You may not make it on that tropical summer vacation this year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take the family on an unforgettable trip a short drive away. There are plenty of New York State parks and New York campgrounds under 100 miles from NYC with beautiful, scenic amenities for the whole family to enjoy for a weekend (or longer!). So, pack the tent, some hand sanitizer, and of course the bug spray and spend a night (or two) under the stars at one of these New York campgrounds. Here’s where you can go camping in New York and how to stay protected from coronavirus while you’re there.
Keeping Your Family Safe from Coronavirus While Camping
The New York State Parks Department has implemented an enhanced COVID-19 cleaning protocol at its cabins, cottages, and yurts at the conclusion of each reservation. In addition:
• Face masks must be worn when outside of your campsite area and all patrons have to practice social distancing.
• Only registered campers will be allowed in the campground area and no day visitors will be permitted.
• In order to practice social distancing, you may need to move to an alternate site in certain areas/loops.
• Cabin, cottage, and yurt stays are being limited to 5-day maximum stays in order to sufficiently clean between reservations.
• You have to bring your own linens, cookware, and silverware.
• In order to assist with enhanced cleaning of the accommodations, check-in time is at 5pm and check-out time is at 10am
• There may be limited shower and/or restroom facilities and they may be closed periodically to allow for enhanced cleaning.
• Campers should pre-register to save time at check-in.
• State Park Police and operations staff will be patrolling campgrounds to ensure compliance with social distancing and crowd control measures.
• You will be screened upon check-in. If you have had any risk factors such as contact with someone with COVID-19 or a recent fever or other symptoms, you will not be permitted to camp and will receive a full refund.
Tips for First-Time Campers
Camping Amenities. Campgrounds offer sites for tents and campers. Their family-friendly environments often include activities such as fishing, swimming, hiking and nature programs. Family campgrounds provide restrooms, showers and potable water. Some have stores and rent fishing poles, paddle boats, canoes and other equipment. Look for one that offers all the amenities your family wants.
Eating in the Wild. Most campgrounds provide grills, fire rings and picnic tables. A basic cooking set can consist of a bag of charcoal, a few pots and pans, and a spatula. Start with simple fare like sandwiches, hamburgers and pre-packaged meals. With each camping trip, try different recipes and add the necessary cookware.
Dressing for the Occasion. As your family gains experience, you can invest in specialized clothing; for most family trips, the expense isn’t necessary. A selection of T-shirts, jeans, sweat pants, jackets and sweatshirts worn in layers allows for quick adjustments to the weather. Because clothes will get dirty, new or white clothing is not recommended.
Protecting Your Feet. Good boots are one of the first investments families will make as they expand their outdoor activities. Look for solid ankle support and tread designed for the types of surfaces you’ll find in the wilderness. Purchase boots in outdoor stores where staff is trained to fit them properly. Buy socks and liners made of wool or other materials that will cushion feet and absorb moisture.
The Right Equipment. Before investing, try to borrow tents, sleeping bags, lanterns or stoves to determine what suits your family. Take time to research what different stores and manufacturers offer. To save money, check yard sales or camping groups for used equipment. Remember, tents and sleeping bags are rated for specific conditions. Since most families camp in warm weather, you don’t need to pay extra for gear designed for freezing and sub-freezing weather.
Campgrounds in Rockland County
Bear Mountain State Park
Hours: Open year round, dawn to dusk.
Amenities: Biking, boat rentals, campsites, cabins, and lodging, fishing, food (accessible), giftshop, hiking, ice skating, nature center, playgrounds, playing fields, snowshoeing/x country skiing, swimming pool, visitor center
What to know: Attractions that are CLOSED: Perkins Memorial Drive, Trailside Museum & Zoo, Merry-Go-Round, Gift Shop, Bear Mountain Inn Restaurant & Cafe, Bear Mountain Inn Spa. Roads that are CLOSED: Tiorati Brook Road, Arden Valley Road, Perkins Memorial Drive, Exit 19 off the Palisades Interstate Parkway. Tiorati/Welch and Island Pond boat launches are open and can be accessed from Tiorati Circle ONLY. TW and IP orange stickers MUST BE DISPLAYED on your vehicle for entry. Due to recent black bear sightings, camping in the vicinity of the Fingerboard and Bald Rocks shelters in Harriman State Park has been temporarily suspended. Seven Lakes Drive is still open. Dogs must be kept on leash shorter than six feet and are not permitted indoors. Be sure to call ahead to ensure the amenities you’re looking for are still available.
