Catskills Hiking Trail Status and Conditions

Information on conditions and status for trails in the Catskills is below. Jump to Trail Alerts.

 

Map Updates: Due to the ever-changing nature of trails, our maps, even if accurate when published, may not show new or relocated trails that have been established after the map was printed.  Any changes, omissions, or other updates that are not included on the published map set and that are important for hikers to be aware of will be posted here.  If you have any errors or updates to report for the maps, please email us and your information will be passed to our cartographer for future map updates. 

Trail Questions: If you have any trail condition related questions or updates to report, please contact our Catskills regional office staff (or 518.628.4243).  Our staff are available to answer trail, hiking and general backpacking questions for the Catskill Mountains region.

Reporting Trail Problems: Looking to report a serious trail issue you came across while hiking in the Catskill Mountains?  Please use our Trail Report Form to pass the information along to us.  We will use the information that you provide to mobilize our trail maintainers and crews if necessary.  If it is not a trail we currently maintain, we will pass the information along to the appropriate partners and we will also use your information to post any relevant updates here on our Trail Updates page. 

Trail Conference Information & Resources for the Catskill Mountains: The Trail Conference maintainers a number of different pages and resources for the Catskills.  Visit our main Catskill Mountains Page or our Catskill Mountains Trail News and Programs to learn how the Trail Conference works in the region to build, maintain and improve trails and lean-tos, secure open space, support the Catskill Park and works with local communities increase economic development through non-motorized outdoor recreation.  You can also follow the Trail Conference's Catskills Region on Facebook and on Twitter (@NYNJTCCatskills) for trail information and updates.

Trail Information, Conditions and Status: The information provided below is fairly general in nature, and while it is updated regularly, it may not reflect current specific conditions. The local Forest Ranger is the source for more current and specific information. To contact the Forest Rangers for Region 3 (Ulster & Sullivan Counties), please call the NYSDEC's New Paltz regional office at (845) 256-3026.  For Forest Rangers in Region 4 (Greene and Delaware Counties), please call the NYSDEC's Schenectady regional office at (518) 357-2161.  Make sure to report back country emergencies, such as lost or injured hikers, and wildland fires to the DEC Forest Rangers.

WEATHER: Local weather conditions can be obtained from the Albany National Weather Service site (NWS), along with the Hudson Valley Weather website (HVH), which provides local conditions and weather discussion for areas throughout the Valley and the Mountains.  NOTE: Weather conditions on mountain summits can be significantly different from conditions in the Hudson Valley or even the mountain valleys.

WARNING: Wilderness conditions can change suddenly. All users should plan accordingly, including bringing flashlight, first aid equipment, extra food and clothing. Weather conditions may alter your plans; you should always be prepared to spend an unplanned night in the woods before entering the back country. Back country hiking trails can be rugged and rough - they are not maintained as park walkways - wear proper footwear!

REMEMBER: Weather and trail conditions can change rapidly, especially during fall, winter and spring. Plan and prepare accordingly.

ALWAYS: Inform someone of your itinerary and when you expect to return.  Always sign in at the Trail Registers provided at trailheads.  This information is used by Forest Rangers should you not return when expected to narrow a search.

 


 TRAIL ALERTS


 Ongoing Trail & Trailhead Status Notices

 

Beaver Kill Road Access: The Town of Hardenburgh has posted the end of the Beaver Kill Road as "seasonal use" and is no longer plowing the road beyond the Mongaup-Hardenburgh Trailhead during the winter months.

 

Current Catskills Trail & Trailhead Conditions

Updated 10/23/2014

 

October 23, 2014 Update: Foliage throughout most of the Catskills is well past peak, but there is still limited color in lower mountain valleys and at lower elevations in the Hudson Valley. 

The weather forecast for the weekend calls for a relatively dry period with seasonal temperatures.  There is a slight chance for scattered showers on both days with a greater chance on Sunday.  Expect daytime temperatures in the 50s and 60s with temperatures cooler at higher elevations.  Temperatures are expected to be in the upper 30s at night, with temperatures below freezing a potential at higher elevations.  Be prepared for hiking and camping in these fall temperatures and weather conditions.

All marked and officially designated hiking trails in the Catskills are currently open.  Due to rains this week, trails will likely be wet and muddy for the weekend.  Proper precautions should be taken to protect the environment surrounding the trail while you are hiking during muddy periods - walk through muddy areas, not around.  Recent rains have raised creek and spring levels, but you should be sure to pack plenty of water to cover distances between reliable water sources.  Remember to always treat surface and spring waters before drinking. Hikers should use caution when crossing unbridged streams as a crossing may not be difficult during low water, but can be difficult, if not impossible in times of high water.

