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For Release: Friday, April 20, 2018

DEC Announces Grand Opening of Meads Meadow Trailhead Parking Lot at Overlook Mountain

Part of New York's Weeklong Celebration of Earth Day

Site Provides Access to Popular Overlook Mountain in Woodstock

As part of New York's weeklong celebration of Earth Day, the State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced the grand opening of the Meads Meadow Trailhead Parking Lot and newly established trails at Overlook Mountain on Macdaniel Road in the town of Woodstock. The completion of the project was announced during a formal ribbon-cutting ceremony and is part of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's Adventure NY initiative to connect more New Yorkers with nature.

"The new parking lot and trails will improve recreational access to Overlook Mountain, a popular hiking destination in the Catskills," said DEC Regional Director Kelly Turturro. "These improvements will encourage visitors to get out to enjoy our natural spaces and the surrounding sights of Woodstock."

Site enhancements include:

  • 30-car parking lot
  • Public access improvements
  • ½ mile connector trail from parking area to Overlook Mountain Trailhead
  • Informational trail kiosk
  • Two family friendly loop trails
  • Public sanitation

Senator James L. Seward said, "Expanding recreational opportunities in the Catskills will help boost our vibrant tourism industry and provide families and residents with healthy outdoor activities. I have worked closely with the Catskill Watershed Corporation to secure state funding to help make the local vision a reality. The new Meads Meadow access area and Overlook Mountain trails will help unlock the Catskill's full potential, highlighting our natural assets, enhancing quality of life, and drawing new explorers to the Hudson Valley region to experience all we have to offer."

DEC developed the parking area, trailhead and ½ mile connector trail to the Overlook Mountain Wild Forest's trail system. An informational kiosk was also built and installed at the trailhead and will provide visitors with trail maps, regulations, and general information about the area. A traditional DEC parking area access sign was built and installed for identification. This project was designed and constructed by DEC personnel and interns with repurposed materials and was funded by the Catskill Watershed Corporation. The total cost of the project was $102,000.

"Each year hikers and visitors travel from near and far to visit Overlook Mountain. After a magnificent journey there the experience includes spectacular views from the water tower, mysterious ruins, rattlesnakes and unfortunately a difficult time finding parking. Today's announcement goes a long way to assuring that guests will be able to enjoy this treasure and the beauty of the Catskill Region without interruption. Thank you to the Department of Environmental Conservation and staff for their work on this project and also the Catskill Watershed Corporation for the financial support to make this a reality," stated Assembly member Kevin A. Cahill.

"I applaud Governor Andrew Cuomo for his Adventure NY initiative that highlights the tremendous outdoor recreational assets across the state. I also want to thank the Governor and the Catskill Watershed Corporation for their commitment to expanding access to popular destinations in Ulster County," said Ulster County Executive Mike Hein. "The improvements at the Meads Meadow trailhead will only increase the attraction of this popular hiking location, allowing more residents and visitors to enjoy this historic hike to the top of Overlook Mountain and the breathtaking view from its summit."

From the new parking area, visitors can take the Overlook Mountain Spur Trail to the summit and historic fire tower, or choose an easier and shorter hike on the two trail loops. Birders and photographers will find ample opportunities to view and photograph diverse native birds and wildlife. The steady ascent up Overlook Mountain follows an old carriage road that transported guests to the Overlook Mountain House in the late 19th century. Castle-like ruins at 2,900 feet are a never-finished attempt at a grand remake of the hotel in the 1920s. At the summit of Overlook Mountain (3,140 feet elevation) stands its historic fire tower.

"I am very pleased to see the State make such great improvements to access to the existing Overlook trail as well create addition hiking opportunities there and I look forward to similar improvements at California Quarry Road," said Bill Mckenna, Woodstock Town Supervisor.

"This project is a great example of how collaboration leads to great work in the Catskill Park. The NYSDEC identified the need for this project, the Catskill Center as co-chair of the Catskill Park Coalition worked to secure the funding with Senators Seward and Amedore, and the Catskill Watershed Corporation. This project will help reduce parking difficulties for Overlook Mountain and start to address the increasing number of users," said Jeff Senterman, Executive Director of the Catskill Center.

"We are pleased to help facilitate this project and others that will make it easier for residents and visitors to get out on the trails, have fun and get some exercise on our public lands," said Alan Rosa, Executive Director of the Catskill Watershed Corp.

The new access will encourage visitors to explore the recently established trails, reduce parking issues on local roads, and eliminate potential safety hazards for visitors walking alongside the steep, narrow, and winding mountain road.

Under Governor Cuomo's Adventure NY initiative, 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. This initiative will support the completion of more than 75 projects over the next three years, ranging from improvements to youth camps and environmental education centers to new boat launches, duck blinds, and hiking trails. Read more about the Adventure NY initiative (PDF, 10 MB).

For more information on planning an outdoor adventure in New York State, visit DEC's website.

This announcement is in honor of Earth Week, April 16-22.

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    New Paltz, NY 12561
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