Every October, right as the leaves begin to turn on the high peaks of the Catskills, outdoorsfolks of all stripes collaborate on a week-long celebration of the Catskill Park called the Lark in the Park.
The Lark, which began on Saturday, Oct. 1 and runs through Columbus Day (Monday, Oct. 10), is a series of outdoor events hosted by a smorgasbord of different groups and people across the five counties of the Catskills.
This year, different days of the upcoming week will offer events grouped by different regions of the Catskills.
On Sunday, Oct. 2, volunteers across the Catskills will volunteer to clean up up New York City’s reservoirs across the region. On Monday, Oct. 3, hike leaders will help you explore the Black Dome Valley in Greene County. On Tuesday, Oct. 4, the focus is on the Dry Brook Valley in Ulster and Delaware Counties. Wednesday, Oct. 5 is all about hikes in the Western Catskills region of Delaware County. On Thursday, Oct. 6, the spectacular Platte Clove in Greene County will host multiple hikes.
On Saturday, Oct 8, the focus is on the mountaintop region of Greene County, the home of the famous Kaaterskill Clove. That day, the Mountain Top Historical Society hosts its own hiking festival, with five planned hikes, including one up the brand new 200-step stone staircase at Kaaterskill Falls.
Like the Catskills region itself, some of the events on offer are eclectic. On Tuesday, Oct. 4, Howard Raab & Erwin Karl will take would-be gourmands on a mushroom walk in the Ulster County hamlet of Highmount, where they can learn the difference between delicious and deadly fungus and take the benign kind home.
On Wednesday, Oct. 5, Pamela Martin is hosting a scenic hike that ends in a session of outdoor yoga in the Ulster County village of Pine Hill. On Saturday, Oct. 8, an “Off Trail Exploration of Panther Mountain” will be led by a three-person crew of women who call themselves “Team Danger Girl.”
There’s mountain biking—a Fats in the Cats tour of the Elm Ridge Trail Network in Greene County on Oct. 2; fishing—“Troutoberfest,” which spans two days on Saturday, Oct. 8 and Sunday, Oct. 9 in the Sullivan County hamlet of Roscoe; paddling on the Pepacton Reservoir—Friday, Oct. 7; and loads of educational hikes, including one about discerning the age of forest fires and another on archaeoastronomy.
The schedule for the entire week of events is available at catskillslark.org, which keeps track of last-minute changes and additions.