Road Scholar : Home
Hiking the Catskills

Program Number: 19666RJ
Start and End Dates:
10/6/2013 - 10/11/2013; 5/3/2015 - 5/8/2015; 9/27/2015 - 10/2/2015; 10/4/2015 - 10/9/2015; 10/18/2015 - 10/23/2015;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Claryville, New York
Price starting at: $749.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Walking/Hiking Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 15; 5 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 5 Dinners    
Meal Options: Gluten Free; Low Salt; Low Fat; Vegetarian    

Through expert-led daily hikes, experience beauty and nature in Catskill Park — part of New York’s "forever wild" Forest Preserve. Join our naturalists for active adventures investigating and interpreting the dynamic natural history of the area and seemingly endless mountain trails throughout pristine landscapes.




Highlights

• Prepare for your outdoor explorations with safe hiking practices through instruction and learning minimum impact hiking techniques.
• Enjoy evening programs on subjects that accent and enhance your daily adventures.
• Learn about the area's human history and feel its charm as you meet challenges and invigorate your psyche and physique.



Activity Particulars

Hiking distances vary by program date. Please see Date Specific Information for details.



For information on programs on specific dates, call or go to www.roadscholar.org/19666.




Date Specific Information

10-6-2013

Five Mountains in Five Days is designed to give participants the opportunity to reach new heights every day. Each day guests will climb to the summit of one of five well known mountains in the Catskills. Hikes range in length from three to ten miles daily and will include a pack lunch on the trail. These guided hikes will also feature information on wildlife ecology, forest ecology, and geology of the Catskills.



5-3-2015, 10-4-2015

Stretch and Stride is designed for participants who want to enjoy a week of hiking, stretching and mobility in a beautiful outdoor setting. Each morning before breakfast enjoy a yoga class followed by a daily hike ranging from 3-6 miles. After returning at the end of the day, guests will enjoy a session of relaxing and stretching to help unwind.



9-27-2015, 10-18-2015

Five Mountains in Five Days is designed to give participants the opportunity to reach new heights every day. Each day guests will climb to the summit of one of five well known mountains in the Catskills, while learning about wildlife ecology, forest ecology, and geology. Hikes range in length from 3 to 10.4 miles over uneven terrain, on well maintained trails, with elevation gains up to 2,000 feet.



Coordinated by Frost Valley YMCA/East Valley Lodge.




Claryville

The region surrounding Claryville is part of the New York City watershed, and as such, the natural beauty of the area’s forests and waterways is preserved in order to maintain the purity of the water that eventually reaches more than half of the state’s population.



Accommodations
Lodge steps from the Neversink River.
Meals and Lodgings
   East Valley Ranch
  Claryville, NY 5 nights
 East Valley Ranch
Type: Conference Center
  Description: Located in the pristine forests at the base of Slide Mountain, the Frost Valley YMCA features nearly 7,000 acres of meadows, ponds, cascading waterfalls, and world-renowned trout streams, creating an idyllic background. Lakeview Lodge, as the name implies, looks over Lake Cole on Frost Valley property, but also looks out over the tree covered hills so there is a great display of nature's wonders.
  Contact info: 21 Straus Lane
Claryville, NY 12725 USA
phone: 845-985-2254
web: www.frostvalley.org/lodging/StrausCenter.htm
  Room amenities: Rooms are country comfortable and simply furnished with an eclectic mix of antique furniture. We do not have air conditioning. If the weather is unseasonably warm, you may wish to bring a small room fan.
  Facility amenities: Lakeview Lodge offers a warm country inn atmosphere in a peaceful and secluded valley. This renovated turn-of-the-century estate features small active programs, tastefully furnished, comfortable rooms with private baths, and outstanding wellness cuisine. Marked hiking trails stretching throughout the Catskill Forest Preserve depart just a few feet from the front door of the house.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Additional nights prior:  Occassionally addt'l nights are possible. Please call to inquire.
  Check in time: 4:00 PM
  Additional nights after:  Occassionally addt'l nights are possible. Please call to inquire.
  Check out time: 2:00 PM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Check-in at 4 PM. You will be staying at East Valley Ranch that night.
  End of Program:
2 PM check out. You will be staying at East Valley Ranch the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. Release and Waiver of Liability and Indemnity Agreement Medical Form - kept strictly confidential, used only to expedite emergency medical care
  Parking availability:
Ample on site parking for participants
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Claryville, NY
  Nearest city or town:  Liberty, NY is 30 minutes away.
  Nearest highway: State Hwy 17
  Nearest airport:  Stewart International, Newburgh, NY
  From End of Program
  Location: Claryville, NY
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

To Frost Valley YMCA

 

From Bus Terminal

 
 

Service:

 

Hotel Shuttle
Frost Valley YMCA
phone: 845-985-2254
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$50
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

   

It is important that you make contact with our East Valley Lodge Coordinator, Matthew Dickie at 845-985-2254 to arrange a ride from the bus station in Monticello, NY to Frost Valley at a minimum of 1 week prior to arrival to ensure a timely pick up.

