Backcountry Camping From NYC via train
June 17, 2009 1:36 PM   Subscribe

Help us escape NYC via train and get lost in the woods!

Looking to do a trip next weekend, thursday through sunday, where we leave nyc via train and try to find lovely back country camping in the middle of lots and lots of trees. Would prefer not to have to do a taxi to get to a trail head, but would also prefer not to have to hike for hours in a city before being surrounded by green. Swimming holes would be nice to but not needed. Definitely want to avoid camping spots where cars can park. Would love to hear first hand experiences.

Been looking at Metro-North Pawling Stop on the Appalachian Trail (For Cat's Rock) and the Metro-North Tuxedo Park stop for either Harriman State Park or Sterling Forest State Park. Thanks in advance!
posted by lips to Travel & Transportation around New York, NY (3 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I've never done any multi-day backpacking there, but my brother and I have done looong trail runs/hikes in Harriman/Bear Mountain. It's very pretty and isolated, and there are lakes to jump in. My brother always wields the trail maps, though, so I'm a bit short on details. There are basically no people except within a 1 mile radius of parking lots. Sad. (The big lake at the main Bear Mtn parking lot is a zoo.)

You can get to trailheads w/out a taxi at Tuxedo Park and Manitou (though that involves some road hiking -- including across the Bear Mtn bridge.) I forget whether you can at Suffern. Be careful, though -- you have to cross the tracks at Tuxedo, and cops don't always like it. The bro almost got arrested once, when he was out on a solo excursion.

Trail maps here.
posted by kestrel251 at 1:55 PM on June 17, 2009

P.S. For a shorter excursion, you can actually get on the Long Trail up the Palisades from right off the GW Bridge. No joke. You can take the A, walk across the bridge to NJ, and be in the woods. Again, once you've gone a mile or so, there aren't many people, though you'll see them at the various overlook pull-offs from the Palisades Parkway. You can go all the way to the Tappanzee Bridge.
posted by kestrel251 at 1:59 PM on June 17, 2009 [2 favorites]

Tuxedo is easy. There are trail marks right in the town, and it's really not that big, maybe you hike for 15-20 minutes before you start up toward Smith's Rock? It's been a while since I've done it, so I can't say exactly, but I definitely don't remember it taking that long to get into the woods.
posted by bink at 2:22 PM on June 17, 2009

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