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
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.
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
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
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
The Friends of the Catskill Mountain Rail Trail congratulate New York City’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) on moving forward with plans to support the construction of a publicly accessible multiuse trail along the northern border of the Ashokan Reservoir. This action was endorsed unanimously (with one abstention) last week by the members of the Ulster County Trails Advisory Committee, who prepared the following statement to be sent to Ulster County’s Economic Development and Tourism Committee: "Based on last week's offer by the Commissioner of New York City's Department of Environmental Protection of considerable financial and other support for converting 11.5 miles of rail corridor along the Ashokan Reservoir to a multi-use rail trail, with parking and other amenities designed to create a world-class tourism attraction, with year-round free access to the rail trail without permit, the Ulster County Trails Advisory Committee strongly urges the Ulster County Legislature to authorize the Ulster County Executive to execute an agreement to further this plan." Read more
The record harvest is likely due to a new early bear hunting season that ran from Sept. 6 to Sept. 21 in portions of the Catskills and the western Hudson Valley, DEC officials say.
Catskills hunters in in Delaware, Greene, Schoharie, Sullivan and Ulster counties killed 893 bears in 2014, according to an analysis of the DEC's hunt data by the Watershed Post. In the Catskills, hunters killed 294 bears during the new early season and 599 during the bow hunting, muzzleloading and regular seasons, which occur later in the fall.
The Catskills towns with the highest bear harvests are Hancock, with 34 bears killed; Wawarsing, with 32; Tusten, with 31; Rochester, with 27; and Mamakating, with 24. Read more
April Fool’s day is the first day of fishing season in New York state, and it's playing a freezing cold joke on hopeful anglers vying to catch the first trout of the year.
It's a cold and icy beginning to trout season, with a high of only 38 degrees and snow falling over Cairns Pool on the Beaverkill, according to the Catskill Fly Fishing Center and Museum’s Facebook page. Nevertheless, trout were reportedly caught there today, the center reports.
Above: An image from Catskill Made, a new digital publication. Photo of milkweed by Tom Smith.
Along with maple syrup and the first red blush of buds on the mountainsides, spring is bringing a bloom of new publications devoted to covering the culture, arts and lifestyle of the Catskills — through the eyes of flatlanders.
These days, urbanites are fleeing to the Catskills from New York City in droves. If you ask them why, they say that they're searching for something -- a kind of authenticity absent from more citifed environs.
“We yearned for a place with a slower pace of life, fewer pretensions, friendlier people, and more authenticity — something we had always experienced on our trips here," said Alecia Eberhardt, a new arrival to the Catskills who is the editor of Catskill Made, a new digital quarterly journal that launched on March 21. "So in the summer of 2013 we made the leap, and almost two years later, here we are.” Read more