Winds during the storms over the past week may have likely brought branches down on the trail and there may be new tree blowdowns on the trail.  Fallen leaves on the trail can hide a multitude of hazards such as loose rocks, depressions and other obstacles.  In addition, leaves can be slippery, especially when wet.  Hike with extra caution on leaf covered trails to avoid the potential for injury.


October 16, 2014 Update: Foliage at higher elevations of the Catskills is well past peak, but there is still limited color in mountain valleys and at lower elevations in the Hudson Valley. 

The weather forecast for the weekend calls for a relatively dry period with seasonal temperatures.  There is a slight chance for scattered showers on both days.  Expect daytime temperatures in the 50s and 60s with temperatures cooler at higher elevations.  Temperatures are expected to be in the upper 30s at night, with temperatures below freezing likely at higher elevations.  Be prepared for hiking in camping in these temperatures and weather conditions.

All marked and officially designated hiking trails in the Catskills are currently open.  Due to rains this week, trails will likely be wet and muddy for the weekend.  Proper precautions should be taken to protect the environment surrounding the trail while you are hiking during muddy periods - walk through muddy areas, not around.  Recent rains have raised creek and spring levels, but you should be sure to pack plenty of water to cover distances between reliable water sources.  Remember to always treat surface and spring waters before drinking. 

 

October 9, 2014 Update: Most of the foliage at higher elevations of the Catskills has peaked, but there is still plenty of color on mountainsides and in the valleys.  The extended Columbus Day Weekend should be an excellent time to be out hiking and enjoying the Catskill Mountains.  For a full foliage report, please visit the ILoveNY Foliage Report.

The 2014 Catskills Lark in the Park, co-sponsored by the Trail Conference, runs through Monday, October 13th.  10 days of guided adventures, cultural, educational and historical activities throughout the Catskills.  Visit www.catskillslark.org for complete schedule and free event registrations!

The weather forecast for the holiday weekend calls for relatively dry period with seasonal temperatures for the entire weekend.  There's a slight chance for showers on Saturday and on Monday.  Expect daytime temperatures in the 50s and 60s with temperatures cooler at higher elevations.  Temperatures are expected to be in the upper 30s at night, with temperatures below freezing likely at higher elevations.

All marked and officially designated hiking trails in the Catskills are currently open.  Due to ongoing dry weather, many seasonal creeks and springs are dry or running very low.  Be sure to pack plenty of water to cover distances between reliable water sources. Recent rains have done little to raise water levels.  Be careful with fires when camping due to the dry conditions.

 

October 2, 2014 Update: The Catskills are reaching peak foliage color this weekend and for the following week and it should be an excellent time to be out hiking and enjoying the Catskill Mountains.  For a full foliage report, please visit the ILoveNY Foliage Report.

The 2014 Catskills Lark in the Park, co-sponsored by the Trail Conference, begins on Saturday, October 4th and runs through Monday, October 13th.  10 days of guided adventures, cultural, educational and historical activities throughout the Catskills.  Visit www.catskillslark.org for complete schedule and free event registrations!

Catskills volunteers - Be sure to attend the free 2014 Volunteer Appreciation Picnic this Sunday at North & South Lake State Campground.

The weather forecast for the weekend calls for rain in the Catskills on Saturay, but a dry and sunny Sunday with seasonal temperatures.  All marked and officially designated hiking trails in the Catskills are currently open.  Due to ongoing dry weather, many seasonal creeks and springs are dry.  Be sure to pack plenty of water to cover distances between reliable water sources. Recent rains this week have done little to raise water levels.  Be careful with fires when camping.


September 24, 2014: There is significant fall foliage color throughout the Catskills and with this weekend's pleasant forecast, it should be an excellent time to be out hiking and enjoying the Catskill Mountains.  For a full foliage report, please visit the ILoveNY Foliage Report.

The 2014 Catskills Lark in the Park, co-sponsored by the Trail Conference begins on Saturday, October 4th and runs through Monday, October 13th.  10 days of guided adventures, cultural, educational and historical activities throughout the Catskills.  Visit www.catskillslark.org for complete schedule and free event registrations!

