naturalist Jack Mesick and a day rental for two of a kayak for a run down the East Branch of the Delaware. You do not have to be present to win, so purchase your tickets online or at the dinner. All proceeds go to help support the CMC’s work.
Get your RAFFLE tickets here: http://catskillmountainclub.org/…/2018-raffle-dinner-prizes/
Make DINNER RESERVATIONS here: http://catskillmountainclub.org/e…/tickets-for-annual-dinner

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The First Annual CMC Picnic was a Perfect Way to Spent a Beautiful Summer’s Day!

We had a great day for the first Annual CMC Picnic yesterday. The weather quickly warmed up and the skies stayed sunny for most of the day, making for a great day to swim or just sit at the beach. We all agreed that Belleayre Beach was a perfect place to get together. The grounds are beautiful, the facilities well kept and the lake and surrounding mountains are a great setting. We had some good corn hole and bocce ball matches, and a great hike at Rochester Hollow to begin the day. With Rick Roberts, CMC president, at the grill, the burgers and hotdogs were excellent eating with lots of great homemade side dishes and plenty of desserts to top it all off.

With great company, it was a nice way to spend a summer’s day. We hope to see many more of you at next year’s festivities!

Accessible Outdoor Recreation Destinations in and around the Catskills

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Accessible Trail at Little Pond Campground

Most of us take for granted the almost endless opportunities we have to get out into the great outdoors. Whether we’re hitting the trail, casting for trout, paddling, or going rogue by ‘whacking our way into the unknown, we know well how important that chance to connect with nature is. And we appreciate it deeply.

For some of us, getting that feeling isn’t so easy. Our friends and family members who have limited mobility need and deserve resources that can accommodate them so they can get out and experience that connection with nature, too. The Americans with Disabilities Act has encouraged the development of infrastructure to make getting out easier. The NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, the NYC Department of Environmental Protection, other governmental agencies and even some non-governmental organizations have accessible facilities all around the Catskills, including trails, fishing areas, water access points, picnic pads, camping pads, pavilions and restrooms. Recent improvements have been completed at Kenneth Wilson Campground, a DEC facility in the Town of Woodstock and the DEC has filed notice for comments on a plan to improve and add to the accessible facilities at the North-South Lake Campground near Haines Falls. Accessible attractions also include iconic spots like Kaaterskill Falls and the Ashokan Reservoir Promenade. For travelers, easy to get to trails and other amenities can be found at the Catskill Interpretive Center in Mt. Tremper.

Here are links to pages that list where many of these facilities are located.

NYSDEC Accessible Recreation Destinations listed by county.

Accessible Catskills Hiking, Camping and Outdoors

NYS Parks – search by the park name or location and look for the “Amenities and Activities” section.

Ashokan Rail Trail

Boot-brush Unveiling and Hike at the Shavertown Trail | Friday, July 13, 10:30 AM

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DEP TO UNVEIL BOOT BRUSH STATION AND HOST COMMUNITY HIKE AT SHAVERTOWN TRAIL IN DELAWARE COUNTY

Boot brush, designed to combat invasive species, is among the first in the Catskills

DEP will also co-host community hike at Shavertown on July 13 with Catskill Mountain Club

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) will co-host a community hike and unveil its new boot-brush station at the Shavertown Trail near Pepacton Reservoir on July 13. The event, which is free and open to all, will begin at 10:30 a.m. The Catskill Mountain Club and DEP will lead the hike, which will take participants along a new section of the trail that was recently constructed by volunteers.

The event will begin at the trailhead on County Route 1 in Andes, just north of its intersection with Route 30. DEP this month installed a boot-brush station at the trailhead to help minimize the spread of invasive species. The station is among the first of its kind in the Catskills. It includes a mounted brush on which hikers can clean their boots, information to help identify several invasive species that are approaching the region, and a gravel pad that is intended to trap any seeds that might get brushed off.

The boot-brush station will help prevent the spread of many types of invasive species, especially invasive plants such as bittersweet and barberry. Invasive plants cannot move far on their own. Even wind-dispersed seeds generally do not blow too far. Most new infestations are started by people who unintentionally move the seeds through recreational activities such as hiking, hunting or fishing. That’s why boot-brush stations are becoming more common throughout New York, especially in the northern and western parts of the state where outdoor recreation is popular. Continue reading

Catskills All Trails Challenge: Adding the New Overlook Mountain Trails

There are two recent additions to the trail system on Overlook Mountain. The Meads Meadow Trail and the Overloop Trail provide new easy to moderate hikes that loop north off the Overlook Spur Trail, which has been extended to the new Meads Meadow Trailhead parking area. Together they add 1.8 miles of new trails. Going forward, those trails are being added to the list of trails that must be hiked in order to complete the All Trails Challenge requirements. With their inclusion their are now 347 miles of designated hiking trails that must be hiked to receive your cetificate, patch and shirt. More Happy Hiking!

Overlook Mountain Wild Forest map.

