We're celebrating Catskills outdoors and trails this week as we ramp up for National Trails Day, which is Saturday, June 6. Here's a roundup of new trails and attractions that have opened in the past year or will soon open in the Catskills.
CATSKILL CONSERVATION CORPS
Funded by the State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and managed by the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference, the Catskill Conservation Corps formed in 2014. Volunteers with the Corps build and maintain trails, conduct research, pick up litter, root out invasive species and generally keep an eye on things in the Catskill Park. Workshops teach Corps members how to plan a trail, swing a mattock and identify nasty plants. catskillconservationcorps.org.
THE MAURICE D. HINCHEY CATSKILL INTERPRETIVE CENTER
Above: The facade and interior roof of the unfinished Catskills Interpretive Center on May 14, 2015. The center is scheduled to open in July. Photos by Julia Reischel.
July 2015, Mount Tremper
The plans for this welcome center have been in the works for 30 years. Exhibits inside a pavilion will guide visitors and residents to the places of natural beauty, culture and outdoor recreation. A .75-mile paved loop around the center site leads to an additional .25 to .5-mile paved trail towards the Esopus Creek. catskillinterpretivecenter.org. Route 28, Mount Tremper.
PALMER HILL TRAIL
June 2014, Andes
This new trail runs 3.7 miles atop a high ridge with breathtaking views of many of the Catskills’ highest peaks. Meander through open meadows and along historic stone walls. Park at the overlook on Finkle Road, Andes.
CROSS MOUNTAIN – LONG PATH
June 2014, Phoenicia
Lots of work went into the newest section of the Long Path, a 355-mile trail that goes from New Jersey to Albany. This 9.5-mile trail connects Phoenicia with the Burroughs Range Trail and travels over three mountain peaks: Romer, Cross and Pleasant. Park at the Lane Street Trailhead, Phoenicia.
“MY SIDE OF THE MOUNTAIN” TRAILS
August 2014, Delhi
These new trails are named after characters in the beloved children’s novel “My Side of the Mountain,” set in Delhi. The three-mile Gribley Trail climbs steeply to a ridge; the Bulldog Run Trail Loop runs 2.39 miles and the .36-mile Frightful’s Falls Trail connects the two. Park at Delaware Academy, 2 Sheldon Drive, Delhi.
Above: The Rock Rift Fire Tower Trail near the Cannonsville Reservoir. Photo via the NYC DEP.
ROCK RIFT FIRE TOWER TRAIL
May 2015, Tompkins
Hike seven miles round trip through a bluestone quarry to a fire tower high above the the Cannonsville Reservoir. The steep trail climbs over 1,000 feet. Park at the trailhead at the northern end of Apex Bridge, at the intersection of Route 10 and County Road 268 on the Cannonsville Reservoir, Tompkins.
BRAMLEY MOUNTAIN TRAIL
June 2015, Delhi
A two-mile round trip leads to an old quarry, or you can hike up to the summit of Bramley Mountain to get a wonderful view. Park on Glenn Burnie Road, one mile south (and uphill) of its intersection with County Road 18, Delhi.
This article originally appeared in the print version of the 2015 Catskills Outdoor Guide, our annual publication the Catskills outdoors. The Catskills Outdoor Guide is distributed across the Catskills region and at select locations in the NYC metropolitan area. Find a copy near you here