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Intro to Handsaws Workshop | Saturday October 3rd 10am to 2pm

Join the Trail Conference and the Catskill Conservation Corps. to learn about using handsaws on Catskills trails!  It’s amazing what you can do without a chainsaw!  The workshop will take place in the Onterora Lake Wild Forest near Kingston NY.

This course will cover the basic safety precautions and hazards of hand saw work, different saw tools available (as well as the pros/cons of each), some more advanced techniques (like relieving tension and using wedges), and give a chance to use different types of saws in the field.

You will walk away more confident about tackling small downed trees and branches on your own, and better informed on when and how to report larger blowdowns to chainsawyers.

Come prepared with water, snacks, and a personal hand saw if you have one.

For more info and to register please visit 

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 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!


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.