We do at least one camping trip a year. We have had a lot of different experiences with campgrounds. Private campgrounds can be in beautiful locations, but some are pretty loose about alcohol and noise restrictions and that can make a beautiful spot horrible. We have gone the 5 star private campground route with relatives who like electric and water hook ups and all of the amenities. These are very well run and manicured with pools and lots of activities for kids, but you pay through the nose for a controlled experience. So far, for us the National and State campgrounds are the best combination of amenities, scenery and relative quiet.
We have been to Dingman’s and we have heard great things about North South Lake. Both of them are within an easy weekend drive of the city. We gravitate to the Delaware Water Gap for an easy weekend camp. If you are north of the Gap by Port Jervis eat at the Eagle’s Nest Restaurant (reasonable, American, family dining) for the most spectacular views of the river. 58 Eagle’s Nest Road Bloomington, NY 845 733-4561 April-Dec. W, TH, SUN 5:30-9
This campsite had a pool, river campsites, a DJ and bonfires in the evening, tubing on the river, arts and crafts, go carts, and you pay for it, but the experienced RV campers that work at the store knew all of the most beautiful hidden hikes around Lake George. Even with all of the “designed for family fun” activities, the day that we spent at the secluded waterfall and picnicking on the rocks by the lake was the day the kids remember. We spent a day in town at the scary wax museum, water park and para sailing, and one day in Saratoga Springs walking around all of the different springs and checking out the race track. It was a fantastic trip, but there may be a more economical option close by. You just need to find a local that will fill you in on the secluded hikes around the east side of the lake.
This was another fancy campground for the in-laws but it was in a good location, had a heated pool. It was located on a bay where we were able to collect pounds of mussels for our dinner at night. These private campgrounds have lots and lots of RVs so you are not exactly out in the wilderness. I am sure that you could find a more secluded spot, but it is nice to be on Mount Desert Island if you are making the park your destination. If you can plan ahead and make a reservation at the National Park, that is always the way to go.
I won’t list the expensive campground we found here. It was a lovely week, but we found that with all of the activities and beautiful Amish farmland we couldn't get the nature fix we needed. It is all private farmland and though beautiful, we didn’t feel welcome to wander at will.
My next post will be about planning and packing.