The 6,700-acre Stillwater Reservoir is located in the western Adirondacks, and provides undeveloped, remote camping on both islands and along the shoreline. The Reservoir offers a multitude of recreational possibilities including remote wilderness camping, canoeing, boating, fishing, hunting, snowmobiling, and cross-country skiing. The area receives considerable use during each of the four seasons.
During recent years, popularity of the Stillwater Reservoir has greatly increased. In an effort to alleviate some of the problems and preserve remote camping opportunities, campers are now required to use only designated sites, along the shoreline or to camp at least 150 feet inland from high-water mark. The high-water mark is generally that point where the sand beaches end and the forested or vegetative area begins.
Camping on sand beaches is no longer permitted. Camping within 150 feet of the high-water mark is limited to 46 sites designated and marked by the department. Camping beyond the 150 feet limit, as in past years, is relatively unrestricted. The intention here is to move camper use back from the water's edge to less fragile sites. The only exception is to the north of the Reservoir, which is in the Five Ponds Wilderness, where group sizes are limited to nine people or less.
Camping beyond the 150-foot perimeter remains relatively unrestricted, except for five Ponds Wilderness. That is, persons may use any site or open area for camping, provided it is more than 150 feet from the high-water mark, roads, trails or any other body of water. Furthermore, campers must comply with department regulations governing the use of state lands. These regulations will be posted at the registration booth at the Forest Ranger Headquarters and may also be found on the reverse side of the Interior Use Camping Permit. As the designated sites become filled, users are urged to camp within the Independence River Wild Forest Area on the south.
Even in cold rainy weather we had a phenomenal time at Stillwater. Our spot had gorgeous waterfront to it, a stone fire circle where someone had left extra fire wood, and ample trees. The season had had unusually low water all over and it left a really unusual landscape on the beach to explore. We can’t wait to come back!
just returned from our annual week at the reservoir, such beauty! We saw Bald Eagles and Loons, enjoyed swimming, canoing and paddleboarding with the family. It was so peaceful with our site #37 accomodating 20 members of tge family plus 3 dogs!
This was my 3rd trip to Stillwater in 3 yrs and it gets better each time!
Our first trip was an overnight to test some backpacking gear, it was September and the weather was perfect! We hiked into our site, not easy because almost everything is meant to be accessed by boat so we were guessing our course! Cooler weather meant no bugs to contend with
Next year we took a canoe to our site, it was July, warm weather, warm water and the bugs were not terrible, we were at Site 1, secluded in a cove, not a lot of traffic but there is a hiking trailhead near the site so there is potential for visitors.
Our latest trip was to site 10, an island site with a large sandy beachfront, we borrowed a motor boat to get there this year and brought plenty of gear for 4 days. Weather was great again, some rain each day but we had time to get setup and get shelters to keep dry.
Camping if free here but it is first come first serve but with 40+ sites you can almost always get something. There is a small store at the boat launch to get provisions if you need, public restrooms and wifi. Very limited cell service.
You should bring water or something to filter it from the reservoir. I believe all the site have privy boxes on them.
There are opportunities for fishing, a few local attractions, a nice restaurant at the launch.