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Camping in the Catskills

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Camping in the Catskills

Postby thebeave7 » Sun May 23, 2010 2:53 pm

So as with most of the world we're thinking about heading to the Catskills for some camping and hiking this weekend. Of course due to all the campground closures this season there are zero spots available anywhere in the state. I've only been on the East coast for a few months and was wondering what the rules are on dispersed camping. In other words, can I simply drive down a dirt road, pull off somewhere and set up a tent if I am away from developed and private land? I've got a Subaru Forester, so can deal with some rocks and roughness, but definitely not jeep roads. Any thought son places in the southern Catskills or near the Slide Mt area?

Eric
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Postby mtngrl » Sun May 23, 2010 3:20 pm

Camping is pretty tight out here.
Check out the guidelines - http://www.catskill-3500-club.org/resou ... ations.htm
There are several lean-tos in that area( at least two along the Devil's Path) that are first come first serve with room for tents. Those are probably your best bet.
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Postby thebeave7 » Sun May 23, 2010 3:24 pm

While I have no problem backpacking in, I'm going with a few people who are relatively novice, one of whom has some health issues that need to be addressed daily, so being near the car at night is a must. So yes, we're restricted to car camping, but not just the Catskills (we're down in Philly). Thanks for the thoughts, maybe we'll have to look elsewhere or try a different weekend.

Eric

PS are these lea-toes backcountry sites or road side sites?
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Postby mtngrl » Sun May 23, 2010 4:57 pm

Lean-tos are backcountry. Although not that back country. As I recall there is a lean-to and tent sites about 2 miles in on Devil's Path. The campsites are all designated on the map for the catskills. There are several that are pretty close to the road.
http://www.catskillguide.com/hiking.htm
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Postby rasgoat » Sun May 23, 2010 5:54 pm

The Rules for camping in the Catskills:

No camping within 150 feet of any road, trail, spring, stream, or other bodies of water except in camping areas designated by the DEC.

You don't have to bail on the Catskills, if you follow these rules, there are spots where you could park at a trailhead and search out a flat area 200 feet from the road & trail.

This option of course would not have the luxuries of car camping.

There are a few trailheads which begin on private land though, one of which is the Devils Path eastern Terminus.

Just make sure the trailhead and trail you will be camping off of is in a green section of the map (NYS Forest / Wilderness) I assume you will have a NY/NJ trail conference map of the area, the only map to have for the Catskills. Oh and a flatter area would help, for instance, the Roaring Kill Trail off of Elka Park Road with acess to some great peaks, actually this is the area I would reccomend for your situation.
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Postby rasgoat » Wed May 26, 2010 11:45 pm

Parks now to be open for memorial day
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Postby welle » Thu May 27, 2010 4:43 pm

There are several Lean-tos that are close to the road. The one that is most convenient (closest to the parking lot and has a piped spring) is the in in Fox Hollow on Panther Mountain. Because it's right by the trailhead - not many people stay there. I wouldn't camp in lean-tos on popular hiking trails like Devil's Path a) because they're busy, b) it's not ethical to hog lean-tos on popular multi-day trails. Another good couple of options to camp out would be Terrace Mountain on Wittenberg, and Echo Lake on Overlook, but they are couple of miles hike from the road, but they both have nice grassy leveled areas where you can spend couple of days.
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