Teen arrested for setting fires in Mamakating, town where massive brush fire started

Above: The Roosa Gap brush fire burns on the Shawangunk Ridge on Tuesday, May 5 as onlookers watch from Thornton Road in Wurtsboro. Photo by Michael Wentland. 

An 18-year-old Wurtsboro man has been arrested for setting fires in the Sullivan County town of Mamakating this spring, police say. 

A massive forest fire that consumed almost 3,000 acres in Sullivan and Ulster counties during the first week of May began in Mamakating on Sunday, May 3, but police have not directly linked this arrest to that fire, which is known as the Roosa Gap fire or the Shawangunk Ridge fire.

According to a New York State Police press release, New York State Forest Rangers, who handle brush fires like the Roosa Gap fire, were involved in the investigation. They determined that "someone had intentionally set several brush fires in and around the Town of Mamakating between mid-April and mid-May."  Read more

Jimmy's Belleayre Ski Shop

Jimmy's Belleayre Ski Shop has been in business since 1978. We are a full service ski shop located at the base of the Belleayre Mountain Ski Resort in Highmount, New York. Offering quality equipment that will satisfy every customer, we have something to offer the beginner skier or boarder to the most advanced. Our variety and selection on hardgoods, outwear, and accessories sets us apart from all other area shops. Our location is the most convenient and quality service is personal and memorable.

Come on in and say "Hi" to Jimmy!

(845) 254- 5338

Belleayre Mountain

Belleayre Mountain is located off of State Route 28 in Highmount, NY, just hours from New York City. It was declared “Forever Wild” by the New York State Forest Preserve in 1885. Early on, skiers would side-step or hike their way more than 3,000 feet to be the first to make tracks down un-named and woody trails. Since the very beginning of the American skiing experience, skiers gazed at the steep, rugged inclines of Belleayre Mountain and dreamed of refining them. In the 1940’s skiing enthusiasts pressured politicians to develop Belleayre as a safe and fun mountain for families and extreme skiers alike. In 1947 bills were introduced allowing New York State to create Belleayre Mountain. Construction began in 1949 and Belleayre began its premier winter season with five trails, an electrically powered rope tow, New York’s first chairlift, a summit lodge, a temporary base lodge with a cafeteria and dirt floors and parking to accommodate 300 people. It would become the center for winter sports in the region and an economic catalyst for surrounding communities.  Read more

(845) 254-5600

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

Mountainside Administrator, Phil Mehl, Receives Prestigious Award

Phil Mehl, who has led Mountainside since 2009, received the Eli Pick Facility Leadership Award for maintaining a “top-performing” long-term-care facility, the organization said. Under Mehl’s leadership, Mountainside demonstrated “identified measures of clinical achievement, good service, compliance excellence, reduced liability exposure, and [operational] success,” said the Alexandria, Va., group. “Advancing leadership excellence is at the core of our mission,” ACHCA President and Chief Executive Officer Marianna Grachek said. “There is a close relationship between facility leadership and quality outcomes -- and, ultimately, between quality care and operational success.” Mehl said he was “proud to receive this award on behalf of our wonderful, compassionate and expert team that demonstrates daily its commitment to the highest-quality, person-centered care.” Mountainside has the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ highest-level five-star quality rating and is recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of the country’s Best Nursing Homes.

Ulster legislature OKs deal with DEP to build trail (and no rail)

A section of the 11.5-mile rail corridor along the north shore of the Ashokan Reservoir. Photo by Kevin Smith, the chairman of the Woodstock Land Conservancy.

On Tuesday, May 19, the Ulster County Legislature voted 17 to 6 to endorse a deal between the county and the New York City Department of Environmental Protection to build an 11.5-mile hiking, walking and biking trail along the northern shore of the Ashokan Reservoir. The vote begins the process of funding and planning the trail -- and dashes the hopes of railroad enthusiasts who want to preserve the tracks along the route.

The Catskill Mountain Railroad (CMRR), which operates a tourist railroad on other portions of the old Delaware & Ulster rail corridor that runs from Kingston to Boiceville, holds a lease on the right-of-way that expires in 2016. The CMRR has not run trains on the 11.5-mile Ashokan portion of the tracks for many years, but has still lobbied fiercely to keep the possibility open.

The CMRR, Ulster County Executive Mike Hein and the Friends of the Catskill Mountain Rail Trail have been involved in a public battle over rails v. trails since 2012.   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.


“It really saved me:” Survivors celebrate emergency responders

Above: Woodstock resident Joe Ali, third from right, was saved by first responders from Woodstock Fire Department Companies 4 and 5 after he went into cardiac arrest in December 2014. Ali was reunited with the people who worked to save him at Ulster County’s EMS Recognition Dinner on Friday, May 15 in Kingston. Photo by Bob Baker of the Woodstock Fire Department.

It’s National Emergency Medical Services Week, and communities across the Catskills are celebrating memorable “saves” by their first responders from the past year.

Left: Joe Ali at the Ulster County EMS Recognition Ceremony on May 15. Photo by Bob Baker. 

In Kingston on Friday, May 15, Joe Ali of Woodstock credited the quick reaction of first responders with saving his life when he went into cardiac arrest in December 2014.  Read more

Hang glider dies after crashing into Catskills mountain


Above: A photo of Scott Trueblood hang gliding, posted on his Facebook account. 

A hang glider with a newly minted pilot's license died after crashing into a mountain in the Ulster County town of Wawarsing on Sunday, May 17, according to a press release from the New York State Police. (Update: The Daily Freeman is reporting that Trueblood received his training at Ellenville's Mountain Wings Flight School.)

Scott Trueblood, a 44-year-old man from Connecticut, was flying near an overlook on State Route 52 when he suddenly veered into the side of a nearby mountain around 6:08 p.m., according to police and press reports.

Trueblood was pronounced dead at the scene. He had a new pilot's license from the Ellenville Flight school, according to the press release.

The Daily Freeman interviewed several of Trueblood's friends and fellow pilots, all of whom are baffled by the crash:

  Read more

Family Day: Free Admissions at Historic Huguenot Street

June 21, 2015 - 10:00am

Enjoy free admissions to Historic Huguenot Street on Father's Day, June 21. This includes admissions into the historic house tours and exhibits. Bring a blanket and bagged lunch and have a picnic on our grounds. Enjoy a day with the family as you learn about the families who founded the town of New Paltz.


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