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Thursday, March 19, 2015

News: 2015 Catskill Park Awareness Day A Success

On a cold and somewhat snowy February 10, 2015, dozens of representatives from the Catskills braved the roads, the weather and the halls of Albany to attend the third annual Catskill Park Awareness Day in Albany, New York.

During the day of advocacy, attendees met with and educated dozens lawmakers, both from the Catskills and from the rest of New York State, about the importance of the Catskill Park and the Catskill Forest Preserve to the region’s local communities, visitors, and New York State. Those visiting that day were members of the Catskill Park Coalition - an alliance of like-minded groups committed to broadening public appreciation for the park and seeking resources to enhance and maintain it.

During the visit, the Catskill Park Coalition requested the following from Albany in 2015:

  • Environmental Protection Fund: Support the creation of a dedicated line of $4 million in the Environmental Protection Fund for the Catskill Park.
  • New York State Forest Rangers: Fully fund an Assistant Forest Ranger Program in NYS DEC Regions 3 & 4 and establish a 2015 Academy for Forest Rangers.
  • Land Protection: Act on a number of priority parcels for acquisition in the Catskills.
  • Recreation Plan for the Park: Help to secure funding to conduct a planning process for a Catskill Park Recreation Plan.
  • Catskill Association for Tourism Services: Support additional funding in the amount of $100,000 for CATS to implement its marketing program in 2015.
Learn more about the 2015 Catskill Park Awareness Day on the Trail Conference's event page and on the Coalition's event page.



Catskill TrailsNeed more information on hiking and planning your 
trips to the Catskill Mountains and the Catskill Park?


Read up on the Catskill Park at our Catskill Mountains Information Page for hikes, advice, travel and planning information.  We also have a Guide to Hiking in the Catskills available and on our sister site, ReviewThis is a Guide to the Catskill Park.  Need a hiking map for your hikes in the Catskills?  We recommend the Trail Conference's Catskills Trails 6-Map Set.  These maps are the best available for hiking and outdoor adventures in the Catskills and the Catskill Park.  How about a guidebook?  Both AMC and ADK publish trail guides to the Catskill Region and thAdventures in the Outdoors Bookstore carries many more books and maps that will help you as you hike and explore the Catskill Mountains region.



If you are looking for more information about the extensive history of the Catskill Mountains and the Catskill Park, we would suggest reading The Catskills, From Wilderness to Woodstock and The Catskill Park, Inside the Blue Line.

AMC Catskill Mountain Guide, 2nd: AMC's Comprehensive Guide to Hiking Trails in the Catskills (Appalachian Mountain Club)   

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

News: 16th Edition of Harriman-Bear Mountain Map Set Now Available From Trail Conference

One of the best maps to have for hikers in Bear Mountain and Harriman State Parks just got better. The Trail Conference has released the 2015 (16th edition) of the Harriman-Bear Mountain Trails Map Set.  This two map set is printed in color on waterproof and tear-resistant Tyvek.

Given the rich network of trails in Harriman and Bear Mountain State Parks, this revised, digitally-produced two-map set is a must-have for hikers in these parks. The 16th edition has proven to be the most significant update since 2007, as the maps now include detailed trail mileage figures for planning or navigating on the trail right on the map.

Learn more about this updated map set on the Trail Conference's website.


For more information on hiking in Bear Mountain State Park and environs
Within New York, the Trail Conference publishes the Harriman Bear Mountain Trails Map Set, maps for the adjacent Sterling Forest State Park, along with maps for Northern New Jersey Trails that are in the vicinity.  We have a number of books and maps for more information hiking in this area available in the Hudson Highlands section of our Adventures in the Outdoors Bookstore.


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

News: Appalachian Trail Grows 3.9 Miles in 2015!

