In the past couple of months, upstate NY has seen an unprecedented increase in visitors from other parts of NY and across the Northeast. We don’t blame anyone for wanting to reconnect with nature, especially if they’ve spent 6+ weeks responsibly quarantined in a cramped NYC apartment. However, we can’t ignore that increased visitation to our region by less experienced travelers has led to mass overcrowding of the most well known and popular spots. We believe we can be a positive force for "harm reduction" in light of what is already occurring.
We take very seriously our role as stewards, not just the wilderness, but also of the small communities that make upstate NY such an amazing place. We have spent a tremendous amount of time and effort determining how we might balance the very real threat of COVID-19 spreading to vulnerable upstate communities with the equally real need for responsible outdoor recreation. We acknowledge that travel from outside of the area is occurring and we would like to do our part in harm reduction, particularly important when many local SAR and DEC personnel are still on COVID related duty.
If you plan on visiting the Catskills from outside the region, there are a few specific protocols to follow that will mitigate risk while travelling, which we have outlined in our Responsible Travel Agreement. While we recommend that anyone travelling to the area adhere to these protocols, if you’re travelling for a DBA led adventure, we will ask you to sign the agreement as a commitment to safe travel to the region.