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June 2013 Outdoor Discovery

DEC Outdoor Discovery is published by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation.

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People sitting under some blooming trees in New York City's Central Park.

New York State has wonderful recreational opportunities which will be highlighted for you each month. Get ready to start planning your next adventure!

Cover of the June 2013 issue of the Conservationist.

Check out the June 2013 Conservationist where you can: tag along with volunteers and biologists as they round up wild geese; forage for edible wild mushrooms; delve into New York's prehistoric past; discover the history of the Two Row Wampum; and much more! Subscribe online or call 1-800-678-6399


DEC Events

Select Recreation Events
Black Bass Fishing Season Opens - 6/15
Frog Hunting Season Opens - 6/15
Hiking/Backpacking Safety - 6/22
See more upcoming events


Nature Notes

Blue stone in a quarry.

How did Bluestone Wild Forest get its name? During the 1800s, bluestone was quarried throughout the Catskills. It was loaded into reinforced horse-drawn wagons and sent to trading towns along the Hudson River, where the stone was shaped into steps and sidewalk slabs for cities throughout the country..


Safe and Sound

A group of people in a raft paddling in the rapids.

New to whitewater rafting? Find a DEC licensed guide.


Featured Video

A whitewater derby participant paddling.

Learn to whitewater raft this summer and join the Hudson River Whitewater Derby next May. Learn more about this event on DEC's YouTube page.


Explore for FREE

You can explore many state lands free of charge. However, some state campgrounds and day-use areas charge a small fee, depending on the season (campsite rentals extra).


Let Us Know

We hope you enjoy this newsletter and will share your favorite hiking spot, recreation activity or outdoor tip with us. Your feedback is always welcome.
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Photo Credits

Banner & Rafting Photos: Lake Placid CVB/LakePlacid.com
Bowman Lake: OPRHP
Black Pond: EPA

Free Fishing Days

A group of people participating in free fishing day.

During the last full weekend in June (June 29-30 this year), anyone may fish the fresh waters of New York State without a fishing license! Saltwater anglers may also fish in marine waters or for migratory marine fish species without enrolling in the Recreational Marine Fishing Registry.

This is the perfect opportunity to try fishing for the first time or take a friend or relative fishing. With more than 7,500 lakes and ponds and 50,000 miles of rivers and streams, there are plenty of places to try fresh water fishing in New York

Visit our "Places to Fish" webpages for ideas on where to fish. Just getting started? Visit our "Learn to Fish" webpages for advice on how to fish.


Whitewater Rafting the Hudson Gorge

A guide leading a group of whitewater rafters in the Hudson River Gorge.

The steep-sided Hudson Gorge is one of the most spectacular reaches of the Hudson River. Amid the gorgeous scenery of the central Adirondacks, it is the longest stretch of whitewater in New York State.

Whitewater rafting through the gorge is the most popular recreational activity in the area. Most visitors are customers of whitewater rafting outfitters who lead trips between the Lake Abanakee dam, on the Indian River, to North River, 16 miles away.

Visitors should also head to the Hudson Gorge Primitive Area (HGPA), located north of State Rte. 28, between the hamlets of Indian Lake and North River. With limited foot trail access, the interior of the 17,000-acre area offers great opportunities for hiking, camping, hunting, fishing and trapping in a wild setting.

The First Annual Adirondack Challenge is July 21, 2013 in Indian Lake. The Adirondack Challenge is a day-long festival with food, music and two water races-an invitational whitewater event and an international flatwater paddling competition.


Hike of the Month - Black Pond Wildlife Management Area, Jefferson County

Aerial shot of Black Pond Wildlife Management Area.

The Black Pond Wildlife Management Area, located along the eastern shoreline of Lake Ontario, is a rare, natural wetland complex comprising barrier beach, dune, open water, emergent marsh and wooded/shrub swamp.

Black Pond is open to the public year-round and offers hiking, wildlife observation, birdwatching, hunting, fishing and trapping. A viewing platform along the Black Pond Trail offers the opportunity to view wetland wildlife, waterfowl and migratory birds. Black Pond also features an accessible trail, which passes through woodland, wetland and dune areas, and ends on the Lake Ontario shoreline. In addition to wetland bird, waterfowl and shorebird resources/viewing opportunities, white-tailed deer, cottontail rabbit and ruffed grouse are found on the upland portions of the area.


Watchable Wildlife: Birding at Bowman Lake State Park - Oxford, Chenango County

Bowman Lake State Park.

Bowman Lake State Park is a remote sylvan retreat, where scenic park roads wind through evergreen and hardwood forests. A lake annually stocked with trout is located here, and birdwatchers can spot as many as 103 species of birds. Lucky visitors may encounter a wide variety of wildlife, including white-tailed deer, red fox, woodchuck, raccoon, gray squirrel, cottontail rabbit, beaver, geese, ducks, finches, warblers, hawks and woodpeckers. Bald eagles and river otters have sometimes been spotted as well.

Gently rolling terrain offers hiking and nature trails for enjoyment during warmer months.


Biking in the Catskills - Bluestone Wild Forest

Two people biking at Bluestone Wild Forest.

Located at one of the most popular gateways to the Catskill Park, the 3,000-acre Bluestone Wild Forest has something for everyone. Trails, old quarries, hemlock and oak forests, an occasional cliff and ponds are ideal for hiking, mountain biking and fishing. Visitors to the Bluestone Wild Forest should be properly prepared and equipped for a wilderness experience.

Mountain biking is permitted on the main trails, one of which begins at the trailhead parking area to the west of Onteora Lake and connects to three trail loops: the Yellow Trail loop past Pickerel Pond (3 miles), the Red Trail loop along a ridge with vernal pools (2.25 miles) and the Blue Trail loop (1.5 miles). Mountain biking also is allowed on the Jockey Hill-Wintergreen Ridge Trail (4.5 miles).

Visitors can park off State Rte. 28 near Onteora Lake, one of the few public lakes in the Catskills and just three miles west of Kingston

June 2013 DEC Outdoor Discovery Newsletter © New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

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