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Little Falls to Albany camping trailside or nearby

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Eric B from Albany on 6/24/2020 10:22:18 AM:
I'm hoping to do a short three day trip from Little Falls to Albany with my son, going 30-40 miles each day. It looks like there isn't really much official Canal Lock camping that could help us out but I'm wondering how easy it is to just pitch a tent near the trail. We can certainly ask permission and should be able to bring most of the food and other amenities with us. Hoping to stop in Auriesville and maybe Scotia/Schenectady

wnybubba from Bflo - Roc on 6/25/2020 12:06:54 AM:
Should not really be a problem. I believe that you are welcome to use grassy areas for setting up tent without issue -- either unofficially or with some degree of permission. Before my recent trip, I spoke with Canal Corp personnel and decided that "Better to Ask for Forgiveness than Ask Permission" policy made more sense -- but I never had issues with finding an acceptable place to tent on my travels (whether on Canal Corp land or not). In any event... there are plenty of places along the trail or near intersections that are ideal for pitching camp. Suggestion I got and will pass along -- have a sign that states who you are and what you are doing and hang it on your tent or gear. (I put my cell number on my sign so if any one had any issue they could call me to talk it over.)

Lastly, there are so many easy places along the trail for food that it's almost unnecessary to carry anymore that a night's food -- and that just in case you decide to camp away from services.

When you get to into more planning detail, post a message and I'll try to give you some info about space and what's available, etc.

Not sure what your thinking is, but this is certainly doable:

Little Falls -> Lock 12 @ Fort Hunter/Tribes Hill is excellent. Deli just up the road (and up the hill) Left and next block.

Lock 7 -- Looks like there are perfect picnic grounds there good for setting up tent. (My ride took me from Lock 12 to Lock E2, so I didn't make a overnight in this area.) I use Google maps and go to Street View to scope out areas - that's what I just did here. Lock 7 Road.

Then Lock E2 for sure -- it has a nice area to set up tent. There is even an electrical outlet on the telephone pole in the corner (as well on the outside of the building), picnic tables, etc. Several food options just a couple blocks away - I hit Mr. Subb and it was good.

Then it's a fun ride into the Capital. Just 10 miles.

Eric B from Albany on 6/25/2020 8:27:23 AM:
That sounds like great advice, wnybubba. I will definitely check out your suggestions and try to post before we take off in a few weeks. Looking forward to it!

Eric B from Albany on 6/2/2021 1:11:59 PM:
Finally getting around to doing this trip with my son this weekend. We hope to make it from Little Falls to Lock 12 (about 40 miles) and hope to camp there, and then get into Waterford the next day. I stopped at the Waterford visitor center and chatted with the nice guys stationed in the office. Looks like a great place to spend the night and then a quick jaunt south into Albany.

Anyone else have experience camping at Lock 12 in Tribes Hill?

wnybubba from Bflo/ROC on 6/2/2021 2:10:49 PM:
As I stated in my original post above, Tribes Hill (Lock 12) is an ideal spot -- highly recommend. It's quite scenic and the waterway sound will lull you to sleep. The Lock is also fun to explore up close and see the hydraulic system that is easily visible. The only downfall (compared to some other Locks) is that there are not any close-by facilities. I mentioned that there is a deli up the hill with restrooms.

Save this great resource for the morning: Evolve Eatery in S. Amsterdam. The food is healthy and delicious and will start your day off with a smile and full stomach. They are recently listed as some kind of affiliation with the Canal (not sure exactly what). They are located literally a few hundred feet off the Canalway bikepath (look right as you come into town at Bridge Street). It's a fairly short ride form Lock 12.

Lastly - for your comfort in staying at Lock 12, call them and ask them for confirmation. Last year when I stayed the Canalway was not open, so no-one was around upon my arrival. I thanked them in the morning. Here is the Lock 12 phone: (518) 829-7331

Waterford, BTW, is another great place to camp. There is a live outlet on the telephone pole in the far corner (and an out-building next to the grass area had a live plug as well.) You are also only a few block to Main Street business with convenient store, pizza places and others. Enjoy your ride!

Eric B from Albany on 6/2/2021 3:28:11 PM:
thanks very much for the information. i will definitely call ahead to the Lock 12 staff to make sure we're good to go.

Eric from Albany on 6/6/2021 8:04:58 PM:
Just a quick ride report. Nice camping at Lock 12. Trains until 11 pm on Saturday night but otherwise very peaceful. The trail just east of Little Falls was some pretty deep stone dust. I’m not sure if they are laying it on heavier so it spreads and dissipates but it was a little slippery fully loaded. It was only for about 3-4 miles. Deli in Tribes Hill makes a nice sub but not open on Sunday morning and the Evolve eatery in South Amsterdam was also closed Sunday. I need to plan food options better! Made it from Tribes Hill home to South Albany County today but it was hot!

wnybubba from Bflo/ROC on 6/6/2021 10:57:39 PM:
Well, glad you had a good trip, Eric. Sorry you missed out on Evolve Eatery -- it is very special and quite hip. Lock 12 - yep, pretty good stuff. Did you get in touch with the Lock operator prior?

Eric B from Albany on 6/8/2021 8:19:30 AM:
Called the Lock 12 operator on Thursday and asked about camping on Saturday night. He said "How many?" I said, "Just two people, one tent." He said, "Oh sure, no problem!"

I think he initially thought me and my entire biker gang were coming. ;0)

When we arrived and introduced ourselves, they were more than friendly and even offered us the chance to refill our water from their bottle water cooler, which was very cold and very welcome on a 90 degree day.

wnybubba from Bflo/ROC on 6/8/2021 5:31:24 PM:
It's a wonderful life! Glad it all went well.