New York offers plenty of camping fun
Summertime means camping in New York, and whether you’re looking for a rustic trip in a tent or an amenity-packed campground to park your RV at, there is something in Central New York to fit everyone’s bill.
“Camping is still a bit of an adventure for people,” says Michael Papp, owner of West Canada Creek Campsites on Rt. 28 in Poland. “You never know what you’re going to get when you go camping.”
Papp, who also serves as chairman of the Campground Owners of New York trade association, has plenty to offer campers at his campground nestled along the West Canada Creek. While not too far from Utica, campers can experience the great outdoors at West Canada Creek Campsites (www.westcanadacreekcampsites.com) by fishing or even tubing or kayaking along the creek. The campground not only rents tubes and kayaks, but also provides a shuttle service upstream for people who want to have fun on the creek.
Those looking for a less adventurous experience will find plenty of well-outfitted sites, including ones with 50 amp service for RVers.
The campground also offers themed-weekends and a host of activities to keep kids and grownups alike busy and having fun.
Looking to head a little further away for the weekend? The Finger Lakes region offers a plethora of camping options, including Cherry Grove Campground (www.cherrygrovecampground.com) in Wolcott.
Located on Ridge Road, the campground offers tent sites that aren’t “too rustic” all the way to up to pull-through RV sites, says Manager Susan Kapp.
Campers can stay at the campground and enjoy activities such as kid crafts and bingo or venture into the surrounding communities where they can visit the Lake Ontario seaway trail or one of the area’s wineries.
Those new to camping may consider a facility like Shadow Brook Campground (www.cooperstowncamping.com) in Cooperstown.
“We’re a full-service campground,” says owner Cathy Crum. That means the campground offers a host of amenities such as a propane-filling station, but more importantly, campground staff guides every visitor to their site and helps them get their camper parked properly on the site.
“We give top notch service,” Crum says. On top of escorting campers to their sites, Shadow Brook also provides information about area attractions and restaurants. “We become their tour guide when they’re here,” she says.
At Shadow Brook, campers can stay on a tent site, rent a rustic cabin, bring their own camper or rent one of Shadow Brook’s travel trailers.
Crum says about 75 percent of guests are repeat campers that come from anywhere from 15 minutes to three hours away.
Once there, campers can partake of the campground amenities, which include a pool, arcade, playground, and fishing pond, or they can head out to explore what Cooperstown has to offer, Crum says. Along with the National Baseball Hall of Fame, campers enjoy the nearby Glimmerglass Opera, Fenimore Art Museum, Farmer’s Museum, Howe Caverns, and the Glimmerglass Queen Tour Boat on Otsego Lake.
For more camping options, ranging from primitive sites to lakefront campgrounds with beach access, consider visiting one of New York’s many state parks, which offer 8,500 campsites at more than 60 state parks from the St. Lawrence to Niagara Falls to Long Island.
When you head out camping, there are a few essential dos and don’ts to remember in order to ensure a fun and successful trip, campground owners say.
- Reserve directly with the campground when possible to ensure you get assigned the best site for your needs.
- Bring a variety of clothes to accommodate changing weather.
- Bring rabies certificates if you bring along your pets.
- Be flexible and willing to try new things
- Check campground ratings on sites like TripAdvisor.
- Transport firewood from outside the area. State DEC restricts the transport of untreated firewood more than 50 miles from its source.
- Let pets run loose.
- Trespass on other campsites. Respect your camping neighbors.
For more camping options in New York, visit one of these sites:
– Traci DeLore
The Fuze Magazine
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