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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 send an email to [email protected] and your information will be passed to our cartographer.
Trail Questions: If you have any trail condition related questions or updates to report, please contact Jeffrey Senterman, the Catskill Region Program Coordinator. Jeff is 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.
Ongoing Trail & Trailhead Status Notices
Alder Lake Access: The DEC has concluded that it is currently unsafe for the public to drive the entrance road leading from Cross Mountain Road to Alder Lake and have closed and locked the lower gate (see map). This is a temporary closing due to the current conditions of the road. In the mean time the area remains open to the public for non-motorized uses.
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.
Wintertime use of Trailhead Parking Areas: Besides the trailhead parking lot at the end of Beaver Kill Road, most official parking areas for trailheads are maintained in the winter months. However, these parking areas are often one of the last areas that are plowed following a winter storm. In the case of unplowed parking lots and access drives, AWD or 4WD is likely necessary to reach a trailhead parking area any significant distance from a main road. If you are able to reach and use 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. Do not park in any area marked as "No Parking" or "Snow Plow Turnaround," as you may be towed in order for officials to be able to plow the road.
Wintertime Snowshoe & Cross Country Ski Use: During any period of deep snowpack (greater than one foot), the DEC and the Trail Conference recommend snowshoes or cross-country skis for all backcountry travel in the Catskills. Traveling on foot will be difficult at best, may be impossible in some areas and is very dangerous.
Current Catskills Trail & Trailhead Conditions
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.
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).
- 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)
- Winter hiking boots
- Cold weather outer wear
- Layers of non-cotton clothes
- Hat and gloves or mittens
- 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
- 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 Trailhead. This 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.