Marcy Dam is the name given to the dam and the pond it created on Marcy Brook. The dam that is here now was completed in the 1960's and was the first permanent dam on the site. All the previous dams were temporary ones made out logs so they could be broken down and provide water to Marcy Brook to float logs down stream to the mills. When state law stopped logging in the early 1900's the most recent dam stayed. Eventually the last log dam needed to be replaced. The state then built what was supposed to be a permanent dam. That dam was not constructed very well and had to be replaced with the current dam.
Marcy Dam is a very popular "base camp" for those hiking in the High Peaks for many reasons. It is located on the shortest trail to New York State's High Point, Mt Marcy and is less than a five mile hike to NYS other 5,000ft. peak, Algonquin. Also the valley that it is located in is surounded by 4,000ft. peaks that offer miles and miles of hiking.
Marcy Dam Interior Outpost
Located with in 200 ft of Marcy Dam is the Marcy Dam Interior Outpost (MDIO). The MDIO has a ranger on duty almost year-round, and he is very helpful if you have questions about trails or anything else. The Ranger is also one of the first responders to any emergency in the woods.
Camping at Marcy Dam
There are 4 ADK-style shelters, called lean-to's, that surround Marcy Dam. They sleep 8 people each and fill on a first come first served basis. There used to be more lean-to's around the dam but the DEC has completely removed some and moved others farther away form the dam to reduce the environmental impact on the land surrounding the dam.
Most of the former lean-to sites have been turned into campsites for tent camping. They are marked by Red disks that say CAMP HERE.
Red Tape for Marcy Dam
NO FIRES ANYWHERE!
Pets must be leashed on trail and at lean-to's and campsites.
Do not use soap in any water source.
Do not dispose of food in any water source.
All dishwashing and bathing must be done 150 ft from a water source.
No glass containers.
Audio device must NOT be audible outside of the immediate campsite.
Pack all trash out.
All human waste must be disposed of properly. In privies or 6-8 inches below the ground, 150 ft from a water source or trail.
First Come-First Served
If your group does not fill it up, you must share with other groups until the lean-to is filled.
If you close up the front of the lean-to DON'T use plastic, use nylon or canvas. Don't use nails to hang a tarp on a lean to, ONLY USE rope.
You can't pitch a tent INSIDE the lean-to or out side it if your group does not fit inside
You must camp with in 15 ft. (5 m) from the CAMP HERE disks
From April 1 to November 30, it is now mandatory that all campers in the Eastern High Peaks zones be equipped with bear cannisters for the storage of food, garbage and miscellaneous items. Self-issuing trip tickets also required for campers. More info. at the ADK Mountain Club website
External LinksADK Journey Info. on Marcy Dam
New York State DEC Back Country Camping Rules