Balsam Swamp State Forest
Janet R.The Dyrt PRO User
Reviewed Nov. 28, 2017

Balsam Pond campsites

Balsam Pond has a reputation as a good local fishing spot featuring trout, bass, and even tiger muskies. The pond itself is beautiful and Is one of the larger state forest ponds in the area preserved in a natural state with no shoreline development other than the small campground and the public boat launch. If you are coming for a good fishing or boating experience, you wont be disappointed as the newly built boat launch can accommodate trailers for easy access and also has a well built handicapped accessible fishing pier. Once out on the water you will enjoy good fishing or wildlife watching or paddling.

However, if you are coming here primarily for the camping experience you may be disappointed. Though the natural setting is picturesque and secluded, the campground is not well maintained. Some of the sites have new picnic tables, some have old tables that are falling apart, and some have none at all. Some have official steel fire rings, some have stone fire rings that are crumbling. All are drive in sites, some meant for trailers and others with green space for tents. A few sites are much too close to the entrance road, most are set back further in the woods, and a few are right by the lake. Unfortunately, when we were there, previous campers had strewn garbage around most of the sites; it seemed to have been there for a while so it seems there is not regular maintanence by the DEC. There is also supposed to be an outhouse at the campground, but there isnt one now. Hence my low ranking of the campground despite its nice setting.

if you would like to camp at Balsam Pond but prefer a better option than the campground, there is one paddle-in site set away from the campground where you can Leave No Trace and hopefully other like-minded campers have done the same. You are also allowed to make your own dispersed campsite at any location of your choice within the Balsam Swamp State Firest, as long as you are more than 150 feet from the lakeshore.

  • There are no directional  signs from the main paved road several miles away, so be sure to have a map ir GPS or good directions. There is a DEC sign marking the turnoff at the entrance for the fishing access but it doesnt mention that it is also the campground
  • Vuew from the campground looking north
  • Though not far from Norwich or other nearby hamlets, the campground is not easy  to find due to its remote location on back roads.  Be sure to put the destination into your gps before travelling
  • The new cement boat kaunch is that n excellent condition and includes a well made family friendly and handicapped accesible fishing pier
  • Campsites with stone or steel fire rings, some with picnic tables and some without
  • One of the nicer campsites close to the lake
Month of VisitDecember