Tag Archives: Hiking

Come help build the new trail at the Catskill Interpretive Center | Saturday, October 24th 10 am to 3pm

On Saturday October 24th from 10am to 3pm, the Catskills Trail Crew will be working on constructing a new trail at the site of the Catskill Interpretive Center that will bring hikers and visitors from the Catskill Interpretive Center, across a stream and up the slope to a future viewpoint

On this trip the Trail Crew  will be clearing the trail route and beginning to construct portions of the trail. Work will include clearing, sidehilling (digging into the hillside to create a bench for the trail) and tread construction.

This work trip is part of a series of workshops and work trips that will be held at the Catskill Interpretive Center in Mount Tremper by the Trail Conference.  The goal of the ongoing workshops and work trips will be held to build an interpretive hiking trail on the property that will be open to the public for hiking and train volunteers in trail building skills.

Please 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.

The public is welcome to join us and you do not need to be a member of the Trail Conference to join the Trail Crew. No experience is necessary, we will provide the tools and the training on site before we get started.

The work will begin at
5114 New York 28
Mt Tremper, NY 12457
GPS Coordinates: 42.027633, -74.268607

Driving Directions: Turn off of Route 28 at the Catskill Park Information sign onto the Interpretive Center roadway, drive past the information kiosk, cross the bridge and enter the circular part of the road. The trail crew will be entering the woods at the north side of the circle near the small sign-in booth. Parking is available along the circle.

Come build trail at the new Catskill Interpretive Center! Volunteers needed! | Saturday and Sunday October 17th and 18th 10am to 3pm

On Saturday and Sunday October 17th and 18th from 10am to 3pm, the Catskills Trail Crew will be working on constructing a new trail at the site of the Catskill Interpretive Center that will bring hikers and visitors from the Catskill Interpretive Center, across a stream and up the slope to a future viewpoint

On this trip the Trail Crew  will be clearing the trail route and beginning to construct portions of the trail. Work will include clearing, sidehilling (digging into the hillside to create a bench for the trail) and tread construction.

This work trip is part of a series of workshops and work trips that will be held at the Catskill Interpretive Center in Mount Tremper by the Trail Conference.  The goal of the ongoing workshops and work trips will be held to build an interpretive hiking trail on the property that will be open to the public for hiking and train volunteers in trail building skills.

Please 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.

The public is welcome to join us and you do not need to be a member of the Trail Conference to join the Trail Crew. No experience is necessary, we will provide the tools and the training on site before we get started.

The work will begin at
5114 New York 28
Mt Tremper, NY 12457
GPS Coordinates: 42.027633, -74.268607

Driving Directions: Turn off of Route 28 at the Catskill Park Information sign onto the Interpretive Center roadway, drive past the information kiosk, cross the bridge and enter the circular part of the road. The trail crew will be entering the woods at the north side of the circle near the small sign-in booth. Parking is available along the circle.

For more information, visit the Trail Conference’s event page for this work trip.

Intro to Shelter/ Lean-to Maintenance | Sunday, November 8th 10am to 2pm

The Trail Conference and the Catskill Conservation Corps will be hosting this workshop that is open to the public and will provide information on Catskill Park Lean-tos, the Trail Conference’s volunteer maintenance effort of those lean-tos and the work that the Trail Conference is doing in the Catskill Mountains.  The workshop will take place at Elm Ridge Lean-to near Windham.

This workshop will cover the skills necessary to maintain a shelter (lean-to) so that it is ready for use by campers and is harmonious to its surroundings. Students will learn how to do an assessment of the overall shelter condition, cleaning and clearing the area, the proper use of tools and how to report the shelters condition. The entire workshop will be held at the Elm Ridge Lean-to for some hands-on experience.

No previous experience is necessary and beginners are welcome.  The workshop is free to attend and open to the public, however you must register.

All participants should wear sturdy hiking boots, snacks and plenty of water for the hike.Refreshments and snacks will be provided in the morning.  You should bring your own bag lunch to eat while at the lean-to.

For more information and to register please visit http://nynjtc.org/workshop/intro-shelterleanto-maintenance-trail-u-1021

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!

Volunteer Opportunities with the Catskill Mountain Club

The Catskill Mountain Club (CMC) is seeking volunteers for two upcoming trail maintenance outings. Warm sunny days and plenty of rain mean the vegetation has been growing and the trails need some love! Can’t make a CCC worktrip, but still looking for a way to pitch in? Contact the CMC and check out their opportunities!

Click here to see the upcoming events and volunteer opportunities available via the CMC.

 

The CCC takes a day off!

What does the Catskill Conservation Corps staff do on a day off? Hike in the Catskills, of course! On July 19, CCC Coordinator Heather Rolland explored the Escarpment Trail – all 23.9 glorious miles of it! And if you volunteer with the CCC, you could find yourself doing trail work or other projects in places as breath-taking as this.

