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Old 09-07-2020, 08:15 AM   #14
DSettahr's Avatar
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 5,224
Welcome to the wide, wonderful world that is the fact that the DEC doesn't know where all of it's designated tent sites are. The reality is that there is no single good source of information regarding designated tent sites across the Adirondack Park. There's some resources for specific areas that are "ok," or even "good." But no single resource that covers the entire park to a level of accuracy that entitles it to being a good standalone source of information.

As you note, even the "official" resource is lacking with regards to Pharaoh Lake... and not just that unit. Even many of the High Peaks sites- an area that you'd think the state would have a pretty good handle on, is woefully lacking with regards to the official database of designated sites. A lot of the Lake Colden sites are missing... all of the Marcy Dam sites are missing (and the database still shows 5 lean-tos at Marcy Dam, there's only 3 there currently). 99% of the Long Lake tent sites are missing too. And even some of the trails are... not correctly shown (some of them are really erroneously shown, such as the trail connecting Bradley Pond to Duck Hole).

A few forum members were working on updating the High Peaks sites in OpenStreetMap, a project that is probably about 75-80% complete or so by my estimate- which is far and away enough to make the single best resource for tent site locations in the High Peaks. But that's for the High Peaks only- there hasn't been anywhere near the same level of effort for other management units. OpenStreetMap is actually probably one of the worst resources for other areas of the Park regarding tent sites and even trails.

There's also the map for the High Peaks published by the Adirondack Mountain Club (note that this is not the National Geographic High Peaks Map). This is also a pretty good source of information- still a few minor things to be field-truthed and edited as needed, but overall this is probably the best (and most accessible) source of information on tent sites for the High Peaks.

I actually have all of the Pharaoh sites GPSed (for the entire unit, not just Pharaoh Lake itself). I've been meaning to sit down and update OpenStreetMap myself so that Pharaoh join the High Peaks with regards to having accurate information displayed- but I simply haven't had the time to do so yet. If you look through my old posts, I know I wrote a reply out a while back that lists every site in the unit with a short description on where each is located. I'll try to find it later (maybe after work today).
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