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Pick a cabin, a bunkhouse, or a campsite: Whichever you prefer, you now can bed down in some of New York’s wildest woods, just a smidge over 40 miles from Midtown Manhattan. Your destination is AMC’s Harriman Outdoor Center (HOC), open July 1 in New York’s Harriman State Park.
With its 225 miles of hiking trails (including stretches of the Appalachian Trail), swimming and paddling on the 64-acre Breakneck Pond, overnight accommodations, and a variety of meeting spaces, HOC is a prime spot for groups—school, scouting, youth, and faith-based, as well as family reunions and corporate retreats—looking to make a closer connection to the outdoors.
While the center is not designed to serve day visitors, the public can experience HOC through participation in AMC’s teen, adult, and family programs. AMC membership isn’t required to sign up, but members receive discounts on lodging and programs.
A variety of hiking and cycling groups, as well as AMC chapters, Teen Volunteer Trail Crews, Teen Wilderness Adventures, Youth Opportunities Program trips, and more are scheduled to get outdoors at HOC this year.
AMC’s Construction Crew has banged nails and driven screws for months now, renovating the historic camp’s existing but long unused shelters, cabins, and tent platforms, as well as creating new remote campsites, to serve a total capacity of 134 guests. AMC has invested $1 million in the project.
“Our Construction Crew has done a fantastic job of renovating the facilities at Breakneck Pond, and we’re eager to open Harriman Outdoor Center and help kids, teens, adults, and families make closer connections to the outdoors through our wide variety of programs,” says AMC’s president, John D. Judge.
The dining hall, the recreation hall, a large bathhouse, and several cabins and meeting spaces are wheelchair-accessible. Meal service is offered, with dinner and breakfast served in the dining hall and deli-style lunches made to order for the trail.
Given its proximity to Manhattan, HOC significantly adds to AMC’s programmatic activities in the New York City area. Plus, in keeping with AMC’s efforts to reduce the organization’s carbon footprint, the outdoor center is accessible by public transportation via a 20-minute shuttle to and from New Jersey Transit’s Tuxedo Station.
AMC operates Harriman Outdoor Center in partnership with the Palisades Interstate Park Commission and New York State Parks. The 46,313-acre Harriman State Park, in which the outdoor center sits, is adjacent to two other tracts of public land treasured for outdoor recreation: Bear Mountain State Park and Sterling Forest. Not far away is AMC’s Mohican Outdoor Center, in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, about a 90-minute drive from Manhattan.