Catskill Mountaineer

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faq for catskill mountains

Links and Information for hiking in the catskill mountains

USGS topo maps of the Catskill Mountains

FAQ for hiking the Catskill Mountains:

Does it cost money to get into the Catskill Park? No. There is no fee to enter or use public land. There are a few public parking lots where you have to pay to park. But, there is no fees for hiking the Catskill Mountains. The Catskill Park is an open Park with a mixture of public and private land.

Do any trains come to the Catskill Park? No trains come into the Catskill Park. Amtrack does run on the east side of the Hudson River, and stops in Hudson, NY. The Hudson River is located on the east side of the Catskill Mountains. Once you get off the train, you will need to rent a car, or take a taxi to the Catskill Mountains. Link to train and taxi services in Hudson

Do any buses come to the Catskill Park? Yes. Some Bus companies stop in multiple locations inside the Catskill Mountains. See the link at the bottom of the page to find transportation to the Catskill Mountains. Link to bus companies

Do any planes fly to the Catskill Park? No. There are a couple commercial airports around the Catskill Mountains. The closest airport is in Albany, NY. It is about 40-50 miles north of the Catskill Mountains. You would need to rent a car if you fly into Albany NY. There are three airports in New York City and Northern New Jersey (JFK, Laguardia, and Newark). There are buses in NYC that do travel to the Catskill Mountains. You can also take the train to Hudson, NY. But, most rent a car. Link to train and bus companies

Is there public transportation within the Catskill Park? No. There is no free public transportation provided by New York State. You have to pay a company to transport you or use a rental car.

Where can we stay at night? There are approximately 100 motels and hotels scattered throughout the park. There are also public and private campgrounds. You may also camp in many places on public land. There are lean-to in select places on public land. There are NO hotels located on public land, like you see in the National Parks. Years ago, there were large hotels in the park, but New York State burned all of them down. Link to lodging and campgrounds in the Catskill Mountains

How do the trails in Catskill Mountains compare to the National Parks? The National Park Services limits their trails to a maximum of 10% grade. They also try to smooth the trails out for easy walking. The trails in the Catskill Mountains are steep and rocky. You can expect grades up to 45 degrees. Many of the trails are very rocky.

Do you need a permit to hike in the Catskill Mountains. No. The exceptions are larger hiking groups of 10+ hikers. You need a permit for events, like weddings. They do ask you to register at the Trail Head. Link to DEC regional offices for permits

Are there any rules on camping on public land in the Catskill Park? Yes. You cannot camp within 150' of any trail, water source, or road. You also may not camp next to a Lean-to. You may not camp above 3500' during the Spring, Summer, and Fall. You cannot camp within DEC Campground Boundaries. Some of the DEC Campground Boundaries are quite large. You cannot cut live trees or branches. You must share Lean-to with anyone who comes after you. You cannot prevent someone from using the lean-to if there is space. If you are taking up a space wider then your sleeping bag, you must provide room. You may not leave behind private property or garbage.

Are the hiking trails open all year Yes. On very rare occasions a particular trail can be closed. Even during hurricanes and blizzards.

What dangerous weather conditions can be expected? Yes. The Catskill Mountains do have hurricanes that can occur in the Catskill Mountains. Significant wind and rainfall can be serious issues. On rare occasions, the Eastern Escarpment can get hurricane force winds if the right weather situations occur.

What dangerous animals live in the Catskill Mountains? Timber Rattlesnakes can be encountered around Overlook Mountain, Mount Tremper, and Sundown Wild Forest. Black bears can be found anywhere in the Catskill Mountains. Bees can be a problem in late summer and early fall. Especially on the eastern side of the Catskill Mountains. Yellow Jackets and Hornets are most commonly encountered.

What maps are available for the Catskill Mountains? The National Geographics prints map #755. The New York New Jersey Trail Council has a map set for the Catskill Mountains. You can obtain digital USGS maps from this site for the Catskill Mountains. The DEC has has maps of each mountain range. Link to maps


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