Harpers Ferry, WV (Jan. 15, 2015) – Re-measurements and relocations of the Appalachian Trail (A.T.) have brought the total mileage of the footpath to 2,189.2 miles, an increase of 3.9 miles from last year’s mileage of 2,185.3. This mileage is carefully documented in the Trail’s official guidebooks, which include the Appalachian Trail Data Book and the Appalachian Trail Thru-Hikers’ Companion. Both books are published by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy.

Every year, the latest mileage and shelter information is updated from volunteers who are constantly improving the Trail, with volunteer Daniel D. Chazin of Teaneck, N.J. leading the efforts since 1983. This year, more than half of the changes in the mileage are in southwest Virginia, with 2 miles added to the total following a re-measurement by volunteers.

Increases were also reported in New York-New Jersey (0.1 mile); central Virginia (0.1 mile); Tennessee-North Carolina (1.5 miles); and North Carolina-Georgia (0.2 mile).

“The Appalachian Trail Conservancy’s guidebooks are invaluable planning resources for any Appalachian Trail hiker, whether they are out for a day hike or hiking the entire length from Maine to Georgia,” said Laurie Potteiger, information services manager for the ATC. “These guides contain the latest information from volunteers who measure, maintain and manage the Trail and those who hike it regularly.”

Monday, January 19, 2015

Event: Free HikeSafe & Leave No Trace Hiking Tips in the Catskills Workshop on February 8th

The Trail Conference's Second Sundays at Spillian series continues with a free HikeSafe and Leave No Trace discussion about safe and environmentally sustainable hiking in the Catskills this February on Sunday the 8th at Spillian in Fleischmanns.

HikeSafe, along with the Hiker Responsibility Code, was developed as a joint program between the White Mountain National Forest and the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department to create and develop a Mountain Safety Education Program.  While originally designed to educate those hiking throughout New Hampshire about the steps they must take in order to be prepared before entering the forest, the HikeSafe program has expanded to include other areas, including the Catskills.  The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics teaches people of all ages how to enjoy the outdoors responsibly, and is the most widely accepted outdoor ethics program used on public lands.

This workshop will focus on applying HikeSafe and Leave No Trace principals to your hikes, walks, excursions and climbs in the Catskills.  You'll learn how to be safe on your hike and how to ensure your hike doesn't degrade any of our natural resources.

Refreshments will be served.

This event is free and open to the public.  Free registration is available on the Trail Conference's event page.


Need more information on hiking and planning your 
trips to the Catskill Mountains and the Catskill Park?

Catskill TrailsRead up on the Catskill Park at our Catskill Mountains Information Page for hikes, advice, travel and planning information.  We also have a Guide to Hiking in the Catskills available and on our sister site, ReviewThis is a Guide to the Catskill Park.  Need a hiking map for your hikes in the Catskills?  We recommend the Trail Conference's Catskills Trails 6-Map Set.  These maps are the best available for hiking and outdoor adventures in the Catskills and the Catskill Park.  How about a guidebook?  Both AMC and ADK publish trail guides to the Catskill Region and thAdventures in the Outdoors Bookstore carries many more books and maps that will help you as you hike and explore the Catskill Mountains region.

If you are looking for more information about the extensive history of the Catskill Mountains and the Catskill Park, we would suggest reading The Catskills, From Wilderness to Woodstock and The Catskill Park, Inside the Blue Line.

AMC Catskill Mountain Guide, 2nd: AMC's Comprehensive Guide to Hiking Trails in the Catskills (Appalachian Mountain Club)   

Friday, January 16, 2015

News: 2015 Catskill Park Awareness Day in Albany, NY

You can join the Trail Conference, the Catskill Park Coalition, a number of other organizations and non-profits, and concerned citizens and volunteers in Albany to support the Catskill Park, the Catskill Forest Preserve while raising awareness about the importance of this region on Tuesday, February 10, 2015 from 10am to 4pm at the New York State Capital!

Attendees from the 2014 Awareness Day
All are welcome to join the team as they work to educate lawmakers about the importance of the Catskill Park and the Catskill Forest Preserve to local communities and to New York State.

