Monday, April 14, 2014

News: Parking restrictions at Woodland Valley Campground's Day Use/Trailhead Parking Area | Catskill Mountains, NY

Due to operations to remove Ash trees that have been potentially infected with the Emerald Ash Borer, the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation will be restricting the number of cars that can use the trailhead parking area at the Woodland Valley State Campground and Day Use Area for at least the next two weeks (starting April 14, 2014).  This is a popular trailhead, especially on weekends and hikers should be prepared to travel to alternative trailheads should this one be full.

The Woodland Valley parking area serves the northeastern terminus of the Wittenberg-Cornell-Slide (Burroughs Range) Trail  and the eastern terminus of the Phoenicia East Branch Trail.  Alternative trailheads includes the Giant Ledge and Phoenicia East Branch Trailheads on County Route 47 (Oliverea Road) and the Denning Trailhead, located at the end of Denning Road.  All three provide access to the Phoenicia East Branch Trail and the Burroughs Range Trail.

These trails, trailheads and roads are shown on the Trail Conference's Catskill Trails Map #143, which is available for purchase in both print and electronic formats.  The Trail Conference has posted an update about the situation on their Catskills Hiking Trail Status Page.

Need More Information on Hiking and  Planning your 
Adventures in the Catskill Mountains and the Catskill Park?

Catskill TrailsCheck out our Catskill Mountains Information Page for hikes, advice, travel and planning information.  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 for hiking and exploring the Catskill Mountain region.

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

Friday, April 4, 2014

News: 2014 Guides for Zion National Park Released

Zion National Park has released their 2014 Spring Map & Guide for the park and the 2014 Wilderness Guide.

It's a great opportunity to do some day dreaming about a hike in Zion and start planning for any trips you might be taking this year.  We know we want to get back out west after a few year absence.

Where's your favorite hike in Zion National Park?

Hike Zion NP

Saturday, March 29, 2014

News: 5 hikers rescued on Appalachian Trail near the North Carolina-Tennessee state line

The Citizen Times has the full story on a group of Appalachian Trail hikers that were rescued earlier this week from the Walnut Gap shelter.  It's a good reminder at just how quickly conditions can change on the Appalachian Trail or on any trail really, especially at higher elevations, whether you are in the southern United States, the Northeast or anywhere else.

Read the full story at the Citizen Times

You should always be prepared for changing conditions and make sure you carry rain gear and enough clothing to keep yourself warm in the changing conditions.  It also helps to make sure you have the proper gear including shelter and sleeping bags.

Thankfully this story had a happy ending, but in situations like this, things can quickly go from bad to worse when you aren't properly prepared.

For more info on being properly dressed for a hike, check out our guide to Hiking Apparel and Clothing.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

News: Devil's Slide, once a harrowing drive, opens as a relaxing trail (California)

SFGate has a great story on how a section of Highway 1 has been repurposed from a roadway to a trail for hikers, walkers, bikers and more.  Work started after the Devil's Slide Tunnel opened last March and since then, the old bluff-top highway has been transformed into a place to relax, slow down and enjoy the spectacular view.

The Devil's Slide Trail (opening on 3/27/14) will be a 1.3-mile path for hikers, cyclists and horseback riders. It's the latest addition to the San Mateo County Parks system. The trail, built atop what was the state highway, has been repaved, a pair of parking lots and restrooms have been added, and there are three overlooks, 12 benches and an array of interpretive panels detailing the area's history, geology, flora and fauna.

Looks like it will become a great opportunity to slow down and really enjoy the California coast instead of just watching it whiz by as you are driving (or from the sound of it from this story - not even being able to enjoy the view since you were watching the roadway so closely).

Read the full story on SFGate

Monday, March 24, 2014

News: 2nd Edition of Walkable Westchester Now Available

$22.46 on Amazon
The best guide to the outdoors of Westchester just got even better, as Walkable Westchester, an indispensable guide to hiking and walking in Westchester County parks and preserves, is now available in a new second edition. The new edition has information on more than 600 miles of trails in over 200 parks, preserves, and sanctuaries, and is the latest addition to the offerings of guidebooks and maps published by the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference.

Walkable Westchester is the creation of Jane and Walt Daniels, Westchester residents who are long-time hikers, trail designers and builders, and open-space advocates. The original idea for the book came about when, unable to find a hiking guide exclusive to Westchester, they decided to create one themselves. They thought the task would involve about 70 to 80 parks and about 200 to 250 miles of trail. Eight years later, in 2009, they came out with the first edition and let readers in on a secret: there a lot of open public space in Westchester and, no matter where you live, some of it is close by.

The book covers a wide variety of walking, from level, paved pathways to narrow woodland trails. The environments range from salt-water wetlands to rock outcroppings. So for any kind of walking in Westchester, whether a suburban mom looking for a paved path or a veteran hiker out for a day-long trek, this book is the perfect companion. 

Full information on the release from the Trail Conference: New, Updated Walkable Westchester Now Available