 

New York City, NY

 

To Bus Terminal

 
 

Service:

 

Public Transportation
Shortline Bus Company
phone: 800-631-8405
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

To be determined at booking
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

2.5 hours 

   

Click on www.coachusa.com/shortline/ss.tickets.asp to view schedules and prices of buses leaving from New York City, NY to Monticello, NY. It is important that you make contact with our East Valley Lodge Coordinator, Matthew Dickie at 845-985-2254 to arrange a ride from the bus station in Monticello, NY to the Frost Valley at a minimum of 1 week prior to arrival to ensure a timely pick up.

 
Driving Directions
  From Albany and Points North Keeping track of mileage will be very helpful! From NY Thruway Exit 19 (Kingston), go 30 miles West on Route 28. Look for signs on left side of road marked "Big Indian" Turn left onto County Road 47 and go 21 miles (note: at 14 miles you will pass through Frost Valley and pass by the Frost Valley YMCA) to County Road 19 in Claryville. Turn left and follow County Road 19 for seven miles (past the "Dead End" sign). Turn right at the Straus Center sign and follow the driveway.
  From Binghamton and Points West Take Route 17 East to Exit 100 (Liberty). Make a right at end of ramp, go through town on Rt. 52. Turn right on to Rt. 55 East. Follow directions from Liberty.
  From Connecticut and Points East Take 1-84 West to Route 17 (Middletown, NY). Go West on Route 17 to Exit 10OA (Liberty). At the end of the exit ramp turn right onto Route 55 East. Follow directions from Liberty.
  From Liberty, NY Take Route 55 East 10 miles to Curry. Look for sign on the right side of the road marked "Claryville." Turn left onto County Road 19 and go 4 miles toward Claryville. See white Church on right. Do NOT turn left at the Frost Valley sign!!! Continue straight ahead on County Road 19 (which is called Denning Road in Claryville) through Claryville for 7+ miles. Drive past the "Dead End" signs. The Straus Center driveway will be on your right. Turn right at the Straus Center sign and follow the driveway all the way around keeping left.
  From New Jersey and Points South From the New York Thruway Exit 16 (Harriman) go 55 miles West on Route 17 to Exit 100A (Liberty). Note that exit 100A will be AFTER exit 100. At the end of the exit ramp turn right onto Route 55 East. Follow directions from Liberty.
  Just a reminder A set of directions will also be sent out with the information packets that will arrive approximately a month before the program starts.
Elevation Note: Facility is at 2000 feet. Some hikes will go over 3000 feet.

Equipment Requirements: Hiking boots or sturdy walking shoes that provide ankle support and are well broken-in are REQUIRED. Hiking poles are highly recommended. Clothing list will be provided.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Check-in/Orientation. A warm welcome is followed by a hot meal. The orientation includes a time for answering your questions about the week.
(Sunday, October 6)
   
 Afternoon: Check-in begins at 4:00 PM.
 Dinner: Conclude the day's travel with a warm welcome to Frost Valley and a delicious selection of wholesome entrees. Dinners may include salmon steaks, tofu milano or other tasteful choices. Side dishes may consist of garlic mashed potatoes, rice pilaf, tortellini or sauteed fresh vegetables. Enjoy coffee, homemade desserts and conversation around one of three stone fireplaces, or on our deck.
 Evening: Introductions and an orientation to the accommodations and the Road Scholar program. We will also review the week's hiking plan and learn more about what makes the Catskill mountains such a special place and 'forever wild'.
   
Accommodations: East Valley Ranch
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Hiking up Tremper Mountain during the day and a presentation of the background history of the towers of the Catskills in the evening.
(Monday, October 7)

