DEC Camping Regulations in NYS Adirondacks

The DEC Regulations, specifically the DEC State Land Use Regulations, provide guidelines on where to camp in New York State’s Adirondack Park.

Where to camp in the Adirondacks on State Land is actually very easy. You may stay in most lean-tos except those designated as “day use only” shelters, and there should be a sign on or near the lean-to informing you of this.Tents may be set up at a designated sites. Designated sites have yellow “Camp Here” discs with a black tipi, and your tent must be within 15 feet of this disc. Outside of designated sites, tents must be 150 feet from any trails or water. Lean-tos do not count as designated sites, so tents must be 150 feet from any lean-tos or trails leading to lean-tos as well. Designated sites will have a disc, so even if there is a fire ring but not a disc, the campsite is not a legal one unless it follows the 150 foot rule.

Last but not least, obviously, you can’t camp at any site that has a “No Camping” disc.

Note that Leave No Trace Principles are not regulations, but rather a standard of wilderness ethics greater in scope than most regulations.  Wilderness users are encouraged to adhere to LNT out of a respect for the resources rather than a desire to obey the law.

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