Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Where Can You Camp For Free In New York

North Lake Near Utica Ny

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AddressN Lake Road Exd Forestport, NY 13338 43.522691, -74.948484Forestport, New YorkElevation: 1826

Management: Public State Forest

The road in is Dirt and 1 miles from a paved road. There are 16-29 Free New York boondocking campsites at this location. You may stay 7 nights I think at North Lake near Utica, NY.

Unique Camping Experiences Near New York City

This campsite, offered through Hipcamp, is a private site on a working lavender farm. Located in New Jersey a little over an hour from New York City by car, the site is within easy reach of Red Bank and Asbury Park. It features a fire pit and camp toilet and is pet-friendly, though dogs must be leashed . The site accommodates six campers. Cost: $60/night.

Located on Westchester Countys oldest working farm, this pond-side campsite offers a tent site, bathrooms, potable water, and is pet-friendly. It accommodates up to eight people and is convenient to both Harriman State Park and Fahnestock State Park. Cost: $68/night.

If you want a gorgeous campsite plus easy access to New Paltz AND an on-site farm brewery, consider Mount Top Campsite. Located on a working farm with farm story, brewery, and live music on weekends, the site accommodates tents or RVs and offers toilets, a fire pit, and picnic table. It accommodates up to ten people. Cost: $95/night.

How To Find Free Camping

Two great resources for finding free RV parks and campsites are the Ultimate Public Campgrounds app and Campendium, where you can search by location and price. Public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management is another good source, as are the websites of local tourism boards and state departments of natural resources and departments of environmental conservation. BLM is also a good place to find free overnight parking for your RV.

No online resources exist that show whether a free campsite has been claimed yet, unfortunately, but you could call the local tourism board or park/forest information center and ask if they could recommend campsites that tend to be less popular. Weekends and holidays tend to be the busiest, so youll have the best luck finding a free campsite mid-week. You should also keep in mind that national parks are very popular with campers, so its a good idea to plan in advance and have a backup plan in case nothing is available. Ready to get started? These are the best places to camp in national parks.

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Northern New York Boondocking Campsites

17553 County Route 75 Sackets Harbor NYHounsfield, New YorkElevation: 325

Management: Private Privately Owned Farm Land

The road in is Gravel and 300Feet miles from a paved road. There are 1-5 Free New York boondocking campsites at this location and the maximum RV length is unlimited. You may stay Overnight / 2+ Nights at Thomas Farm.

New York Boondocking Campsites

Long Island Primitive Campsites at Blue Mountain Lake, NY

Backcountry camping, often known as dispersed camping, entails pitching your tent in an undeveloped area. Place your tent at least 200 feet away from developed paths or bodies of water. Plan on pitching a tent, but you might be able to use an existing shelter or lean-to instead.

Backcountry and dispersed camping are first-come, first-served, so plan ahead of time and be flexible. You should also aim to leave no trace and stay away from new tree growth when camping. Unless there is a special closure due to weather, dispersed and backcountry camping is permitted in most places of the forest.

Although boondocking isnt something that quickly springs to mind when one thinks of New York, the Catskill and Adirondack Mountains have a wide amount of land with beautiful water features and lots of room to explore. This location is abundant in animals, outdoor activities, and all of New Yorks peace and quiet.

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Boondocking Campsites In Sw New York

Boondocking in New York can be a hard experience, but its especially enjoyable when the weather is pleasant. Camping is permitted in land-designated Forest Preserves, but not in Wildlife Management Areas. If you know where to look, there are lots of fantastic sites from the Catskills in the southeast to the Adirondacks in the north.

When planning your boondocking trip, do your homework and look for state lands with rustic campsites. Make sure you have enough food and drink for several days, as well as warm clothing and flashlights.

Please respect the woodland by packing everything out and not disturbing the wildlife or vegetation. Please bury all human and pet waste if there are no pit privies available. New York prohibits camping beyond 3,500 feet in elevation.

Camping in these regions will provide a relaxing and pleasurable vacation. There are numerous bodies of water where you may go fishing, hunting is permitted, and New York hiking through the forest can provide you with some fascinating wildlife encounters.

Enjoy Free Family Camping In Nyc Parks With Urban Park Rangers

Contrary to what you might think, you don’t need to invest in expensive equipment or even leave New York City to pitch a tent and go camping. The Urban Park Rangers offer FREE overnight family camping in city parks at select times and locations throughout the spring, summer, and fall. Bonus: They bring almost everything you need for a night spent under the stars, including the tent.

The program has opened registration for its annual sleepovers, and we’ve got all the details on how to snag a spot at one of these cool camping trips. If you’re more of a savvy DIYer, consider planning a family getaway to one of these campsites near NYC with extra family-friendly perks.

