Litter Pickup along Peekamoose/Sundown Road near Blue Hole on Monday, September 7th

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 2 to 5pm 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 Catskill Watershed Corporation is graciously donating trash bags and work gloves for the work trip.  Thank you to our friends at the Catskill Watershed Corporation!

We will be meeting at the Olive Town Hall/Park at 45 Watson Hollow Road, West Shokan, NY 12494 at 1:45pm and then carpooling over to the Lower Field parking area.

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.

POSTPONED to Thursday, September 3, 9 AM – Maintenance on the PW Trail over Eagle Mountain

Join us to work on these trails that are maintained by the CMC’s Catskill Roving Trail Crew. We’ll meet at the Rider Hollow Trailhead and then go to Seager to begin our hike. We’ll hike to the ridge where we’ll turn north and work over Eagle and Haynes Mountains. We’ll be clearing blowdowns and cutting understory growth that obscures the trail and markers. We’ll have plenty of tools to lend or bring your favorite pruners or loppers. Bring plenty of water, lunch and snacks.

No dogs due to safety concerns. Rain postpones until Friday.

Register by Wednesday, August 19 by contacting Wendell George, at wendell@catskillmountainclub.org or 845-586-6273. If you need to cancel, contact me by 8 AM Thursday.

Directions: From SR 28 in Highmount, turn south onto Galli-Curci Rd. which becomes Todd Mountain Rd. Go about 4.9 miles to Rider Hollow Rd. and turn left/southeast. Drive to the Rider Hollow P.A. at the end of the road.
From SR 28 in Arkville, turn south onto Dry Brook Rd. and travel 4.7 miles to Todd Mountain Rd. Turn left/east and go .5 mile to Rider Hollow Rd. Turn right/southeast to the Rider Hollow P.A. at the end of the road.

Thursday, August 27, 9 AM – Maintenance of the Western Black Dome Trail to Thomas Cole Mountain

Join the CMC/NYNJTC Roving Crew and the Rip van Winkle Hikers as we work on the western end of the Black Dome Trail. This maintenance hike will go over the Camel’s Hump and on to Thomas Cole Mountain. We’ll be doing the usual, removing any downed limbs and trees from the trail and pruning back anything that is growing into the trailbed. Expect to encounter plenty of blackberries between the Hump and Thomas Cole. Bring your shears and a weed whip, if  you have one. No tools, no problem: we have plenty to supply you with.

Be sure to bring plenty of water, at least a couple of quarts, and lunch and snacks. You’ll want good hiking boots. No dogs due to safety concerns. Rain cancels.

Contact:  Register by the evening of August 26. Write wendell@catskillmountainclub.org to let me know if you plan to come. Or call Jim Gebhard at 845-626-4104. If you need to cancel, let me know by 7:30 AM on Thursday by calling 845-586-6273.

Directions: From SR 23A in Hunter, take Scribner Hollow Rd. north to CR 23C. Turn west and go to CR 40. Turn north on CR 40 and go to Barnum Rd. Turn east and go to the P.A. at the end of Barnum Rd.

Notes From the Field: Vistas and Brownies

Two volunteers joined DEC and CCC staff on Ashokan High Point yesterday for day 2 of trail work and special projects on this beloved “low peak” of the Catskills. It was a perfectly Catskillian day – fog, drizzle, humidity, heat, sunshine, breezes and spectacular clouds… you know, typical Catskills weather.

hiking up AHP
hiking up AHP

We hiked up to the blueberry meadow, and Forester Dunn located the missing vista, almost fully grown in and hard to spot. And then they set to work, Dunn and his two SCA interns, selecting branches to trim and working systemically to open up the view. It took a really long time, but patience and perseverance paid off and the end result was nothing short of spectacular!

Before
Before

Homemade brownies were next on the agenda, as we sat back, enjoyed the newly restored vista, chatted with passing hikers.

After (with saw)
After (with saw)

Volunteer Appreciation Picnic, September 12, 2015

The Catskill Conservation Corps, the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation invite you to join us at the 2015 All Volunteer Appreciation Picnic on Saturday, September 12, 2015 from 11am to 4pm at the Maurice D. Hinchey Catskills Interpretive Center.

This free event is open to all who have volunteered in the Catskill Mountains region on trails, lean-tos, fire towers, and other stewardship activities.  There will be Brooks bbq Chicken Dinners!  That’t right world famous Brooks BBQ Chicken!!!!! In addition there will be burgers, hot dogs, vegetarian options as well as and of course desert!

There will be a free raffle for everyone in attendance – items being raffled will range from free maps, bsawyer water bottleooks, TC hats and shirts as well as donated gear from local retailers such as The Storehouse in Phoenicia and Kenco in West Hurley!   The Storehouse located in Phoenicia has donated a very cool Sawyer Filter Bottle! (Pictured to the right) A big thank you to our friends at The Storehouse!  We also have a great gift certificate from our friends at Kenco Work and Play Outfitters so come on down for your chance to win – must be present to win.

There will also be a free talk at 1pm by Bill Birns, Catskill Mountain farm boy to nationally celebrated “Sage of Slabsides,” writer and naturalist John Burroughs carried the Catskills in his soul wherever he went. Born in 1837 and raised on a rocky mountainside farm in Roxbury, Delaware County, Burroughs’ widely- read nature essays helped shape the development of the first American conservation movement in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Please register for the picnic below, or call 518-628-4243 to register.  Please also feel free to call if you have any questions or need additional information.

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The Wildberry Whippersnappers

Ask me what my favorite part of the CCC’s Wildberry Whippersnapper Day was and I’d be hard pressed to select just one moment. Was it the pouncing coyote we passed on the way to the trailhead? Maybe learning that the volunteer working side by side with me had to hurry off by noon because she was volunteering at the Glimmerglass Opera House later that evening? It might have been the sense of triumph upon reaching our other team’s end point, deep in the forest, and knowing that we’d cleared the entire trail. But it also might have been that wonderful feeling of accomplishment when I used my new folding saw to carefully and safely remove fallen trees from the trail.

weapons of blackberry destruction
weapons of blackberry destruction

Blackberries and raspberries, while thoroughly delicious, are tough, invasive, and very thorny. They do not make good hiking companions. Cutting them back involves metal weed whips, eye protection, long sleeves, and a sense of humor – hence the Wildberry Whippersnapper epithet. Our trusty mascot, Miss Peeka Mouse, was not in attendance as swinging sharp metal blades was deemed a bit risky for the pup. Safety first, as always!

They look so innocent...
They look so innocent…

We were blessed with great weather and a great crew and a job well done. Next up for the CCC? Ashokan 2: The Revenge has been rescheduled – the new date is August 13. Come on out for another full day of fun and games and hard work and cookies on Ashokan High Point on the 13th, and clear your calendar on Sunday, September 6 for a litter pick up and campsite clean up at Blue Hole. And finally – don’t forget the volunteer picnic on September 12 at the Catskill Interpretive Center. Celebrate a great season of volunteering with your fellow volunteers!