News: Taking Flight: Birding in the Catskills Conference, June 10-12 at the Ashokan Center in Olivebridge, NY

Taking Flight, presented by the Catskill Center, has combined the best of a birding conference with a birding festival, and have invented a new event for the Catskills that is rich with presenters you will want to hear, speaking on topics you will want to learn about. Taking Flight runs Friday, Saturday and Sunday, June 10th, 11th and 12th at the Ashokan Center in Olivebridge, NY. Register for a workshop, a day or for all three days of birding adventures in the Catskills!

Some of the birding trips will be held on-site, including the birding before breakfast hikes and moonlit owl walks. All meals will be included in the registration fee, and on-site lodging will be available, as well as the opportunity for you to bring a tent and camp out if you like your adventures a bit more rustic! Throughout the weekend are workshops with experts and opportunities for off-site birding with area guides, knowledgeable in local birds and the best birding spots in the Catskills.

The keynote speaker for Friday, June 10th is Chris Rimmer, Executive Director of the Vermont Center for Ecostudies. Chris’ talk is titled “Bicknell’s Thrush: Conserving a Bird of Two Worlds.” Chris will lead an early Saturday morning hike up Slide Mountain in search of both Bicknell's and Swainson's thrushes, as well as other mountaintop breeding birds like Blackpoll and Magnolia Warbler, White-throated Sparrow, and Yellow-belled Flycatcher.

The keynote speakers for Saturday, June 11th are Chris Wood and Jesse Barry of Cornell Lab of Ornithology. They will talk about e-Bird.

Visit for a complete schedule, information and registration.


Since 1969, the Catskill Center for Conservation and Development has led the effort to protect the more than 700,000 acres of the Catskill Park and Catskill Forest Preserve and are the major force advocating for the Catskill region. The Mission of the Catskill Center is to protect and foster the environmental, cultural and economic well-being of the Catskill region.


Read up on the Catskill Park at our Catskill Mountains Information Page for hikes, advice, travel and planning information.   We have a Guide to Hiking in the Catskills available and on our sister site, ReviewThis is a Guide to visiting 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. The Catskill Center offers a regional map of the Catskills that provides an excellent overview of the region, it's roadways, attractions and trails.  National Geographic Trails Illustrated also produces a map for the region that is useful for trip planning and road navigation. 

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. For the most comprehensive natural history of the Catskill Park and the Forests of the Catskill region, we recommend reading The Catskill Forest, a History by Michael Kudish.