Middletown

This Weekend: Balsam Lake Fire Tower Hike

Above: Balsam Lake Fire Tower. Photo by Laurie Rankin.

This Saturday, experienced hikers from both sides of Balsam Lake Mountain in the remote town of Hardenburgh will lead hikes to the site of the oldest fire tower in the Catskills. A wooden fire tower at the summit was originally installed in 1887 to protect the privately-owned lands of the Balsam Lake Club. That original tower is long gone, but the 47-foot replacement has fabulous views.

You'll be hiking with two professionals: Lisa Lyons, the owner of Morgan Outdoors in Livingston Manor, will lead a hike from the Sullivan County side of the mountain, while Bob Moses of the Catskill Mountain Club will lead one from the Delaware County side. The whole trip from bottom to top and back again is 4.4 miles from Sullivan County and 5.9 miles from Delaware County. 

To give you incentive to reach the top, there will be a ceremonial awarding of our signature Catskill Fire Tower patches to everyone who makes the trek.   Read more

Boat the Pepacton in September, earn a badge

Above: A sailboat glides on the surface of the Pepacton Reservoir on May 26, 2012. Photo by Tina Schvejda; posted in the Watershed Post's Flickr group pool.

This summer, the Catskills Outdoor Guide is partnering with the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the Catskill Watershed Corporation to bring you our new Catskill Reservoir Paddler embroidered badge, which you can only earn by paddling a specific reservoir each month.

In September, the spotlight is on the Pepacton Reservoir. Paddle the Pepacton anytime between September 1 and 30, send in your proof, and a Catskill Reservoir Paddler badge will be yours. Click here or scroll down for full redemption instructions. 

The Pepacton reservoir is the workhouse of the Catskill reservoirs, holding more water than any other reservoir in the NYC system. It holds 140 billion gallons, and contributes a quarter of the entire city's water supply.

The 15-mile-long lake is studded with coves and is straddled by the Shavertown bridge, which is a great viewpoint for a photo shoot or an impromptu race. (Real races have been held on the Pepacton: in 2012, it hosted the first leg of the 2012 Adventure Race National Championship.)

The Pepacton has four boat launches spread along its lengthy shoreline. For a detailed map of the Pepacton and its boat launches, click here.

For our five-step guide to boating NYC's Catskills reservoirs, click here. 

  Read more

2nd Annual Golf Tournament to benefit Margaretville Hospital and Mountainside Residential Care Center

An especially sincere thank you to the community businesses sponsoring the 2nd Annual Golf Tournament.  The golf tournament serves to benefit Margaretville Hospital and Mountainside Residential Care Center. 

First Place Winners

Tim and Teresa Hynes, David and Bea Hull

Second Place Winners

Tom and Ralph Ackerly, Bill Blish, George Griffin

Longest Drive Women

Margo Pinkos

Longest Drive Men

Tim Hynes

 

This Weekend: 11 Catskills Labor Day events (and fireworks)

Above: A poster for the Windham Chamber Music Festival, just one of the events happening this Labor Day weekend in the Catskills.

Don't look now, but the leaves are already turning in the highest peaks of the Catskills. That and the arrival of Labor Day weekend confirms it: Summer is ending. Go out with a bang -- in some cases, a literal bang, with fireworks -- with these great events from around the region. 

ACROSS THE CATSKILLS: Lighting of the Fire Towers event. It's tonight! Details here

DELAWARE COUNTY

New trails open in Delhi. Saturday, August 30. 2 p.m. Volunteers have been working all summer to create a new set of hiking trails behind Delaware Academy school. Several of the trails are named for characters in the beloved children's novel My Side of the Mountain, which was set in Delhi. Delaware Academy, 2 Sheldon Dr., Delhi.

  Read more

End of Season SALE on FORNETTO Wood Fired Oven/Smoker

End of Season BLOW OUT SALE on
FORNETTO Wood Fired Oven/Smoker
(while supply lasts)
$1,299
Reg. Price $2099

Easy Entertaining Outdoors with the FORNETTO Wood Fired Outdoor Oven/Smoker

Outdoor entertaining is easy with the FORNETTO Wood Fired Outdoor Oven/Smoker . With its Smoker Slide mechanism that lets you bake or smoke, plus the detachable smoker box for added flavour, the Fornetto oven/smoker offers versatility and reliability.

Create authentic pizzas, roast meats, bake breads, pastas and desserts or smoke an endless variety of foods in your own backyard or patio.

Life is best enjoyed with great food surrounded by family and friends!

The Perfect Pair: Food & Fun in the Great Western Catskills

Great Western Catskills:  Food & fun, a perfect pair!
  Read more

Three years since Irene

Above: Bill Lonecke with his wife, Barbara (left), and daughter, Cindy (right), standing where their Maplecrest house used to be. It was washed away during Tropical Storm Irene by the Batavia Kill, which is 50 yards away to the right. Photo by Christopher Auger-Domínguez. Read their story in our Faces of the Flood Project, here. 

If you're anything like us here at the Watershed Post, anniversaries sneak up on you.

Three years ago today, Tropical Storm Irene blasted the Catskills with intense flooding, killing several local people and washing away homes and businesses in towns across our region.   Read more

This Weekend: See the lighting of the fire towers and earn your badge

Above: The lit-up Berry Hill fire tower in Chenango County near Norwich during the 2013 lighting of the fire towers event. (The Berry Hill tower isn't one of the five Catskill fire towers that will earn you a badge, but it sure is pretty.) Photo by Warren Johnsen.

There's no weekend like this weekend to hike up a Catskills fire tower. Not only can you earn one of our coveted Catskill Fire Towers badges if you do (see details here or below), but you'll also get a rare treat: the sight of a fire tower cab glowing from within.

Once a year, the volunteers who maintain the Catskills fire towers hike lights into the cabs at the top of the towers, making them visible for miles around.

The event is meant to commemorate the time when fire towers were staffed by lonely and intrepid fire tower watchers who stood vigil night and day, scanning for signs of fire.

From the event's organizers:   Read more

On the brink of a buyout, junkyard burns in Fleischmanns

Above: The VW Parts junkyard on fire in Fleischmanns. Photos by Julia Reischel.

The VW Parts building owned by infamous Fleischmanns junkyard operator William Hrazanek caught fire around 5 p.m. on Tuesday, August 26. The former junkyard, located at 717 Wagner Avenue, is in the process of being purchased with federal disaster funds as part of a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) buyout program. 

"FEMA is going to tear it down anyway," said Hrazanek as he stood watching the flames. "It's less work for them."

The fire was in full swing at 5:30 p.m. A tall column of smoke loomed over a crowd of students who were watching the fire from the grounds of a yeshiva next door. Multiple fire departments were on the scene.  

Hrazanek said that he has no idea what started the fire, and that he was in the process of selling the contents of the building, mostly auto parts, to Euro Nutz Inc. in Saugerties.  He said that he believed that workers from Euro Nutz had been inside the building earlier today, but that when he arrived at the scene, the door was locked and the fire was in progress.   Read more

Early Morning Line up of Carts for Margaretville Health Foundation Golf Tournament

Line up of golf carts early Sunday morning awaiting the participating golf players of the 2nd Annual Golf Tournament sponsored by the Margaretville Health Foundation.  A group of dedicated community members with a passion for golf.  We thank and acknowledge their dedication to improving the quality of health care here in the Catskills. 


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