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Suffern-Bear Mountain from Gate Hill Road is a high difficulty 15 mile out and back trail. At one point of the trail is a very difficult, but doable, rock scramble up the side of the mountain. At the top of the scramble is a primitive camping site with amazing views. The most difficult part about camping in this location is that you will have to carry your supplies up the mountain to the site. I would advise packing light if planning on camping here. The campsite is about 2.5 miles from the trailhead.
Stonetown Circular trail is a 11 mile medium/high difficulty loop trail. This is the second of two primitive sites along the trail. The trailhead is across the street from a large parking lot. This site is about 4 miles into the hike. This is a nice spot to set up camp because it is right next to a flowing stream with fresh water. The site is marked by a sign on a tree that says ’The Island’. This is a pretty spread out site with plenty of level space to set up multiple tents. There is a great fire pit to heat up water and cook food. The trail loop is definitely a difficult hike and setting up camp at one of the two sites is a nice way to break up adventure. Be ready for a difficult uphill rock scramble and I would advise packing light.
Stonetown Circular trail is a 11 mile medium/high difficulty loop trail. This is the first of two primitive sites along the trail. The trailhead is across the street from a large parking lot. This site is about 2 miles into the hike. This is a great spot to set up camp because it has a wide area and an amazing view. You will find the site right next to the American Flag at the top of the mountain. The only difficult thing about this site is that it is at the top of a fairly difficult rock scramble. I would advise packing light if making camp at this site because a heavy pack would make this scramble up the mountain even harder.
We visited October 18th 2020 and the previous days rained pretty heavy so when we arrive at site #20, there were caution tape to the east of our site for the trees that had fallen. No biggie but this site is also a ditch..we hiked downwards into the site. Everyone driving / walking down the main road can look into your site. This site I would give a 1 star for zero privacy, small space for a campsite, between 2 cars & 2 tents, we did not have space to put up a hammock. We went to check in to see if we can relocate & they did offer a spot where it was shared with another site which had a party reserved. We didn't want to intrude in other parties and esp during times like these so we just stayed in our ditch. We only for 2 nights but I can see other campers getting upset if they showed up to a ditch. We can hear the trucks driving by at night, if this is a bother for you, try to get a site further in away from the entrance.
On the other hand, our friends were at campsite #21 and it was 5 stars compared to site #20. It was a hike in but very secluded from the rest of the campers and very clean kept.
4 Stars for this campground because :
Pros - short drive from NYC, the hike around the pond is easy and beautiful, there's a beach nearby.
Con - we just had a bad campsite so we'll know to choose another one next time.
This is a great place for camping. The shelters are great for people who want to camp and not have to worry about unplanned weather. The best part of this campsite are the endless trails in the area (see screenshot of AllTrails). I believe there are over 40 miles of trails in this area. Would definitely recommend for those who want to camp near NYC but not drive too far.
This is an amazing campground! We had plenty of space and easy access to the lake. We went on a busy weekend and they are currently only operating at 50% capacity. I would recommend reserving a spot well in advance. This is a very large campground with multiple different areas. It has a good water pump and the bathrooms were well maintained and had a nice sink washing area.
Even the rain couldn't ruin this weekend getaway. The spring water source is a short hike back from the campsite, relatively convenient to restock from camp. Thought I heard bears come through overnight, but may have been a lucid dream. Bear can was undisturbed in the morning. First trip to the catskills but will definitely be back!