New York is home not only to one of the largest cities in the world, but also some of the country’s most beautiful nature sites, as parts of Niagara Falls, the Adirondack Mountains, and world-renowned beaches can all be found within the Empire State. One of the best and most affordable ways to experience all of the natural beauty the state has to offer is by staying at one of New York’s many campgrounds, whether that means sleeping in a tent, renting an RV, or even booking a cottage or cabin. As many of the best campgrounds in the state tend to book up quickly, it’s best to make plans for a camping vacation early in the year to ensure you can stay at the campsite you prefer. To help you get a head start on your vacation plans this summer, here are the top 5 campgrounds in New York for 2020.
Nestled deep within the Catskill Forest Preserve, North-South Lake Campground offers a total of 219 camping sites in 7 camping loops, and campers can visit two lakes with two beaches as well as picnic areas and hiking trails. A number of historical sites, such as Alligator Rock, Kaaterskill Falls, and the former site of the Catskill Mountain House can be found within the park. This campground is likely to be preferred by residents of Long Island or New York City, as it is located in the southern part of the state, making the trip fairly quick compared to other campgrounds on this list.
This campground is located in a secluded part of the state, in the northwest part of Adirondack Park. Though it is located far away from tourist attractions in the state, Cranberry Lake Campground offers more than fifty miles of hiking trails as well as opportunities for biking and rowing. Campers can choose from among 171 campsites, which can support both tents and RVs, and the park includes a fishing pier, an amphitheater, and a picnic area, among other amenities. Visitors can swim in the lake, though no lifeguards are on duty, and can also use power boats, rowboats, kayaks, and canoes. Cranberry Lake Campgrounds is suitable for a wide variety of campers, as it features hiking trails of all levels of difficulty, each with scenic views of a relatively-untouched wilderness.
This campground advertises itself as “a scenic campground built on family values,” and as such, it offers a number of activities that the whole family can enjoy. Located in the western Catskill Mountains, Hunter Lake Campground is home to a country store, an enclosed pavilion where kids can play ping-pong, pool, air hockey, and video games, and a sandy beach at the shore of Hunter Lake, where campers can swim and ride in boats. Each of the campsites have water and electricity, and RV sites include a sewer hookup as well. Pets are allowed at this campground, so all members of the family, including canine companions, are welcome to stay.
2) Alger Island
Also known as Big Island, Alger Island is located on Fourth Lake within the Adirondack Park. The entire island, which is only accessible by boat, is operated as a New York State Park campground, featuring 15 sites with lean-tos all located by the island’s shore. While the selection of activities available on the island itself is fairly limited, the island is close to several nearby tourist attractions, including a museum, a golf course, and a theme park. Campers can go jet-skiing in the nearby lake and enjoy lunch at the picnic tables provided on the campsites while enjoying their view of the water. Alger Island is ideal for campers looking for a unique experience, but site availability is limited, so be sure to book your campsite well in advance.
Long Island is home to some of the most celebrated beaches in the world, and there’s perhaps no better way to enjoy the island’s beaches than to stay at one of the campsites at Hither Hills State Park. Though the campground features an impressive 189 sites, Hither Hills is one of the most popular campgrounds in the state, so it’s best to make your reservations as early as possible. Located on the east end of the island in Montauk, Hither Hills offers sites for both tents and RVs, which offer stunning views of the dunes, beach, and ocean. Campers can take advantage of activities hosted on the expansive beach, including volleyball games, sand castle contests, and campfire jamborees, or visit the nearby Hamptons.