All marked and officially designated hiking trails in the Catskills are currently open.  When camping, be cautious with campfires because of continued dry weather in the region.  Also due to dry weather, many seasonal creeks and springs are dry.  Be sure to pack plenty of water to cover distances between reliable water sources. Recent rains this week have done little to raise water levels.


September 19, 2014 Update: Fall foliage is coming to the Catskills.  For a foliage report, please visit the ILoveNY Foliage Report.  

All marked and officially designated hiking trails in the Catskills are currently open.  When camping, be cautious with campfires because of continued dry weather in the region.  Also due to dry weather, many seasonal creeks and springs are dry.  Be sure to pack plenty of water to cover distances between reliable water sources. 


September 2, 2014 Update: The NYSDEC has notified the Trail Conference that they are working on repairing eroded sections of the Spruceton Trail on Hunter Mountain (which also serves as an adminstrative access road to the tower).  The trail and the fire tower remain open, but sections may be under construction over the next several weeks.


August 15, 2014 Update: All marked and officially designated hiking trails in the Catskills are currently open.  When camping, be cautious with campfires. Mosquitoes, blackflies and ticks are present in the backcountry. Minimize the nuisance of biting insects: wear light colored clothing, long sleeve shirts and long pants; tuck shirts into pants, tuck pant legs into socks and button or rubber band sleeves at the wrist; pack a headnet to wear when insects are thick; and use an insect repellant with DEET, follow label directions. 

 

August 1, 2014 Update: All marked and officially designated hiking trails in the Catskills are currently open.  The forecast calls for showers this weekend.  Trails are likely to be muddy in places due to the rain. Wear gaiters and appropriate footwear and walk through, not around wet and muddy areas to avoid further eroding and widening of trails.  When camping, be cautious with campfires. Mosquitoes, blackflies and ticks are present in the backcountry. Minimize the nuisance of biting insects: wear light colored clothing, long sleeve shirts and long pants; tuck shirts into pants, tuck pant legs into socks and button or rubber band sleeves at the wrist; pack a headnet to wear when insects are thick; and use an insect repellant with DEET, follow label directions. 


July 18, 2014 Update:  All marked and officially designated hiking trails in the Catskills are currently open.  The forecast calls for generally fair weather this weekend.  Trails are likely to be muddy in places due to heavy rains this week. Wear gaiters and appropriate footwear and walk through, not around wet and muddy areas to avoid further eroding and widening trails.  When camping, be cautious with campfires. Mosquitoes, blackflies and ticks are present in the backcountry. Minimize the nuisance of biting insects: wear light colored clothing, long sleeve shirts and long pants; tuck shirts into pants, tuck pant legs into socks and button or rubber band sleeves at the wrist; pack a headnet to wear when insects are thick; and use an insect repellant with DEET, follow label directions. 

 

July 3, 2014 Update: Have a safe and happy 4th of July in the Catskills!  All marked and officially designated hiking trails in the Catskills are currently open.  The forecast calls for scattered storms (some could be strong) on the 4th, so be prepared for wet weather on Friday.  Trails are likely to be muddy in places due to heavy rains this week. Wear gaiters and appropriate footwear. Walk through not around wet and muddy areas to avoid further eroding and widening trails.  When camping, be cautious with campfires. Mosquitoes, blackflies and ticks are present in the backcountry. Minimize the nuisance of biting insects: wear light colored clothing, long sleeve shirts and long pants; tuck shirts into pants, tuck pant legs into socks and button or rubber band sleeves at the wrist; pack a headnet to wear when insects are thick; and use an insect repellant with DEET, follow label directions.  Learn more about upcoming Catskills Trails Events.


June 27, 2014 Update: All marked and officially designated hiking trails in the Catskills are currently open.  Trails are likely to be muddy in low areas and along the shorlines of ponds and alongside brooks due to heavy rains this week. Wear gaiters and appropriate footwear. Walk through not around wet and muddy areas to avoid further eroding and widening trails.  There may also be erosion damage in places from the heavy rains this past week but there are no reports of damaged bridges.  When camping, be cautious with campfires. Mosquitoes and blackflies are present in the backcountry. Minimize the nuisance of biting insects: wear light colored clothing, long sleeve shirts and long pants; tuck shirts into pants, tuck pant legs into socks and button or rubber band sleeves at the wrist; pack a headnet to wear when insects are thick; and use an insect repellant with DEET, follow label directions.

