Lark in the Park returns to the Catskills

(Photo by Dion Ogust)

For many outdoorsy types, there’s simply no better time of year for hiking and paddling adventures in the mid-Hudson region than the early fall, when the air is crisp, dry and fragrant and the leaves are changing color. If you’re saddened to know that this year’s four-week Hudson River Valley Ramble is coming to an end, don’t despair: In the Catskills, the ninth annual “Lark in the Park” celebration is taking over from September 29 through October 8.

Created in 2004 to mark the 100th anniversary of the Catskill Park, the “Lark” is sponsored by the Catskill Mountain Club, the Catskill Center for Conservation and Development and the New York/New Jersey Trail Conference, with the cooperation of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the New York City Department of Environmental Protection. Since that time, the event has brought together hundreds of people and dozens of organizations participating in several hundred events, all aimed at heightening public awareness of the Catskill Mountain region of New York State.

This year’s Lark in the Park is bigger than ever, thanks in part to new venues in recently opened New York City reservoirs and lands. More than 40 activities, including hiking, paddling, cycling, fishing, nature walks and lectures, as well as cultural and social events, are already planned, and more are expected to be added. For the first time, a celebration dinner will be held, at the Hanah Mountain Resort and Country Club in Margaretville on September 30 starting at 4:30 p.m. The featured speaker will be Alan Via, author of Catskill 67: A Hiker’s Guide to the Catskill 100 Highest Peaks under 3,500 Feet. Phone (845) 586-2611 for dinner reservations.

A broad selection of adventures is available daily throughout the ten-day period. Just this Saturday, September 29, for instance, your choices include a Mount Tremper Fire Tower Hike, Trail Maintenance Hikes at Frick Pond in Livingston Manor and on Romer Mountain near Phoenicia, a Nighttime Hike and Beaver Watch in Kelly Hollow in Delaware County, a Pepacton Reservoir Paddle, an Outdoor Survival Skill Hike and a Live Radio Play of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow put on by the Roxbury Arts Group in Stamford. For the complete schedule of events, check the Lark in the Park website at https://www.catskillslark.org. And get out there on the trails, before the leaf-peeper stampede!

The Catskill Mountain Club’s ninth annual Lark in the Park presents volunteer-led hikes, paddles, bike rides and other outdoors-related events throughout the Catskills from Saturday, September 29 through Columbus Day, October 8. Visit https://www.catskillslark.org for the full schedule. Phone (845) 586-2611 to reserve a spot at the September 30 celebration dinner featuring guidebook author Alan Via at the Hanah Mountain Resort and Country Club in Margaretville.

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