Catskills/Adirondack backpacking

12:36 p.m. on August 6, 2011 (EDT)
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Heading to New York at the end of August.  Wondered if anyone could recommend an overnight backpack/ hike for me.   Loop OK, out and back OK. I am feeling overwhelmed with reading about hikes, trying to find the right one.  Then I find one that seems PERFECT, only to find that I cannot set up my tent anywhere outside of a public campground...The Neversink River seemed perfect until I found that out.  Seeing as it's summer I keep thinking of rivers so that I can swim and fish. 

1:23 p.m. on August 6, 2011 (EDT)
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Welcome to trailspace DLV. I had the same problem also, just further south than you.  We wanted to hike and camp on the AT in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park but they won't let you camp anywhere except at a shelter (no tents allowed at a shelter) or campground. I couldn't get reservations at one of the shelters at all. We moved the hike to the Carver's Gap to 19E section which is controlled by the National Forest Service. The National Forest Service was much more lenient. I called the Cherokee division and the ranger I talked to didn't seem to care too much what you did as long as you didn't do something stupid like start a forest fire or shoot the wildlife.

My suggestion would be to search for a National Forest in your area and call to check the rules.


1:52 p.m. on August 6, 2011 (EDT)
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Check out the Cranberry Lake 50, in the far NW corner of the park.

I'm heading there in September.  What I've heard is that because it's furthest from NYC, it's the least-crowded.   Look at the map, and specifically note the Five Ponds Wilderness/High Falls area at the southern tip of the lake.   Looks like it might be what you're looking for...



12:04 a.m. on August 7, 2011 (EDT)
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wow, that Cranberry Lake/Five Ponds Wilderness area looks quite tempting.  I guess a question that I have now is, since we won't be traveling with a boat, is it possible to fish along the shore of this lake?  Or is there some river that might be more accessible on foot/with fishing gear?  (I have to admit, this is my first time with this forum thing and I must say it's rather exciting...being in contact with people who are familiar with the area, etc!)  I appreciate any help that anyone can give me and I apologize up front for not taking the time to read the rules and regs of this site, hope I haven't broken any rules so far...

10:11 a.m. on August 7, 2011 (EDT)
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Almost everywhere in the adirondacks and catskills you can camp anywhere 150 feet from water, trail, road etc. Very few places you can't do so. As far as finding a spot to mix some backpacking and fishing it's hard to name a spot as there are so many!

There are so many ponds, lakes, rivers, and brooks in the ADKs that no matter where you choose to go you are near quite a few.

I flyfish mainly, and have found it fairly easy to wade just a few feet out into ponds and fish away. Some places are friendly for fly fishing along the shore, but most require wading in a little ways. Now, if your not fly fishing your options are expanded as far as being able to cast from shore. I sometimes take my little emmrod packer with me, which is a nice short rod for the brushy areas.

To help recommend an area, are you driving to the area or flying? What kind of fishing? How many miles are you looking to do? Do you prefer lake or river?

In reference to the Neversink river, check out the Slide Mountain Wilderness. That is where the neversink begins. There is probably if memory serves me about 5-10 miles of trail in the wilderness that parallel the east and west branches of the neversink before they converge. I have done fly fishing for trout here. And it is a good area. And you CAN camp anywhere 150 ft away from trail,water,road etc. Groups of 10 or more require a permit from the rangers. To see a quick map, you may have to zoom in a few levels to actually see the river.

"Primitive camping is allowed in the Wilderness and Wild Forest areas of the
Catskill and Adirondack Forest Preserves, so long as you follow certain guidelines designed to protect sensitive summit forest communities and water quality of the streams. Wilderness camping rules include not camping within 150ft of a trail, stream, or pond, and not above 3500ft elevation except in winter." is a good general link that has info about many areas in the cats and adks

10:32 p.m. on August 7, 2011 (EDT)
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DLV - I'm not a fisherman, nor am I a NY native, so I can't answer those questions, but if you look at the map

there are many smaller ponds and streams in the area, and the trail itself skirts the big lake's (Cranberry) shoreline in a couple of spots.  That's an actual state-run campground up on the NW tip, so they might even rent boats up there.

June 24, 2018
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