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  1. #1
    royal dutch of dukes
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    another stealth camping question: NY Appalachian

    hello all
    i'm curious about stealth camping on the Appalachian trail in new york state. this weekend i want go to the beautiful area by clarence fahnstock state park and don't want to pay the rediculous $19 a night PLUS $9 reservation fee for the RV-riddled camp area. Literally 1 mile before the campsite entrance is where the Appalachian trail crosses. If I enter there on my bike and walk it up, say, out of sight of the road, do you think i'll be hassled by anyone while camping (police, campsite rangers, etc?)
    thanks for your help!
    Bikey

  2. #2
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    I am thinking of stealth camping along the app. trail as well and was wondering if people had done it, and if camp fires were allowed....in the same area a bikiola is talking about

  3. #3
    Uber Goober StephenH's Avatar
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    Pardon my ignorance, but do you have to stealth camp along the Appalachian trail? Can't you just camp where you want to? That was the impression I had. Didn't recall people hiking from KOA to KOA or anything.
    "be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."

  4. #4
    sniffin' glue zoltani's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coldow91 View Post
    I am thinking of stealth camping along the app. trail as well and was wondering if people had done it, and if camp fires were allowed....in the same area a bikiola is talking about
    I don't think stealth camping and campfires mix well, won't be exactly stealth.

  5. #5
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    well I was wondering if camp fires were allowed along the trail, I think I found that it varies from region to reigon

  6. #6
    Uber Goober StephenH's Avatar
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    (I checked, evidently along the AT, there are "some" places where you can camp anywhere, but otherwise, it's mostly at designated areas.)
    "be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."

  7. #7
    sniffin' glue zoltani's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coldow91 View Post
    well I was wondering if camp fires were allowed along the trail, I think I found that it varies from region to reigon
    OK, sorry

    Here is what i found with a quick search:

    Can I find my own campsite?

    In some areas, particularly the national forests of the Virginias and the southern Appalachians, “dispersed camping” is allowed. Dispersed camping means you can choose your own place to camp, but it carries with it a special responsibility of leaving no trace: You must be more careful to minimize your impact in pristine areas. Choose a site with no sign of previous use. Avoid places that show the beginnings of frequent use—those still have a chance to recover if left alone. Set up tents on durable surfaces, such as dead leaves or grass, well apart from each other and at least seventy paces from water. Avoid trampling plants and seedlings.

    Should I build a fire?

    Campfires create the worst visual and ecological impact of any backcountry camping practice. Building fire rings pockmarks pristine woodlands with blackened rocks, piles of ash and charcoal, blackened cans, and unburned wood. Vegetation disappears and soil packs down around the fire ring. Soil becomes sterile, which ******* plant recovery. Hikers trample vegetation while looking for wood, and, when they find it, remove woody debris critical to a healthy ecosystem.

    Leave No Trace principles encourage you to go without a fire. Use a backpacking stove instead. If you do intend to build a fire, check your A.T. guidebooks for fire restrictions along the Trail; some areas do not permit fires at all. Keep in mind that forest fires are always a potential hazard along the A.T., especially during early spring, summer, and fall.

    Where fires are permitted, build them only in established fire rings. Don't add rocks to an existing ring. Keep fires small. Burn only dead and downed wood that can be broken by hand—leave saws and axes at home. Never leave a fire unattended, and never build a fire on a windy day.

    Erase your campfire when you leave. Drown it with water, then stir the ashes. Feel for heat with your hand to ensure it is out. Remove unburned foil and plastic and pack them out. If you used an existing fire ring, scatter the ashes and camouflage the burned area with organic matter. Finally, scatter unused firewood you gathered in the forest.

  8. #8
    Dropped myself Lizzylou's Avatar
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    Can you camp on the AT? It depends.

    Some parts of the trail are open that you can camp anywhere you can pitch a tent. Some parts of the trail are on privately owned land, no camping. Some parts of the trail only allow camping in designated areas (established camp sites and shelters).

    The best thing to do, if you want to be sure to be perfectly legal, is get yourself a trail guide book and check the regs. They are spelled out for you. Or call the local maintaining club for the section of trail you'll be using (you can get contact information from the AT website www.appalachiantrail.org).