 

June 20, 2014 Update:  All marked and officially designated hiking trails in the Catskills are currently open.  Trails are likely to be muddy in low areas and along the shorlines of ponds and alongside brooks. Wear gaiters and appropriate footwear. Walk through not around wet and muddy areas to avoid further eroding and widening trails.  When camping, be cautious with campfires. Mosquitoes and blackflies are present in the backcountry. Minimize the nuisance of biting insects: wear light colored clothing, long sleeve shirts and long pants; tuck shirts into pants, tuck pant legs into socks and button or rubber band sleeves at the wrist; pack a headnet to wear when insects are thick; and use an insect repellant with DEET, follow label directions.  On mountain summits expect and prepare for cooler temperatures and stronger winds. Sight distance will be limited, sometimes significantly, when clouds cover the summits.

 

June 12, 2014 Update: The mountains are green and the temperatures have moderated in the Catskills.  While this past week has been damp in the mountains, our weekend looks good for clear skies and good hikes.  Trails will be drying out over the weekend and there may be some wet, muddy areas.  Otherwise, all marked and designated trails are currently open, including the newest section of the Long Path that was opened on National Trails Day.  If you'd like a map of the new trail, go here.


May 30, 2014 Update: Summer is coming to the Catskills, despite a few cold nights in this past week.  Trails are drying out and trees are leafing out, all the way to the mountain summits.  All marked and designated trails are currently open.  Parking remains restricted at the Woodland Valley Campground Day Use Parking Area.  The weather looks good for this weekend, with no signficant preciptiation forecast.  Happy Trails!

 

May 23, 2014 Update: The mountains are greening up for the Memorial Day Weekend.  Expect wet conditions on the trails thanks to the recent rains.  Be sure to hike through the mud instead of around the mud in order to protect the environment surrounding the trail.  All trails are open for the holiday weekend.  Happy hiking!

 

May 20, 2014 Update: Route 42 south of West Kill is scheduled to reopen Wednesday morning (5/21/14).  The Watershed Post has a story about the repairs and the expected reopening.

 

May 15, 2014 Update: We received a report from the DEC today that the NYSDOT has closed Route 42 south of West Kill due to a landslide.  There are concerns about additional slides occurring due to the heavy rain forecast for tomorrow.  More information about the closure and conditions is available on the Watershed Post.

 

May 9, 2014 Update: Only very limited patches of snow can be found at higher elevations.  Hikers and visitors should be prepared for a mix of trail conditions on the trails of the Catskills, especially at higher elevations.  Snow has, for the most part, melted, but thanks to snowmelt and recent rain, trails remain wet and muddy.  Proper precautions should be taken to protect the environment surrounding the trail while you are hiking during muddy periods.  Read our guide to hiking during mud season to reduce your impact on the trails and the environment.  In addition, parking at the day use parking area at the Woodland Valley State Campground remains restricted due to DEC activities in the campground.

 

May 1, 2014 Update:  The past week's rain and above freezing temperatures have continued to melt snow throughout the Catskill Mountains.  Only limited patches of ice and snow are now found at the higher elevation in shaded areas and on north facing slopes.  Hikers and visitors should be prepared for a mix of conditions on the trails of the Catskills, especially at higher elevations.  Where snow has completely melted, trails remain wet and muddy, especially with the recent rains.  Proper precautions should be taken to protect the environment surrounding the trail while you are hiking during muddy periods.  Read our guide to hiking during mud season to reduce your impact on the trails and the environment.  In addition, parking at the day use parking area at the Woodland Valley State Campground remains restricted due to DEC activities in the campground.

 

April 25th, 2014 Update: Spring continues to come to the Catskills with only limited snow being found at higher elevations, in shaded areas and on north facing slopes. Hikers and visitors should be prepared for a mix of conditions on trails, especially at higher elevations.  Where snow has melted, trails are wet, muddy and proper precautions should be taken to protect the environment surrounding the trail.  Read our guide to hiking during mud season to reduce your impact on the trails and the environment.  Parking at the Day Use Parking Area at the Woodland Valley State Campground remains restricted due to DEC activities in the campground.


April 18, 2014 Update: Despite some snow this past Tuesday night, the snowpack in the Catskills continues to quickly melt.  Deeper snowpack of about a foot remains in places at higher elevations, in shaded areas and on north facing slopes.  Hikers and visitors should be prepared for a mix of conditions on trails, especially at higher elevations.  Where snow has melted, trails are wet, muddy and proper precautions should be taken to protect the environment surrounding the trail.  Read our guide to hiking during mud season to reduce your impact on the trails and the environment.  Also be aware that the melting snow has raised stream levels and some unimproved trail crossings can be difficult during times of high water.  Parking at the Day Use Parking Area at the Woodland Valley State Campground remains restricted due to DEC activities in the campground.