Announcing the First Annual CMC Picnic | Saturday, July 28, 10 AM – 5 PM

Belleayre Beach

Belleayre Beach

The CMC’s first annual picnic will be held on Saturday, July 28 at Belleayre Beach in the heart of the Catskills. The picnic, which is open to CMC members and their guests, will feature local hikes, games, swimming and paddling. Hikes to the summit of Belleayre or at Rochester Hollow will start the day, beginning at 10 AM and returning to the lake in the early afternoon. Snacks, yard games, swimming, paddling (boats and boards can be rented on site) and fishing (NYS license required) will be available all day.  After the hikes we’ll have a picnic, with hamburgers, hotdogs and non-alcoholic beverages provided by the CMC (vegetarian options will be served). All parties should bring a dish to share. You may bring beer and wine (not allowed on the beach).

Not a current member?  Join or renew below. We hope to see you there!

What you need to know:

Belleayre Beach at Pine Hill Lake is a state owned and operated facility in the village of Pine Hill. It features a beach, rental kayaks and lifeguards on duty. It serves as the trailhead for the Giggle Hollow Trail.

The picnic is free for all CMC members, including individuals and families with children up to 18 years old. Family and significant others who are not CMC members are welcome to attend for a fee of $5 per person. Kids under 12 are free. Please pay by cash or check at the sign-in table when you arrive.

Hours: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM.  Lunch at 2:00 PM.

Registration is required by July 23rd(Click the link to go to the registration page.)

Park Entrance Fee: $14 per car with up to seven passengers, or $5 per person if you walk in. (Parking outside the gate is limited.)

Paddling rental fee: $15 per hour, or bring your same-day steam cleaned boat. (Click here for a list of approved steam cleaners.) PFDs required.

What you’ll need:

If you’re hiking, bring good hiking shoes and comfortable clothing, plenty of water and a snack. Hiking poles are suggested.

Swim suits, sunscreen, and insect repellant. Change of clothes and folding chairs, if desired.

A dish to share. Organizers will ask for a side dish, a dessert or a salad.

Questions can be directed to Rick Roberts at hikerrick2000@yahoo.com

Driving Directions: Belleayre Lake is on Friendship Manor Road and is visible from SR 28 in Pine Hill. Coming from the east it is just before the entrance into Pine Hill. From the west on SR 28 it is 1 mile past Galli-Curci Road (to Belleayre Ski Center) in Highmount.

Map and Compass Workshop: Essential Knowledge | Sunday, July 15, 10:00 AM

858_map-compassMany hikers have become reliant on their gps unit or their smartphone to navigate in the mountains. They work great until they don’t, then you’re up a creek without a paddle unless you have these millenia old tools. They only weigh a couple of ounces, so don’t be concerned about adding to your burden. They are among the most valuable tools you will carry.  Knowing how to use them can save your day, or even save your life.

CMC Board member Will Soter is a NYSDEC licensed guide. This free hands on Map and Compass class will cover the basics of reading a map, plotting a course on a map, following a course in the field, recording a path of travel, and locating yourself on the map.

Participants should bring a baseplate compass.

Continue reading

Andes Rail Trail Gets Some Big Improvements

April 10, 2018

IMG_5326Parking has always been a bit tricky for visitors to the Andes Rail Trail and Bullet Hole Spur, but no longer. There has been a great improvement to the parking situation thanks to the Town of Andes, landscaper Mel Bellar and CMC board member Ann Roberti. The entrance to the Trail and to the historic train station has been opened up and improved so that parking is now available adjacent to the trailhead. The trailhead itself has a newly redesignedIMG_5323 entrance. The parking area was paved with crushed stone by LaFever Excavating. While there, they generously donated work to improve a long existing drainage problem on the trail. The CMC thanks all those involved in these projects for a great job.

Volunteer with the CMC! You’ll Love It (and so will We).

CMC_logo_border_220x220Do You Have Some Time to Spare? Love to Pitch in on a Community Project? Looking for a Good Excuse to Get Out of the House (and Into the Woods)? We’ve Got You Covered!

We admit it. We’ve got big eyes. We look around at all of the great things happening in the Catskills and we want to jump into the action. But, alas, we could use lots more help. Here’s what’s coming up. See something that appeals? Just get in touch with us and we’ll tell you how you can help.

Continue reading

Read All About It in the The CMC’s Winter 2018 Newsletter

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Yours free with membership. Or buy it for $5.

Winter 2018 Newsletter

Have you come home from a winter hike to find that a tick has attached itself to you!? Maybe you’ve been out on a little adventure on the trails and found yourself on your butt more times than you care to remember. Read our review of traction devices and you’ll soon be prepared for another, safer outing. These articles and much more are yours to read by clicking here. Subscribe to our mailing list to get future newsletters and CMC updates in your mailbox automatically. Just give us your name, email address and mailing address and you’ll be kept informed about CMC happenings. We promise not to flood your inbox.

Of course, our favorite option would be that you become a CMC member. Our modest membership dues are what we rely on to make the wheels go ’round. And you get some nice perks with your annual membership. Check it out. Thanks.

Catskills All Trails Challenge: De-listing the Jockey Hill Trails

After careful consideration, the CMC has decided to de-list the Jockey Hill Trails as a hike required to qualify for the Catskills All Trails Challenge certificate of completion.

