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Buck Pond Campground & Day Use Area

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buck pond campground location map
  • Dates of Operation:
    • Opening Date: May 19
    • Closing Date: September 4
  • Camping Fee: $20 per night (out of state residents surcharge additional $5 per night)
  • Address: 1339 County Route 60, Onchiota, NY 12989 (directions below)
  • County: Franklin
  • GPS Info. (Latitude, Longitude): 44 30 18.02008N, 074 07 06.69108W
  • Campground Phone: (518) 891-3449
  • Regional Office Phone: (518) 897-1309
  • Make Your Camping Reservation: ReserveAmerica
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Check out the virtual tour for this facility!

Buck Pond Campground & Day Use Area Map (PDF) || DECinfo Locator

Firewood Restriction Map (PDF) shows the 50-mile radius from which untreated firewood may be moved to this campground. Help prevent the spread of invasive pests and diseases by following New York's firewood regulation.

Support DEC Campgrounds

Members of the public can support DEC lands, facilities, and programs through our charitable partner, the National Heritage trust (NHT). Online giving is simple and secure and fully tax-deductible. Donations to NHT directly support projects and programs that enhance facilities, expand access to outdoor recreation and environmental education, provide public land access, and protect natural resources. Donate here (leaves DEC website).

a woman carrying a dog at a scenic overlook

Buck Pond compares to a mountain retreat as it offers secluded sites, numerous water access, guarded bathing beach, and a "easy to walk" trail which stretches for miles along a old abandoned railroad bed. Buck Pond Campground is located on the western shore of 130 acre Buck Pond. The Lake Kushaqua and the Kushaqua Narrows form most of the western and northern boundaries of the campground. Camping equipment from tents to 30 foot RVs can be accommodated. Campground offers a variety of recreational opportunities including: Canoeing and boating, fishing, hiking, and bicycling.


116 campsites, hot showers, flush toilets, trailer dump station, recycling center, picnic area, boat launch (Lake Kushaqua), car top boat launch (Buck Pond), boat and canoe rentals, and sand beach with bathhouse.

Campsite Restoration Project

This campground has sites that have been selected for restoration. While undergoing restoration the chosen sites will be closed. For the list of sites and more information on the project visit the Campsite Restoration Project page.

Featured Activities

motor boating


boat in the water with trees and mountains behind

Rowboat, canoe and kayak rentals available. Motor boat use available on Lake Kushaqua. Buck Pond available only to electric motors and non-motorized boats.



Major species found in Buck Pond are northern pike, yellow perch, and brown bullhead. Lake Kushaqua offers these species plus black bass and rainbow trout. Brook trout fishing can be found in the North Branch of the Saranac River, below Mud Pond. Fishing licenses are no longer being sold at any of our campground facilities, but can be conveniently purchased on-line or by phone.



One popular hike is along the old D&H railroad bed. It is about 1.25 miles to Kushaqua/Mud Pond Road and the outlet of the lake. Return via the same route. St. Regis Mountain in Paul Smiths and Debar Mountain at Meacham Lake both offer excellent views of the surrounding mountains and lakes.

starry skies with orange glow over the lake


From Adirondack Northway (I-87), Northbound: Exit 30, take Route 73 north to Lake Placid. Route 86 through Villages of Lake Placid and Saranac Lake to Gabriels. In Gabriels take Franklin County Road 60, 6 miles to Buck Pond.

From Adirondack Northway (1-87), Southbound: Exit 38, take Route 374 west to Route 3 junction. Route 3 right turn on Franklin County Road 60, 5.5 miles to Buck Pond.

From Tupper Lake - Route 30 north to Paul Smiths. Right on Route 86, about 4 miles, in Gabriels turn left onto County Route 60, about 6 miles.

Get driving directions from Google Maps (leaves DEC website)

Planning and Management

The Unit Management Plan (UMP) for the campground guides the DEC's land management activities at this facility for a five-year period, although a number of goals and objectives in the plan focus on a much longer time period. The UMP addresses specific objectives and actions for public use at this facility.

A final UMP (PDF, 3.87 MB) for Buck Pond is now available. Hardcopy or CDs may be requested by mail: NYSDEC Bureau of Recreation 3rd Floor, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-5253, or by e-mail to:

Rules, Regulations and Outdoor Safety

clouds reflecting in the lake

DEC campground rules and regulations

Clean your boat and equipment - help prevent the spread of aquatic invasives

Don't move firewood - help prevent of spread of invasive insects

Hiking safety tips

Additional Information

Area Attractions

The Six Nations Indian Museum is found just outside the campground. The Adirondack Park Visitors Interpretive Center at Paul Smiths is 12 miles west. Lake Placid and the Olympic Venues are located 25 miles to the south.

Historic Interest

Construction of the campground began in July 1965 and the campground opened in 1968. The main campground road is constructed on the original roadbed of the Chateaugay Branch of the Delaware and Hudson Railroad.

Junior Naturalist Program

Our campgrounds become an outdoor classroom for young children (5-13) and their families. Enjoy games and activities to earn a beautiful embroidered patch.