 

April 15, 2014 Update: The DEC has notified the Trail Conference that the gate on the access road to Alder Lake from Cross Mountain Road has been opened by the DEC and can now be used by vehicles.

 

April 14, 2014 Update: The DEC has notified the Trail Conference that due to an operation to remove some Ash trees from the Woodland Valley Campground and Day Use Area, parking at the Day Use/Trailhead Parking Lot at Woodland Valley will be restricted until further notice. This trailhead parking area serves the Wittenberg-Cornell-Slide (Burroughs Range) and the Phoenicia East Branch Trails.  Hikers and visitors should be prepared to find an alternative trailhead during times when the reduced size parking lot is full.  Alternative trailheads include the Giant Ledge Trailhead and the Phoenicia East Branch Trailhead, both on County Route 47 (Oliverea Road).  Those parking areas provide access to Giant Ledge, the Phoenicia East Branch Trail and the Burroughs Range Trail. Another alternative would be the Denning Trailhead, at the end of Denning Road, which provides access to Slide Mountain and the Burroughs Range Trail.

 

April 10, 2014 Update: Snowmelt throughout the Catskills has increased with significant melting at lower elevations.  Low elevations trails are generally snow free, as are trails on south facing slopes of the mountains.  The higher peaks still retain a deeper snowpack, along with shaded, north facing slopes.  In those areas trails remain snow covered with a snowpack that is at least a foot deep, if not deeper in places.  Forecast warm temperatures for the remainder of the week should allow for snowmelt to continue, as will rain forecast for tonight into Friday morning.

In areas where the snow has melted, trails are wet and it is Mud Season and proper precautions should be taken if you are hiking.  Read our guide to hiking during mud season to reduce your impact on the trails and the environment.  Also be aware that the melting snow has raised stream levels and some unimproved trail crossings can be difficult during times of high water.

 

April 4, 2014 Update: Signs of spring are appearing in the Catskills.  Last weekend's rains, along with warmer temperatures have led to snowmelt througout the region.  For the higher elevations, the snowpack remains rather deep with with 2 or more feet of snow at the higher elevations.  The current snowmelt is exposing the ice that had formed earlier this winter, leading to very icy conditions on some portions of trails.  Traveling on foot via the trails is difficult at best, may be impossible in some areas and is very dangerous and hikers will need to carry and use traction devices and/or crampons to navigate these trails.

Rain is forecast Friday night into Saturday, so more snowmelt, more mud and more ice exposure is expected.  Temperatures are forecast to fall Saturday night and remain cold on Sunday, leading to refreezing and icy conditions.

 

March 28, 2014 Update: Spring continues to come slowly to the Catskill Mountains region, with winter conditions holding on.  For the majority of the Catskill Mountains region, especially at higher elevations, the snowpack, while beginning to melt and condense, remains deep with with 2-3 feet of snow at higher elevations and lesser amounts in the valleys and lower elevations where more melting has occurred.  As is recomended by the DEC and the Trail Conference during times of deep snowpack, snowshoes should be used for backcountry travel - traveling on foot is difficult at best, may be impossible in some areas and is very dangerous.  Due to the warm days and cold nights, visitors should also expect to encounter icy conditions on trails where the snow has been packed down and should carry traction devices and/or crampons to navigate these trails. 

Heavy rain is forecast for the region this weekend with 2-3 inches possible over the Catskills.  The combination snow melt with heavy rain, may lead to sharp rises on rivers,creeks and streams.  Hikers should use caution when crossing unbridged streams as a may not be difficult during low water, but can be very difficult, if not impossible in high water.


March 21, 2014 Update: While spring is slowly coming to the Catskill Mountains region, winter conditions continue their hold on the region andwe have had some winter weather this week, leaving slighty accumulations of snow and sleet on top of the existing snowpack.  For the majority of the Catskill Mountains region, especially at the higher elevations, the snowpack, while beginning to melt, remains deep with with 2-3 feet of snow in most mountain locations with smaller amounts in the valleyes.  As recomended by the DEC and the Trail Conference, snowshoes should be used for backcountry travel - traveling on foot is difficult at best, may be impossible in some areas and is very dangerous.  Due to the warm days and cold nights, visitors should also expect to encounter icy conditions on trails where the snow has been packed down and should carry traction devices and/or crampons to navigate these trails.  Temperatures are expected to remain seasonal throughout the weekend with a chance of light snow overnight on Friday and a chance for flurries or rain showers over the weekend.  The next chance for major precipitation is looking to be Tuesday and Wednesday of next week.

