Upcoming Events in Hunter

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

This Weekend: Memorial Day in the Catskills

Above: Princesses in Liberty's 2014 Memorial Day Parade. Photo by John of Catskills Photography, submitted to the Watershed Post Flickr pool. This year, Liberty's parade takes place on Monday, May 25 at 10:30 a.m.

Ah, Memorial Day: a bittersweet tang, part remembrance, part celebration. The scent of gunpowder from ritual muskets mingling with the fresh blooms of late spring and a whiff of barbecue sauce. The unofficial beginning of summer brings a host of wonderful seasonal things bursting open at once.

Come out and imbibe the heady mix. Here’s our five county guide to the best of the Catskills this weekend, May 23 to 25.


Governor extends burn ban to May 21

Above: The Roosa Gap fire threatens a house in the Shawangunks on May 5, 2015. Photo by Michael Wentland.

Due to a rash of wildfires across the state, including many in the Catskills, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Wednesday, May 13 that a ban on residential brush burning will be extended until May 21.

The ban, which goes into effect every year for the dry spring period of March 16 through May 14, was scheduled to expire this week. 

In his proclamation, the governor said that there have been 110 wildfires across New York state in 2015, which have burned 3,589.4 acres of land, destroyed one structure and threatened 91 homes.   Read more

Catskills under both fire and freeze warnings today

Above: Temperatures will be close to freezing in parts of the Catskills tonight. Photo via the National Weather Service Binghamton's Facebook page. 

Fire might break out at any moment in the Catskills today, but you also should cover your seedlings to protect them from frost tonight, according to the National Weather Service.

There are both red flag warnings of high brush fire conditions and a freeze warning in effect in the Catskills today, Wednesday, May 13. 

NWS Albany has issued a red flag warning for the eastern Catskills, the mid-Hudson Valley and the Schoharie Valley that warns of "dangerous fire conditions" from noon to 6 p.m. today due to gusty winds and low humidity.   Read more

Trails on Hunter Mountain re-open as fire, still contained, burns 133 acres

Above: Smoke was visible rising off a forest fire on Hunter Mountain on the afternoon of Monday, May 11. The spike in the flames was caused by high winds and a controlled burn managed by forest rangers. The Hunter Mountain fire is now in its sixth day. Photo by Ariel Woolheater.

A forest fire that has been burning on Hunter Mountain since Thursday, May 7 is still burning, but has not jumped its containment line, said New York State Forest Ranger Rob Dawson on Tuesday May 12.

In a sign of confidence that the Hunter Mountain fire is indeed under control, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has re-opened the hiking trails in Hunter that have been closed since Friday, May 8 because of the blaze, according to DEC spokesman Rick Georgeson.

The number of acres consumed by the fire is now 133 acres, Dawson said. A team of forest rangers managing the fire conducted a controlled burn on Monday afternoon, May 11, which has added to the acreage, he said.

"We did a little burnout up top to burn the fuels out," Dawson said. "Around the same time, the hot areas that are burning every day flared up."

Dawson said that the controlled burn was intentional.  Read more

Hunter forest fire is contained but still burning, officials say

Above: A helicopter fights the Hunter Mountain fire on Saturday, May 9. Photo by Ariel Woolheater. 

Four days after it was sparked in a remote Greene County Valley, the largest forest fire to burn in the Catskills town of Hunter in living memory is fully contained, according to officials at the incident’s command post at the Lanesville firehouse at noon on Sunday, May 10.

The fire, based in the Greene County hamlet of Lanesville, is one of the largest of many that have sparked in the dry, hot Catskills this week, including a brush fire that consumed almost 3,000 acres on the Shawangunk Ridge and a burn at the Delaware County dump.   Read more

Large brush fire burns on Hunter Mountain

Above: Fire on the mountain. A helicopter pours water on a forest fire, visible as a plume of white smoke rising over the ridge, on Hunter Mountain on May 8, the second day of the blaze. Photo by Douglas Senterman.

Updates at bottom of post. -- Ed.


forest fire lanesville. heavenly valley road.  Read more

The Catskills wedding boom

Above: At Handsome Hollow in Long Eddy, couples can say their vows in a fern-strewn clearing in the woods on the 93-acre property. Photo by JBM Photography.

Catskills weddings – especially those with an outdoorsy twist – are on the rise.

Getting hitched in hills is a booming business. Thanks to the wedding industry, there has been a recent uptick in tourism spending in the Catskills.

“We’ve noticed over the last couple years that there’s been quite an increase in country weddings in the area,” said Rick Remsnyder, Ulster County's tourism director.

“It’s a good location and the price is right. We’re 90 minutes from midtown Manhattan and the price is more affordable than the metro area.”

Cathy Ballone, a wedding planner in Greene County, owes her career to the increase in outdoor upstate weddings.

“I see a definite boom,” said Ballone, who runs Cathy’s Elegant Events out of the old Catskill Game Farm in Catskill, which she and her husband recently bought.  Read more

This Weekend: I Love My Park Day in the Catskills

Above: A poster for Cairo's Town Picnic, one of several events celebrating "I Love My Park Day" in the Catskills this Saturday, May 2.

Saturday, May 2 is the “I Love My Park Day,” a day of outdoor cleanup and volunteerism sponsored by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and the Parks and Trails of New York organization.

One of the woes of the Catskill Park is that it is not technically overseen by New York State’s parks office. Instead, the Catskill Park is a patchwork of wild forests, small state parks and wildernesses overseen by the New York State Department of Conservation.

This means that the Catskills themselves aren’t featured prominently in I Love My Park Day. But that’s not stopping towns and other organizations in the Catskills from celebrating it.  Read more

Beer boom: TAP NY and the Craft Brew Boogaloo

Above: TAP NY in 2014. Photo by Julia Reischel.

The Catskills beer boom shows no signs of slowing down in 2015.

New breweries continue to open: the Hunter Mountain Brewery (7261 Route 23A Hunter, 518-263-5231) announced its launch on April 1, and the Rip Van Winkle Brewing Company is now operating on the premises of Angela's Italian Restaurant (now Angela's Pizzeria and Brewery) in Catskill, and has a ribbon-cutting scheduled for May 12.  Read more