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  1. #1
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    Default Easy 1-2 nighters near DWG

    Hi. I'm relatively new to overnight backpacking. Have some camping and hiking experience, but I'm now upgrading my gear and want to do some 1-2 nighters along the AT. I've been on the trails around DWG, and I'm very confused on the rules for backpackers and where to stay?

    Is there dispersed camping allowed in this area where I can hang my hammock?

    If anyone has a nice little cookie-cutter 1-2 night trips in and out the AT in NJ that'd be great! I'm allso willing to put in the work to plan out a 1-2 nighter, I"m just not sure where to start, and the regulations are pretty confusing.

  2. #2

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    There are a few limited campsites which are not designated sites (have a shelter or water). You will need to get a guide book to find out where they are. Some are hard to find and you will probably walk by most of them without even knowing they were there.

    All in all, your usually better off just sticking to the designated sites.

    The problem with the AT is it's a linear trail and making loops isn't easy. For a short trip, hiking in and back to the same location is the easiest logistically. Otherwise you have to arrange to get back to your car from the other end.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  3. #3
    Registered User somers515's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikegryo View Post
    Hi. I'm relatively new to overnight backpacking. Have some camping and hiking experience, but I'm now upgrading my gear and want to do some 1-2 nighters along the AT. I've been on the trails around DWG, and I'm very confused on the rules for backpackers and where to stay?

    Is there dispersed camping allowed in this area where I can hang my hammock?

    If anyone has a nice little cookie-cutter 1-2 night trips in and out the AT in NJ that'd be great! I'm allso willing to put in the work to plan out a 1-2 nighter, I"m just not sure where to start, and the regulations are pretty confusing.
    I would encourage you to get the AT guidebook for NY/NJ. It will clearly spell out the camping regulations for you but as Slo-go'en says, generally speaking at the designated sites is the way to go especially when you are just starting out. There is usually nice tent spots and water near every shelter.

    I've parked at DWG and hiked on the AT south to the Kirkland Shelter. There is a grassy spot just .1 mile north of the shelter. That's a nice 2 day, 1 night hike to start. Just make sure the water is running at the spigot near the shelter because otherwise it's a dry camping spot and you have to carry enough water.

    You could also park at at DWG and hike on the AT north to Mohican Outdoor Center and camp there at one of their tent sites.

    Good luck! Report back how it goes!
    LT End-to-Ender 2017; AT from Lehigh Gap to Hudson River; NH 31/48
    "Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won't come in." - Isaac Asimov

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slo-go'en View Post
    There are a few limited campsites which are not designated sites (have a shelter or water). You will need to get a guide book to find out where they are. Some are hard to find and you will probably walk by most of them without even knowing they were there.

    All in all, your usually better off just sticking to the designated sites.

    The problem with the AT is it's a linear trail and making loops isn't easy. For a short trip, hiking in and back to the same location is the easiest logistically. Otherwise you have to arrange to get back to your car from the other end.
    i'm not sure i would actually recommend it, but it is possible to do a large loop in the DWG area. it requires a short, easy to navigate but kind of physically demanding bushwhack. ive never tried it with a backpack though (and dont plan on it) but it could be done.

    basically if you're at the vista by the state forest boundary, you can see clear to the other ridge, down a ways into a valley and back up again. theres a clear cut for a power line. follow it (follow, not literally walk in it) and you end up on the other ridge and on a trail.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by tdoczi View Post
    basically if you're at the vista by the state forest boundary, you can see clear to the other ridge, down a ways into a valley and back up again. theres a clear cut for a power line. follow it (follow, not literally walk in it) and you end up on the other ridge and on a trail.
    And you'd probably finish covered with ticks and chased by a bear !
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slo-go'en View Post
    And you'd probably finish covered with ticks and chased by a bear !
    Ha, ticks scare me. Bears are obviously terrifying, but it's the sneakiness of those nasty bloodsuckers that freaks me out the most. Just got some Railrider Eco Mesh Insect Shield pants, though, so hopefully that should help along with some other permethrin treated clothes.

    Yea, so it sounds like I need a NY/NJ guidebook for the AT. Is there a quality standard one I should look for?