 

March 14, 2014 Update: The storm earlier this week produced more rain than snow across the Catskill Mountains region.  The tail end of the storm produced light sleet and snow accumulations across the mountains and brought back colder temperatures yesterday and today.  The warmer temperatures at the start of the week, followed by the mostly rain event resulted in some settling and melting of the snowpack.  For the weekend, more seasonal temperatures are returning to the region without any signficant storm events forecast for the next few days.  The snowpack remains deep througout the region with 2-3 feet in most locations with more at higher elevations in the mountains.  As recomended by the DEC and the Trail Conference, snowshoes or cross-country skis should be used for all backcountry travel - traveling on foot is difficult at best, may be impossible in some areas and is very dangerous.  Visitors should also expect to encounter icy conditions and should carry traction devices, crampons and potentially ice axes for use in traditionally icy areas of the mountains. 


Big Pond in the Southwestern Catskills

March 7, 2014 Update: The Catskills are still waiting for spring! Cold temperatures have continued throughout the region over the past week with little to no snow or ice melt.  The snowpack remains very deep througout the region with 2-3 feet in most locations and even deeper amounts at higher elevations.  As recomended by the DEC and the Trail Conference, snowshoes or cross-country skis should be used for all backcountry travel - traveling on foot is difficult at best, may be impossible in some areas and is very dangerous.  Visitors should also expect to encounter icy conditions and should carry traction devices, crampons and potentially ice axes for use in traditionally icy areas of the mountains.  Temperatures will moderate somewhat over the weekend, however signficant snowmelt is not expected and visitors should be prepared for full winter conditions thorughout the region.

 

February 27, 2014 Update: Colder temperatures have returned to the Catskill Mountains region over the past week, ending any melting of the snowpack.  The snowpack remains deep througout the region, with 2-3 feet in most locations and deeper amounts at higher elevations.  Due to the melting and rain during the prior week, the remaining snowpack has settled and in many places has a thick crust that can make travel without snowshoes or skis difficult as hikers will break through this crust.  As recomended by the DEC, snowshoes or cross-country skis should be used for all backcountry travel - traveling on foot is difficult at best, may be impossible in some areas due to snowpack depth and is dangerous.  Users may also encounter icy conditions and should carry traction devices and/or crampons and potentially ice axes for use in traditionally icy areas.  Most, if not all parking areas and access roads have been cleared, however users should be prepared for difficult parking situations in some areas due to the amount of snow alongside roads and smaller than normal parking areas and some roads and parking may be very icy.

In addition, hikers and visitors to the park should be ready for winter conditions and the potential for a major snow event starting Sunday night according to some forecasts.  Make sure to visit the Albany National Weather Service site (NWS), along with the Hudson Valley Weather website to get accurate forecasts.  In the meantime, expect cold temperatures to stay in place Friday through Sunday.


February 21, 2014 Update: Thanks to warmer temperatures and some mixed preciptation, the snowpack in the Catskill Mountains has begun to settle a bit, however these conditions also lead to crusty snowpack when temperatures are below freezing, which can make travel difficult and there is still a significant snowpack across the entire region (2-3 feet with more at higher elevations).  Hikers and visitors to the park should be ready for winter conditions expect a very deep snowpack.  As reccomended by the DEC, snowshoes or cross-country skis should be used for backcountry travel - traveling on foot is difficult at best, may be impossible in some areas due to snowpack and is dangerous.  Users may also encounter icy conditions and should carry traction devices and/or crampons for use in traditionally icy areas.  Most, if not all parking areas and access roads have been cleared, however users should be prepared for difficult parking situations in some areas due to the amount of snow alongside roads and smaller than normal parking areas.


February 14, 2014 Update: Happy Valentine's Day! A significant snowstorm impacted the Catskill Mountains yesterday leaving two or more feet of snow (more at higher elevations) on top of the existing snowpack.  Additional light snow is forecast for the weekend along with cold temperatures.  Hikers and visitors to the park should be ready for winter conditions with the deepest snowpack of the winter so far.  In general, snowshoes or cross-country skis should be used for backcountry travel.  Users may also encounter icy conditions and should carry traction devices and/or crampons for use in traditionally icy areas.  NOTICE: Many parking areas and access roads remain unplowed and trail heads may be unreachable until these areas are cleared. It may take several days for all roads and parking areas to be cleared. 