Cost: $10 per vehicle, pool and other amenities additional. Check the website for more specific pricing.
Beaver Pond Campgrounds- Harriman State Park
Hours: Camping season through Oct 12.
Amenities: Boat launches, campsites, cabins, and lodging, fishing, hiking, showers
What to know: There are no electrical hook-ups for trailers. Alcohol and pets are not permitted. Social distancing will be enforced and face masks should be worn if patrons are unable to distance. Some bathroom stalls and showers will be closed, but try to have only one person using the bathroom at a time. Check-in time is now 2pm and checkout time is 10am. No groups of more than 10, and no visitors. Be sure to call ahead to ensure the amenities you’re looking for are still available.
Cost: Camping is $15-$22 per night, with a $5 surcharge per night for non residents. Access pass charge is $4 per night.
Harriman State Park
Hours: Open 7 days a week from dawn until dusk. Pioneer camping season until Oct. 12.
Amenities: Biking, Boat Launches, Campsites, Cabins and Lodging, fishing, food (accessible), gift shop, grills, hiking, ice fishing, ice skating, playing fields, showers, snowshoeing/x-country skiing, swimming beach (at Tiorati and Welch beaches), visitor center.
What to know: Anthony Wayne State Park is currently being used as a COVID-19 testing facility, and is closed to the public for hiking, recreational activities, and park access. Tiorati Brook Road, Arden Valley Road, Perkins Memorial Drive, Exit 19 off the Palisades Interstate Parkway are also closed until further notice. Tiorati/Welch and Island Pond boat launches are open and can be accessed from Tiorati Circle ONLY. TW and IP orange stickers MUST BE DISPLAYED on your vehicle for entry.Due to recent black bear sightings, camping in the vicinity of the Fingerboard and Bald Rocks shelters in Harriman State Park has been temporarily suspended. Seven Lakes Drive is still open, but all trail shelters are closed at this time. You can still pitch your tent within 300 ft of the shelters as per the regular guidelines. Alcohol and pets are not permitted. Be sure to call ahead to ensure the amenities you’re looking for are still available.
Cost: At Lake Tiorati, $6/car parking fee 8am-4pm, weekdays, 7am-5pm, weekends, and holidays. Tiorati Plateau: $15/site/night. Cedar Pond: $37.50/site/night. At Lake Welch, $10/car parking fee (cash only) applied during the swimming season from 8am-4pm weekdays, 7am-5pm weekends/holidays. Visit the website for more specifics with pricing.
Sebago Cabin Camp- Harriman State Park
Harriman State Park
Hours: 2020 camp schedule not yet listed
Amenities: Biking, boat rentals, campsites, cabins, and lodging, fishing, grills, hiking, playgrounds, showers, snowshoeing/x-country skiing, tennis
What to know: Due to recent black bear sightings, camping in the vicinity of the Fingerboard and Bald Rocks shelters in Harriman State Park has been temporarily suspended. Be sure to call ahead to ensure the amenities you’re looking for are still available.
Cost: Cabin Rental: $266 – $456/week, Full Service Cottage Rental: $667 – $736/week. Visit the website for more specific pricing information.
Campgrounds in Orange County
Black Bear Campground
Florida (New York)
Hours: Campsites open all year on a very limited basis, call for details.
Amenities: Back-in and pull-thru sites, paved roads, free WiFi and cable, family-friendly store with RV parts, 24-hour bathrooms and showers, 24-Hour laundromat, heated swimming pool, family picnic areas, children’s playground, campfire events, heated and air conditioned pavilion/game room, library, arts and crafts, pool table, ping pong, disc golf course, mini golf, basketball, shuffleboard, volleyball, horseshoes, special events, nature trails, fire rings, picnic tables, and fishing pond.
What to know: Travel trailers, fifth wheels, and motor homes that are totally self contained are allowed. Every other site is used to maintain social distancing. Tent sites are not permitted. Reservations are preferred, and can be made through credit card (contactless). Swimming pools, bathrooms, showers, laundry rooms, pavilions, stores and all activities are closed until further notice.
Cost: Back-in sites $80day ($72 with 10% discount) or $480/week. Pull-thru sites $100/day ($90 with 10% discount) or $600/week. Visit the website for more specifics with pricing.
Deerpark/New York City NW KOA
Hours: Camping season through Oct. 31.
