Exploring the Adirondack Shelters on the Gerard Hiking Trail in Oil Creek State Park

By on October 12, 2016
Michael J. Henderson

Beginner backpackers often ask me for a recommendation on a good “shake down” trail for them to test out their new skills and newly-acquired gear. In our local area, my instant response is always to suggest the Gerard Trail located without Oil Creek State Park. While I may have a lot of bias about this suggestion, since I live, literally, right beside the Park and spend hundreds of hours each year in this Park, I also believe that it offers a terrific experience for first-time backpackers looking for a great outing along a very scenic and easily-accessed trail.

While I was training for my October trail race in the Oil Creek 100 Trail Races, I was in and out of the two Adirondack Shelter areas quite often, and I finally decided to just record and create a quick video to show a little bit about the huts and the area. For more detailed information about accessing the shelter areas, which are located in the Cow Run area and the Wolfkiel area (and the alternate spelling, Wolfkill … don’t get too worried, someone just forgot to agree on the same spelling!), you can access the Oil Creek State Park website right here. Both shelter areas are accessible from the Gerard Hiking Trail and with some limited road / hike-in access also.

We have enjoyed camping out in the huts in just about every temperature and weather imaginable (okay, maybe not really bad, bad weather, but definitely cold temps!). The open side of each hut has a large stone fireplace that reflects heat into the hut that keeps campers cozy and toasty. Each location also contains a clearing for tent camping to make group even easier. Each year during the Oil Creek 100 Trail Runs, a local Boy Scout troop sets up camp for the entire weekend to cheer on the runners as they race through the Cow Run Shelters for 32-hours straight. The smell of wood smoke wafting through the Valley is incredibly welcoming to weary runners and hikers alike.

Join me as I take you through a quick video tour, and if you have enjoyed the shelters in the past or are planning your own campout, share your stories with us!


About Tambra

Tambra Warner Sabatini is the “Adventurer-in-Chief” of Cross Adventuring, which encompasses her vision for a better approach to our lives and where adventure and whole life mastery merge to transform us individually and within our communities. She believes that we must regain our passion and ability to design personal lives that are truly fulfilling and leave a positive legacy for our children and our world.

Tambra is a devoted entrepreneur with a heart for sharing and leading others outdoors into life-transforming adventures. After a decade-long stint with the Federal Government as a paralegal, she began her entrepreneurial adventures. A series of major life transitions were kept in perspective through expanding her adventuring activities into ultra-endurance events and teaching her love for outdoor recreation with school children and adults through one-on-one coaching and group classes and include cross country skiing, geocaching, kayaking, windsurfing, ultra trail running, backpacking/fastpacking, and the list expands frequently.

She is a prolific Indie Publisher of her own and her client’s books. Check out her Amazon Author Page for her latest releases, including Adventure Foods.

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