Sustainable agriculture, forest management and year-round experiential learning opportunities
Teaching and demonstrating the benefits of innovative, sustainable management of forest and farmland

Cabin and Shelters - Guidelines & Policies

Merck forest offers a unique year-round wilderness experience in the hills of the Taconic Mountains. Come stay in one of the rustic backwoods cabins or a lean-to shelter. There you will enjoy the beauty of our 3,100 acres and 30 miles of trails in a diverse landscape with many breath taking views.

Cabins are fully enclosed and each is equipped with a wood-burning stove, wooden bunks, and a nearby outhouse. All our sites are hike-in, the distance is anywhere from .5 miles to 2.5 miles. We recommend that visitors bring their own water - water found on site will need to be treated or boiled and pumps are frozen in winter. All cabins have a supply of wood from October 1st through March 31st. This wood is solely for the purpose of keeping warm by the woodstove. The wood supplies take a vast amount of time and energy to provide to each cabin so please use it frugally and only in the woodstoves.

The lean-to style shelters have three walls and a roof. Campers sleep on the wooden floor. Each shelter has a nearby outhouse and a fire ring. Shelter capacity is 6 people. A limited number of tents sites are also available at each shelter. For info about shelters and tent space see below. For information on tent camping elsewhere on the property, click here.

Weekends: 2-night minimum

Winter Camping at Merck Forest Reservations
Reservations are required for camping and can be made up to one year in advance. Payment is due when reserving a camp site via MasterCard or Visa. Reservations may be made by phone or on our website.

Cancellation Policy
If you need to cancel a reservation, we require a 10 day notice to issue a refund. We cannot refund camping fees due to inclement weather. Due to an exceptional number of last minute reservation changes, we have instituted an administrative fee that will be imposed under the following conditions: If you need to change your reservation to another date and do not provide 10 days notice, you will be charged a $20 administrative fee, without exception. If you need to change your reservation a second time (or more), with or without a 10-day notice, you will also be charged a $20 administrative fee.

Camping at Merck Forest

Arriving (check-in: 12:00 pm)
Keep in mind that all campsites are remote and campers must hike up to 3 miles from the Visitor's Center to get to their site. We do not allow any vehicles beyond the designated parking area at the Visitor's Center. Campers may check in at the Visitor's Center or at the kiosk if arriving afttier hours.

Departing (check-out: 12:00 pm)
Please respect our cabins and help us keep them clean. Brooms and dustpans are provided for each cabin. All trash must be carried out. Please be kind to campers following you and leave a small amount of dry wood and kindling in the cabin.

Water
We recommend that all water from our property be treated before it is consumed. Campsites may have nearby streams or springs, but they are not dependable sources of potable water. Water pumps are located at the farm and the Lodge.

Please be respectful by following these simple guidelines:

Campers at Nenorod Cabin at Merck Forest

  • Fires in fire rings and wood stoves only.
  • Wood stoves are not for cooking. Please bring a camp stove.
  • Firewood is supplied for heating purposes only from October through April and is to be used in woodstoves only. Please do not use firewood for outside campfires. Downed logs and branches may be collected for use in outdoor campfires.
  • Carry in and carry out all trash and personal belongings.
  • Dogs are welcome, but must be leashed around the farm and Visitor's Center.
  • No visitors or pets in pastures.
  • No bicycles or any vehicle beyond the Visitor's Center.
  • Firearms are not allowed at any campsite, shelter or cabin

Packing for your camping trip
Use these suggestions only as a guideline and factor in weather conditions and the length of your stay when packing. Remember that you cannot 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 when 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)

We reserve the right to revoke camping privileges or charge fines for violating camping policies.

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We are not affiliated with, nor do we receive annual support from Merck & Co. Inc.
We are not part of any government agency. All donations are tax-deductible to the extent
allowed by law and are greatly appreciated!

Banner photo courtesy of Dan Sullivan
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