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Old 01-13-2020, 11:34 PM   #6
DSettahr's Avatar
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 4,843
There is one designated tent site at Preston Ponds, located on the southeast end of Upper Pond, just off the trail from Henderson Lake. If hiking towards Duck Hole, you'll see Preston Ponds first (and an obvious side trail down to the water). Continue on the main trail past this side trail for about 200 more feet, and the designated tent site will be on your left just as the trail starts the climb up to Hunter Pond. It's a small but nice site (although when I was last there there were a few widow makers in the vicinity).

I believe that there are tentative plans to designate another tent site somewhere closer to Lower Pond, but again I don't know exactly if/when that will happen.

If you're able to get a boat to Preston Ponds, it's a nice paddle. You should be aware that there is still a small inholding of private property (a private camp) on the southwest shore of Upper Pond.

Duck Hole is also worth the visit if you're willing to travel even further. In addition to the 2 lean-tos there, there's 2 designated tent sites. Both sites are set back away from the water- 1 site is in each of the 2 grassy clearings located on the uphill side of the trail register.

Regarding finding the location of tent sites generally... Unfortunately, there is no single good resource for finding tent site locations across the entire Adirondack Park. The DEC/APA publishes a GIS shapefile that contains tent sites- but it's horrendously inaccurate and very noticeably incomplete. It appears to largely have been based on a one-time inventory of sites in existence, and not sites that were officially designated for use- so the consequence is that it includes even some not-legal sites. It's also missing many sites that do have the "Camp Here" disc. The unfortunate reality is that even the DEC doesn't even know where all of the designated tent sites are.

Fortunately, for the High Peaks specifically, there is an excellent resource: The Adirondack Mountain Club's High Peaks Map. While still not 100% accurate (it's an ever-updated work in progress), this is hands down the best resource for designated tent site locations in the High Peaks- better even than any of the DEC's documents.

Open Street Map is getting better. A crowd sourced inventory effort (led by a member of these forums) has also lead to many of the designated tent sites in the High Peaks also being shown on those maps, making it another good resource- although as you point out, it's still missing a number of the sites. Most of that crowd sourced inventory effort has admittedly been primarily focused on those tent sites that are most conducive to overnight trips to summit High Peaks. (Yet Open Street Map is still more accurate than the DEC's publicly available documentation).

Last edited by DSettahr; 01-14-2020 at 10:18 AM..
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