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Empire State Trail - Hudson Valley camping

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wnybubba from Bflo/ROC on 4/7/2021 8:35:05 PM:
Hopefully this is not too far off topic for this forum, but... I am planning to add the trip from Albany to NYC to my cross-state Canalway ride this June.

I will be bike-packing/touring. I'm quite comfortable with finding places to camp overnight on the Canalway, but I'm wondering what to expect as far as finding camping spots along the Empire State Trail heading south -- especially south of Kingston when I will be in more urban settings as I get closer and closer to the city.

Do any of you have any relevant beta or experience on the different pathways that the new EST utilizes? [Worse case I could utilize private campgrounds or if it was necessary.] Thanks in advance.

Chris from Long Island on 4/10/2021 9:56:02 PM:
I am riding from Buffalo to Long Island at the end of May and I am struggling with finding places to stay south of Albany. If anyone has suggestions it would be great or if anyone knows of an interactive web page similar to this page for the portion of the Empire State Trail from Albany to NYC

Bktourer1 from Da Bronx (living in Mass) on 4/11/2021 9:41:05 AM:
Look at Fahnstock State Park & Bear Mountain SP & Harriman SP
Also look into

John W. from Pittsburgh,PA on 4/11/2021 12:15:22 PM:
Bktourer1: To use Warmshowers, would I need to list my own home as a place people could stay? Is that generally how it works and the minimum requirement? I don’t live right on a trail. Thanks.

wnybubba from Bflo/ROC on 4/11/2021 3:40:49 PM:
I've been looking around and have come up with some options -- I'll let you know how things progress. For my tour, I have friends in Kingston that I will stay with. The second overnight is where I am finding that nothing apparent is close-by. FWI, I noticed that one 20+ mile section runs along an abandoned (I believe) railway and appears quite isolated from everything -- woods on either side, underpasses so you are not at ground level at many intersections, etc. It's quite different. (BTW, I could see this on Goggle Satellite view.)

Yes, is a member community where you return favors of hosting. Quite frankly, it's not an issue of whether you are on a trail or not -- just that you will -- at some time (not always) -- offer a place to stay. Those who host most generally enjoy being able to meet people and engage in sharing stories. However, accepting a member as a guest is up to the host. He/she may/may not chose to offer you a place after you inquire, and you do not have to *always* be accepting guests. Also, as a host you can offer different options from camp in my yard and use my bathroom to stay in a bedroom, bathe, have dinner and breakfast and hang out together during your stay. It's up to the host. I'm a host with a great three bedroom lower area with private bath, family room, kitchenette and separate entrance but really not near any trail. Letchworth State Park is about 16 miles away -- conceivably a biking destination and about 3 miles (uphill) from State Bike Route 19.

I really couldn't find any good options as far as State Parks or state land. Fahnstock State Park is a good 12 miles from the Empire State Trail. For me, that is way too far off trail to be a consideration.

Bktourer1 from Da Bronx (living in Mass) on 4/11/2021 3:49:15 PM:
I too am a hoster on warmshowers, the state parks I mentioned were the only ones I had any info about as I used them for AT camping.c
PTNY at one time did a ride I believe from ALbany to NYC. Maybe they still have cues for that trip with info

Ray (webmaster) on 4/24/2021 9:52:09 AM:
Unfortunately I came up mostly empty on looking for camping between Albany and NYC.

I expected that some of the towns along the trail would be willing to let cyclists set up a tent in their local city parks - this is a common practice along other long-distance trails like the Katy Trail in MO and Cowboy Trail in NE where the trail towns welcome cyclists to overnight in city parks. However, after talking with the parks people and/or town hall people in about a dozen communities between Albany and NYC, every last one of them told me that cyclists are NOT allowed to set up a tent in the town parks.

There are two established campgrounds along this portion of the Empire State Trail, not on the trail but within a reasonable distance for cyclists - Sam Pryor Campground near New Paltz, and Sylvan Lake near Hopewell Junction. However, both sites require riding a few miles on county roads. The road to Pryor lacks a good shoulder about half the way.

I wrote up everything I could find on this web page: Camping Along the Empire State Trail

If anybody knows of, or discovers any other good camping options, please share the info. Lack of camping options will discourage many touring cyclists from using the Hudson Valley portion of the Empire State Trail.

John W. from Pittsburgh,PA on 4/25/2021 11:29:04 AM:
Thanks to everyone on this thread for your feedback. It looks as if the majority of camping on this route, sadly, will be “credit card camping”. : ) Unless you go the stealth route or warm showers route.


Ray (webmaster) on 6/8/2021 9:16:49 PM:
I recently learned about one other camping option between Albany and NYC: Livingston State Forest allows PRIMITIVE camping. The park is along the Empire State Trail a little north of Linlithgo, between Hudson and Germantown.

Here's a page with a map and contact info:

wnybubba from Bflo/ROC on 7/5/2021 10:05:28 PM:
I suppose I should post an update here... I did finish the ECT and Empire State Trail a few weeks ago into NYC. First - I did not follow the EST out of Renesselaer, rather followed Rt 7J south along the Hudson and stopped at Schodack Island SP which was excellent and worked fine. Next morning I stayed on the State Route and planned to pick up the trail around Stuyvesant Falls, but had an issue and called for a ride into Kingston -- where I had plans to stay over at my friends home. From Kingston I elected to eliminate extra miles and time taking the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail to Poughkeepsie so I just stayed south on Rt. 9W right to the Pedestrian Bridge. It was easy with a wide apron.

From there I was on the EST. Bike Paths were great right into Manhattan -- except the South County Trail that is being worked on currently, but the trail is in pretty rough shape.

So where to stay for that next night before the day riding into Manhattan? I had called a LOT of places and only got one positive answer. It was Trinity Lutheran Church in Brewster -- spitting distance from the trail with delightful grounds to use. There is actually a small post that has a hot electrical box to use. A close-by shopping area with chain food, grocery store and an excellent Mexican restaurant among other options. For the Church -- find the phone online and call to ask permission. Peter, the person that I spoke with, was most cordial, accommodating and super at quickly communicating with me.

Heading south the next morning -- turn right off the trail when you cross the main drag in Mahopac. There is a great Deli just a block or two in a triangle between roads serving wonderful breakfast and a lunch sandwich for the road.

All 450+ miles were fun. EST needs to invest in a few more signs and a lot more Pointy Arrows --]

Maloufs Mountain Campground from Beacon NY on 7/6/2021 1:13:31 PM:
Just wanted to let everyone to know passing by us, we have had an increase in bikers camping with us and we are thrilled to be able to accommodate you.
We have hot showers, flushing toilets , fresh food to cook and camping spots.
You can get all the details on our website.
let me know if you have questions about getting to us or reserving.
Happy Biking!