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Camping at MARY ISLAND STATE PARK

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Location and Access

Mary Island State Park is located in the Thousand Islands region in Jefferson County, New York. Situated along the St. Lawrence River, it comprises a series of small, picturesque islands. Access to the park is by boat only, appealing primarily to boaters and those who love being on the water. The closest mainland marinas and launching sites are located at Clayton, NY.

Camping and Accommodations

Camping: Mary Island State Park offers a unique wilderness camping experience. It has a limited number of campsites that are only accessible by boat. These are rustic sites, generally offering a more primitive camping experience.

Amenities: These rustic campsites typically include basic amenities such as picnic tables, fire pits, and pit toilets. There is no electricity, potable water, or shower facilities available on the island, so campers must bring everything they need, including drinking water and a means to dispose of trash.

Reservations

Reservations for campsites at Mary Island State Park can usually be made through the New York State Parks' reservation system, either online or via telephone. Given the limited number of campsites and the unique experience the park offers, making reservations well in advance is highly recommended, especially for peak camping season during the summer months.

Activities

Boating: Given its location in the St. Lawrence River, boating is a primary activity at Mary Island State Park. Visitors enjoy kayaking, canoeing, and motor boating among the scenic waterways.

Fishing: The region is of particular interest to anglers, with opportunities to catch a variety of freshwater fish, such as bass, northern pike, and walleye.

Swimming: Swimming is a popular activity, but there are no lifeguards on duty. Swimmers should be cautious of currents and boating traffic.

Hiking: Although the islands are small, some offer short nature trails for hiking and wildlife observation.

Wildlife and Environment

The park's environment supports a diverse range of wildlife. Birdwatchers may spot various species of waterfowl and birds of prey. The surrounding waterways are home to fish and other aquatic species, while the wooded areas provide habitat for small mammals and insects.

Considerations

Leave No Trace: Visitors are encouraged to practice Leave No Trace principles by minimizing their impact on the natural environment, carrying out all trash, and respecting wildlife.

Weather: Visitors should prepare for variable weather conditions and pack accordingly. This includes bringing rain gear, warm clothing, and appropriate shelter.

Safety: Safety is important, particularly because the park is only accessible by boat. Personal flotation devices should be worn when on the water. Additionally, campers should be prepared for emergencies with a first aid kit and a way to communicate, such as a charged cell phone or a marine radio.

Regulations

To protect the park's natural resources and ensure a pleasant experience for all visitors, there are regulations in place. These include rules regarding camping, open fires, fishing licenses, and boat operation. Campers and visitors should check with New York State Parks for the most current regulations before their trip.

Conclusion

Mary Island State Park offers a unique adventure for campers and boaters alike. With its tranquil setting and unspoiled natural beauty, it's an ideal spot for those looking to escape to a quiet, off-the-grid camping location. Before visiting, ensure you're well-prepared, both with reservations and the necessary supplies, to fully enjoy this distinctive outdoor experience.

Map of Campgrounds in MARY ISLAND STATE PARK
Campgrounds in MARY ISLAND STATE PARK
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