Camp at Merck

A unique year-round rustic wilderness experience in the Taconic range, featuring diverse landscapes and breathtaking views.

Rustic Cabins are fully enclosed and equipped with a wood-burning stove, wooden bunks, and a nearby outhouse. There is neither indoor plumbing nor electricity. 

Three lean-to shelters available for overnight rentals. Lean-tos have three walls, a roof, a nearby outhouse and a fire ring. 

Most of the land in Merck Forest and Farmland Center is open to “dispersed” camping.

Must-Knows

Reservations

  • Reservations are required for all overnight stays
  • Payment is due upon reserving a site. We accept all major credit cards.
  • Reservations can be made up to one year in advance on our website or via phone.

Cancellations

  • Ten-day notice is required for refunds. A $20 fee will be levied for changes within 10 days of stay, or for multiple reservation changes.
  • Reservation deposits may be applied to re-bookings within a six-month window.
  • No refunds will be issued because of inclement weather.

Arrival

12:00 pm Check-In

Note: Campsites are remote and campers must hike up to 3 miles with gear to get to their site.All members of your party must be capable of this degree of physical exertion. (A suggestion: pack light!)

  • No vehicles are allowed beyond the Visitor’s Center parking area.
  • Please check in at the Visitor’s Center upon arrival; campers arriving after hours should sign in at the trailhead kiosk.

Departure

12:00 pm Check-Out

  • All trash must be carried out.
  • Please be kind to campers following you and leave a small amount of dry wood and kindling.

Cabins: Please respect our cabins and help keep them clean. Brooms and dustpans are provided for each cabin.

Water

  • For your own safety, all water from our property should be treated.
  • Campsites may have nearby streams or springs, but they are not dependable sources of potable water.
  • The water pump located in the Small Animal Barn (at the farm) functions 12 months a year.

Additional Guidelines:

  1. Carry in and carry out all trash and all personal belongings.
  2. Dogs are welcome, but must be leashed around the farm and Visitor’s Center.
  3. No visitors or pets are allowed in pastures, unless escorted by MFFC staff.
  4. Build fires in fire rings and wood stoves only.
  5. Wood stoves are not for cooking: instead, please use your camp stove for cooking.
  6. From October through April, firewood is supplied for heating the cabins only — not for fueling outdoor campfires. Collect and use downed branches for your outdoor campfire.
  7. No off-property wood may be brought onto Merck Forest property.
  8. Bicycles and other vehicles are not allowed beyond the Visitor’s Center.
  9. Firearms are not allowed at any campsite, shelter or cabin, except for during rifle and black powder seasons, and then only in the Hunting Zone.

Get Packing

Use these suggestions only as a guideline and factor in weather conditions and the length of your stay when packing. Remember that you are not permitted to drive to your campsite, so pack as lightly as possible.

  • Waterproof hiking boots
  • Long pants/long sleeved shirt
  • Sweatshirt/jacket/hat
  • Rain gear
  • Extra Socks
  • Gaiters
  • Extra Change of clothes
  • Sleeping bag/sleeping pad
  • Water (2 liters per hour while hiking)
  • Food/beverages
  • Camp stove/cookware/utensils
  • First aid kit
  • Map and compass
  • Water proof matches
  • Flashlight/extra batteries
  • Water purifier (tablets/filter)
  • Sunscreen/bug repellant
  • Toilet paper
  • Folding bow saw/hatchet Trash bags (carry in/carry out)
  • Trash bags (carry in/carry out)