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Old 06-21-2019, 02:59 PM   #1
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Bike camping like Santanoni

Is there anywhere in the park similar to the Camp Santanoni area where you can bike in a fair distance and camp overnight on designated sites?

We're already planning on staying at Santanoni for up to 3 nights, but may check out another spot on the last night if worthwhile. We're coming in from the Niagara-Buffalo-Syracuse I-90 corridor so ideally we don't want to venture too far north or east of Santanoni.

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Old 06-21-2019, 03:36 PM   #2
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You can bike into the Moose River Plains but you have to watch out for occasional wahoos with large camper trailers going too fast. There are lots of sites in there. There are also designated sites and lean tos on the north side of 7th Lake, but that's more like mountain biking, with some areas where you have to walk. You can come in from Uncas Rd and last time I was there that old road from Uncas down to the 7th-8th lake carry was pretty good. There are lots of places in the Black River Wild Forest too that can be reached by bike, Woodhull Lake LT is the one I have visited but I think that there are others.
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Old 06-21-2019, 03:39 PM   #3
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I can't find it now but there is a DEC map with some marked trails for mountain bikes that are at least near (if not adjacent to) camp sites around the O'Neil Flowage Road that is in the vicinity of the forest section that is kind of surrounded by the Blue Mountain Wild Forest. It might take some digging, but this area looked to me to be promising for bikepacking.
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Old 06-21-2019, 03:53 PM   #4
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Take a look at this link, I think maybe this is what I was referring to above. Good thing is it's super close to Santanoni.

Edit add: let us know where you end up and how Santanoni was, I think that's a great idea and would be a super fun trip.

Last edited by webby459; 06-21-2019 at 04:03 PM..
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Old 06-21-2019, 11:06 PM   #5
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Never Argue With An Idiot. They Will Drag You Down To Their Level And Beat You With Experience.
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Old 06-22-2019, 09:42 PM   #6
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I assume you are excluding paved or dirt roads open to the public (i.e. no car camping option). A few others to consider include Boreas Ponds, Fish pond in the St Regis canoe area and Lake Lila. All have dirt roads to them. Campsites accessible without a boat however are very limited except for Lila where the road borders the lake for quite a ways & passes several sites plus a leanto. Lila is a long drive to get near.

There is at least one site at Essex chain accessible by bike.

Car camping (like at MRP) can offer a nice option to include dirt rd biking in many areas.
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Old 06-22-2019, 10:19 PM   #7
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These are all really good options! We have a planning meeting coming up (aka excuse to drink ) so we'll discuss all then.
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Old 07-12-2019, 09:06 PM   #8
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As someone else mentioned, Essex Chain of Lakes might be right up your alley. It's very close to Santanoni as well.
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Old 07-15-2019, 02:52 PM   #9
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The Essex Chain and Boreas also came to my mind. The Essex Chain actually has legal, designated sites (unlike Boreas, although there is currently a trail crew working on installing new road-side sites on the road into Boreas as I type this, and designated sites on the ponds themselves are planned for the not-too-distant future).

Be aware that the deer flies are particularly horrendous in both the Essex Chain and at Boreas Ponds right now. Also, fires are banned in the Essex Chain.

Another possible option that comes to mind is some stuff in the Black River Wild Forest. You could bike into Remsen Falls and camp there (there's 2-3 designated tent sites on the south side of the Moose River here). Although, note that the road to Remsen Falls is also open to public motor vehicle traffic. Alternatively, you could bike to Woodhull Lake and stay at the lean-to there.

If the trails were better maintained, you could bike from Nicks Lake to Remsen Falls (north shore of the river) and/or Nelson Lake- but I hiked through this area last year and there was a lot of blowdown on those trails.
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