Amenities: Arcade, basketball court, bike rentals, cable TV, climbing rock wall, discovery bistro, dog park, firewood, fishing, giant jumping pillow, horseshoe pits, kamp store, pool, propane, recreational hall, RV storage, snack bar, tour shuttle, volleyball court, wifi, 50 max amp
What to know: Due to COVID-19, the Deerpark KOA is open for self-contained RVs and Deluxe Cabins, Tiny Homes, and yurts. Tent camping and rustic camping camps are not available at this time. Reservations must be made online. Operating at reduced capacity, so availability is limited. No reservations can be made over the phone at this time. No more than 6 people per site (one household of immediate family). Day visitors are not allowed to visit properties. ALL recreational activities (pool, waterslides, planned activities, etc.) are closed. All bathhouses are closed. The on-site kitchen will be serving pizza and fried foods for delivery or take out. Check the website for updated information.
Cost: Visit website for pricing information.
Campgrounds in New Jersey
Allaire State Park
Hours: Campground open year round.Tent and trailer family campsites available for reservation until Sept. 7.
Amenities: Historic Allaire Village, Pine Creek Railroad, Nature Interpretive Center, trails, camping, fishing, limited deer hunting, picnicking, food concession, canoeing/kayaking, bird watching, x-country skiing.
What to know: Cabins, group cabins, shelters, lean-tos, group lean-tos, wilderness campsites, group campsites, primitive campsites, and primitive group campsites remain closed until further notice. Alcohol is prohibited and pets are prohibited in overnight facilities. Be sure to call ahead to ensure the amenities you’re looking for are still available.
Cost: Tents: 20$/night for residents, $25/night non-residents; Shelter: $48/night for residents, $60/night non-residents
Cheesequake State Park
Hours: Tent and trailer family campsites are available to reserve until Sept 7, 2020.
Amenities: Fishing, picnicking, boating, canoeing, nature center, trails, biking, hiking
What to know: Cabins, group cabins, shelters, lean-tos, group lean-tos, wilderness campsites, group campsites, primitive campsites, and primitive group campsites remain closed until further notice. Alcohol is prohibited, and pets are prohibited in overnight facilities. There is an 11-foot height restriction for vehicles entering the campsite. Be sure to call ahead to ensure the amenities you’re looking for are still available.
Cost: $20/night for NJ residents, $25/night for non-residents.
Liberty Harbor RV Park
Jersey City, NJ
Hours: all year round
Amenities: WiFi, dump station, full restrooms with hot showers, restaurant and bar on the premise, 50 sites (water and electric), laundry room, restaurants, stores, and pubs within walking distance
What to know: Pets are welcome on leashes. No open fires are permitted, only barbecue grills. Be sure to call ahead to ensure the amenities you’re looking for are still available.
Cost: $120/night, when you stay for 6 consecutive nights you get the 7th free (excluding holidays/holiday weekends). Tent reservations are $75/night for four guests and one vehicle parking space. Visit the website for more specific pricing information and deals.
Campgrounds in Suffolk County
Cliff and Ed’s Campground
Hours: Camping season through Oct 25.
Amenities: Cable/satellite tv, laundromat, showers, fishing, swimming (pond, lake, river), wifi, restrooms, trash pickup at site. Boat launch, boat rentals, hiking trails, and fishing nearby.
What to know: Reservation only.
Cost: Call for more information regarding costs.
Eastern Long Island Kampground
Hours: Camping season through Oct. 31.
Amenities: Office and camp store, swimming pool, laundry facilities, playground, 3 bathroom and shower facilities, free WiFi, cable TV service, fire barrels for each site, daily garbage pickup, archery, rec center
What to know: Camp store is currently closed, but certain items will still be available through the check-in window. Restrooms will be open with limited shower facilities. The rec center, playground, and pool are closed until further notice. Staff will be cleaning and disinfecting the site more frequently. There is a maximum of 6 people allowed per site. No day camp passes are available, and no visitors will be allowed at your site. Patrons must have a working bathroom in their RV, since public restrooms will be limited capacity.
Cost: Camper rentals are $100/night, $380/weekend. Visit the website for additional rates and more specific pricing info.
Heckscher State Park
Hours: Cottages open through Nov 1. Campsites open through Sept. 6.
