Litter Pickup along Peekamoose/Sundown Road on Sunday, July 5, 2015

Some of the litter cleaned up from the Kaaterskill Falls Trailhead
Some of the litter cleaned up from the Kaaterskill Falls Trailhead at a prior litter pickup event!

The Catskill Conservation Corps will be leading volunteers in a litter pickup and trail cleanup along the Peekamoose/Sundown Road near the Blue Hole, Peekamoose Trailhead and Sundown Primitive Camping area.  The work trip will be from 1 to 3pm and volunteers will be removing litter from along the roadside, trails, campsites and vicinity.

Please make sure to wear your hiking boots; dress appropriately for the outdoor conditions and our trail work activities; pack plenty of water to stay hydrated; and bring work gloves.

The public is welcome to join the crew and you do not need to be a member of the Trail Conference to take part.

No experience is necessary, we will provide the tools and the training on site before we get started.

Please register below for this event, call 518-628-4243 or email catskills@nynjtc.org.

Read the full press release for this event

Notes From The Field: Welcome, Summer!

Summer solstice, Father’s Day, and some super Catskill Conservation Corps activities made for a busy and fun weekend in the Catskills!

On Saturday, June 20, a star-studded cast of characters taught and learned side by side on the scenic trails of the Southern Escarpment. NYS DEC Ranger Rob Dawson and the Trail Conference’s Catskill Program Director Doug Senterman, along with Heather Rolland of the Catskill Conservation Corps (CCC) taught the Introduction to Trail Maintenance course on the trails. Hands on learning at its finest, volunteers assessed blowdowns and used a variety of tools to remove them, cleared water bars and learned about their construction, and clipped encroaching branches. In total we cleared about 3 miles of popular trails, and enjoyed some killer views as well. We were joined by two hardworking Student Conservation Association (SCA) interns, Kalvin Murphy and Louis DiLorenzo, who helped out and learned alongside our volunteers.

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June 21 became an impromptu “undergraduate litter picking day” as the SCA interns returned with a volunteer from SUNY Geneseo! Heather led these intrepid litterpickers through the mess just off the trail at Overlook Mountain, removing 10 bags of nasty stuff from the woods. The ugly eyesores have were removed amid shouts of “hey! Look at this! Dude! Look what I found!” and as always, lots of laughter. Afterwards ice cream and people watching in the village of Woodstock rounded out the day.

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The CCC wishes to thank DEC and Ranger Dawson for the advance planning regarding the Introduction to Trail Maintenance course. In order to learn in the field, we needed a number of different problem types and learning opportunities. Ranger Dawson made sure we had a great trail to work on – plenty of all manner of challenges with amazing views to enjoy. It was perfect!

Read the full follow-up press release for our workshop

Another big thank you to the SCA interns and their supervisor, NYS DEC forester Ian Dunn, for their role on Saturday – helping to fetch and carry, as well as pitching in and participating in the workshop. They also get kudos for working hard on a miserably muggy Father’s Day, picking up trash and swatting mosquitoes with good cheer.

Our next event is another litter pick up, this time near Kingston, NY, at Onteora Lake on July 5. Stay tuned for all the details on how you too can make friends, whistle while you work, and have a blast while making a difference. Volunteering in the Catskills is cool, even on the hottest of summer days!

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Become a Volunteer Catskills Summit Steward

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference in collaboration with the Catskill 3500 Club have announced the establishment of a seasonal Summit Steward Program in the Catskill Park.  The 2015 pilot program will focus on Slide Mountain, the Catskills highest summit and one of its most popular destinations.

Summit Stewards will help visitors to Slide Mountain’s summit (elev. 4,180 feet) make the most of this spectacular Catskill destination. Stewards will share information on good trail routes, hiking safety and etiquette, and how to support the Catskill Park and hiking trails in the region.

In addition to the paid seasonal stewards, the Trail Conference will be offering interested individuals the opportunity to become a volunteer summit steward who will support the seasonal staff.

Full Press Release on the Summit Steward Program from the NYSDEC.

If you are interested in volunteering as a summit steward, please complete the form below:

From the Field: Huntersfield Lean-to Staining Project – May 30, 2015

On Saturday, May 30, nine intrepid souls faced daunting conditions to restain the Huntersfield shelter and clean up the area surrounding the lean-to!

Are you among the few, the strong, the adorable? Think you could manage to work in such unpleasant (cough cough) working conditions? Sign up for a work trip on the Catskill Conservation Corps website to find out! We guarantee cuteness, adventure and fun on every trip.

The Huntersfield Lean-to is located just to the north of the Catskill Park in Huntersfield State Forest .  The lean-to is along the Long Path, a north-south long distance trail managed by the Trail Conference running from New York City to the Mohwak River and which is envisioned to run to the Adirondacks.

Supplies and stain for the lean-to project were provided by the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference’s Catskill Community Trails Fund.  You can donate to the fund to help trail, lean-to and stewardship projects throughout the Catskills.

Devil’s Acre Lean-to Rehabilitation | Hunter Mountain | June 13 and 14

IMG_1491Volunteers from the Catskill Conservation Corps and the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference’s Catskills Trail Crew will be working to rehabilitate the Devil’s Acre Lean-to on Hunter Mountain on Saturday, June 13th and Sunday, June 14th, 2015.

The work on the lean-to will include the removal of the existing roof and the installation of a new roof.  The existing asphalt roof is in poor condition and will be replaced with a cedar shingle roof.

Other work for volunteers will include bringing materials to the site from the summit of Hunter Mountain where they are being stored and bringing out waste materials.

The crew will be working on the lean-to both Saturday and Sunday.  Volunteers can join the crew for both days or just a single day.

The public is welcome to join and you do not need to be a member of the Trail Conference  or have prior experience with the Catskill Conservation Corps to get involved.

No experience is necessary, we will provide the tools and the training on site before we get started.

Please be ready to hike to the lean-to work area; make sure to wear your hiking boots; dress appropriately for the outdoor conditions and our trail building activities; pack plenty of water to stay hydrated; bring work gloves; and bring a bag lunch.

For more information, please contact Heather Rolland the Catskill Conservation Corps Coordinator at 518-628-4243 or via email at catskills@nynjtc.org.

You can register for the work trip below:

Press Announcement

Free Introduction to Trail Maintenance Workshop on June 20

Volunteers taking part in an Introduction to Trail Maintenance workshop
Volunteers taking part in an Introduction to Trail Maintenance workshop

On Saturday, June 20, 2015 join the Catskill Conservation Corps and the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference on trails around North and South Lakes as they teach you about the basics of trail maintenance in the Catskills.  You’ll learn what goes into keeping the hundreds of miles of Catskills trails open and discover how you can get involved in being a steward of the Catskills.

At this free workshop on the trail from 10am to 3pm, our instructor and Catskill Conservation Corps staff member Heather Rolland, will be teaching attendees the basics of trail safety, what tools are needed for the job, and you’ll be hiking the trail learning how maintainers clear back brush and weeds and remove fallen trees from the trail.  The local New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Forest Ranger will also be joining us to talk about the work of the Forest Rangers in the Catskills.

Through the field work, participants will learn about the assessment of trail conditions, clearing, trail marking, proper use of tools and how to report any trail problems they may come across on their segment of trail.

Be prepared to spend the day on the trail as part of the field training. Make sure to wear your hiking boots; dress appropriately for the outdoor conditions and trail work; bring a bag lunch; pack plenty of water and snacks; and bring work gloves.

Refreshments and snacks will be served.

This event is free and open to the public.  Please register below using the form or register on the Trail Conference website so we can maintain an accurate headcount for the day.

Press Announcement for Workshop