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Pack Forest

A camper floating in a inflated lounge on a lake with a fishing pole in hand
You'll learn a lot at Pack Forest, but there's still
time to kick back and relax.

About Pack Forest

Pack Forest, DEC's newest camp, opened in 1998.

The camp is located in the southern Adirondacks on 2,500 acres of woodlands. The property includes an 85-acre lake and miles of trails leading to mountain vistas, marshes and the banks of the Hudson River.

Campers at Pack Forest stay in cabins that house approximately 10 to 18 campers.

Pack Forest was named after Charles Lathrop Pack. Pack purchased the land to be used as a teaching and demonstration forest and gave it to the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry to fulfill this goal. Today, Pack Forest is still used as a teaching forest as well as for the DEC Summer Camp.

Pack Forest Schedule & Activities

Weeks 1-3 and 5-7 for Campers Ages 14 to 17

Campers seek solutions to group challenge activities that encourage interaction, communication and cooperation.

A group of teens study stream ecology in the forest
Campers on a field trip explore life in an
Adirondack stream.

Camp helps students discover their individual strengths and abilities. A typical week includes:

  • Exploring forestry, aquatic biology, wildlife management, field ecology and other environmental topics.
  • Learning professional forestry techniques, such as the use of Biltmore sticks and increment borers.
  • Group dynamics and teamwork are emphasized as essential to the environmental decision-making process.

See an actual week's schedule for older campers.

Week 3 Outdoor Adventure Week

This week of camp will offer opportunities for youth to hone their outdoor skills in the areas of cast fishing, fly tying and fly fishing, target shooting, safe fire arm handling, tracking, back country camping, archery, outdoor survival skills, plant identification, trapping, bird identification, outdoor photography, canoeing and kayaking. Professionals from the NYSDEC including conservation officers, forest rangers, fishing educators, sportsman educators and biologists will be on hand to assist with some of the classes and to discuss environmental careers. The campers will have opportunities to learn outdoor skills through hands-on experiences in a safe and fun atmosphere.

Week 4 and Week 8 for Campers Ages 11 to 13

 A group of campers study a topographic map
Campers study orienteering and learn about
maps and how to use them, an important
outdoor skill.

During this week, campers complete six lessons ranging from group dynamics to field, forest, and pond explorations, to a study of human impact. They learn science, solve challenges, play games, keep a journal, catch salamanders, net butterflies and discover the interconnectedness of life on earth.

Archery students at camp
Archery practice at Pack Forest

In addition to advanced outdoor workshops, Pack Forest campers participate in exhilarating canoeing or backpacking trips in the beautiful Adirondacks. Optional activities during the week include fly fishing, hiking, swimming, shooting sports and orienteering.

Visit our weekly camp schedule page to get an idea of what at week at camp is like.

Visit the How to Register for Camp web page to begin your Camp Pack Forest adventure.

Getting to Pack Forest:

Pack Forest
276 Pack Forest Road
Warrensburg, NY 12885

A map of New York State showing the location of Camp Pack Forest

Take the Northway I-87 to Exit 23 (Warrensburg/Diamond Point). Turn left and then right onto US-9. Proceed through the town of Warrensburg. Go straight through the intersection of Rt. 9 and Rt. 28, and approximately a ¼ mile after the intersection turn left at the large white sign reading "Charles Lathrop Pack Demonstration Forest." Follow the driveway slowly (15 mph) to camp, approximately 1.2 miles.

Travel Time from Major Cities

Buffalo: 5 hours
Rochester: 4 hours 15 minutes
Syracuse: 3 hours
Albany: 1 hour 15 minutes
New York City: 3 hours 30 minutes

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