ALBANY — The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is inviting New Yorkers to “see the Catskills like never before in late summer and during leaf-peeping season by attending one of many guided hikes as part of the newly launched Hike With Us Catskills program.
Experienced hikers are encouraged to check out the Catskills Fire Tower Five Challenge, snap selfies at each fire tower, and send photos to DEC for special prizes.
“As summer fades and fall begins, the Catskill Park is a short drive for millions of New Yorkers and provides great opportunities for families and individuals looking to get outside and explore,” said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos.
“The DEC’s new guided hikes and the Catskills Fire Tower Five Challenge encourage New Yorkers to find their own outdoor adventures close to home, while learning about the history of our state’s fire towers and experiencing the beauty of the Catskills.”
Hike WIth Us Catskills is designed for individuals and families new to hiking.
This series of beginner-level hikes provide a fun, safe, introductory experience that encourages continued participation in hiking while offering educational messages and outdoor skills, the DEC said.
Guided hikes range from two to six miles and are being held in Greene, Sullivan, and Ulster counties.
To coincide with each hiking location, Empire State Development generated itineraries with other activities, attractions, and points of interest, including recommendations for dining and lodging.
The itineraries are available on the DEC “Pocket Ranger” app (in the App Store, search for the New York Fish and Wildlife App) and at iloveny.com/Catskills.
The following guided hikes still have spaces available and participants are encouraged to sign-up early because space is limited:
Saturday, Sept. 14: A hike is planned for Onteora Lake;
Saturday, Sept. 21: A hike is planned for Vernooy Kill Falls;
Saturday, Oct. 19: Hikers can go explore North Point;
Saturday, Oct. 26: Hikes will include tours of the Overlook Mountain Fire Tower as well as at Trout Pond.
Under Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s “Adventure NY Initiative,” the DEC is making strategic investments to expand access to healthy, active outdoor recreation, connect more New Yorkers and visitors to nature and the outdoors, protect natural resources, and boost local economies, according the the DEC.
For more information on planning an outdoor adventure in New York, visit the DEC’s website: www.dec.ny.gov.