Where to camp along the Poet's Ledge Hike

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Where to camp along the Poet's Ledge Hike

New postby ken.rubin » Fri Aug 01, 2014 3:41 pm

Going out there next month. Wondering if there are any good places to camp. I've read that is a seldom used path so I'm hoping to have my pick of the sites, if there are any. Are there any? This hike seems to extend on to a few waterfalls. Being late summer, I imagine the falls will be less-than-spectacular. But I'd hike on to find a better place to crash, if that is the case.

Any advise?

Thanks,

Take care.
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Re: Where to camp along the Poet's Ledge Hike

New postby mike » Sat Aug 02, 2014 9:16 am

There are no official camp sites along this route. But, you can camp anywhere as long as it is 150' from a water source, official trail, or road. Some people camp at Poet's Ledge, Hawkeye Ledge, or at Buttermilk Falls. Poet's Ledge trail is used quite a bit. Camping just east of Poet's Ledge isn't that common. You have to bushwhack a short distance to get to Hawkeye Ledge. Camping at Buttermilk is also excellent. It is located just east and north of the Falls. There are black bears at all these locations, so you need to hang your food bag.

Most likely the Falls will be running slowly. But, you never know. With hurricane season we could get a strong rain, and they will be flowing well. This ledge walk is very beautiful. Nice views from all the Falls.
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Re: Where to camp along the Poet's Ledge Hike

New postby ken.rubin » Tue Aug 05, 2014 10:50 am

Thanks for the info.

"Poet's Ledge trail is used quite a bit."
- That's good to hear. I don't like the thought of losing the trail given that I've never been anywhere near this hike before.

"There are black bears at all these locations, so you need to hang your food bag"
- I've been discussing how to deal with bears with my hiking partner. How far away from a sleeping area would you cook meals? Is 150m acceptable? More? I've read that you don't want even odors from cooking to splash against your tent. Also, we will bring bear spray and I have an ursus bag, but do you think bear bells are necessary? I brought them along on my last hike in the Catskills (Ashokan High Point) and they seemed from superfluous to annoying. Given that we're talking on and off pretty much the whole time we're hiking, do you think they are necessary? I figure the bear can smell us a ways off as well as hear our conversations. I guess any reasonable precaution is foolish to forego and they weigh next to nothing. They just seem silly to me given we (humans) are all lumbering brutes (compared to a wild animal, that is). Lastly, do you know if there are any trouble bears in that area? Like a bear that has gotten into trash cans and such? Any particular reason to be trepidatious at this time and that place?

Take care,

Ken.
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Re: Where to camp along the Poet's Ledge Hike

New postby dundee » Tue Aug 05, 2014 2:01 pm

Bells are unnecessary. These are black bears, not grizzlies. Black bears are timid creatures and are gone before you see them. They *CAN* become a problem in high-use areas like the ADK High Pekas where the smell of human food is 24/7. Those bears have gotten used to people and bear bags. Where yoo're camping doesn't receive that kind of constant use, so the bears really aren't there.
Last edited by dundee on Tue Aug 05, 2014 3:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Where to camp along the Poet's Ledge Hike

New postby ken.rubin » Tue Aug 05, 2014 2:02 pm

Awesome. Thanks so much.
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Re: Where to camp along the Poet's Ledge Hike

New postby dundee » Tue Aug 05, 2014 3:41 pm

Anytime. You will still have to hang your food, tho'. There are always mice, chipmunks, squirrells, etc. that are seemingly at every campsite. If your food isn't hung properly, they will get into and ruin some of your food.
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Re: Where to camp along the Poet's Ledge Hike

New postby ken.rubin » Tue Aug 05, 2014 3:50 pm

Yeah, I plan on erring on the side of caution.
Still going to cook a long way off from where we sleep, use a bear bag in a third location, and bring bear spray.

Do you know if ticks are a major concern this time of year in this area?
This has been my worst year yet for ticks. Though I have had some success this summer with tea tree oil.

Thanks,
Take care.
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Re: Where to camp along the Poet's Ledge Hike

New postby dundee » Tue Aug 05, 2014 6:19 pm

I'd even leave the bear spray home. In the 35+ years of backpacking, I've never had to use it. However, now that I think about it, bear spray would be nice to use on some peoples' dogs! You'll have more trouble with dogs than bears. I've seen two Lean-to bears in my day, but zillions of run-ins with loose dogs!

The other precautions for bears that you're following sound good.

Ticks? Haven't seen one yet in the Catskills, although I'm sure they're there. I've been doing some pretty good bushwhacks lately and haven't had any issues. Summer is the slow time for them, tho', but use caustion anyway; light colored clothing, long pants, spray bug dope on pants legs and do regular tick checks.
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Re: Where to camp along the Poet's Ledge Hike

New postby ken.rubin » Wed Aug 06, 2014 11:09 am

Well, my partner and I have decided to leave the bear spray at home.

Also, I can't imagine spraying a dog with that stuff.
I haven't been hiking as long as you, but I don't mind dogs.
I've been jumped on, pawed, licked, etc... but that doesn't bother me at all (I have a dog).
And I've never personally encountered an aggressive dog out in the wild.

One more question: we plan on continuing on to Hawkeye. Does a marked DEC trail lead out from Poet's Ledge to there or is it all bushwhack these days?
I think we can navigate a ridge (we have some experience bushwhacking) and if you look at the topography, there is only one way to go, but I would feel more comfortable if there were a maintained path. Just wondering. Of course, we'll make the call when we get out there, but if any of you guys happen to know the area any (additional) advice would be appreciated.

Thanks for all the help guys.
Take care.
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Re: Where to camp along the Poet's Ledge Hike

New postby dundee » Wed Aug 06, 2014 11:20 am

I like dogs as much as the next person, but I have been attacked several times by aggressive dogs because their owners were too stupid or lazy or both to leash them.

I'm not familiar with Hawkeye. Maybe Mike will see this an tell you. He knows this area pretty well.
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