Note: Mt. Tremper Fire Tower 6.2 miles/2030' elevation gain



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast is served in the cozy Geyer Hall dining room amid hardwood floors and a large stone fireplace. Typical morning meals consist of assorted fresh fruit, local farm raised eggs, oatmeal and cold cereals. Daily specials may include blueberry pancakes, and oven omelets. At the conclusion of our breakfast we will prepare a delicious trail lunch (bag lunch) prior to setting off for the day's hike.
 Morning: This morning, after preparing ourselves and our equipment, staff will drive you to the trailhead for a day long hike in the gorgeous Catskill Mountains. Tremper Mountain starts on a hiking trail that meets up with an old Jeep road. The elevation gain is steady, with a lean-to about halfway through the hike. There is another lean-at the top, and the firetower affords us a terrific view. There are spectacular natural surroundings as we summit, from the top and as we descend. Naturally, the time of the hike will vary depending on the ability of the group.
 Lunch: Guests will be provided with a diverse variety of food selections to assemble their own picnic lunch. Sandwich items may include deli meats, tuna, chicken salad and a choice of assorted cheeses. Fresh breads, fruits, granola and cookies are also provided. Enjoy your lunch al fresco, among newfound friends and the natural beauty of the Catskills.
 Afternoon: Our day long historically focused hike continues, descending back to the trail head as the day of hiking draws to a conclusion. We will continue to make periodic stops en route to enjoy the natural beauty surrounding us and learn more about historically significant sections of the trail and landscape. We will return to our lodgings around 4pm for relaxation and unwinding.
 Dinner: Conclude the day with a delicious selection of wholesome entrees. Dinners may include salmon steaks, tofu milano or other tasteful choices. Side dishes may consist of garlic mashed potatoes, rice pilaf, tortellini or sauteed fresh vegetables. Enjoy coffee, homemade desserts, and pleasant conversation around one of our three stone fireplaces or on our peaceful deck.
 Evening: This evening's presentation will focus on the history of the fire towers in the Catskills, including why and how they were installed, how locations were selected, how events of broader historical significance affected the staffing of the towers, why the towers eventually got phased out.
   
Accommodations: East Valley Ranch
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Hiking up Overlook Mountain during the day and spending the evening learning about the some of the larger than life personalities that ran the towers.
(Tuesday, October 8)

Note: Overlook Mountain. 6 Miles/1400' elevation gain.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast is served in the cozy Geyer Hall dining room amid hardwood floors and a large stone fireplace. Typical morning meals consist of assorted fresh fruit, local farm raised eggs, oatmeal and cold cereals. Daily specials may include blueberry pancakes, and oven omelets. At the conclusion of our breakfast we will prepare a delicious trail lunch (bag lunch) prior to setting off for the day's hike.
 Morning: We will hike up Overlook Mountain today, originally Gallis Hill Fire Tower but moved in 1950 to its current location. The tower is 60 ft high, offering commanding views of the Hudson River Valley and Ashokan Reservoir. Legend has it that on a clear day, seven states can be seen from the top of the tower.
 Lunch: Guests will be provided with a diverse variety of food selections to assemble their own picnic lunch. Sandwich items may include deli meats, tuna, chicken salad and a choice of assorted cheeses. Fresh breads, fruits, granola and cookies are also provided. Enjoy your lunch al fresco, among newfound friends and the natural beauty of the Catskills.
 Afternoon: After we have taken in the views we start to descend the mountain, stopping to leanr more about the trail, tower and landscape as we work our way back to the van. We will aim to return to our lodgings around 4pm for relaxation and unwinding before our healthy and robust dinner.
 Dinner: Conclude the day with a delicious selection of wholesome entrees. Dinners may include salmon steaks, tofu milano or other tasteful choices. Side dishes may consist of garlic mashed potatoes, rice pilaf, tortellini or sauteed fresh vegetables. Enjoy coffee, homemade desserts, and pleasant conversation around one of our three stone fireplaces or on our peaceful deck.
 Evening: This evening we will find out more about some of the observers who worked in the fire towers - how they sighted a fire, their other tasks, and the characters, including the man who kept a rattlesnake in the tower and who bet hikers he could climb up the firetower's frame faster than they could use the stairs.
   
Accommodations: East Valley Ranch
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: We will spend the day hiking Balsam Lake Mountain and the evening learning about the technology that allowed observers to locate fires - and how it is done now.
(Wednesday, October 9)