    Also, please remember... don't ride your bike on the trail, thank you for considering walking it in! Be warned though, since bicycles aren't allowed on the AT, if you meet with any maintainers or ridgerunners, they may give you the business.

  9. #9
    sniffin' glue zoltani's Avatar
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    I would say that you shouldn't build a fire if it is not a designated campground with a fire ring, if only out of respect for the land and the other people that may use it after you.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikiola View Post
    hello all
    i'm curious about stealth camping on the Appalachian trail in new york state. this weekend i want go to the beautiful area by clarence fahnstock state park and don't want to pay the rediculous $19 a night PLUS $9 reservation fee for the RV-riddled camp area. Literally 1 mile before the campsite entrance is where the Appalachian trail crosses. If I enter there on my bike and walk it up, say, out of sight of the road, do you think i'll be hassled by anyone while camping (police, campsite rangers, etc?)
    thanks for your help!
    Bikey
    The AT in NJ/NY is actually the most restricted area as far as camping legally. No dispersed camping is allow (the the exception being within the Delaware Water Gap NRA) AT hikers are restricted to designated campgrounds or in the immediate vicinity of the trail shelters. OTOH I know hikers who have camped outside of those areas.

    If you really stealthed, it would be unlikely that you would be hassled, but no guarantee.

    Good luck

    Doug

  11. #11
    Junior Member Greenport's Avatar
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    hello all
    i'm curious about stealth camping on the Appalachian trail in new york state. this weekend i want go to the beautiful area by clarence fahnstock state park and don't want to pay the rediculous $19 a night PLUS $9 reservation fee for the RV-riddled camp area. Literally 1 mile before the campsite entrance is where the Appalachian trail crosses. If I enter there on my bike and walk it up, say, out of sight of the road, do you think i'll be hassled by anyone while camping (police, campsite rangers, etc?)
    thanks for your help!
    Bikey
    I live a few miles from where you are thinking of camping. From where the trail crosses rte. 301, there are a few suitable spots to camp [no fires], not directly on the trail and on the south side of 301 only. DO NOT let anyone see you go in and set up--the sheriff/troopers/park police will evict you post haste. FORGET the weekends--too many "eyes". The spots I speak of are east & west of the trail and you will have to carry your bike up and in, woodsy & rocky----good luck!
    pedal to the grave

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greenport View Post
    I live a few miles from where you are thinking of camping. From where the trail crosses rte. 301, there are a few suitable spots to camp [no fires], not directly on the trail and on the south side of 301 only. DO NOT let anyone see you go in and set up--the sheriff/troopers/park police will evict you post haste. FORGET the weekends--too many "eyes". The spots I speak of are east & west of the trail and you will have to carry your bike up and in, woodsy & rocky----good luck!
    Thanks for info, Greenport. I’m also interested in stealth camping in Fahnestock (no fire, leave no trace). How about near Canopus Lake? What are my chances to be kicked out of there? That is a really nice lake.

    Any other spots besides the ones you mentioned?
    Thanks.

  13. #13
    Senior Member bktourer1's Avatar
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    Look into warmshowers.org. You may find a host to put you up in that area

  14. #14
    Every day a winding road spinnaker's Avatar
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    As far as I know, bicycles are not allowed on the App. Trail. If you are caught in an area where you should not be, you are going to have a whole lot of explaining to do. Even if you walked in with the bike, you are going to have to convince the authorities.
    "The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it."

    Albert Einstein

  15. #15
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    State parks are notoriously underfunded. Camping fees are one of the few means they have to get the funds needed to maintain State Parks. Also looking at the parks site, it doesn't look like that park has any camping. I'd say a +1 on bktourer1's suggestion.

  16. #16
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    As spinnaker posted, bicycles are indeed prohibited on the AT, so that is the biggest problem with your idea. Be aware that NJ State Parks/Forests can have pretty steep fines for breaking the rules. A friend once got fined $150 for making a fire in the NJ state portion of the Delaware Water Gap AT area.

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