Located east of Hudson Highlands, Clarence Fahnestock State Park covers the wooded hills of northern Putnam county and Dutchess county. This beautiful park has camping sites, lakes, ponds, scenic trails, hiking locations, and sporting facilities.
If you’re planning to go camping in Clarence Fahnestock State Park, you must be aware of bookings, facilities, and the permits you need to take to carry out certain activities. You should also create a checklist of things you should pack so that you don’t miss anything and realize it much later.
Here are eight tips to make your camping experience more fun and flawless in Clarence Fahnestock State Park.
8 Tips to Help You Plan Great Camping in Clarence Fahnestock  State Park
8 Tips to Help You Plan Great Camping in Clarence Fahnestock State Park

1. Know Properly About Camping in the Park

Clarence Fahnestock State Park has eighty campsites, where you can camp with a tent or even an RV. Some camp spots have facilities for both. You can also camp here in a group or alone. You can reserve a spot for yourself beforehand through phone booking or online reservation.
The park also has a lot of things available. You’ll get a picnic table, fire, drinking water, charcoal grill, firewood, showers, toilets, and a trash bin. You can take your pets with you if you want, but only two pets per person are allowed.
You can also bike around, go hiking, and enjoy water sports like swimming, fishing, boating, paddling, kayaking, and rowing. If you’re planning on fishing, you’ll need a permit.

2. Decide How and When You’ll Reach Your Site

No matter where you start, it’s essential to plan out how and when you want to reach your camping site. Clarence Fahnestock State Park is a beautiful place for camping, but it’s also a vast place.
Plan when you want to reach the park and where you want to set up your tent. And if you’re setting your tent there after dark, it’s better to carry a headlamp with you. Headlamps, such as the Fenix headlamp, can be used for various functions. You can check out this Fenix headlamp review to know why it’s the right one for camping.
It would help if you also decided how you want to arrive at the site. You can get there by bike or car, whichever is more convenient. Besides, you can set up an RV on the site, park your vehicle in a lot and walk to your site, or even reach it by hiking.

3. Plan for Hiking

Clarence Fahnestock State Park has several scenic trails in the park and nearby, each near the campsites. If you want to enjoy those trails one by one or just a specific one, you can set your tent or RV nearby and set off exploring.
Before starting for your campsite, make a checklist to ensure that you pack everything necessary, including your tools and toiletries. Pack the right clothes and accessories, and gear up properly, including a headlamp if you plan to hike in the dark.

4. Take Your Bike Along

If you’re a biker, then there’s good news for you. You can bring your bike to the park and enjoy riding it across the trails and scenic places. You can even bike along the beach at Canopus Lake and in the forest nearby. There’s also a cave to explore, so your bicycle can be your companion until you reach there.
Some of the best trails are the three lakes and Appalachian trail loop, Wiccopee pass, Moneyhole mountain, and Trout Brook trail. These places are great for bicycling and water activities.

5. Prepare for Boating and Fishing

Fahnestock State Park has four ponds and two lakes. An excellent tip to follow would be to camp at a place nearby a pond or lake based on the water activity you want.
Let’s say you want to swim in Pelton Pond or Canopus Lake. Then it’ll be wise to set your tent near these sites. There are plenty of other locations where you can go for boating, paddling, and fishing. If you love angling, you can fish for pickerel, perch, rainbow trout, and bass.
However, it would be best if you planned before you head off for these activities. You can rent kayaks and rowboats in the Canopus Lake Recreation Area. And if you want to go fishing, you need to get a permit from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. You can get the permit from town halls or a sporting store.

6. Pack Your Food Properly

If you’re planning to have a campfire dinner with the fish you’ve caught and some other ingredients, then you should ensure to pack your food properly. Carry all the spices, herbs, and bakery goods in an airtight container, and any raw food such as vegetables and meat in boxes in an icebox. This will prevent them from getting spoilt.
Pack all your necessary knives and cutleries in knife bags to ensure they’re all in a safe condition. It’s better to carry your own dishwashing soap for post-dinner cleanup.
Also, take this advantage to make some toasted marshmallows or s’mores. Just sandwich some freshly toasted marshmallows on a stick and a slab of chocolate in between two graham crackers, and you’ll have your dinner dessert! It’s all part of self-care, even when you’re traveling!

7. Prepare According to the Weather and Season

It’s important that, whenever you plan to go camping in Fahnestock State Park, you need to prepare according to the weather. This includes clothes, gear, accessories, and the activities you’ve planned to do.
Check the weather forecast for the next few days to understand how you need to be prepared and what you need to pack. Also, while you’re making reservations, check which activities are available based on the season.
Winter is perfect for snow sports in the park, while you can enjoy birdwatching in the fall. Spring and summer, although the busiest times in Fahnestock, are the perfect seasons for swimming in their ponds and doing all kinds of boating.

8. Check the Road Conditions Before You Head Out

Before heading out to your camping sites, you need to check how the roads are to your destination. This will help you prepare yourself for uneven roads or any issues that may arise while you’re reaching the site. You’ll also get to know how the streets are inside the park.


Camping is a fun activity. However, if you skip proper research and planning, you may end up gathering bitter experiences.
We hope these tips will help you plan a perfect camping trip in Fahnestock State Park. Give attention to the minute details, pack properly, and discuss well before making reservations with the park. You’ll then be able to take full advantage of the facilities at your campsite.


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