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Free Camping New York State

Moose River Plains Inlet Ny

Free Camping, Boondocking, fishing and wildlife – Hunts Pond, NY

GPS: 43.671379, -74.708237 100+ sites

Within 3500 acres you can find over 100 free, primitive campsites. The Limekiln Lake-Cedar River Road is a seasonal access road extending 23 miles through the Moose River Plains. The road stretched from the Limekiln Gate in the west, near the community of Inlet, to the Wakely Dam Gate at the end of the Cedar River Road in the east which lies near the community of Indian Lake.

This is an absolutely beautiful, remote spot with endless possibilities. The Moose River Plains region is arguable one of the most beautiful free Adirondack campsites you can find. There are approximately 130 miles of maintained trails as well as more than 65 ponds and lakes. Its an absolutely stunning spot to camp in summer and fall! It would be an equally beautiful place to camp in the winter if you had a snowmobile to access the sites.

North Dakota: Camels Hump Lake Medora

This low-key campsite west of Medora shines in its accessibilityyoure just off Interstate 94 on a well-maintained dirt road. Sure, you can hear the highway noise a little from camp, but youre also sleeping next to delightful Camels Hump Lake, just 15 minutes from Theodore Roosevelt National Park. The sites are managed by North Dakota Game and Fish, and this zone is closed to camping on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Three designated sites come with picnic tables and fire rings, but if those are full, there are other spots nearby.

Watkins Glen State Park

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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Louisiana: Rutherford Beach Creole

Free beach camping isnt easy to find, but Rutherford Beach, in southwest Louisiana, has it. You can camp anywhere along this roughly two-mile stretch of sand along the Gulf of Mexico and at the mouth of the Mermentau River or in the parking area nearby. To get here, drive an hour south of Lake Charles down to the Gulf of Mexico. Theres no real development around, and this remote area has been hit hard by past hurricanes, so bring in all your supplies and, as always, take everything out with you.

Sugar Hill Fire Tower Watkins Glen New York

Beaver Pond

GPS: 42.3872, -77.0026

Sugar Hill Fire Tower is a wonderfully maintained free campsite outside of Watkins Glen, New York. Camping is available on a first-come, first-serve basis in a nine-acre open field with a limited number of fire rings and picnic tables.

Other facilities include a picnic area with picnic tables, a pavilion, an accessible horse-mounting platform, open horse stalls, and during summer months a restroom with potable water. There is also access to the Six Nations Trail System, as well as the 75-foot-tall Sugar Hill Fire Tower.

Watkins Glen State Park

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California: Alabama Hills Lone Pine

Near the base of 14,505-foot Mount Whitney, the highest peak in the lower 48, is a vast area known as the Alabama Hills. This BLM-operated land is covered with massive boulders and rock formations, which form relatively private camping areas with stunning views of Mount Whitney. To get here, drive up Whitney Portal Road, a few minutes from the town of Lone Pine, on Californias Highway 395, approximately three hours north of Los Angeles along the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada. And note that while dispersed camping is allowed here, its also extremely popular. Overuse in the area has recently led the BLM to close off certain zones to campers and install a new permitting process, so be sure to check requirements and restrictions before you go.

Nebraska: Sandhills Samuel R Mckelvie National Forest

The state allows dispersed camping in a handful of its national forests, including 116,000-acre Samuel R. McKelvie National Forest, which is part of the Nebraska Sandhills, a mix of prairie and grassy sand dunes. You could post up at the 23-site Steer Creek Campground, in the southeast corner of the national forest, if youd prefer facilities, or youre allowed to disperse-camp outside of the campground as well.

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Best Free Camping Spots In New York

Free camping in the Northeastern portion of the United States has gotten a reputation for being difficult to find.

But were here to tell you: there are actually a number of free camping spots in New York. You simply have to know where to look.

Weve been there, done that, so wed like to share with you our 5 Best Free Camping Spots in New York.

Woodland Valley Campground Catskill Forest Preserve

Free camping sites? Exploring Deer River NY State Forest by jeep.

Tucked away at the base of Slide Mountain, one of the tallest mountains in the Catskills, Woodland Valley Campground offers some of the best hiking trails in all the Catskill Mountains. Once youve had your fill of meandering through the forest, try catching your dinner at the Woodland Valley stream. Just be prepared for black bear encounters!

The campground features 70 tent and RV sites and amenities like showers, restrooms, picnic areas, and a playground. Book early to snag one of the coveted spots right along the Woodland Valley stream!

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State Rv Camping Information

  • New York State Parks RV campng is available throughout New Yorks state park system.
  • New York DEC The NY Department of Environmental Conservation operates 51 campgrounds in the Adirondack and Catskill state parks. Primitive RV camping is permitted on most other DEC managed lands in New York. Check regulations carefully.
  • New York State Tourism Website Where to go, and what to do. Includes New York RV camping suggestions and travel planning ideas.
  • Joshua Tree South Dispersed Camping California

    In a huge state like California, there are tons of options for free camping. One great choice is Joshua Tree South Dispersed Camping in Chiriaco Summit. Rave reviews point out the proximity to Joshua Tree National Park, the ability to camp in an RV, car, tent, or whatever your heart desires, and space to spread out.

