Harriman State Park, located in Rockland and Orange counties, is the second-largest park in the parks system, with 31 lakes and reservoirs, 200 miles of hiking trails, two beaches, two public camping areas, a network of group camps, miles of streams and scenic roads, and scores of wildlife species, vistas and vantage points. Harriman State Park's major facilities include Lakes Welch, Sebago, Tiorati and Silvermine, the Anthony Wayne Recreation Area, Sebago Cabins and Beaver Pond Campgrounds.
*Boat launch sites require a boat permit. Please contact the park for further details.
Beginning in 1913, the Palisades Interstate Parks Commission built dozens of group camps throughout Harriman State Park to welcome the urban poor and provide them with hot meals and outdoor experiences. The Harriman Group Camps are the model upon which many group camping programs and sites throughout the world are based. The facilities at the camps, which are nestled in the woods next to the many lakes at Harriman State Park, consist of dining halls and recreation buildings, cabins and tent platforms, and waterfront facilities. Nature Centers offer environmental education programs designed to teach campers about the woods and instill in them a lifelong sense of wonder for the natural sciences.
For generations, the group camps have provided children and families with their first outdoor experiences. The camps are operated by a wide variety of organizations, from outdoor recreation clubs to not-for profits servicing homeless children and the disabled, from the surrounding New York and New Jersey area. The organizations are members of the Palisades Camping Association (PCA).
Dogs only, must be on a leash not more than 6 feet at all times. Not allowed in buildings or beach/bathing areas. Must display rabies tag.
Not permitted in the following areas of Harriman State Park: Beaver Pond Campground, Welch Beach, Sebago Cabins.
Harriman State Park offers primitive camping only. You biggest downside is that you have to hike in about a mile or two to get to the various sites. The advantage of this is that you are already on the trail and you will be far enough from car/street noises. There are several camping options once you begin hiking in. Make sure to bring enough supplies to last for your trip as it is a bit of a hassle to have to hike back out to your car.
Did a two day, 30 mile backpacking trip along the AT and adjacent trails. Stayed at two places:
West Mountain Shelter Gorgeous! As far as the lower Hudson Valley goes, the views here are unbeatable. The shelter looks out over the valley, and when the weather is clear you can see 75miles+ down the Hudson. Plenty of fire rings and dispersed sites clustered around the shelter. we had a bear canister and had no issue, nor did we here of anyone else having any. Bring plenty of heavy duty insect repellent!!
Fingerboard Shelter: This one doesn’t have much in the way of a view, but it is only half a mile (via a spur trail) from Lake Tiorati, which is open for various recreational activities in the summer (and has vending machines with COLD WATER AND POWERADE OMG). a good number of sites, and the shelter itself was nicer than WM, even if there was no view.
Most of the camping in Harriman is more backcountry-esque. Hike in, set up camp, move to a new spot and so on. Beautiful area with great hiking trails. Good for all seasons!
Great trails to hike for novices looking to branch out but not too large that you'll be lost forever lol highly recommend and can't do so enough 👍🏽
Total enjoyment always coming back been coming here over 20 years every July with the kids when they were younger now they are adults and we bring them and grandchildren and Me & my sweetheart still come up and spend four days alone in August we always get a platform we set up our tent we meet returning campers and assist new camper They always ask us about our tent how we set up everything
Been here a dozen times! Great hiking for all abilities. Free camping at stone shelters. Beautiful lakes all over the place.
The AMC camp in Harriman is fantastic too! Those are reserved and paid cabins and platforms.
I have spent dozens of nights in Harriman, mostly 4 day/ 3 night loops. Pure backcountry an hour North of Manhattan. Carry in/ carry out. Bring water purification. Water is abundant in cooler months, but expect to purify lake water in Summer. Camp in or around shelters. Hang you food or carry a bear canister; black bears do inhabit Harriman/ Bear Mountain. Pick up NY NJ trail Conference Map set #118-119. Carry/apply insect repellant to repel deer ticks that carry Lyme disease.