Like the Elm Ridge trails in Greene County, which were never listed as required hikes, Jockey Hill trails are multi-purpose and are designed with the needs of mountain biking users in mind. The Department of Environmental Conservation has indicated that the trail system at Jockey Hill will be expanded to serve those needs. These additions further change the hiking experience through the design of trails that form multiple loops. Similar improvements have been made at Elm Ridge, and the CMC applauds the decision of the DEC to expand mountain biking opportunities in the Catskill Park. However, such trails are not conducive to a satisfying hiking experience.

To those who have already hiked Jockey Hill in its current configuration, we say congratulations. We hope you enjoyed your explorations there. Feedback from some CATs hikers, along with consultation with the DEC about the expanded system have informed our decision. Of course, any hiker is more than welcome to explore both Jockey Hill and Elm Ridge. Until the current supply of CATs Challenge tee shirts runs out, Jockey Hill will continue to be listed on the shirt. It will be removed from the published list of required hikes.

As this development illustrates, the trail system in the Catskill Park in dynamic. New trails are sometimes added and old trails are sometimes rerouted or abandoned. We appreciate input from our members and friends and look forward to hearing from you as you continue the quest. Thanks for participating and for spreading the word about the Catskills All Trails Challenge and the wonderful trails and features that are discovered with each hike!

Catskill Park Day 2018: A Call to Action

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In only a few days the CMC and its Catskill Park Coalition partners will go to Albany for our annual Catskill Park Day. We’ll meet with our elected representatives, including the Governor and members of the legislature, to press for action on the policy priorities we have identified for 2018.

If you are not able to travel with us to Albany for Catskill Park Day, there’s a way to speak up and speak out right from the comfort of your home or office. By raising your voice, you amplify our message and add power to its effectiveness.

You can either send Governor Cuomo a brief letter of support for the priorities of the Catskill Mountain Club and its Catskill Park Coalition partners, or you can call the Governor’s office and give a brief message of support.

Catskill Park Coalition - Budget Priorities 2018 (Final)

Click to enlarge

Below are the specific requests made by the CPC for 2018. Simply glance at them, pick one or two that resonates with you and place your call telling the assistant who answers what you would like the Governor to support.

If you prefer to write a note, we have provided a link to the form used by the Governor’s office. You can simply copy and paste the message we have written below or edit it to suit your preferences.

We have had good results over the past several years and anticipate continued success with support from folks like you who love the Catskills and care about its future.

Thank you for your efforts!

Phone number of the Governor’s office: (518) 474-8390   Office hours: 9:00am to 5:00pm

Link to the Governor’s email system: https://www.governor.ny.gov/content/governor-contact-form

Sample letter:

Dear Governor Cuomo,

I am writing today to respectfully ask that you give your support to the priorities for the Catskill Park and region as expressed by the Catskill Mountain Club and its fellow members of the Catskill Park Coalition.

The Catskill Park is one of our nation’s great natural assets, encompassing hundreds of thousands of acres of pristine wilderness and sparkling clean waters. It is home to huge communities of rare wildlife and to one of the most diverse forests in the world. And it is one of New York’s greatest outdoor recreational areas, along with the Adirondack Park.

Please support the continuing improvements to the Catskills environment and Park infrastructure that allow members of the public to experience the great outdoors in all its glory in a way that is both safe and sustainable.

Sincerely,

Overlook Mountain: New Parking Area and Trail Will Relieve a Big Problem

Overlook Mountain new parking & trailsDecember 19, 2017

The DEC opened the new Meads Meadow Trailhead parking area on McDaniel Rd. today. A new trail system explores the Magic Meadow parcel, and the new connector trail leads to the existing trail to the summit and fire tower.

Severe overuse has long plagued hikers with parking problems that resulted in dangerous conditions on the road for hikers and drivers alike. A downloadable map is available on the CMC website here: Overlook Mountain new parking & trails.

New: Catskills Trail Conditions Reports from the Catskill Interpretive Center

The Catskill Interpretive Center has added a very valuable service for visitors who hike in the Catskills. The weekly updated trail condition reports offer vital news about all sorts of hazards and problems that hikers might encounter. Things like washouts, trail obstructions, weather related conditions and other related info can be found in one convenient spot. Check out the CMC Facebook page on Thursdays for a link to the new reports, or visit the Catskill Interpretive Center’s trail conditions webpage.

The CMC is an operating partner of the Catskill Interpretive Center. To support out work there, please consider donating to or joining the CMC. Thank you.

CMC Annual Dinner fun for all

Attendees enjoyed the company, fine food and the informative talk by Tom Davidock of the NYC DEP.davidockatdinner

 

Raffle Prize Winners!

 

First Prize:

Beth Waterman, who chose the snowshoes to replace her old style wooden snowshoes

 

Second Prize:

Jack McShane, who chose the Jack Mesick limited edition print. Jack is getting quite a collection of Jack Mesick prints, as he has won these twice in the past.

 

Third Prize:

Edie Mesick, kayak

 

September 30th through October 9th — Catskills Lark in the Park

Visit the Lark website for events during the 10 days of Catskills Lark In the Park — events are being added continually….

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.