Explore the Catskills: Lark in the Park 2013

Above: “Panther Mountain” by Ethan Myers. A runner-up in our 2013 Catskills Great Outdoor Experience Photo Contest. Join a guided hike up Panther Mountain on October 10th as part of the 2013 Lark in the Park. 

It's perfect season in the Catskills: Blue skies, brilliant foliage, crisp air, and heartbreakingly gorgeous views.

That's why the Catskill Mountain Club, the Catskill Center for Conservation and Development, and the New York New-Jersey Trail Conference plan their annual Lark in the Park for October. The Lark is a series of outdoor activities led by experienced hikers, paddlers, cyclists and anglers throughout the Catskills region between October 5 and Columbus Day.

As part of our 2013 Catskills Outdoor Guide, the Watershed Post is featuring a full list of all Lark in the Park events.

 Check out the Lark in the Park calendar at right or click here to view it on its own page. Or you can go to the Lark in the Park website. 

To give you some extra incentive to get outside this month, we've created an exclusive, limited-edition Catskill Fire Tower badge. Earn one before October 14 -- details below. 

This year's Lark, the 10th annual, is the largest ever organized, with over 50 events and activities scheduled. If you ever needed an excuse to get outside in the Catskill Park, this is it. 

The Lark events range from family friendly outings, such as the Tracking Program for Families at the Thorn Preserve, to multi-day treks for hardcare outdoors enthusiasts, such as the Four-Day Hike on the Finger Lakes Trail.

The hikes on offer will take you to obscure, little-visited valleys (the Kelly Hollow hike) and to the best-known Catskills peaks (Slide Mountain, Vroman's Nose, Windham High Peak and Hunter Mountain). 

Cyclists can ride the Catskill Scenic Trail ride or explore the Dry Brook Valley. Paddlers can do a guided paddle on the Pepacton Reservoir on two days: October 8 or October 12. You can fish the Schoharie reservoir or learn the basics of angling on the Beaverkill, the birthplace of American-style fly fishing, at "Troutoberfest."

To see the full list of Lark in the Park events, click here. For the Lark in the Park press release, click here.  

To plan your outing, see our feature "18 Great Catskills Hikes," compiled by the Catskill Mountain Club and the NY/NJ Trail Conference. 

We're also partnering with Morgan Outdoors in Livingston Manor to award intrepid hikers with their very own Catskill Fire Tower badgeThe deadline to earn the badge is Monday, October 14!

Earning the Catskill Fire Towers badge is simple, but it requires a little elbow grease: 

  1. Hike one (or more!) Catskills fire towers between May 11 and October 14, 2013
  2. Log your hike on a Morgan Outdoors Fire Tower Passport (see below)
  3. Turn in your passport at Morgan Outdoors by 6pm on Monday, October 14

To download the Morgan Outdoors Fire Tower Passport, click here:

PASSPORT Front and Back Five Fire Tower Hikes 2013 (Morgan Outdoors)