2015-07-19 07.06.36
Early morning on the Escarpment Trail

What’s coming up?

There’s still a few slots left and time to register for the Trail Marking Clinic on Thursday July 23, on Ashokan High point. Learn to mark trails, do a little trail maintenance, and enjoy some amazing views! Email Heather at hrolland@nynjtc.org to sign up.

2015-07-19 09.05.28
Sunset Rock, Escarpment Trail

On August 1, we’re back at it, with a trail maintenance event that was scheduled for Giant’s Ledge. Since that trail is in great shape, we’ll be pulling a switcheroo, finding a trail in need of our loving touch — details to be announced as soon as possible!

Planning your Labor Day weekend? So are we! There will be a CCC work trip for sure, so make you are in the Catskills to join the fun!

Don’t forget the Volunteer Recognition Picnic held at the spectacular new Catskill Interpretive Center on September 12. Stay tuned for details!

2015-07-19 12.47.00
Check out the Devil’s Path in the distance.
You'll see wildlife!
You’ll see wildlife!

Trail Marking Clinic: July 23

The Catskill Conservation Corps is at it again! This time it’s a fun-filled day on Ashokan High Point, featuring a little trail work and a lot of learning. Join NYS DEC Forester Ian Dunn as we learn and practice all there is to know about marking a trail. Forester Dunn will demonstrate and guide volunteers in proper use of trail markers. Learning to mark trails is fun and easy, but doing it correctly is key. Properly marked trails are unobtrusive to the eye and safe to travel – and in compliance with the Catskill Park State Land Master Plan.

Ashokan High Point is a gorgeous peak, filled with wildlife and wildflowers and a truly unique blueberry meadow up near the summit. Fascinating ancient rock cairns line the trail at one point, and the trail parallels Kanape Brook for the first mile or so. The views are quite spectacular, and the entire hike offers a wide variety of trail types, from woods road to single track. There are some rock scrambles and steep sections on this trail, and the total distance is approximately 8 miles. This is a fabulous hike, a heavy favorite among veteran Catskill hikers.

The CCC will provide tools for the trail maintenance we’ll be doing on our way up to the summit. We’ll focus on side clipping, waterbar clearing, and removal of any small blowdowns or debris in the trail. Come prepared to be outdoors all day, with plenty of water and a bag lunch and anything else you might need to enjoy a full day in the woods (sunscreen, bug spray, your basic day pack items, etc). We’ll also provde some light refreshments, so be sure to register so we know how much to bring!

To register, contact Heather Rolland (hrolland@nynjtc.org or by phone at 518-628-4243) or by using the form below:

Trail work makes you smile!
Trail work makes you smile!

Notes from the field: Dealing with the Devil

The Devil’s Path, Indian Head Project

Thank you, Hurricane Sandy: what had once been an interesting and challenging scramble had, over the years become an all but impossible spot to negotiate. Fallen trees combined with a large rock ledge to create the perfect storm of a mess. The DEC operations crew removed the downed trees and made the area passable once more, but ultimately the decision was made to improve the treadway in that spot.

blowdown from Sandy on the Devil's Path
blowdown from Sandy on the Devil’s Path

I know what you’re thinking: difficult scrambles make the Devil’s Path what it is – a tough and exciting trail to hike. No argument here. But when an area on a popular trail becomes too difficult for folks, they start seeking alternative ways around… and that can be a problem. In a sensitive, high elevation ecosystem, making the trail the most attractive place to put your boots has real merit. Besides protecting slow-growing and unusual plants and limiting the impact on bird nesting habitat, a well-designed trail with good tread prevents erosion and holds up to heavy use. The Devil’s Path is a backpacker destination, and every weekend sees hordes of heavily laden back country campers huffing and puffing up these pitches. Making the trail the best option is worth the effort.

2015-07-09 08.43.40
Cal Johnson and the SCA intern crew, plus canine assistant

The instructions to volunteer team leader Cal Johnson were simple: improve the tread without sacrificing the rugged and wild quality of the trail. Do not attempt to tame the Devil’s Path! Two full work days and 4 interns later, the tread improvement project has been completed. Five rock steps were installed in the lower area, approaching the ledge. The footing is solid and secure, and the area is still challenging but doable. You will still need to lift small dogs and children, but the rest of us human and canine hikers will be able to manage just fine. Oh, and did I mention that it looks great?

halfway finished!
halfway finished!

Interested in learning rock moving techniques? Want to learn how to build awesome stone steps like the ones Cal and the SCA interns built? Think you’d like to help out on another section of the fabled Devil’s Path? Contact the CCC to learn about upcoming opportunities in rockwork! Click here, fill out the form, and put “rockwork” in the comment section. Looking forward to rocking out with you!

CCC Mascot, PeekaMouse, says "Volunteering makes you look fabulous!" We tend to agree!
CCC Mascot, PeekaMouse, says “Volunteering makes you look fabulous!” We tend to agree!

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:

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