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Old 05-08-2019, 12:48 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 189
Off season camping NYS campgrounds

I know there have been threads containing this info before, but I couldn't come up with them with a quick search.

I'm going up to do some trail work on a section of NPT this weekend. I was thinking of camping at one of the established sites at Lake Durant on the way in the first night, since I won't have daylight to get to Stephens Pond. Durant doesn't open officially until the following weekend. What are the rules about using the sites off season? I thought I read here that they were ok to use, but if so do we check in to the ranger station on the way in? I'll still park at the NPT trailhead on route 28, so I won't be driving into the park.

My fallback is to camp on the dirt road loop on the lakeside, Old Route 28, but wouldn't mind being on the trail in Durant to be a little closer in the first morning.

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Old 05-08-2019, 03:25 PM   #2
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Join Date: May 2006
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You might want to contact the local ranger to know for sure but they may be in the process of getting things ready to open the campground in a couple weeks.
Not sure if it helps but I did camp there as an emergency Plan B a few winters back, and still havenít heard anything if I was in the wrong or not. While I was there I waved hello to a ranger who rode by on a snowmobile but I donít think he ever saw me.
As another alternative there are also 3 or 4 free drive-in sites at the end of the dirt access road to the Cascade Pond trailhead.
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Old 05-08-2019, 05:49 PM   #3
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It depends on the campground. Some campgrounds permit off season camping in accordance with backcountry regulations, others do not. And at some of the campgrounds, only certain sites are available for use in the off season. Generally speaking, campgrounds that permit off season use are usually the ones with boat-access sites only. Since these sites typically already have outhouses, it doesn't matter if bath houses/toilets are closed down for the winter (with regards to where off-season users are going #2 especially).

Accordingly, I don't believe that Lake Durant permits off-season use. But the best way to find out for sure would be to call the DEC office in Ray Brook: 518-897-1200
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Old 05-08-2019, 07:26 PM   #4
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If you happen to be coming from the South, up 30 - there are several nice sites at Mason Lake. First come, first serve, no amenities but you shouldn't have a problem finding one.
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Old 05-09-2019, 05:27 AM   #5
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Thanks for the feedback above. I did check out the Mason lake sites last year when I was in the area, they are indeed very nice. I'm coming from more East, I'm right on the Northway so we go up through Warrensburg and then 28 to get to Blue and vicinity. There's a similar primitive loop on Lake Durant right off of 28, I'll likely stay there on the first night to at least be close to destination.

Thanks again!
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