Upcoming Events in Olive

Sean Eldridge: "I’m not going to run again"

Sean Eldridge, a young political upstart who lost the election for New York's 19th Congressional District from Republican Chris Gibson last year, has finally made it public: He won't be running for election again.

Eldridge, a first-time Democratic challenger, lost the race for Gibson's seat by 30 points in a drubbing that received national attention.

That's because Eldridge is one half of a prominent gay power couple. His husband is Chris Hughes, a multi-millionaire who helped Mark Zuckerberg found Facebook. 

Right after the election, Eldridge refused to answer questions from the Watershed Post about whether or not he would run again in the 19th District, which covers much of the Catskills and the Hudson Valley.  Read more

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. 

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. catskillconservationcorps.org.  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

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

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