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If you’ve never gone camping before, it might seem a little intimidating. That’s why these Urban Park Rangers family camping trips are so great. The staff provides most of the equipment all you need to pack is clothes, flashlights, sleeping bags, and bedding.

The adventure starts in the early evening. At some campouts, there’s a barbecue, with s’mores as the obligatory dessert. Nighttime activities include hiking, stargazing, and visiting the nocturnal creatures who live in the parks. Usually, these campouts start in late spring and continue on select nights into the summer and fall.

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Classic camp-style eats are on the menu for some of the NYC campouts.

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Spots You Can Go Free Camping In New York

Who says camping in New York needs to cost an arm and a leg? So many things in the Big Apple may be expensive, but that doesnt mean you need to shell out big bucks to enjoy a nice tent camping trip.

In fact, free camping in New York can be found all over the state and has sites perfect for nature lovers and budget-minded travelers alike.

Watkins Glen State Park

The First-Time Camper Program

If youre looking for breathtaking views while enjoying some free camping in New York, then Watkins Glen State Park should be on your list.

Watkins Glen State Park has something for everyone. Home to one of the most beautiful waterfalls in upstate New York, the park is an ideal location for campers who enjoy these natural water features.

Park amenities include backcountry camping spots with access to electricity, hot showers and bathrooms, picnic tables, grills, and playgrounds.

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Blue Mountain Campground Saugerties

How far it is: Three hours by busWhat to expect: Despite limited availability, Blue Mountain Campground is welcoming campers with the expected restrictions highlighted above. Nightly rates for a campsite start at $39you can rent both RV hook-ups and wooded tent campsites and will grant you access to plenty of hiking trails, including views of the nearby Haines Falls. Theres an on-site laundry room for guests, as well as full-service restrooms and a campground shop for any forgotten toiletries. If youre looking to get relatively far from the city for a basic camping experience with some hiking thrown in, this will check all of the boxes. Plus, this campground is open year-round, which is a relatively rare find.How to get there: Head to Port Authority Bus Terminal and catch the Adirondack Trailways bus. A round-trip ticket will cost $62.

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Family Camping With The Urban Park Rangers

Sleep under the stars! Camp overnight in our parks with our as your hosts and guides. Pitch a tent under the stars and settle in for a night of adventure. Some of our family-friendly camping programs may feature a Ranger-led nighttime hike through the woods, storytelling, and smores! Well bring the tents just bring your own sleeping bag and bedding.

Our overnight camping events are extremely popular, and in order to make sure that we can accommodate families as fairly as possible, registration is conducted through an online drawing prior to the event.

Mills Norrie State Park

Long Island Primitive Campsites at Blue Mountain Lake, NY

How far it is: 2 hours by train and cabWhat to expect: At Mills Norrie State Park, youll find 1,000 acres of campgroundsincluding 47 sites with tents and 10 cabins available to rentand tons of activities: hiking, cycling, skiing, and snowshoeing. If youve somehow managed to get your boat to the park, theres also lake access from the campground. The park is also just five minutes from the Vanderbilt Estates and Franklin D. Roosevelts previous home, in case you get tired of taking in nature. The campground is currently open and accepting visitors, but youll have to make a reservationno walk-ins will be accommodated, due to the new COVID-19 protocols. To make a reservation, visit the state park website.How to get there: Take Metro North to Poughkeepsie and grab a 15-minute cab from the station.

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/8 New York State Forests

A post shared by NYstateparks

Like most State Forests in New York, campers can enjoy primitive camping at no cost. Of course, no-cost sites offer far fewer amenities than those with a base rate, but with all the things to see and do in these superb locations, you probably won’t even notice what you’re missing. Upstate options to consider include Letchworth State Park, Devil’s Hole State Park, Allegany State Park, and Taughannock Falls State Park.

Location: Over 800,000 acres throughout the state of NY.

Contact: .

Campsite Amenities: Include over a dozen free campsites, lakes, ponds, nature trails, and more.

Nearby Attractions: NY State Parks typically offer an abundance of outdoorsy fun, including horseback riding, fishing, hiking, and winter sports like snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, or snow-shoe hiking.

Located just outside Watkins Glen, New York, Sugar Hill Fire Tower is a free campsite available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Location: 3361 Tower Hill Rd, Watkins Glen, NY 14891.

Contact: .

Nearby Attractions: These are ample, with a Six Nations Trail System and the 75-foot-tall Sugar Hill Fire Towerto name a few.

Campsite Amenities: Include a nine-acre open field, fire rings, a picnic area with tables, and accessible horse-mounting platform, a pavilion, available horse stalls, and during summer months, a restroom with potable water.