Note: Balsam Lake Mountain 6.1 miles/980’ elevation gain



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast is served in the cozy Geyer Hall dining room amid hardwood floors and a large stone fireplace. Typical morning meals consist of assorted fresh fruit, local farm raised eggs, oatmeal and cold cereals. Daily specials may include blueberry pancakes, and oven omelets. At the conclusion of our breakfast we will prepare a delicious trail lunch (bag lunch) prior to setting off for the day's hike.
 Morning: We will hike up Balsam Lake Mountain today. Starting on private property that has been marked for hiking, the hike takes us through a wide trail as we gain elevation. We eventually turn onto state property, taking us the last three quarters of a mile up to the tower. This includes two stands of Balsm Fir trees that smell like the holiday season, even in October. When we summit, there are several palces to sit and eat lunch, taking in the wonderful atmosphere and beautiful views from the tower.
 Lunch: Guests will be provided with a diverse variety of food selections to assemble their own picnic lunch. Sandwich items may include deli meats, tuna, chicken salad and a choice of assorted cheeses. Fresh breads, fruits, granola and cookies are also provided. Enjoy your lunch al fresco, among newfound friends and the natural beauty of the Catskills.
 Afternoon: Our day long historic hike continues. We will be making periodic stops en route to enjoy the natural beauty surrounding us and learn a little more about this special place. We will return to our lodgings around 4pm for relaxation and unwinding before our healthy and robust dinner.
 Dinner: Conclude the day with a delicious selection of wholesome entrees. Dinners may include salmon steaks, tofu milano or other tasteful choices. Side dishes may consist of garlic mashed potatoes, rice pilaf, tortellini or sauteed fresh vegetables. Enjoy coffee, homemade desserts, and pleasant conversation around one of our three stone fireplaces or on our peaceful deck.
 Evening: Even as the firetowers were phased out, there were still plenty of stories to be told and characters willing to tell - and make - them. Tonight we look at the reasons for the firetowers' redundancy, and some of the lore that still surrounds both the people and technology which replaced the towers.
   
Accommodations: East Valley Ranch
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: During the day we will hike up Hunter Mountain while learning about its history. In the evening we will be treated to a slide show of photos taken during the week.
(Thursday, October 10)

Note: Hunter Mountain 6.8 miles/1957' elevation gain.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast is served in the cozy Geyer Hall dining room amid hardwood floors and a large stone fireplace. Typical morning meals consist of assorted fresh fruit, local farm raised eggs, oatmeal and cold cereals. Daily specials may include blueberry pancakes, and oven omelets. At the conclusion of our breakfast we will prepare a delicious trail lunch (bag lunch) prior to setting off for the day's hike.
 Morning: Our morning will be spent ascending Hunter Mountain, taking in the wonderful scenery as we climb. Originally thought to be the tallest peak in the Catskills, it is now known to be the second tallest, but has the distinction of being the highest peak in the range with a fire tower still standing on it. Although the mountain has several approaches, we will be using the Spruceton Trail.
 Lunch: Guests will be provided with a diverse variety of food selections to assemble their own picnic lunch. Sandwich items may include deli meats, tuna, chicken salad and a choice of assorted cheeses. Fresh breads, fruits, granola and cookies are also provided. Enjoy your lunch al fresco, among newfound friends and the natural beauty of the Catskills.
 Afternoon: Our day long historically focused hike continues. As we descend, we will be making periodic stops en route to enjoy the natural beauty surrounding us and learn a little more about this special place. We will return to the Straus Center around 4pm for relaxation and unwinding.
 Dinner: Conclude the day with a delicious selection of wholesome entrees. Dinners may include salmon steaks, tofu milano or other tasteful choices. Side dishes may consist of garlic mashed potatoes, rice pilaf, tortellini or sauteed fresh vegetables. Enjoy coffee, homemade desserts, and pleasant conversation around one of our three stone fireplaces or on our peaceful deck.
 Evening: This evening we will present a review of the 'Week in Pictures' slide show as we enjoy looking back at a special week of hiking among beautiful mountain scenery with wonderful memories and new friends.
   
Accommodations: East Valley Ranch
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Hiking up Red Hill to the firetower, and taking in views of Frost Valley, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania
(Friday, October 11)

Note: 2.8 miles/890' Elevation Gain



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast is served in the cozy Geyer Hall dining room amid hardwood floors and a large stone fireplace. Typical morning meals consist of assorted fresh fruit, local farm raised eggs, oatmeal and cold cereals. Daily specials may include blueberry pancakes, waffles and omelets made to order.
 Morning: A shorter, but invigorating hike to nearby Red Hill Fire Tower. This southernmost of Catskill lookout towers offers spectacular 360 degree vistas of the tallest Catskill peaks. Often our Red Hill hike will be shared with a New York State forest ranger, who will offer great insight into the local ecology and history. On the trail to the top we will be stopping periodically to learn about the area from both a natural and historical point of view.
 Lunch: Return to the Geyer Dining Hall for final lunch together around noon. Lunch today will be bagged to give guests complete flexiblity as they travel. Lunch will be followed by "goodbyes" and check-out for departure by 2PM.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Free Time Opportunities
 
  Claryville, NY Catskill Guide
For additional information, visit www.catskillguide.com
  Sullivan County Chamber of Commerce
(845) 292-8500 For additional information, visit www.catskills.com
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

What’s included in this Road Scholar program?



Except for the occasional meal on some programs, Road Scholar programs are all-inclusive. That means there are no extra “options,” no passing the hat for tips and no surprises. From lectures and field trips to gratuities and accommodations – the price you pay up front is the price you pay.

Specifically, this program includes:


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