FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 16-70
July 14, 2016
Ann Roberti (CMC): (845) 676-3643
DEP: (845) 334-7868
Catskill Mountain Club and New York City DEP Announce New Hiking Trail at Bramley Mountain
The new 4-mile trail in Delaware County will open with a ceremony and public hike on July 29
A topographic map of the Bramley Mountain Trail is available by clicking here
High-resolution images of the trail can be found on Flickr by clicking here
The Catskill Mountain Club (CMC) and the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) today announced a community hike to celebrate the opening of a new trail to the summit of Bramley Mountain in Delaware County. The trail—which was built and will be maintained by volunteers from CMC—is located in the towns of Delhi and Bovina, with parking available at a designated area on Glen Burnie Road. Avid hikers, community members and visitors are encouraged to celebrate the opening of the trail on Friday, July 29. A short ceremony will be held at 12 p.m., followed by a group hike.
The Bramley Mountain Trail represents the third collaboration between CMC and DEP. In recent years they partnered to develop the Palmer Hill Trail and Shavertown Trail, both of which are also located on City water supply lands in Delaware County. The latest effort provides avid hikers with a loop trail to the summit of Bramley Mountain, which at 2,817 feet is among the highest peaks in the westernmost portion of the Catskills. The summit is the former site of the Bramley Mountain Fire Tower, which was dismantled and removed several decades ago. Its foundation stones remain in place.
The approximately 4-mile trail includes hikes of different lengths and intensities, along with unique natural features along the way. Hikers can walk about 0.9 miles along a gentle woods road to reach an abandoned bluestone quarry. From there, a moderately strenuous 1.2-mile hike takes visitors past two large caves, rock outcroppings and beautiful hardwood forests. A 1.8-mile hike from the opposite direction takes visitors up the road that was once used to access the fire tower. This road is consistently steep as it runs through dense forest and small stretches of open, narrow meadows. Hikers can glimpse two views from the summit. The view to the south features many of the Catskill high peaks, Mount Pisgah and mountains traversed by the Finger Lakes Trail. A view to the west includes farmland along rolling hillsides. The Bramley Mountain Trail is located on a portion of a 1,243-acre parcel that DEP acquired in 2008 as part of its land acquisition program, which protects drinking water quality by preserving open spaces along steep areas, and along streams, creek and other water bodies that feed the City’s reservoir system in the Catskills. Access to the trail will be free of charge and does not require a DEP Access Permit.
“The Catskill Mountain Club is happy to have the opportunity, once again, to work with the DEP to expand hiking opportunities in the Catskills,” CMC board member Wendell George said. “Access to their lands is a key component to the realization of our goals of providing and promoting improved outdoor recreation in the region. Through this partnership, we are able to help add economic and health benefits for the citizens of the Catskills while offering visitors excellent hiking opportunities that suit the abilities of a diverse group of hikers.”
“The Bramley Mountain Trail is another great place for people to explore the scenic beauty of the Catskills and enjoy outdoor recreation,” DEP Acting Commissioner Vincent Sapienza said. “I want to thank the volunteers from the Catskill Mountain Club for planning, marking and maintaining this beautiful new trail. New York City has been excited to open several new trails on our water supply lands in recent years, but these projects only happen because of the passion and dedication of local volunteers.”
The Bramley Mountain Trail is the 11th recreation trail that New York City has opened on water supply lands through partnerships with nonprofit groups. Along with the aforementioned trails at Palmer Hill and Shavertown, others in the Catskills include a nature trail alongside a school in Conesville in Schoharie County, a walking and cross-country skiing trail near Windham in Greene County, and trails in the Delaware County towns of Tompkins and Walton that were built by the Finger Lakes Trail Conference with help from Catskill Mountain Club.
The trail is also part of DEP’s ongoing effort to support outdoor recreation and tourism in the Catskills by opening more of its land for low-impact recreation. Since 2003, DEP has significantly expanded the amount of City properties within the watersheds that are open for recreation. There are now 131,944 acres open for recreation, including 96,113 acres of land and 35,831 acres of reservoirs. Of that, more than 68,000 of land—including the Bramley Mountain Trail—are in public access areas that are open to recreation without a DEP access permit. More information about recreation in the watersheds can be found here.
Formed in 2004, The Catskill Mountain Club, Inc. is an all-volunteer group of outdoor enthusiasts interested in providing a wide variety of outdoor (non-motorized) recreational opportunities abundant in the Catskills. Its objective is to increase public awareness, appreciation and enjoyment of the region’s natural resources, public lands, and outdoor activities and to promote responsible, safe, and sustainable outdoor recreation through education and good stewardship. Information on CMC events, trails and more is available at www.CatskillMountainClub.org.
DEP manages New York City’s water supply, providing more than one billion gallons of high quality water each day to more than 9 million New Yorkers. This includes more than 70 upstate communities and institutions in Ulster, Orange, Putnam and Westchester counties who consume an average of 110 million total gallons of drinking water daily from New York City’s water supply system. This water comes from the Catskill, Delaware, and Croton watersheds that extend more than 125 miles from the City, and the system comprises 19 reservoirs, three controlled lakes, and numerous tunnels and aqueducts. DEP has nearly 6,000 employees, including almost 1,000 scientists, engineers, surveyors, watershed maintainers and other professionals in the upstate watershed. In addition to its $70 million payroll and $157 million in annual taxes paid in upstate counties, DEP has invested more than $1.7 billion in watershed protection programs—including partnership organizations such as the Catskill Watershed Corporation and the Watershed Agricultural Council—that support sustainable farming practices, environmentally sensitive economic development, and local economic opportunity. In addition, DEP has a robust capital program with over $14 billion in investments planned over the next 10 years that will create up to 3,000 construction-related jobs per year. For more information, visit nyc.gov/dep, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.