Rv Camping In New York City

Lookup in awe at the city that never sleeps, where you can span continents of cultures in one day, experience Broadway, world-class comedy, rich green space, and everything in between. While you may not think of camping in New York City, it is the ultimate way to get the best of everything this exciting city offers.

With ample RV parks to pick from get ready to take a bite out of the big apple! New York City is divided into boroughs all offering a different version of the city. In your USA RV holiday home, take in the scenery as you conveniently drive across the city and spend a day or two exploring each area. Here are a couple of RV Campgrounds to get your planning started:

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Northwood Club Road Minerva Ny

GPS: 43.818551, -74.060555 Approximately 8 sites

Northwood Club Road is open from Mid-May through December. The campsites can be found on a dirt road about 5 miles from pavement. There are a cluster of 4-5 sites right over the Boreas River, however, if you continue further down the road you will have additional sites to consider. If you go far enough, youll make your way to the Huntly Pond campsites as well.

This is a peaceful, quiet spot on the water. Most sites come equipped with a fire pit as always, please be mindful of your flames! There are local hiking trails nearby as well: Moxham Mountain, Vanderwhacker Fire Tower, and the Boreas Loop trail would be great day trip options!

Chapel Pond Keene Valley Ny

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GPS: 44.142588, -73.750566 Approximately 6 sites

These free campsites in the Adirondacks can be found just off route 73 shortly after you pass Chapel Pond . Its a tricky turn off that Ive missed even after staying there a few times. Luckily, if you miss it coming from Keene Valley, youll be able to turn around at the Chapel Pond parking lot.

Chapel Pond is great for a quick overnight stay. The road noise is loud and this spot tends to be quite crowded as it is within the High Peaks Region. For a quick stay, it provides a legal place to sleep in close proximity to many trail heads in the Keene Valley and Lake Placid area.

The Chapel Pond Campsites are a 15-20 minutes drive from the Village of Lake Placid. Because they provide easy access to many hiking trails and a number of popular climbing areas, they experience heavy use.

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What Is Free Camping

Free camping is, essentially, just what the name suggests: camping for free, without having to pay any money. It can take several forms and be part of a car- or RV-based road trip or part of an extended backpacking or bike-packing trip. Theres also dry camping and boondocking, which typically refer to RV, van, or motor-home camping without an electricity or water hookup.

Free camping should not be confused with more wild forms of camping, such as dispersed camping and primitive camping, which center around being in off-the-grid wilderness areas that are away from the services and amenities found at more developed campgrounds and RV parks. Free camping is not necessarily the same as dispersed camping, but in some cases, it could fall into that category. If youre camping in an area thats not being supported by admissions or permit fees, the campsite may not have access to the water, electricity, and bathrooms that camping fees help pay for, so youll want to be clear about that before taking your trip so you can plan accordingly. For travel inspiration, check out these 55 best road trips in America and use this American road trip guide to help you plan.

Finding A Place To Camp Before You Go

Check out the DECinfo Locator to browse state lands with primitive campsites. Use the “Outdoor Activity” tab to find other recreational opportunities available at these destinations.

If you have a particular region in mind, try the Places To Go pages, which provide descriptions of individual properties. For recommendations, you may also contact the forester or Lands and Forests staff person in the regional DEC office nearest to where you’d like to go.

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Peekamoose Sundown Wild Forest

AddressCounty Route 42 in the Town of DenningGrahamsville, New York

GPS: 41.301792, -74.562821

Management: Public County Park

Free New York boondocking campsites in a small park located in downtown Unionville small area with tent camping and a gazebo you can sleep under, pizza across the street 1 mile from the Appalachian Trail. There is a sign that saids a permit is required.

Rules Regulations And Red Tape

Long Island Primitive Campsites at Blue Mountain Lake, NY

Where permitted, backcountry camping is free of charge and does not require a permit. However, camping in a single location for more than three consecutive nights or in a group of 10 or more requires a permit. You can obtain a permit free of charge from any New York State forest ranger or at a local forestry office. Contact information for rangers in various regions is available through the DEC website. Even in areas where backcountry camping is permitted, you may not camp within 150 feet of roads, trails and water sources. Transporting firewood onto state land is prohibited, and fires should only be built in established fire pits.

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Human Waste Disposal In The Adirondack Park

There are many areas where pit toilets or outhouses are present for you to do your business. In the event that one of these lovely structures isnt present, youre required to dig a cat hole when you have to go number 2.

Cat Hole Requirements

  • 200 feet from water, trails, and camp
  • a spot that receives ample sunlight if possible
  • 6-8 deep and 4-6 wide
  • filled with organic dirt when finished
  • cover with organic, native materials

All toilet paper should be carried out with you. For my female camping friends, I suggest looking into a Kula Cloth for your sanity.

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