NYSDEC Camping Regulations
The following information are regulations from the New York Department of Environmental Conservation. The original Web page can be found here. Many great camping and backpacking opportunities await you but please follow the rules!
The rules and guidelines for the use of New York State's public lands are generally as follows:
- Except where marked by a "Camp Here" disk camping is prohibited within 150 feet of roads, trails, lakes, ponds, streams or other bodies of water.
- Groups of ten or more persons or stays of more than three days in one place require a permit from the New York State Forest Ranger responsible for the area.
- Lean-tos are available in many area on a first come first served basis. Lean-tos cannot be used exclusively and must be shared with other campers.
- Use pit privies provided near popular camping areas and trailheads. If none are available, dispose of human waste by digging a hole 6"-8" deep at least 150 feet from water or campsites. Cover with leaves and soil.
- Do not use soap to wash yourself, clothing or dishes within 150 ft of water.
- Drinking and cooking water should be boiled for 5 minutes, treated with purifying tablets or filtered through filtration device to prevent instances of giardia infection.
- Fires should be built in existing fire pits or fireplaces if provided. Use only dead and down wood for fires. Cutting standing trees is prohibited. Extinguish all fires with water and stir ashes until they are cold to the touch. Do not build fires in areas marked by a "No Fires" disk. Camp stoves are safer, more efficient and cleaner.
- Carry out what you carry in. Practice "leave no trace" camping and hiking.
- Keep your pet under control. Restrain it on a leash when others approach. Collect and bury droppings away from water, trails and camp sites. Keep your pet away from drinking water sources.
- Observe and enjoy wildlife and plants but leave them undisturbed.
- Removing plants, rocks, fossils or artifacts from state land without a permit is illegal.
- The storage of personal property on state land is prohibited.
- Carry an approved flotation device for each person aboard all watercraft.
- Except in an emergency or between December 15 and April 30, camping is prohibited above an elevation of 4000 feet in the Adirondacks.
- Except in an emergency or between December 21 and March 21, camping is prohibited above an elevation of 3500 feet in the Catskills.
- At all times, only emergency fires are permitted above 4000 feet in the Adirondacks and 3500 feet in the Catskills.