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Upcoming Events and News from Catskill Mountain Club
Welcome to the Catskill Mountain Club’s Winter 2013 newsletter which lists upcoming hikes as well as snowshoe and cross-country ski events.  Read about the club’s increased involvement in trail stewardship, including our upcoming work on NYC land, recently opened for public enjoyment.  Please note, CMC is looking for volunteers to suggest and lead other events and to participate in trail maintenance.  Visit our website at: www.catskillmountainclub.org and learn how to get involved as a participant in events listed below, to suggest activities you’d like to lead, and to join us in trail building and maintenance (all experience levels are welcome).  
UPCOMING  CMC EVENTS
 
Friday, February 1, 11AM - Big Pond to Alder Lake Hike/Snowshoe
 
Come and join Catskill Mountain Club board member Bob Moses for a hike/snowshoe on one of the loveliest moderate trails in the Catskills. We will go up and over several rolling hills, past a couple of old stone foundations, across a beautiful little mountain stream and a nice rock ledge along the way. This moderately difficult trek is about 6 miles round trip and will take approximately 5 hours, but if desired, a car could be spotted at Alder Lake before the hike if some folks only wanted to go half way. Meet at the upper parking lot just past Big Pond at 11:00 am. Bring lunch or snacks. Dogs are welcome. Group size is limited to 20. Contact Bob Moses: rmoses@delhitel.net or 607-746-3645. 
 
Directions: Western Catskill Trails Map 44, E/6. From the Shaver Town Bridge in the town of Andes, Take the Barkaboom Road 5 miles to just past Big Pond to the upper parking lot. If you reach Little Pond you have gone too far. From Livingston Manor take Old Rt 17 to Beaverkill Rd/CR 151 for 10.8 miles, bear left onto Barkaboom Rd to Big Pond .7miles 
 
Saturday, February 2, 9AM - Two-Trail Cross Country Ski Tour
There are two great ski trails on route 28 near Pine Hill: the Belleayre Mountain Cross Country Ski Trails and Rochester Hollow. Combined, they make for a great day of cross country skiing. We will begin at the Belleayre Mountain Cross Country Trails.

Directions: meet at the parking area and ski several of the trails there. Next we will drive over to the Rochester Hollow parking area, about five miles away, and ski up to the new lean-to.

Sunday, February 3, 10:30AM - Superbowl Sunday Snowshoe Scramble
Starting from an elevation of 2200', Snow shoe in the woods following the Dry Brook Ridge Trail (Blue markers) south for 2.2 miles. We'll turn right at the intersection with Balsam Lake Mtn. trail (Red) at 3200' of elevation. The trail gets steeper as we reach the Balsam Lake Fire Tower at elevation 3723' in 3/4 of a mile. The tower will be open to allow us view of the surrounding landscape and to protect us from the wind while we eat. The return will be on the same route. Level of difficulty: moderate to difficult. Bring lunch. Dogs welcome. Bring snowshoes or cross country skis; Length: 6 miles round trip. Approx Duration: 4 hours; FMI, contact: Laura Battelani P.O.Box 382 Margaretville, NY 12455 845-586-3101, bodyworx@catskill.net.
 
Directions: From Rte 28, 40 miles from Kingston, village of Arkville, after the rail road and the bridge, turn Left on Dry Brook Rd (Co.R.te 49) for about 5 miles. turn right on Mill Brook Rd. travel 2.2 miles and park in the parking lot on the right.
 
Friday, March 1, 11AM - Trout Pond from Campbell Brook Road hike/snow-shoe
Join CMC board member Bob Moses on a nice scenic hike or snowshoe (if snow), from the parking area on Campbell Brook Rd. It is a nice moderate hike, over a couple of hills down to the lean-to at Trout Pond. If we want, we can continue on for 1.4 miles to Russell Brook Falls. The total round trip is about 6 miles and will take about 5 hours. Bring lunch or snacks. Maximum group size is 20. Dogs are welcome. Contact Bob Moses: rmoses@delhitel.net or 607-746-3645.
 
Directions: Western Catskill Trails Map 144 E/6. From Downsville take Rt 30 East 3.1 miles, turn right onto Rt 206, Cat Hollow towards Roscoe, 2.9 miles, Turn Right on Jug Tavern Rd for 1.6 miles, turn left on Campbell Mt Rd. 0.4 miles turn right onto Campbell Brook Rd. Then 0.6 miles to Parking Area.
 
From Roscoe take Rt 206 8.4 miles, turn left onto Jug Tavern Rd. 1.6 miles turn left on Campbell Mt Rd. 0.4 miles turn right onto Campbell Brook Rd. Then 0.6 miles to Parking Area.
 
