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Bradley Pond area tent sites

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  • Bradley Pond area tent sites

    My group of 7 will be day hiking the Santas next Saturday 7/22. Going in Friday mid-day to find tent site(s) as don't expect the lean-to will be fully vacant. Don't see any designated campsites on maps, but have read many accounts here that it is very popular area and frequently a tent city with "legality" stretched at times.

    Are there obvious frequently used non-designated sites, adhereing to the 150-ft rule of course, and about where might they be? Chances of an area big enough for four 2-man tents? Or a couple close together for 2 each?

    Three of the group have done Santas before, but did not camp. Also, any preference to clockwise or counterclockwise loop, or an out and back to avoid the Express? Campsites that would be closer to Express?

    Thanks in advance,

  • #2
    There is a designated site below the lean-to, just off the trail. I usually go solo to the High Peaks, and take a solo tent, so I can't speak about room for four 2-man tents. As I recall, the sites are small. If you're going in on a Sat., you will likely NOT have the LT. Can't say anything about the Express, haven't done it in years. I would get Couch first, get it out of the way, then enjoy your time on Panther and Santa.


    • #3
      It is my understanding that when NYS purchased the MacIntyre West Tract (in 2014), the public has access to area (and not just an easement to pass through along the trails). The only caveat is that you have to avoid one-acre zones around hunting camps which are leased until autumn 2018. That restriction shouldn't pose a problem along the Bradley Pond Trail because I've never see a camp in its vicinity. Therefore (if I have all my ducks in a row) you can primitive-camp (> 50 yards) off-trail along the Bradley Pond Trail.

      Looking for Views!


      • #4
        Our group camped there on Saturday and Sunday night (7/15-16) and there are three separate designated sites just a few minutes beyond the leanto. Follow the yellow campsite arrows that start just downhill of the leanto. Two of the three areas could fit 4 tents. We had 3 tents in our group with room to spare, and another group had 3 or 4 tents. We didn't see anywhere that would be a good legal, non-designated place for 3 or 4 tents. Lots of mud and swampy areas. But lots of room and a good water source at the tent areas.

        We chose to go up the Express trail, then to Couch, and last to Panther. I liked this order because I think we put the hardest part first, then decreased the difficulty as we went.

        The very last part of the path from Panther, just before the junction with the blue trail, got a bit confusing after the beaver dam. Make sure to go uphill and don't follow the wet, swampy trail for more than a few feet. I'll post a trip report with more details after I get home tonight.
        We don't stop playing because we get old; we get old because we stop playing ~ Satchel Paige


        • Orono Stewie
          Orono Stewie commented
          Editing a comment
          Met you as we were going in. It didn't get any drier so your decision to escape early was a good one. We bailed in a 2nd thunderstorm about 11:30 at the start of the Express.

        • debmonster
          debmonster commented
          Editing a comment
          We were wondering how you guys were doing as the storm got worse. Sounds like you made a smart choice. What's crazy is that the sun was blazing hot when we got to our cars at 10am, and didn't rain again as we traveled south. Hope you get back there soon.