Sunday, June 29, 2008

Overlook Mountain Fire Tower Summer Lecture Series

Overlook Rattlesnake Lecture, Sunday, July 6
Every year hundreds of people encounter timber rattlesnakes on Overlook Mountain. But what do these creatures do besides bask in the sun and occasionally rattle to give people a good scare? Paul Perri, a local ecologist who has studied rattlesnakes in the Catskills for years, will talk about their habits, history, and protected status in a lecture on Sunday, July 6th at 1 pm by the Overlook Mountain fire tower. Early in our history the rattlesnake was considered for our national symbol, losing out to the bald eagle, but it later suffered from poaching and indiscriminate killing. Now protected, it plays an important role in the forest ecosystem. And Overlook Mountain is a great place to see them.
Paul Perri works for the New York City Department of Environmental Protection. He earned a masters in environmental science at Bard College. His talk is the second in a summer series of natural history lectures sponsored by Overlook Mountain Fire Tower Stewards. For further information, contact Will Nixon (679-5853, or Dick Voloshen (679-2580,
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“Fire and Ice and Geology on Overlook Mountain”
Sunday, August 3rd 10 am (2 hour lecture walk). Meet in the Overlook Mountain parking area.
Robert Titus, the popular Catskills geologist, will lead a hike up Overlook Mountain that examines bedrock on the way up and glacial striations on top. He will help us to imagine the Ice Age glaciers that once covered the mountain. Bring a lunch.
“New York State Forest Rangers”
Sunday, August 10th 1pm (1 hour lecture). Meet at the fire tower cabin on Overlook Mountain.
Come meet your local Forest Ranger. Learn about the history of the NYS Forest Rangers and how they play a role in your community. Get tips on backcountry preparedness, safety and how to enjoy the natural resources with minimal impact.
“A Tale of Two Forests” - RSVP for the hike to Will Nixon or at 845-679-5853
Sunday, September 7th Noon (15 minute lecture and a 2-3 hour hike). Meet at the fire tower cabin on Overlook Mountain. Please RSVP for the hike, as it is limited to a small group.
Michael Kudish, the Catskills forest historian, will give a brief talk at the summit on the Overlook forest, followed by a hike toward Echo Lake to examine the forest communities found on the mountain.
“New York State Forest Rangers”
Sunday, October 5th 1pm (1 hour lecture). Meet at the fire tower cabin on Overlook Mountain.
This lecture covers the topics described in the previous “New York State Forest Rangers” lecture with a focus on cold weather preparedness.
“Nature Hike and Poetry Salon”
Sunday, October 12th 10am (2 1/2 hour nature hike) and a poetry salon at 1pm (1 hour reading). Meet at the Overlook Mountain parking lot for the hike or join the poetry salon at the fire tower cabin later.
Rich Parisio, a NYSDEC Naturalist, will lead a nature hike up Overlook, followed by a talk about Catskill nature writing and mountain poetry. You are welcomed to read your favorite or your own poem(s). Bring a lunch.
All lectures will be canceled in the event of rain or thunderstorms.
From the Village Green in Woodstock, NY, take Rock City Road 2 ½ miles up the mountain to the Overlook trailhead parking lot on the right. The hike up Overlook to the fire tower and cabin is rated moderately difficult and takes about 1 to 1 ½ hours. It is an old carriage trail, 2.5 miles long with a vertical elevation of 1400 feet.
Wear good walking shoes, be prepared for foul weather, bring water, sunscreen, snacks, etc. For further details or last minute program cancellations call: 845-679-5853 or 845-679-2580 or email or


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