The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has finalized the Sundown Wild Forest Unit Management Plan (UMP) Amendment. It’s hoped the amendment will improve infrastructure, increase public safety, enhance natural resource protection, and improve visitor experiences in the Peekamoose Valley Riparian Corridor in the Catskills town of Denning, Ulster County.
The Peekamoose Valley Riparian Corridor encompasses 275 acres of Forest Preserve land in the approximately 30,000-acre Sundown Wild Forest. The final amendment includes the following:
Construction of an 80-car parking lot in the Peekamoose trailer field to consolidate parking to a single location;
Closure of eight parking areas;
Construction of an approximately 0.6-mile connector trail from the 80-car parking area to the Peekamoose Blue Hole;
Construction of a 60-foot bridge across Bear Hole Brook;
Construction of a foot bridge/retaining wall near the wooded pathway entrance to the Blue Hole between the banks of the Rondout Creek and Peekamoose Road;
Closure of 25 designated campsites throughout the western portion of the corridor due to extreme site degradation and natural resource concerns;
Construction of two new accessible campsites in locations that minimize natural resource impacts;
Construction of an accessible path from the accessible parking area to the entrance of the Blue Hole to accommodate people with mobility impairments;
Development of an accessible photo point for people on the accessible portion of the Blue Hole trail;
Removal of the proposal to allow snowmobiling on a portion of the Long Path trail re-route; and
Construction of a re-route of the Long Path that will accommodate multiple uses such as hiking, biking, snowshoeing, and skiing.
The Sundown Wild Forest UMP Amendment (PDF) can be found on DEC’s website.
DEC recently announced a new 261-acre acquisition to Sundown Wild Forest, you can read about that here.
Peekamoose Valley Sundown Wild Forest mapprovided by DEC.