Meet at the parking area at 10:30am
 
 
Sunday, May 12, 11AM - 3rd Annual Mother’s Day Wildflower Hike
Join with CMC board member Howard Raab for the Third Annual Mother's Day Wildflower hike at Kelly Hollow, Sunday, May 12th. This a chance to find and identify the beautiful Spring Ephemeral wildflowers which are so named because they appear above ground in early Spring when they flower and fruit and then die back into the ground, all in a short two-month period before the trees have had a chance to leaf out. Most hikers never see these flowers because they wait for summer to get into the woods. We will look for Trillium, Spring beauties, Trout Lily, Hepatica, Yellow, Blue and white Violets, Squirrel Corn, Dutchman's Britches, Jack-In-The-Pulpit and many others. We may also find some early mushrooms.
 
Kelly Hollow is one of the most beautiful short trails in the Catskills with cold mountain streams and a combination of coniferous and deciduous forests and an active beaver pond near the lean-to (yes, we may also see a beaver or two!) It is located on Millbrook Road in the town of Middletown, NYNJ Trail Conference map #42, F-5,6. The trail is an easy to moderate loop of about 4 miles with a lean-to and privy at the top. Bring lunch and/or snacks to have at the lean-to. Dogs are welcome. This hike will be limited to 20 people. It was well attended last year, so I would suggest that you register early. In case of steady rain, we will go the following Sunday, 6/19/12. If in doubt, call before 10:15 Sunday. Contact: howardjraab@gmail.com, (845) 586-3112. We will meet at the Old Schoolhouse 2.2 miles west of Margaretville at 10:30 am or at the trail-head at 11:00 am.
 
Directions to the trail-head: Go right (west) on the NYC reservoir road across Rt.28 from the Old School House for 3.7 miles. Then left on Millbrook Road for 5.3 miles to the trail-head parking area on the right.

Keep up with newly added events by following us on Facebook and visiting our website
CMC TRAIL NEWS
 
An important part of the mission of the CMC is stewardship of our great natural resources and the public access to them. This includes doing trail maintenance work in the Catskills.
 
The CMC is partnering with the NY-NJ Trail Conference to create a roving crew that will work wherever and whenever it is needed. In addition, the CMC maintains the part of the Pine Hill - West Branch and related trails that go from Rider Hollow to Seager crossing over Eagle Mtn. We also partner with the Finger Lakes Trail Conference to maintain parts of the Finger Lakes Trail and help build trails in the western Catskills.
 
Another related activity is the work we are doing in cooperation with the NYC Department of Environmental Protection. The city has opened many properties to the public and we are developing trails on some very nice parcels. We'll be laying out trails, building them and working to insure that the needed infrastructure is in place.
 
Some of these tasks are ongoing, but much of what we will do is new work. We'll remove overgrowth and plants that encroach on the trail, cut and remove blowdowns and make sure that waterbars are kept clean. We will have tools available if needed and will schedule so that just about anyone can find a time to volunteer.
 
To many hikers trail maintenance goes unnoticed, but one of the most rewarding feelings for hikers is to know they have helped keep our trails accessible and beautiful. If you would like to join us to help with this work please get in touch with Wendell George at wgeorgeny@earthlink.net.
-         Submitted by Wendell George
ANDES TRAILS COME TO LIFE
The Catskill Mountain Club, along with Andes Works! and the Town of Andes, created a lovely walking trail on the old Delaware and Northern railbed in the Town of Andes.   The Andes Rail Trail is a wonderful experience in every season. Spring brings an explosion of wildflowers, followed by the wild grasses and Joe Pye weed of summer, breathtaking fall foliage and austere and previously hidden views in the winter.    When snow allows, the trail is great for snow shoeing and cross country skiing.
 
We are currently working on laying out the route for a second mile and a half that will use a switchback to travel up to the ridge above the rail bed and will run parallel to it, providing a somewhat more strenuous walk than the first mile.
 
We received a grant from Parks and Trails, NY to erect a kiosk that echoes the architecture of the train station.   Plans are in the works for a landscaped entryway, coming this spring.    You can find out more about the rail trail and the railroad’s history at: http://andesworks.com/rail-trail
 
This trail is getting a lot of use, showing how valuable our efforts to bring family friendly trails near towns are.
 
 
Again working with the Town of Andes, we have received permission to build hiking trails on two wonderful DEP parcels in Andes.   We are currently laying out the trail on the Shavertown parcel, which should be almost 5 miles, round trip. The trail passes a lovely pond that has a wonderful view of the reservoir. Hopefully this trail will be officially open by the summer, but you can hike the future trail now if you are game to search for our pink flagging tape.
 
