View Full Version : Where to camp in Elk Lake Area

08-28-2004, 04:14 PM
Some of us from the forum will be doing a day hike of the Dix range on Sat 9/4 and plan a very early start. Is there any place to camp in the area? I am looking for something that is no more than 30-40 minutes away. Has anyone stayed in their car at this trailhead? I know its private property and I'm not sure how well its patrolled. I assume the lot will be crowded since its a holiday weekend.

08-28-2004, 04:55 PM
There are private campgrounds at North Hudson and Blue Ridge, pretty close to exit 29 off I-87. Either one would be within your specified 30-40 minute drive time from the trailhead at Elk Lake. Sorry I can't provide names and phone numbers.


08-28-2004, 07:24 PM
There is also the state campground, Sharp Bridge. It is on Rt 9, between exits 29 & 30 on the northway. There are nice new bathrooms there now.. which probably doesn'T mean anything to anyone who didn'T see the old ones.

08-28-2004, 09:32 PM
I stayed at Sharp Bridge when I did the Dix range last month. It's a pretty reasonable distance from the trailhead but yes, get there EARLY! It's a really small parking lot and when we got there at 7:30 am, we "invented" a new row in the middle of the lot so we could park.

Barney Fife himself seems to run the campground. :D He takes his job VERY seriously, and has his pulse on EVERYTHING that happens there! We had neighboring campers complain about us because we were "shutting our car doors too loud" when we got up early in the morning to depart for our hike. He notified us that he'd gotten a complaint the next morning when we saw him (this was the morning after I broke my hand and was at the hospital until 1:00am). Considering my circumstances, I had NO patience with this being brought to my attention. I mean, come ON!!!! He admitted it was a completely unreasonable complaint, but was bent on "doing his job" and being sure campers were comfy and happy.

Yes, the bathrooms are the nicest I've EVER seen at a State campground.

And the sites are all stocked with tons of firewood, you don't have to buy it or forage for it!

Just be sure to shut your car doors quieter than we did, evidently this lady is a regular that compained about us, and compains about EVERYTHING.

08-30-2004, 10:54 AM
since i'm not totally familiar w/ that area, i'm going to "assume" you are talking about the trailhead and parking lot on the road which leads into elk lake lodge? if so, we used that trail to hike into the slides of macomb, which is, i believe the same trail you use to hike into dix. there is both a lean-to and a nice camping spot back in there. not too far in and the hike is flat all the way. i don't think there's any other camping spots in that area. there may be another lean to or something much further in but i don't know. we read the log-in book at the lean-to and a lot of folks stayed there to hike dix and it sounded likea nice place to stay. there's a small creek right next to it.
as far as elk lake "policing" their grounds: i treated myself to a weekend up there awhile back. they own the land to sunrise mountain and clear pond, as well as access to many other trails. i never once saw anyone checking on folks to verify they were authorized on the trails or making a huge effort to police and definitely not to harrass. and, i don't see any reason you couldn't sleep in your car in that one, designated parking lot;since you can leave your car there overnight or for several days. the other parking lot across from clear pond belongs to elk lk and you must have a permit from them to park there. there's a good chance, if a car was there late at night someone would ck to see if it belonged to one of their guests.
but like i said, the lean-to and camping area back in off the state trail are both nice.
hope this helps

08-30-2004, 02:36 PM
... Schroon Lake is well within 30 minutes of Elk Lake. In fact, you can make it all the way out to the last Upper Works parking lot in 40 minutes.

The Maple Leaf Motel has microwaves and refrigerators. Also, a couple dozen hummingbirds visiting their front-porch feeders, and two cute puppies, Mercy and Goodness.

08-30-2004, 03:59 PM
This was discussed in another thread a couple of months back. Speaking just for myself, the Elk Lake owners are very tolerant of hikers crossing their property. I don't really think its a question of whether sleeping in your car will get you caught.
Its the sleepy folks wandering around late at nite or early a.m. looking for a place to go to the bathroom. Over time, that could be a real problem and responsible VFTT folks should be encouraged to pack in to Lillian Brook or Slide brook leantos, or stay at a legal campground 15 minutes away. Sharp Bridge, as someone noted, is one of the best kept secrets in the High Peaks. Quite, clean, and usually has spots available.


08-30-2004, 04:33 PM
Based on all the + comments I will be staying at the Sharp Bridge campground. Sounds like a nice place. I will close my car doors quietly.

08-30-2004, 05:08 PM
daxs, you might want to give the Lake Harris campground in Newcomb a look. It's probably only 5 minutes beyond where the Blue Ridge Rd.( exit 29) joins into rt 28N. As far as whether that is closer or farther from Elk Lake than SharpBridge is, I don't know.

You can get a site right on the lake, which is quite beautiful. The place is very clean, and for $13 a night, it's hard to beat.

I stayed there a couple of weeks ago while hiking in the Upper Works area, and it was a 20 minute drive to there. FWIW.