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    North Lake Near Utica Ny

    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.

    Fire Island National Seashore

    Long Island Primitive Campsites at Blue Mountain Lake, NY

    Ocean Beach, NY 11770

    Fire Island National Seashore is a captivating escape from the everyday life with towering sand dunes, an abundance of wildlife, beautiful shoreline, and historic landmarks. Families have a few different options for camping on this barrier island, with Watch Hill family and group tent campgrounds, Smith Point County Park tent and RV campgrounds or backpacking and wilderness camping with a permit in the Otis Pike Fire Island High Dune Wilderness area. In addition to fun outdoor recreation like fishing, boating and swimming, families can take a break from the outdoors with a visit to Fire Island Lighthouse for a tower tour of the restored 168-foot-tall historic lighthouse. The historic William Floyd Estate is also open for tours every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 10 a.m. 4 p.m. The free walking tours take you through the 25-room home of William Floyd, an important figure in American history who was also one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.

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    Mississippi: Point Pleasant Enid Lake

    Most likely, youll come to Enid Lake to fish: this is the reservoir where a five-pound, three-ounce fish hooked in 1957 still holds the world record for the largest white crappie ever caught. But you can also come here to camp for free. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers manages three free public campsites at Point Pleasant, which extends out from the southern shore of the lake and features expansive lake views. This is an easy weekend getaway: Memphis, Tennessee, is 80 miles to the north.

    West River Campsites Wells Ny

    GPS: 43.366046, -74.351588 13 sites

    Towards the end of West River Road in Wells, youll find 13 designated campsites. These free Adirondack campsites can accommodate tent sleepers or RVs. There is no cell service here, however, you can usually acquire some in town.

    The sites are primitive but many have outhouses that are in decent shape. This is a beautiful spot alongside the river and is in close proximity to a few local hikes. The Auger Falls trail and Pine Orchard trail are among the most visited in the area!

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    Understanding How Camping Is Done In The State Forest System

    The DEC offers three types of camping accommodations within its network of state forests..

    • Developed Campgrounds all of which require advance reservations with fees. These include tent sites, RV sites, and cabins. Most of the RV sites have hookups.
    • Many state forests have designated primitive camping areas. All of these sites are first-come-first-serve, and are free. Each area can include anywhere from one to several marked campsites. Each campsite will be marked with a yellow and black Camp Here disc. The bulk of these marked primitive sites can only be accessed via foot, limiting you to tent camping only. However, there are a minority of sites accessible from a road or trail where vehicle-based camping is allowed. Most of these vehicle-accessible areas are well documented on Campendium.
    • At Large Backcountry Camping This is the terminology the DEC uses to describe true boondocking and dispersed camping. This is allowed all throughout the state forest system with the exception of certain areas where posted signs prohibit camping. However, you are required to set up camp at least 150 feet away from a road or trail, and you are not allowed to drive your vehicle away from a road or trail. This means, you will have to find a place to park your vehicle, and then hike your camping gear to a desired location.

    Fall Camping In Upstate Ny: Best Campgrounds To Try This Autumn

    Free Camping in the East Pt.3: New York’s Adirondacks

    Fall camping in Upstate NY

    As much as we want to throw open our arms and bear hug Mother Nature when summer comes around, most of us are just as happy to welcome fall. The cool, dry air, sunshine, and of course the spectacular foliage fireworks show that is pure, gorgeous Upstate New York.

    Those of us who love the outdoors see fall as an extension of summer, as an opportunity to do what there may not have been the time, or weather, for in hotter months. Fall camping, for example. Fewer bugs, cooler temperatures and a less-crowded experience beckon. Many are game for fall camping as long as there is a cabin involved others are willing to rough it. Weve included options for both, but newyorkcabinrentals can help you decide on cabins. Read on for some of our top picks for fall camping.

    Di_99 via flickr

    Selkirk Shores State Park

    Unmatched and renowned for its trails and space, Selkirks real secret is one that should be shared among fall campers: Cabins. Log cabin style, spacious, with space to roam in between, tucked into the woods yet just steps from Lake Ontario bluffs and incredible sunsets. Some cabins have fireplaces.

    Where: State Route 3, Pulaski NY 13142

    Accommodations: Tent, or choose from one of four cabins

    Open until Oct. 29

    Information: Selkirk Shores, or call 315-298-5737

    Letchworth

    Where: 1 Letchworth State Park, Castile, NY 14427

    Accommodations: Five cabin areas, some along the river.

    Open until Nov. 16

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    Little Rock City Camp Area

    The Little Rock City campgrounds are a popular choice for hiking, nature, and camping experience enthusiasts. It is home to several mountainous bike trails, the remains of the old Seneca CCC camp, and enormous boulders that are bigger than some apartments. Its unique rock formations have amazing tunnels, caves, and passageways for adventurous visitors.