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikegryo View Post
    Ha, ticks scare me. Bears are obviously terrifying, but it's the sneakiness of those nasty bloodsuckers that freaks me out the most. Just got some Railrider Eco Mesh Insect Shield pants, though, so hopefully that should help along with some other permethrin treated clothes.

    Yea, so it sounds like I need a NY/NJ guidebook for the AT. Is there a quality standard one I should look for?
    NJ has some good tick habitat.

    The ATC (Appalachian Trail Conservatory) sells state specific guides which give detailed blow-by-blow trail descriptions. More general guides aimed for thru hikers which cover GA to ME give enough info for most people. The AWOL "AT Guide" or the ATC "Companion" are two such guides. The is also an app called the Guthook AT Guide for your phone which many are now using instead of a printed guide, but I still find the printed guide a little easier to use for planning, while the phone app is good while actually on the trail.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikegryo View Post
    Hi. I'm relatively new to overnight backpacking. Have some camping and hiking experience, but I'm now upgrading my gear and want to do some 1-2 nighters along the AT. I've been on the trails around DWG, and I'm very confused on the rules for backpackers and where to stay?

    Is there dispersed camping allowed in this area where I can hang my hammock?

    If anyone has a nice little cookie-cutter 1-2 night trips in and out the AT in NJ that'd be great! I'm allso willing to put in the work to plan out a 1-2 nighter, I"m just not sure where to start, and the regulations are pretty confusing.
    Seeing your in Hoboken may I suggest you go up to Harriman. It's a closer ride and have over 200 miles of trails. You can easily do loop hikes on AT from either elk pen or bear mountain parking lots.

  9. #9
    Registered User somers515's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikegryo View Post
    Yea, so it sounds like I need a NY/NJ guidebook for the AT. Is there a quality standard one I should look for?
    This would help you planning hikes in both NY and NJ on the AT:
    http://atctrailstore.org/planning/of...book-and-maps/
    LT End-to-Ender 2017; AT from Lehigh Gap to Hudson River; NH 31/48
    "Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won't come in." - Isaac Asimov

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    You can get the maps from ny/nj trail conference. It's a 3 map set.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slo-go'en View Post
    And you'd probably finish covered with ticks and chased by a bear !
    well, truthfully both those things will happen if you hike the trail on that opposite ridge even if you manage to avoid them doing the bushwhack

    you can also make a much smaller loop using the dunnfield creek trail, then youll just get soaking wet and muddy.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by SilentBob View Post
    Seeing your in Hoboken may I suggest you go up to Harriman. It's a closer ride and have over 200 miles of trails. You can easily do loop hikes on AT from either elk pen or bear mountain parking lots.
    +1

    Unless you've already hiked in Harriman a lot are are a bit "burned out" on it. Also plenty of good non-AT hiking there. This time of the year, however, those trail head parking lots fill up quickly.
    UL, because nobody ever asks "How can I make my pack heavier?"

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by SilentBob View Post
    Seeing your in Hoboken may I suggest you go up to Harriman. It's a closer ride and have over 200 miles of trails. You can easily do loop hikes on AT from either elk pen or bear mountain parking lots.
    +1

    I used to hike in DWG but would typically hike into sunfish pond, camp and return. But Harriman has lots of interesting options.


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  14. #14
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    To the OP, while the AT in the area between DWG and High Point is pretty much a straight ridge-walk, you can make quite a few loops using Old Mine Road.. I've left my car there maybe half a dozen times without issue (always let the authorities know). There are a few designated AT campsites, that this time of year are pretty active. I've successfully solo stealth hammock camped in a few spots in the area (did I just say that?), but of course you should HYOH.

    I've also covered much of Harriman and given a choice, I choose Harriman over DWG, Werthington or Stokes. Tons of loops, great varied terrain, decent views. Make it easy, make it hard.. plenty of options. Parking can be a challenge, but there are a lot of options. Ticks.. they are issue pretty much anywhere in the NE. Treat everything with permethrin. Avoid bush-wacking if possible. You probably know the drill. Bears... Same in most areas we're discussing. Keep a clean camp. They are out there for sure, but you'll not likely to see them. I keep my Ti trowel dangling from my pack.. clinking sound let's the furry folks know I am coming.
    _______________________________________
    The difficulty of finding any given trail marker is directly proportional to the importance of the consequences of failing to find it.

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