Work on laying out the Palmer Hill trail, which will start at the breathtaking scenic overlook at the top of Palmer Hill on Route 28 between Margaretville and Andes, will continue in the spring.  You can wander that parcel now, and take in the wonderful views.
 
We are also looking at creating trails on a large DEP parcel on Bramley Mountain in Delhi (off of Glen Burnie Road) and another near Koop Road and Route 28 in Middletown.   Both of these trails will feature spectacular views – one a mountaintop view and the other of spectacular water features.  
-- Submitted by Ann Roberti
CMC APPLIES FOR NATIONS TRAILS FUND GRANT FOR TRAIL CONSTRUCTION 
The CMC recently applied for a NTF grant for the construction of a trail to the Rock Rift fire tower near the Cannonsville Reservoir . The project entails the rebuilding of the original 1934 CCC trail to the tower which ceased operations in 1988 and was closed by NYDEC in 1989. The original trail was abandoned in the 1960’s with the construction of the NYC Cannonsville reservoir and the rerouting of NY Rte. 10. Access to the tower was then via a town road also constructed at that time.  
 
The entire trail will be on New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) land and will come under an existing trail agreement between the DEP and the Finger Lakes Trail Conference (FLTC - www.fingerlakestrail.org)
 
The rebuilding effort will be done by CMC volunteers over a 2-4 week period and will concentrate on the cutting of new trail thru dense woods and the building of switchbacks and water bars as per DEP regulations. Total trail length will be 4.0 miles. The project manager will be a FLTC volunteer, experienced in trail building. In addition to trail signage and trail markers, a sign-in and informational kiosk will be constructed along with a composting privy.
 
This trail will finally allow hiker access to one of one the last existing fire towers in the Catskills. To date 5 of 7 existing towers have been restored to their original condition through the Catskill Fire Tower Project (www.catskillcenter.org\towers) and all see numerous hikers throughout the year. In the summer months, volunteers staff the tower locations providing historical interpretation about the tower, its operation as well as other hiker, environmental and camping information.

-- Submitted by Rick Roberts
 
 
FINGER LAKES TRAIL CONFERENCE OPENS NEW SECTION NEAR CANNONSVILLE RESERVOIR 

 Rick Roberts, Finger Lakes Trail (FLTC) Catskill Area Coordinator and Catskill Mountain Club Board member, announced that the long awaited trail relocation of the FLT near the Cannonsville Reservoir has officially been opened. The new 7 mile section, running from County Route 47 to Dryden Brook road, is the first in a three part attempt to relocate the FLT from its present long series of road walks, to a more wooded and hiker friendly path.

 

This first section was made possible with the cooperation of the NYC DEP, who granted trail access to the FLTC. This was the first foot trail access permit granted by the DEP in Delaware County. Access was also granted by two private landowners, thus eliminating 5 miles of road walk. Trail building took place April 30- May 2 of 2012 by the FLTC Alley Cat Crew. The entire 7 mile section was cleared, constructed and blazed in 5 days, including the building of 2 small bridges.

 

The second portion of the FLT relocation will occurr in the Fall of 2013, in the Downsville area. The trail will be relocated from its present path from Campbell Mt., down Campbell Brook Rd. and the Hamlet of Corbett, to a new path from Campbell Mt., thru the Village of Downsville and then onto Bear Spring Wildlife Management Area. Prior to this relocation, the FLT did not pass thru any Villages for 90 miles but this new relocation will now offer thru hikers access to Downsville stores and businesses. The NY DEC will hopefully be allowing the FLTC to utilize an old abandoned section of trail coming off Campbell Mt. This section will be reopened using FLTC volunteers.

 

The third and final step in the FLT relocation will hopefully occur in the summer of 2014, again near the Cannonsville Reservoir. This relocation will eliminate nearly the entire 20 mile road walk, originally used to circumvent the NYC Water Supply lands. As with the first relocation, the NYC DEP will be granting the FLTC access around the south side of the reservoir utilizing the old D&H railroad bed. The new trail will then cross the NYS 268 highway bridge, use the old abandoned Rte. 10 highway path, cross present Rte 10, enter DEP lands and continue northwest to Dryden Brook to connect with the first new relocation. The FLTC Alley Cat Crew will be building this new section.

 

The FLTC wishes to thank the NYC DEP and NY DEC for their cooperation in achieving these vital relocations. In addition, we wish to thank Art Connor and Adin Miller, both of Walton NY, for granting us access to their properties. In doing so they have allowed the trail to be moved to a much more safe and enjoyable path.

