Upcoming Events in Hunter

Tornado watch in effect for the Catskills region

Above: A storm system looms to the west of the Catskills at 2:20 pm. on Monday, June 8.

The National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center has issued a sweeping tornado watch for much of New York and New England this afternoon.

The tornado watch includes Delaware, Greene, Schoharie, Sullivan and Ulster counties in the Catskills from 1:40 p.m. until 8 p.m. on Monday, June 8. A large storm system will march through the region, bringing winds, possible hail and a chance of flash flooding. 

"Dying and dying quickly:" Ash trees succumb to emerald ash borer in Catskills

Above: A logger harvests ash trees that are either infested or at risk of being infested by the emerald ash borer near the Ashokan Reservoir in Ulster County in early 2015 as part of a New York City Department of Environmental Protection ash borer timber project. Photo by Kristen Artz from the NYC DEP.

The emerald ash borer – a destructive insect that eats ash trees – is continuing its relentless push through the Catskills and New York state, killing thousands of trees and impacting the budgets of homeowners and state agencies, according to officials and experts.

“Any ash tree that is untreated will die from emerald ash borer at some point in time,” said Cornell University Forest Entomologist Mark Whitmore, who has been working with communities and agencies across the state to help slow the spread of the foreign-borne insect.

Whitmore and other experts say that it’s not a question whether the emerald ash borer -- first confirmed in the U.S. near Detroit, Michigan in 2002 -- will hit a community, but when.

Source: Ulster County Department of the Environment.

No bigger than the size of a cooked gra­in of rice, the metallic green insect was first confirmed in the Catskills in the Ulster County town of Saugerties in summer 2010.  Read more

This weekend: National Trails Day hikes and lectures

Above: The view west from Split Rock, a hike on the Finger Lakes Trail. Photo by Lisa M. Lyons.

Outdoors groups around the Catskills are hosting hikes, walks and lectures to celebrate National Trails Day on Saturday, June 6.

In the Greene County village of Tannersville, the Mountain Top Historical Society is hosting a day of hiking, lunch, and history at the historic Deer Mountain Inn. A hike along the inn's trails begins at 9 a.m., followed by a gourmet bag lunch and a lecture about the19th-century naturalist John Burroughs by Paul Misko and Burroughs' granddaughter, Joan. A "Burroughs Trivia Quiz" is planned. Reservations are required. Call 518-589-6657 or email [email protected].  Read more

This weekend: Mountain Jam

Above: A scene from last year's Mountain Jam. Photo via the Mountain Jam Facebook page. 

Gary Chetkof, the president and owner of WDST Radio Woodstock 100.1 FM, insists he wasn’t really trying to start anything back in 2004, when he launched the first Mountain Jam Music Festival.

“I just wanted to throw a big outdoor party for WDST’s 30th anniversary,” he said. “It was fun, and people started saying, ‘Are you going to do this again next year? Do it! Do it!’ It wasn’t really my intention, but what the hell. We tried it again, we added camping, and it just grew and grew.”  Read more

DEC gives $400,000 in grants to fund parks, paths and signs in the Catskills

Above: Eight Catskills towns, villages and nonprofits received grant money from the DEC this week. From left: Hunter Town Councilman David Kukle, Neversink Town Supervisor Mark McCarthy, CWC planner Peter Manning, Lexington Town Supervisor Dixie Baldrey, Windham Town Councilman Robert Pelham, MARK Project Deputy Director Kent Brown, Andes Town Supervisor Marty Donnelly, Cairo Town Supervisor Ted Banta and DEC Commissioner Joseph Martens. In front is Dylan Walrath, the contracts coordinator for the Division of Lands and Forests at the DEC, who coordinated the grants. Photo by Julia Reischel.

Elected officials from communities across the Catskills gathered in the Delaware County village of Margaretville to accept grant funds and accolades from Joseph Martens, the head of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, on Tuesday, June 2.  Read more

National Trails Day: The hike to Huckleberry Point

Above: The view from Huckleberry Point. Photo by Alan Via.

June 6 is National Trails Day, a celebration of the American trails system that's been commemorated on the first Saturday of June for the last 22 years. People are encouraged to get out and hike and bring their friends. If you're looking for a scenic trip in the Catskills that all hikers will enjoy, give Huckleberry Point in Greene County a try.

The trailhead is on County Road 6, also known as Platte Clove Road, south of the village of Tannersville. It can be reached from County Road 16 in the hamlet of Tannersville or County Road 33 which becomes the spectacular, vertiginous Platte Clove Road from West Saugerties.

Huckleberry Point shares the same trailhead as the trail to the top of Kaaterskill High Peak, one of the most prominent mountains in the entire Catskills range. If you're feeling ambitious, continue on up to the Kaaterskill High Peak at the trail junction about halfway through the hike.  Read more

Blazing trails: New in the Catskills outdoors

Above: The Maurice D. Hinchey Catskill Interpretive Center, which is scheduled to open in July, features a a .75-mile paved trail that leads to an additional .25 to .5-mile paved trail towards the Esopus Creek. Photo by Julia Reischel.

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. 

June 2014
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.  Read more

Mama’s Boy Burgers opens under Tannersville’s giant ice cream cone

Above: Mama's Boy Burgers in Tannersville on May 17. Photo by Julia Reischel.

A vacant ice cream parlor in the Greene County village of Tannersville has reopened as Mama’s Boy Burgers, a roadside grab-and-go eatery serving 26 flavors of custard and local grassfed hamburgers.

The restaurant, which has indoor and outdoor seating and an outdoor walk-up ice cream bar, celebrates its grand opening this Saturday, May 30.

But it’s already been open for several weeks to allow its staff of 10 and owner Michael Koegel, who also owns the Mama’s Boy Market coffeeshop in Phoenicia, to work out the kinks.

The building, which is topped with a giant ice cream cone sculpture, is a Tannersville icon. lt once housed Smiley’s Kosher Ice Cream, but was falling into disrepair when the Hunter Foundation bought it in 2011

  Read more

The winners of the 2015 Catskills Outdoor Guide Photo Contest

Above: "Ashokan Reservoir" by Mark Miller, the grand prize winner of the 2015 Catskills Outdoor Guide Photo Contest. 

It's Memorial Day weekend, and our print 2015 Catskills Outdoor Guide has hit the streets! Copies are waiting at dozens of locations around the Catskills. See what it looks like and how to get one by clicking here.

Each year, we ask readers of the Watershed Post and our Catskills Outdoor Guide to send us their best photos of the Catskills great outdoors. This year, 52 photographers entered our 2015 Catskills Outdoor Guide Photo Contest  Read more

Reservoir boating season begins in Catskills

Above: Kayakers on the Pepacton Reservoir. Photo via NYC DEP.

Sunrise this morning -- Friday, May 22 -- marked the beginning of the boating season on four of New York City's upstate reservoirs in the Catskills: the Cannonsville, the Neversink, the Schoharie and the Pepacton. Boating on the reservoirs is allowed during daylight hours from Friday, May 22 to Monday, Oct. 12.

2015 is the fourth year that non-motorized boats have been allowed to ply the waters of the city's protected drinking supply, and there are a few new additions to the program in 2015. 

According to a press release from the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, there are now racks at some popular boat launch sites that allow avid kayakers, sailors and paddlers to store their crafts near the water all summer long.

Also, boat rental companies are allowed to rent boats on the banks of the Cannonsville Reservoir for the first time as well, which means that all four reservoirs have rental businesses right on the water.   Read more