View Full Version : Some tips on how to execute the perfect adventure for friends

03-24-2008, 17:14
A group of about 10-15 of my friends and I have been going on little mini-trips together for a couple years. I am a huge outdoors guy so I am planning a hiking/adventure trip.

We all live in NYC and would to find a place as close as possible that will have the following:

A base camp that we can arrive on Friday night and hang out at before waking early and starting our 2 day hike. This can be a campsite for tents or huts, but I really want to rough it.

After waking at the site I would like to have a moderately difficult trail, possibly 10 - 15 miles to a second shelter or campground where we would camp for the night. On this trail we would like to climb a bit of rock, take a dip in a lake, view and/or climb a waterfall, etc.

Then we would like to wake Sunday morning and have a 5 - 8 mile hike to a place where we can shuttle back to our cars..
Am I out of my mind for thinking that this is possible?

any resources or advice would be greatly appreciated..

03-24-2008, 17:34
Are the Adirondacks feasible for you? You also have the Catskill Park to look at.

Appalachian Tater
03-24-2008, 18:05
Here's your best friend: http://www.nynjtc.org/

Last spring I took the subway uptown, walked across the GW Bridge, poked around the site of Fort Lee, then took the Long Path up the Palisades and then over and up to Wurtsboro.

You have more choices than you might imagine.

03-24-2008, 18:42
Take a look at The Devils Path, 24 miles. Some people consider this one of the toughest trails in the Northeast.


Tin Man
03-24-2008, 18:51
Pharaoh Lake Wilderness Area is an awesome spot for what you are planning. It is near Brandt Lake, NY about an hour North of Lake George. I have hiked the area many times. There are numerous loop options, many lean-tos and campsites to choose from. It can get a little busy on weekends, but people do not share campsites like they do on the AT. The Lake is the largest lake in New York that is not accessible by car. The hike around the lake is 6 miles and you can hike over Pharaoh Mtn and/or take a hike to some other lakes with beaver ponds and a large waterfall in between. Truly a spectacular area.

On the north end of the area is a public campground for your first night, or you can hike in 2 miles from the north or south to a campsite. Buy this guide book for a map and description of the area.


Another option is the Siamese Ponds Wilderness Area. There are not as many options here, but it is less heavily traveled. Here is the guide for this area:


The guide books are available at outdoor stores. Browse all the regions for more options, but these are the closest to NYC.

Feral Bill
03-25-2008, 16:59
Too many people to not be a nuisence to others. Make a smaller group or avoid shelters/established camps. That said, Harriman State park is an hour away, with public transport to several points.

03-25-2008, 17:03
Go hit the high peaks.

Appalachian Tater
03-25-2008, 17:03
In general, I am against big groups hiking together. But there are plenty of trails in NY and NJ where they would be unlikely to see any other hikers at all.

The Solemates
03-25-2008, 17:09
high peaks, dacks

03-25-2008, 18:14
You might also consider a couple of places in the northern "Pennsylvania Wilds" - much closer to NYC than the Adirondacks and also not as crowded - for less mutual impact between others and your group.

Old Loggers Path - see http://midatlantichikes.com/oldloggerspath.htm and follow his advice to bushwhack higher on Rock Run

Loyalsock-Link Loop - the east end of PA's Loyalsock Trail - see http://www.thebackpacker.com/trails/pa/trail_669.php and also Google it

03-26-2008, 10:13
How psyched are your 10-15 friends? As someone who leads backpacking groups I would encourage you to include your friends in every aspect of the planning. That way they own the trip, and have input into what the group will be doing. Maybe not everyone wants to rough it? Maybe their idea of roughing it is different from yours?

03-26-2008, 10:23
I think for such a large group, and what you have in mind, it would be very helpful if at least one person has already been to where you are going. Failing that, you and another fella could do a quick recce of an area on a fastpacking trip after you narrow it down over the internet. You might find that such advance party trips are more adventurous and more fun and less hastle and even less dangerous than the big parties, but to each their own. Anything that gets you out there.

04-03-2008, 07:34
My suggestion would ne Harriman State park.
I'm working from memory so check maps for exact names and trails.
Leave a car or two at the parking lot at Tiorati Circle.
Park your other cars at the Silvermine parking area on Friday and hike in to the top of the hill behind the Sturbridge Mountin shelter. It's a short easy hike. There's plenty of space for 15 people to tent and it's a nice area. Then on Saturday hike north on the Long Path to Turkey Hill Lake and pick up the trail to Popolopen Gourge. It's nothing too challenging, but you could do some rock scrambling along the stream as well as cool off in the water of Popolopen Gourge. When you come out of the gourge hike south to the picnic grounds at Bear Mountain State Park. Here you can decide if you want to go over Bear Mountain or around it. If your group still has plenty of energy and day light hike up the Major Welsch Trail to the top of Bear Mountain and down the other side on the Appalachian Trail. To go around Bear Mountain walk south across the big lawn and go through the under pass at 7 Lakes Drive. Now you'r going to have to check your map. Depending which route you took at Bear Mountain you can pick up trails that will take you through Doodletown and up to the shelter on West Mountain. Again, there's some room for tenting behind the shelter. If it's a clear night you'll be able to see the lights of the NYC skyline way out on the horizon. Then on Sunday follow the AT to Tiorati Circle.
The New York/New Jersey Trail Conference has maps available for Harriman State Park.