 

The FLT Catskill section is the longest portion of the 567 mile Finger Lakes Trail. The entire FLT stretches from the Catskill Park near the Village of Phoenicia to Allegany State Park near Salamanca NY. It connects to the Long Path near Denning and from it, the Appalachian Trail can be found at Bear Mt. and take a hiker to Georgia or Maine. The FLT is also part of the North County Trail in its western portions. The NCT can be hiked all the way to North Dakota. Near Corning, NY the FLT connects with the newly created Great Eastern Trail, which follows the Western Appalachian Mountains south into Virginia and Tennessee.

More Information can be found at www.fingerlakestrail.org

-- submitted by Rick Roberts

 

 

 
A HIKE IN THE HISTORIC HEARTLAND OF THE CATSKILLS
In the eighteenth century when America was young, the prevailing view of the wilderness was one of fear and opportunity. The settlers, and for that matter the Native Americans, were afraid of the steep and dark cloves of the Catskill Mountains and entered them cautiously, if at all. In the early nineteenth century this began to change. New Yorkers began to seek escape from the summers in the city. Artists, authors and entrepreneurs looked up the Hudson River Valley and discovered the rich natural beauty of the Catskills. Soon, through literature and painting by James Fenimore Cooper and Thomas Cole among others, the world became aware of this wild and pristine haven. By the 1820s a thriving tourist trade was developing around the area of what is now the North-South Lake Campground. The first of the great hotels were built up on the Catskill Escarpment, also known as the Wall of Manitou. The Catskill Mountain House offered expansive views of the Hudson Valley from its front portico, the Laurel House sat just above Kaaterskill Falls, the highest in New York, and later the Kaaterskill Hotel opened as one of the largest hotels in the world. Meanwhile shipping lines and railroads were developed to bring the growing crowds to the mountains.

This past December, CMC organized a hike to explore the area around North-South Lake. On a beautiful day we set out for the site of the Catskill Mountain House, skirting North Lake and the site of its historic ice harvesting operation. We looked for long abandoned rail lines that carried tourists to the mountains and carried timber and other products out. As expected, the views from the Mountain House site are spectacular. We then hiked north up to several historic and equally stunning views, including those at Artist's Rock and Sunset Rock where we paused to eat lunch and admire the perspective of Kaaterskill High Peak and Roundtop as seen over the lakes. This is surely one of the greatest views in the Catskills. No wonder so many thousands of tourists and hikers have sought it out for nearly two centuries. After heading north to Badman Cave, legendary hideout of thieves who preyed on the settlers down in the valley, we returned on the Mary's Glen Trail and visited the beautiful boulder strewn Ashley Falls.

You can check out some photos of the day by visiting our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Catskill-Mountain-Club/147397745305874.

- submitted by Wendell George
WHERE THE WEB MEETS THE TRAIL – www.TRAILKEEPER.ORG

A new website, TrailKeeper.org, launched in September 2012, offers easy-to-read, easy-to-access maps showing all the hiking trails and public lands in Sullivan County, NY.  Whether a seasoned hiker or beginner, TrailKeeper.org gives access to trail information about locations, routes, and facilities to plan an outing that is the best mix of difficulty, length and location for you.
Visitors planning a trip to the area will appreciate the easy links to shops, lodgings, and other local businesses in Sullivan County. The site also provides news about upcoming events, activities, and attractions in the region. So not only can you plan your hike, but also breakfast, lunch, or dinner, an attraction you’d like to visit, and where you’ll spend the night.

To further help you prepare for adventure, TrailKeeper.org includes Hiking 101 – full of helpful information about what to bring, wear and figure out - so your outing is a homerun.

TrailKeeper.org is a unique partnership of local organizations, businesses, and agencies that joined forces to celebrate and promote the beauty and character of Sullivan County, NY: they are  the Delaware Highlands Conservancy, Catskill Mountainkeeper, the Sullivan County Division of Planning and Environmental Management, the Sullivan County Visitors Association, and Morgan Outdoors.

Additional support was provided by the Upper Delaware Council, Sullivan Renaissance, the New York New Jersey Trail Conference, the National Park Service, Sullivan County Community College Hiking Class, and many volunteers. 
Check it out at www.TrailKeeper.org!

Submitted by Lisa M. Lyons

YOUR SUPPORT IS NEEDED
CMC is growing and has applied for a special grant to help us build capacity for this growth.  Whether or not we get this grant is not as important as continued member support which always has been the lifeblood of our organization.  Won’t you consider making a tax-exempt donation?  It’s easy and secure by following instructions at our website:  http://www.catskillmountainclub.org/join.html/
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