overnight camping trips from Manhattan?
April 7, 2014 10:08 PM   Subscribe

Two of my friends want to go on an overnight camping trip starting from Manhattan, but separately. So I'm looking for one place where we could camp overnight that's within a 30-60 mile bike ride of public transportation, and another place where we could camp overnight that's within a few miles' walk of public transportation. The bike site could be either a prepared camp site or just a place where people won't mind us pitching a tent; the walking site really has to be approved for camping. Does the hive mind have any suggestions?

A little about us:

Bike guy is a pretty outdoorsy person: used to race bikes, hiked part of the Appalachian Trail recently. He's probably looking for a hard ride in at least one direction.

Walking guy isn't much of a hiker but he seems to have a fair amount of camping experience from these week-long canoe trips in the back end of Ontario.

I did a couple of out-and-back overnight trips in Chicago where I'd basically ride my bike out for a day, camp out overnight, and come back the next day. I'm down with the biking and not so much with the walking.

I think for the biking trip we'd like the ride to be a significant part of the experience, but for the hiking trip we're more looking to spend a day sitting in a pretty meadow chatting and napping.

Both walking guy and I have some knee issues that prevent us from walking more than a few miles fully loaded, which is why the camp site has to be so close to public transportation.
posted by d. z. wang to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (7 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

I lived in Manhattan and both car camped and took public transport to wilderness backpack and camp outside of NYC.

Your requirements sound difficult, but with compromise, I may be able to help you.
posted by jbenben at 1:09 AM on April 8, 2014

Croton Point Park, which has camping along the Hudson River, is accessible by Metro North trains out of Grand Central Station. There's a long bike trail not far away. From the Croton train station, you can hop a train north to Cold Spring and access excellent hiking trails in the Hudson Highlands from there. None of this is real wilderness, but it's pretty nice considering it's commutable from Manhattan within an hour's time. Have fun!
posted by Elsie at 2:36 AM on April 8, 2014

The Delaware Water Gap is about 1:30 drive from Manhattan.
It is a great place to camp.
posted by Flood at 4:08 AM on April 8, 2014

How about outside Manhattan, but within New York City?

There are tent campgrounds in Brooklyn at Floyd Bennett Field and in Staten Island at Fort Wadsworth.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:26 AM on April 8, 2014

Harriman State Park might be good for you. You can camp in shelters, it's reachable by Metro North or from the bike route to Bear Mountain.
posted by medusa at 4:28 AM on April 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

There are several Connecticut state parks that might serve for the biker. Google the website. Remember you can take Metro North to Danbury or Waterbury.
posted by SemiSalt at 5:36 AM on April 8, 2014

Indian Island County Park on Long Island is an 80 mile bike ride (or any fraction thereof; you choose), and public trans get you within a couple of miles.
posted by at at 9:46 AM on April 8, 2014

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