 

February 10, 2014 Update: Due to current snowpack depths (generally one foot throughout the Catskill Mountains with deeper snowpack at higher elevations), DEC is recommending snowshoes or cross-country skis for travel.  Users may also encounter icy conditions and should carry traction devices and/or crampons.

Alder Lake Access Road Closing 2-6-2014

 

February 7, 2014 Update: The DEC has notified the Trail Conference that vehicle access to Alder Lake from Cross Mountain Road has been closed until winter conditions are over.  This week's snowstorm left 8 to 12 inches of snow across the Catskill Mountains.  This weekend the forecast calls for cold conditions with a chance of snow showers.  Hikers and visitors to the park should be ready for winter conditions with a deeper snowpack than we have had for most of the winter.  Users should expect ongoing icy conditions underneath the new snowpack on trails and traction devices and/or crampons are likely to be needed in most locations.  In addition, the growing snowpack may increase the need for snowshoe use, especially at higher elevations in the mountains.

 

February 3, 2014 Update: Warmer temperatures and rain this past weekend allowed for additional melting of our thin snowpack.  This week will see a shift back to colder temperatures and frozen preciption, including a few inches of snow today, followed by a heavier snowfall on Wednesday.  Hikers and visitors to the park should be ready for winter conditions with a deepening snowpack as the week goes.  VIsitors should expect to find ongoing icy conditions on trails and traction devices and/or crampons are likely to be needed in most locations as our area stays below freezing for the time being.  In addition, the growing snowpack may increase the need for snowshoe use, especially at higher elevations in the mountains.

 

January 24, 2014 Update: This past Tuesday's storm barely brought a flurry to the majority of the Catskill Mountains, leaving most of the region cold, but with little snowpack.  A system will be impacting region tonight through tomorrow, leaving a few inches of snow in most areas.  Visitors and hikers to the Catskills should expect cold temperatures  and should expect ongoing icy conditions and traction devices and/or crampons are likely to be needed in most locations as our area stays well below freezing.

 

January 15, 2014 Update: With the warmer temperatures and rain over the last few days, there has been significant snowmelt across the region, including at the higher elevations.  Colder weather along with snow showers and flurries are returning to the region over the next several days which should mark a return to more normal winter conditions in the mountains.  Hikers in the higher elevations should expect ongoing icy conditions and traction devices and/or crampons are likely to be needed in most locations.  A return to colder weather will also cause lower elevation areas to freeze up and become icy due to the runoff from recent snowmelt and rain.  


January 6, 2014 Update: Thanks to the warmup and rain overnight into this morning, the region has experienced significant snowmelt which has raised the levels of streams throughout the Catskills to levels that could make unbridged stream crossings difficult, if not impossible.  Water levels are receeding as a return to cold weather tonight should mean that high water levels will stop being an issue by tomorrow.  In the meantime use caution when crossing streams.  The return to cold weather tonight will cause freezing throughout the region, hardening any remaining snow and rebuilding any ice that had been melted off rock faces and trails.  Hikers in the Catskills starting tomorrow should expect icy winter conditions and traction devices and/or crampons are likely to be needed in most locations.


January 3, 2014 Update: The winter storm is exiting the Catskill Mountain region and has left 6-12 inches of snow across the region with larger amounts in the higher elevations.  Even more so than the snow, this storm has brought in cold temperatures and anyone hiking in the region should be prepared for very cold winter conditions starting today and heading throughout the weekend.  Forecasts call for temperatures to barely get above the single digits today and they will fall well below zero tonight.  Temperatures on Saturday will struggle to get to 20 degrees in valley locations.  Sunday another storm begins to impact the region with the potential for a wintry mix and temperatures in the 30s.

Be aware that trailhead parking areas are often one of the last areas that are plowed following a winter storm.  Visitors to the region tonight may find some lots still unplowed from last night's storm.  In these cases AWD or 4WD is likely necessary to reach a trailhead parking area any significant distance from a main road.  If you are using an unplowed parking area, make sure to park in an area that will not impact the ability of the DOT or DEC to plow the parking area.

