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Old 06-11-2019, 11:23 AM   #1
aft paddle
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Join Date: Jul 2006
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Oswegatchie Campsite availability

My niece from Calif. would like to try the trip but could not start out before Sunday prior to the July 4 holiday. Is it usually a mob scene that week?
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Old 06-11-2019, 11:47 AM   #2
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Who knows. It could be a rainy w/e and keep many people out of the woods, but I would assume it will be busy and take a tent, hammock, some kind of personal shelter and be prepared to share.
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Old 06-11-2019, 02:50 PM   #3
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There's quite a few campsites on the Osewgatchie. Certain ones, particularly High Falls, the ones near the Five Ponds trail crossing, High Rock and the Lean-to sites get taken quickly. If the weather is decent, expect a lot of people at the put-in at Inlet. I agree with dundee, definitely have your own shelter.
"Between every two pines is a doorway to a new world."
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Old 06-12-2019, 08:21 AM   #4
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Like TrailBlaser says, there are a lot of campsites on the Oswegatchie. You will be able to find something, if maybe not the most desirable sites, like the ones he mentioned. The last time I went there it was mid-week in late July a few years back and less than a quarter of the sites were occupied. We stayed at the Griffin lean-to and High Falls and only saw a few other paddlers.
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Old 06-13-2019, 11:42 PM   #5
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As others have said, the Oswegatchie isn't exactly known for being heavily used but certain choice sites do tend to get a fair amount of use. And the 4th is a pretty "iffy" holiday- it can be popular in the backcountry but it's more variable than the "big 3" (Memorial Day, Labor Day, and Columbus Day). I've seen backcountry areas fill up for the 4th, and I've seen backcountry areas deserted for the 4th. Weather plays a role, but so too does the exact day of the week that the 4th falls on.

By going in on a Sunday though, I think you'll likely have the river mostly to yourself, at least until the following weekend approaches (assuming you're out for the full week). Definitely bring a tent (or other shelter) anyways just in case, as you can never guarantee space in a lean-to (and given how bad the bugs are this year, you may prefer tent sites anyways).

You haven't given much info about your itinerary, but just in case you are out for an extended trip- remember that you need a permit from the DEC to remain camped at the same location for more than 3 consecutive nights.
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Old 06-17-2019, 02:28 PM   #6
aft paddle
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Thanks for the feedback. My niece found pictures of some of my prior trips to the falls and has wanted to go canoe camping there ever since. Looks like we will only have 2 nights, so how far we get is in the air and not that important. It's approaching one of those now or never deals.

DSettahr I copy/pasted most of your reply to her since it mostly mirrors what I've tried to explain to her. To her credit, (I've never known her to whine) she thinks she's ready for it all...we'll see.
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