So you've decided to sleep under the open sky in New York State. The stars can look so beautiful but are you legally allowed to sleep wherever you want?

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Before you put your sleeping bag down, you need to know about the rules and regulations if you want to catch some zzz's outside in the Empire State.

When it comes to camping, the Empire State has you covered with official campgrounds managed by the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). These spots offer all the camping necessities that you would want from bathrooms to fire pits, picnic areas, you name it.

The only catch is that you will probably have to make a reservation, get a permit, or pay some money. In state parks and on other public land there are designated spots where you can legally set up camp and gaze at the stars to your heart's content.

Before you go, there are some things that you should know including the specific rules for each park. Some might require reservations or have limits on how many nights you can stay in a row.

You should also know that for most state parks, it's a big no-no if you want to camp outside the designated areas. However, you could potentially sleep on private property with permission from the owner. Don't just trespass because that'll put the brakes on your good time.

Is It Legal To Sleep Outside in New York State?

Here's something that I hadn't thought about before but what if I wanted to take a snooze in a public space or on the sidewalk? That's where local ordinances and regulations come into play, so know the rules about sleeping in public areas, especially at night.

So is it legal to sleep outside in New York? The answer is yes and no. Before you bust out your sleeping bag, do yourself a favor and save yourself a fine. Find out what the local law is in your town or city.

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Whether you live bordering Canada or are all the way down in Manhattan yelling "I'm walking here!" at the tourists stopped in the middle of Times Square, you're tainted by outsiders with the classic New York State stereotypes.

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Gallery Credit: Olivia Sturgell

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