 

January 2, 2014 Update: A winter storm is impacting the Catskill Mountains region and should result in significant snowfall across the Catskill Mountains.  Be prepared for winter storm conditions over the next two days and for any trips this weekend, expect deep snowpack across the peaks and valleys of the Catskill Mountains.  Storm information can be found here (HVH Link).


December 20, 2013 Update: Be prepared for Winter conditions in the Catskill Mountains: 

  • Know
    • Your own physical capabilities, knowledge of backcountry recreation and skill level
    • The distance you plan to travel and the terrain and conditions you will encounter
  • Check (before entering the backcountry)
    • With the Local Forest Ranger (Region 3 & Region 4) for current information
    • Current weather conditions, snow depths and short-term forecast
  • Wear
    • Winter hiking boots
    • Cold weather outer wear
    • Layers of non-cotton clothes
    • Hat and gloves or mittens
  • Carry
    • Traction devices and crampons and use when warranted
    • Snowshoes or skis and use in snow depths of 8 inches or more
    • Map and compass - know how to use them and use them!
    • Flashlight or headlamp and extra batteries
    • Plenty of food and water
  • Pack
    • Extra clothes and socks
    • Ensolite pad to rest on and insulate your body from cold surfaces
    • Bivy sack or space blankets for extra warmth
    • Fire starter supplies - waterproof matches, butane lighter, candles, starter material, etc. 
  • Always inform someone of your itinerary and when you expect to return


November 11th, 2013 Update:  The footbridge over Diamond Notch Creek for the Diamond Notch Trail is in the process of being replaced and should be finished within a week.  The original bridge was lost during Hurricane Irene and the Trail Conference and the DEC have been working to obtain materials, transport them to the site and rebuild the bridge.  DEC staff have been working for the last few weeks at the site, repairing bridge abutments and installing the new bridge.


September 16th, 2013 Update: The footbridge for the Long Path in Platte Clove has been reconstructed by volunteers and is open for use.

The footbridge for the Devil's Path over the West Kill near Diamond Notch Falls remains out.  NYSDEC staff are working on completing a replacement bridge later this fall.  In the meantime this can be a difficult crossing during high water or during wet time periods when rocks are slippery.

 

April 28, 2013 Update: The kingpost footbridge for the Long Path in the Platte Clove Preserve in Platte Clove has been closed.  A short relocation just upstream from the bridge site has been marked and will be used until such time as the bridge can be replaced.  This stream crossing is not difficult during low water, but can be very difficult in high water events.  You should not try crossing the stream during very high water events, as Platte Clove Falls is just downstream.The Trail Conference is currently planning for the replacement of the bridge to start in late May and finish towards the end of June.  If you are interested in taking part in the Trail Crews that will be working on the bridge, please watch our Trail Crew Schedule and look for Catskill Trail Crew Work in Platte Clove.

During high water conditions (or if you do not wish to cross the stream without a bridge), an alternate route to the Devil's Kitchen Lean-to, Devil's Path and Overlook Trail would be to access the Devil's Path from the Prediger Road Trailhead.  The trailhead is located at the end of Prediger Road.  Prediger Road is about 1 mile west of The Long Path crossing of Platte Clove Road on County Route 16.  Follow Predier Road to its end where the trailhead and trailhead parking is located.  Follow the Devil's Path from the trailhead, across the base of Indian Head Mountain, to its intersection with the Overlook Trail.


January 3, 2013 Update: The NYSDEC has alerted us that the Town of Hardenburgh has posted the end of the Beaver Kill Road as "seasonal use" and is is not plowing the road beyond the Mongaup-Hardenburgh TrailheadThis means you cannot drive to the Balsam Lake Trailhead Parking Area when snow is on the ground.  If you are looking for alternative vehicle access to a trailhead that serves Balsam Lake Mountain, the Mill Brook Road Trailhead is open. The approach to the mountain from the north is a bit longer at just about 3 miles, but with the added 1.65 miles of roadwalk on the southern side, the two routes are just about are equal. The Mill Brook trailhead access has the advantage of not having to walk 1.65 miles on an unplowed road. Both routes are shown on the Trail Conference's Central Catskill Trails Map (#142).


October 31, 2012 Update: The NYSDEC reports that Hurricane Sandy had only minor impact on DEC-managed lands in the Catskills and Adirondacks. Hikers, hunters, campers and others should expect to encounter wet and muddy trails, blowdown, especially in higher elevations, and high waters at stream crossings.