WGXC-90.7 FM

Advisory group recommends ways to manage visitors to the Catskills

Jan 10, 2022 6:00 am

Roger Hannigan Gilson is reporting for the Times Union that the Catskill Strategic Advisory Group is recommending a pilot reservation system for some trailhead parking lots. The group released its interim report January 6, recommending different ways to ease congestion on trails, roadways and parking lots, and to educate visitors about safety and respecting the outdoors. The group was formed in October 2020 by the Department of Environmental Conservation after pandemic closures pushed an unprecedented number of visitors to the Catskills, especially to areas in the Kaaterskill Clove. The biggest increase in visitors was at the Clove, and even though the pandemic-inflated numbers decreased in 2021, they remained high. Most of the recommendations in the report are tentative, including the suggestion of instituting a reservation system, but the report recommends immediate action in the Clove area. The recommended actions involve installing technology to track the capacity of parking lots and establishing a social media group to disseminate the information; placing informational message boards along Route 23A; installing wayfinding and interpretive signage along trails, and creating an informational Kaaterskill Clove website. The report also recommends the pilot reservation system, but does not identify where it should be implemented. Next year in Kaaterskill Clove, hikers will be able to take a shuttle up and down Route 23A and to the nearby North-South Lake. The service was created by businessman Ryan Chadwick and the town of Tannersville is using some of the money it received from a $10 million state Downtown Revitalization Initiative grant to construct stops for the service. Visitors would park in the village to access the shuttle, amongst the village's restaurants and shops, according to Chadwick. The shuttles would travel down the Clove, stopping at Haines Falls, Kaaterskill Falls, North-South Lake, the Fawn's Leap swimming hole and other locations before reaching Palenville and turning back, according to Chadwick's plan. Two shuttles would run the route, with one available every half hour. Read the full story in the Times Union.

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