Amenities: Biking, boat launches, campsites, cabins, and lodging, canoeing/kayaking, disc golf, fishing, grills, hiking, pavilions and shelter rentals, playgrounds, playing fields, showers, snowshoeing/x-country skiing, stand-up paddle boarding, surfing/ windsurfing, swimming beach
What to know: Due to COVID-19, visitors or non-registered guests are not permitted at cottages or in campgrounds. Extended stays are not permitted. Dishware, cookware, and silverware will not be provided in the rental cottages. Many parks have reduced parking to 50 percent and local roads may have closures in effect. Make a camping reservation here at least one day ahead of arrival and up to 24 months in advance. Pavilion reservations must be made 14 days ahead of arrival and can be made up to 11 months in advance. Be sure to call ahead to ensure the amenities you’re looking for are still available.
Cost: $18-$22 per night. Price varies. Check the website.
Wildwood State Park
Hours: Swimming season through Sept 7., 10am-6pm daily. Camping grounds open through Oct 31.
Amenities: Biking, camper assistance program, campsites, cabins & lodging (3 of the 10 are accessible), fishing, food, hiking, hunting, playgrounds, showers, snowshoeing/x-country skiing, stand-up paddle boarding, swimming beach (accessible)
What to know: Beach Comfort Station open: Monday–Friday, from 8am-4:15pm, Saturday and Sunday from 8am-sunset. Camp area comfort stations open for camp patrons. No pets are permitted. Be sure to call ahead to ensure the amenities you’re looking for are still available.
Cost: Camping is $18-$34/night, with an additional $5/night for non-NYS residents. Visit the website for more specific pricing information.
Campgrounds in Dutchess County
Interlake RV Park & Sales
Hours: Camping season through the end of October.
Amenities: Gated park, 20 acre lake, fishing pond, heated swimming pool, kiddie pool, fishing and boating, game room and rec hall, playground, horseshoes, volleyball, snack bar, giant movie screen, camp store, laundromat, restrooms, free showers, cable TV hookups, dumping station, dump service, free WiFi
What to know: Pool will be open at 50 percent capacity. While you do not have to be masked in the water, you most social distance from other groups and stay with your own party. Avoid the poolside chaise chairs with tape on them. Guests will be limited to seasonal campers only, and guests will not be permitted to go to the pool if it is nearing capacity. Staff must be notified via email one day before each guest arrives with the guest’s name, phone number, and address. Regarding guests, you can have no more than two adults and children (from 10am-8pm).
Cost: RV rates vary, visit the website for specific pricing information.
Malouf’s Mountain Sunset Campground
Hours: Camping season runs through Oct 31.
Amenities: Platform sites include Picnic Table, grill for fire, garbage can, playing cards, ABC fire extinguisher, gas stove, pots and pans, dish pan and soap, sponge, propane lantern, chairs, water jug, paper plates and paper towels, cooking supplies, matches, fly swatter, paper and pen. Primitive sites include a picnic table, firepit with grill, and garbage can. There is fishing, hiking, boating, and touring offered in the local area.
What to know: Reservations are required for households per site, and due to COVID-19 no guests will be permitted. Patrons cannot make reservations for groups at this time. Staff will be sanitizing and disinfecting public spaces frequently. There should be a maximum of 2 people at a time in the bath house sink area, maintaining a 6 foot distance. Outdoor games are not available at this time, and campers are encouraged to bring their own. Campers are also required to bring their own utensils for eating and cups (no glass).
Cost: Rates depend on which site you choose, and are available on the website.
Mills Norrie State Park
Hours: Park is open year round, sunrise to sunset. Camping season through Oct. 18.
Amenities: Biking, boat launches, campsites, cabins, and lodging, dockage, fishing, golf, grills, hiking, marina, pavilions and shelter rentals, showers, snowshoeing/x-country skiing.
What to know: The Marina is open from 7:30am-8pm daily. Patrons may launch for day use only, but not accepting transients at this time. Be sure to call ahead to ensure the amenities you’re looking for are still available.
Cost: Campsite is $15-$19 per night. Cabins are $94.50/night or $378/weekly. Visit the website for more specifics. You can make a reservation here.
Sylvan Lake Beach Park
Hours: RV camping season until the end of October. Tent camping not yet open, but will be open until Columbus day weekend.
Amenities: Beach, fishing, swimming areas, boating, playground, horseshoe pits, volleyball courts, basketball hoops, open fields, large campsites
What to know: Tent camping is not open yet, and will potentially be opening at the end of July. When the tent camping opens, it will be limited to one site per household (no groups).
Cost: Tent campgrounds: dry sites are $35/night, water and electric sites are $40/night. RV sites: costs are dependent on amps, visit websites for more specifics with pricing.