As part of the day, you will be part of a series of teams visiting legislators and raising awareness. As a team member, you will have an opportunity to tell the legislators why the Catskills are important to you and why the work the Trail Conference, the Catskill Conservation Corps and many other groups do in the region is so important and should be supported.

The Trail Conference is a member of the the Catskill Park Coalition and serves on its steering committee. The Coalition is an alliance of like-minded groups committed to working together to broaden public appreciation for the Catskill Park and seek additional resources to enhance, maintain, and make available to the public the extraordinary opportunities the Park and its surroundings offer and can offer.

RSVP for the 2015 Catskill Park Awareness Day Now!


Need more information on hiking and planning your 
adventures in the Catskill Mountains and the Catskill Park?

Catskill TrailsRead up on the Catskill Park at our Catskill Mountains Information Page for hikes, advice, travel and planning information.  We also have a Guide to Hiking in the Catskills available and on our sister site, ReviewThis is a Guide to the Catskill Park.  Need a hiking map for your hikes in the Catskills?  We recommend the Trail Conference's Catskills Trails 6-Map Set.  These maps are the best available for hiking and outdoor adventures in the Catskills and the Catskill Park.  How about a guidebook?  Both AMC and ADK publish trail guides to the Catskill Region and thAdventures in the Outdoors Bookstore carries many more books and maps that will help you as you hike and explore the Catskill Mountains region.

If you are looking for more information about the extensive history of the Catskill Mountains and the Catskill Park, we would suggest reading The Catskills, From Wilderness to Woodstock and The Catskill Park, Inside the Blue Line.

AMC Catskill Mountain Guide, 2nd: AMC's Comprehensive Guide to Hiking Trails in the Catskills (Appalachian Mountain Club)   

News: NJ Senate Bill Threatens Weekly Day of Safe Hiking During Hunting Seasons in New Jersey

New Jersey Senate Bill 699, which would allow hunting on Sundays in season, was  passed by the NJ Senate Energy and Environment Committee on January 12, 2015  for consideration by the full Senate.

Under current New Jersey law hunting has been banned on Sundays, providing a safe haven for all recreationalists such as hikers, dog walkers, bird watchers, and more.  If you are interested in protecting your right to hike and recreate safely at least one day a week during hunting seasons in New Jersey, it is critical that we take action against this bill.

How to make your voice heard
(Thanks to the Trail Conference for providing the resources below)

Below are resources to help you make a difference. Be sure to contact your local state Senator using the talking points below, and pass the word on to any other hikers you know.
Click here to view the bill (PDF)

Suggested Talking Points for Hikers

  • Eliminating Sunday as a hunting-free day caters to a small group of outdoor recreationalists while jeopardizing the enjoyment and safety of the rest of the outdoor community.
  • As a hiker, I deserve the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors without the sound of gunfire and the risk of being shot. I also advocate on behalf of the bird watchers, trail runners, mountain bikers, and other outdoor recreationalists who would have their only safe opportunity to hike in the woods eliminated by this proposed bill.
  • Please keep the ban on Sunday hunting so that all New Jersey residents have at least one day a week during hunting season to access the outdoors in a safe, enjoyable manner.

Make your views known

  • Click here to find the Senator for your district and contact them in opposition to this bill using the talking points above: 
  • Contact the bill's sponsor, Senator Joseph Kyrillos, and let him know the bill's impact on hikers, a constituency that greatly outnumbers hunters.
  • Write letters to the editor of your local newspaper, including: The Record (Bergen County, NJ): letterstotheeditor@northjersey.com

Visit the news articles linked below and leave your comments on the articles

  • http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/breaking-news/index.ssf/2015/01/sunday_hunting_advances_in_new.html
  • http://politickernj.com/2015/01/senate-committee-releases-controversial-hunting-bills/
  • http://www.northjersey.com/news/nj-senate-committee-approves-bill-to-allow-sunday-hunting-1.1191244

Spread the word. Share these links and this info with your friends, neighbors, and organizations you belong to.