Harriman State Park Backpacking Trip

DALL·E 2023-10-25 21.44.05 - Pencil drawing on a pure white background of a taller 60-liter hiking backpack without the central vertical zipper, with a secure side pocket having a

When and Where

When: May 24-26, 2024, 4:00 pm — 2:00 pm
Nights: 2

Location: Harriman State Park

This trip is designed as a standalone backpacking experience, distinct from the series of trips we've conducted in the past, such as last year's preparations for the summer's 5-day Adventure Trek. This year's outing is tailored to be enjoyable for both first-time backpackers and those with previous experience, featuring a more manageable distance of just 15 miles. It's shorter than any previous trip we've organized, making it an ideal introduction or continuation of backpacking skills. 

This approach ensures that everyone can participate comfortably, enhancing their skills while enjoying the natural surroundings.

This year, we've chosen to return to Harriman State Park, the same location where we began our training last year, but with an entirely new route to enhance our trekking experience. This is a great opportunity to meet requirements such as the "Trail and backpacking meals" for the Cooking Merit Badge. Experiences like this are rare for a city-based troop like ours, so it's crucial to make the most of them. 


Plan: Team A

Depart on Friday no later than 4 PM from OLA to reach the Silvermine Parking Lot, from where we'll cross the footbridge. We'll then follow the Menomine Trail (marked by yellow blazes) alongside the lake for approximately 1.5 miles until we arrive at the William Brien Memorial Shelter (formerly known as Letterrock).

On Saturday, we'll hik a little over 10 miles to the Stockbridge lean-to, where Team B will be waiting for us.

On Sunday, together with Team B, we complete our loop back to the Silvermine Parking Lot, from where we will head to Doodletown.

By 3 PM, we plan to return to OLA.

Length: 15.58 mi
Elev. gain: 2,096 ft

Plan: Team B

Depart on Saturday afternoon to reach the same parking lot as Team A. 

Hike directly to Stockbridge lean-to and wait for the rest scouts. 

On Sunday, together with Team A, we complete our loop back to the Silvermine Parking Lot, from where we will head to Doodletown.

By 3 PM, we plan to return to OLA.

Length: 4.79 mi
Elev. gain: 748 ft

What to pack

This is a real backpacking trip so packing is the most important and most challenging part, you need to bring a lot of stuff but still make sure your pack is light enough to always carry with you.

Some of the more important ones are:

This, although important, is far from everything you need. REI provides a more extensive list of things you should pack for a trip like this. This list is also present in the slideshow previously linked.

Remember, you don't need to go overboard and bring everything yourself. Distribute shared items among the group to lighten the load. For instance, carry only a couple of quarts of water with you and plan to refill your supplies using the water filtration system at natural sources along the way. Additionally, shared items like the lightweight tent and cooking gear can be divided among participants to ensure everyone has a manageable pack weight. Working together will make the trip more enjoyable and less burdensome for everyone.

Advancement Goals

1. Backpacking Merit Badge

(!) A lot of items will be covered. Please read ahead and be ready. Most important:

Requirement 10: 

Using Leave No Trace principles, participate in at least three backpacking treks of at least three days each and at least 15 miles each, and using at least two different campsites on each trek. Carry everything you will need throughout the trek.

2. Cooking Merit Badge

Please read ahead and be ready. The hardest to get:

Requirement 6d. Trail and backpacking meals. 

While on a trail hike or backpacking trip, prepare and serve two meals and a snack from the menu planned for this requirement. At least one of those meals must be cooked over a fire, or an approved trail stove (with proper supervision).

3. Camping Merit Badge

Please read ahead and be ready. The hardest to get:

Requirement 9b. On any of these camping experiences, you must do TWO of the following, only with proper preparation and under qualified supervision.

(1) Hike up a mountain, gaining at least 1,000 vertical feet.
(2) Backpack, snowshoe, or cross-country ski for at least 4 miles.

Silver Mine Lake Parking

Silver Mine Lake Parking
Seven Lakes Drive
Woodbury, NY,
Coordinates(i): 41.295574750184°, -74.059706926346°
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William Brien Memorial Shelter

William Brien Memorial Shelter
Coordinates(i): 41.279721385633°, -74.059240221977°
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Stockbridge Shelter

Stockbridge Shelter
Coordinates(i): 41.300306230956°, -74.077967405319°
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Last updated on June 14, 2024