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Old 05-15-2022, 05:27 PM   #3
DSettahr's Avatar
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 5,468
Mary Smith Road Campsites

My final destination for the day was a quick and easy one- ever since noticing that the DECInfo database shows a couple of designated tent sites near the height of land on Mary Smith Road, I'd wanted to visit them to check them out. These sites are near where the Delaware Ridge trail crosses the road, and accordingly they could be useful campsites to utilize as part of a longer hike across the Western Catskills (or even across the full Catskills Park).

As per usual, it turns out that the DECInfo database wasn't entirely correct- although at least in this case, the "official" source of info shows too few campsites. There's actually 3 designated roadside sites here, not 2.

The first site is literally a stones throw of where the Delaware Ridge trail crosses the road- you can see it from the trailhead parking lot. It's a nice site set adjacent to the road in a stand of pines. The center of the site is a bit rutted from vehicles pulling into it, but there's some decent flat ground for tenting set off to the side on the north side of the site.

The second site is located perhaps a couple tenths of a mile north along the road (and down from the height of land). This site appeared to be the most well established, and was accordingly also fairly well impacted, although there appeared to be plenty of decent tenting space. There was a tent set up in the site so I didn't explore it in detail aside from taking a quick photo from the road and moving on.

The third site is located a few tenths of a mile further north still of the second site (and further downhill to boot). This was the smallest of the three sites, and also appeared to be the least frequently used. There really wasn't a whole lot of room aside from the fire pit area at the center of the site, although I could see where satellite tent pads were starting to pop up in the forest nearby.

All three of these sites were dry sites, without any water source in the vicinity. So anyone hiking through on foot would need to be prepared accordingly and carry all the water they needed for the evening (and the next morning) with them. So perhaps not the most appealing sites to use as part of a longer thru-hike across the Catskills, but good sites to be aware of nonetheless.

I will also add that some maps show the north part of Mary Smith Road as being a "rough road." I had little issue descending it with a low clearance vehicle myself, although it's a good road to go slow on- it's narrow and twisty and there's not good visibility to see traffic coming from the other direction.
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