Big Indian

Finally, some snow

Above: An inch of snowy, icy slush is cause for celebration on Tuesday, Dec. 29. Photo via the Great Western Catskills Instagram account. 

After almost an entire December without snow, the Catskills got its first significant snowfall on Tuesday, Dec. 29. This is great news for the local ski mountains, which have been doing their best to make enough snow to cover the slopes on their own  Read more

Catskills ski mountains get creative during no-snow December

Above: The slopes at Belleayre Mountain Ski Center in Highmount on Dec. 16. Photo by Rebecca Andre. 

Snow guns are blazing at all four Catskills ski resorts as unusually warm weather—and a distinct lack of snowfall—puts a damper on the start of the ski season.

This year’s December has been unseasonably warm, thanks to a strong El Nino effect.

The weather is upending normal activities during beginning of winter in the Catskills, which started on Tuesday, Dec. 22. Skiers aren’t flocking to the mountains as they normally do right after Thanksgiving.

Instead, flocks of geese are floating peacefully on the unfrozen waters of the East Branch. Daffodils are sprouting, golfers are playing on snowless greens and salt piles remain untouched in Delaware County as the Highway Department concentrates on getting ahead of 2016’s tree program.

“It’s been a bleak beginning to December,” said Jesse Tolz, the communications manager for Windham Mountain in Greene County.  Read more

A 12 Days of Christmas Catskills Gift Guide

Gifting is so much fun. But the classic ideas can always stand an update. After all, a partridge in a pear tree takes up the entire living room, shipments of milkmaids and drummers need to be housed (to say nothing of a gymnasium space for all those leaping lords), and calling birds just keep calling...and calling...and calling.

But you, you lucky soul, have the Catskills at your disposal. And these hills are packed with delicious foods, life-enhancing objects, fantastic fashion, life-changing experiences and mouthwatering edibles. So we’re hoping you’ll do your shopping locally, among the small independent merchants where your dollar makes a big difference.

Here are 12 local Catskills gift ideas for this holiday season.

On the first day of Christmas the Catskills gave to me:

A massage with aromatherapy

  Read more

Happy Holidays

During this busy season of preparing for the holidays,

the Margaretville Health Foundation

wishes to thank you for your continued support of

Mountainside Residential Care Center and Margaretville Hospital,

which are here for you year-round. Your donations will continue

to help us support both facilities in continuing our mission to

“Ensure quality health care for the people of the Central Catskills.”

Happy Holidays and a Healthy New Year!

Board Members

Heather Brighton

Don Bramley

Carmen Lopez  Read more

Trains and trails make peace in Ulster County

Above: The Catskill Mountain Railroad during a Polar Express event in 2015. Photo via the CMRR's Facebook page

It's a holiday miracle: Railroad fans, trail enthusiasts and Ulster’s County’s executive have decided to end a three-year feud over a county-owned railroad right-of-way.

On Tuesday, Dec. 15, the Ulster County Legislature unanimously voted to approve Resolution 488, a carefully-crafted “rail with trail” plan that gives both the Catskill Mountain Railroad (CMRR) and the Friends of the Catskill Mountain Rail Trail what they really want for Christmas.

Neither railroad fans nor trail enthusiasts, who have been at each others' throats for years, will get an unbroken corridor of trains or trails all the way across Ulster County from Kingston to Shandaken on the old Ulster & Delaware railroad tracks.  Read more

Shop local from the comfort of your home this Holiday Season!

Support your local farm and forest producer, working landscapes and your community by making your purchases count for clean water and the environment! Holiday shopping just got easier with the Fresh From the Catskills Holiday Gift Guide 2015. We've gathered honey collectors; wool and fiber makers; outlets for wreath, and holiday decorations; cut-your-own tree farms; wine, beer and spirits makers; handmade gift ideas; holiday caterers; jelly and jams varieties; botanical/soap lines; holiday bakers; value-added dairy producers; maple syrup makers; local stores...all in ONE easy-to-access resource.  Read more

This weekend: Christmas season in the Catskills

Above: Photo by Nannette Turner, via Flickr

Ring those bells and light those lights: It’s Christmastime in the Catskills. Public festivities abound. Come out and revel with your neighbors this weekend. Here’s our five-county guide to what’s doing.

DELAWARE COUNTY

On Friday, Dec. 11, there is a free holiday wine tasting at Roxbury Wine & Spirits—try four different holiday wines.   Read more

Catskills organizations awarded $26 million in state grants

Above: The Ulster County town of Shandaken will receive $415,000 in state funds to fix broken pipes in Phoenicia, part of $26 million in state grants won by Catskills organizations and municipalities today. Photo via PhoeniciaNY.com

The winners of the annual battle royal for New York State’s grant funds were revealed on Thursday, Dec. 10 at a press conference by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and the Catskills took home about $26 million, according to our quick and dirty calculations. (See the state's list of grant winners here.)  Read more

Region reacts to Ulster County Sheriff’s call to arms

Above: Ulster County Sheriff Paul Van Blarcum on ABC News.

Paul Van Blarcum, the Sheriff of Ulster County, ignited a furor in the Catskills and in the national media on Thursday in when he posted a plea on Facebook asking licensed gun owners to carry their weapons with them at all times in case they encounter a mass shooting like the one that killed 14 people in San Bernardino, California on Wednesday, Dec. 2. 

“I want to encourage citizens of Ulster County who are licensed to carry a firearm to PLEASE DO SO,” Van Blarcum wrote in a post that he also sent to local media outlets as a letter to the editor. “We are the thin blue line that is entrusted in keeping this country safe, and we must be prepared to act at any given moment.”  Read more

DEC issues permits for Belleayre Resort and Belleayre Mountain Ski Center upgrades

Above: A map of the Full Build-Out Alternative plan for the state-owned Belleayre Mountain Ski Area, from the SEQR Findings Statement for the Belleayre Mountain Ski Center Unit Management Plan.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation wrapped up its role in the 16-year review process of the Belleayre Resort on Wednesday, Dec. 2 when it issued environmental permits for the resort and for upgrades to the state-owned Belleayre Mountain Ski Center next door.

The documents constitute the state’s sign-off for the two interlocking projects: a private developer will build the 739-acre Belleayre Resort in the Ulster County hamlet of Highmount, while the state will give the public ski center a facelift to accomodate the expected increase in use. The Belleayre Resort project was originally proposed in 1999, and has undergone extensive review by the DEC.   Read more


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