    There are several free campsites scattered in strategic locations across the 2,905-acre property. Locals like to visit the area to immerse themselves in nature, camp, go for long hikes, or enjoy food on picnic tables with family and friends.

    Rules For At Large Backcountry Camping

    • You are limited to just three consecutive nights per campsite. If you want to camp for a longer period in the same location, you must obtain a permit from a state forest ranger. No ranger may extend your camp to beyond fourteen nights in the same location. Refer to 6 CRR-NY 190.4 Camping Permits.
    • Camping is prohibited within 150 feet of any road, trail, spring, stream, pond or other body of water. The only time when you can camp any closer is at a Marked Primitive Site or a Developed Campground. Refer to 6 CRR-NY 190.3 Camping Sites.
    • Motorized vehicles within state forests are required to remain on roads and trails designated for motorized vehicle use. There is no codified regulation for this policy, however the DEC does mention this requirement on its website here.
    • Campfires are allowed in most state forests. However, there are several places where the DEC have placed No Fires disc. Refer to Primitive Camping on the DEC website.
    • You are allowed to gather dead and down wood for campfires. However, you are not allowed to bring in wood from outside the State Forest System unless that wood has been heat treated for pests. Refer to Primitive Camping on the DEC website.

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    Federal Rv Camping Information

  • US Forest Service USFS information about New York RV camping in the Finger Lakes National Forest. Dispersed RV camping is encouraged, and many developed campgrounds offer a rustic RV camping experience.
  • US Army Corps of Engineers USACE/COE information about Corps lakes and campgrounds in New York.
  • National Park Service There are no NPS camping facilities in New York. This link is provided for New York RV camping trip planning.
  • Hawaii: Papalaua Wayside Park Maui

    Campsite

    In Hawaii, camping is allowed only in designated places and by permit. In other words, legal, free dispersed camping doesnt exist here, and for good reason: its a form of protection for the islands and their communities. The good news is that much of the camping at places like county-run campgrounds or on state or national parklands is both accessible and affordable. The county-owned Papalaua Wayside Park, on the west shore of Maui, has good snorkeling and is right off Honoapiilani Highway on the way to Lahaina. Camping fees start at $5 per person . Permits must be obtained from one of the County of Maui Department of Parks and Recreation district permit offices.

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    How Do I Pick A Good Campsite

    Many people drive out on Forest Service roads into the woods and find a clearing or a spot near a stream or with a view of the mountains. Do not drive on meadows to access your camping site. Drive on existing roads to prevent resource damage. You can also follow these tips:

    • Ask a ranger. For an inside track into the best places to stay, keep an eye out for any BLM Ranger Station or visitor center and ask the true locals for their suggestions. Weve never been led astray and youll be amazed at how much theyll go out of their way to help you out.
    • Scour Google Maps. Again, look for the green areas that signify public lands. Use Google Earth to get an idea of roads and landscapes.
    • Attempt to camp on a paved road. If not possible, camp on bare, well-packed gravel. Note that this is done at your own risk: if renting an Escape Campervan, you are NOT covered by insurance and are NOT covered in the Escape Roadside Assistance plan if you are OFF a paved road. Camping on a level area also makes sleeping more comfortable.
    • If youre going to an area where others have camped before, pick a site that has been used before. Plants, soil, and wildlife are impacted by new campsites so using existing ones will minimize your impact on the forest. Always follow Leave No Trace principles.
    • Check out these online resources and apps that make it easy to find places to camp:

    South Dakota: Badlands Overlook Wall

    Managed by the U.S. Forest Service, this campsite off State Highway 240 is within Buffalo Gap National Grassland, just three miles north of the Pinnacles Entrance to Badlands National Park. Youll come to escape the crowds camping within the national park, but also for the wild views. You can park your rig or set up a tent right on the edge of the badlands, and this site is plenty big enough for RVs and trailers. It can get windy here, however, so consider yourself warned.

    Read Also: Ponderosa State Park Camping Reservations

    New York State Firewood Regulation

    New York State has a regulation that prohibits importing firewood into New York unless is has been heat-treated to kill pests. The regulation also limits the transportation of untreated firewood to less than 50 miles from its source or origin.

    • Get your firewood from a local vendor and ask for a receipt or label that lists the firewood’s local source.
    • If you choose to transport firewood within New York State:
    • It must have a receipt or label that has the firewood’s source or origin listed and it must stay within 50 miles or that source/origin.
    • For firewood cut from your own property, you must have a Self-Issued Certificate of Origin and it must be sourced within 50 miles of your destination.
    • Only firewood labeled as meeting New York’s heat treatment standards to kill pests may be transported into the state and further than 50 miles from the firewood’s source. This wood should be labeled “certified heat-treated”.

    For more information on the regulation, see our webpage on firewood and invasive pests. For additional questions regarding the regulation, please email or call 1-866-640-0652.

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