It’s true, camping season is coming quick. Gas prices are up, that’s true, I’ve already gotten my “how will gas impact Memorial Weekend?” call. Add some pre-election bad-economy fear-mongering and you’ve got the perfect reason to enjoy some great New York State camping. ReserveAmerica has just announced their “2008 Top 100 Family Campgrounds” and some of our Adirondack jewels have made the list.
We’ve got a lot of campgrounds around here, so maybe it’s a little in our favor, but it is a nationwide “competition”. Last year’s list included Point Comfort Campground – Piseco, Whetstone Gulf State Park – Lowville, and Lake Eaton – Long Lake. I’m counting six campgrounds in our area making 2008′s list, plus two more in other categories.
“Our sixth annual Top 100 Family Campground awards continue our commitment to creating a resource for the camping consumer looking to plan and reserve a camping trip for this spring or summer,” said Seth Rosenberg, President of ReserveAmerica. “We are proud to honor these outstanding public outdoor recreation facilities that provide such a high level of service and dedication while protecting our beautiful natural areas for future generations.”
If Seth wasn’t making a buck on camping reservations (full disclosure, I’m an affiliate too!), I’d almost think he was sincere. Hey, don’t let my cynicism deter you! I don’t think you can really go wrong with any of these campgrounds. Something for everyone and a bargain too.
The Top 100 Family Campgrounds were selected based on testimonials, campground ratings and feedback provided by park rangers, regional park management and campers throughout the year Nearly 4,000 parks were reviewed and the final 100 campgrounds were determined based on specific family- friendly criteria ranging from educational programs and visitor centers to camping amenities and overall beauty and scenery. Factors including the quality and availability of hot showers, laundry facilities, hiking trails, family beaches, radio-free zones, visitor centers, educational programs, children’s events and location were also considered.
2008 Top 100 Family Campgrounds
Brown Tract Campground – Raquette Lake, NY
“Tucked away in seclusion a short way off the main tourist route, this “jewel” of a campground remains one of the best kept secrets in the Adirondacks. Brown Tract Pond Campground is located on the east shore of 146 acre Brown Tract Pond. The remote Adirondack setting of this facility offers a relaxing, quiet beauty all its own. The campsites offer privacy; they are large and well forested. Camping equipment from tents to 30′ RVs can be accommodated. The campground offers a variety of recreational opportunities including: Canoeing and boating, fishing, hiking, swimming and bicycling.” – Reservations
Buck Pond Campground – Onchiota, NY
“Buck Pond compares to a mountain retreat as it offers secluded sites, numerous water access, guarded bathing beach, and a “easy to walk” trail which stretches for miles along a old abandoned railroad bed. Buck Pond Campground is located on the western shore of 130 acre Buck Pond. The Lake Kushaqua and the Kushaqua Narrows form most of the western and northern boundaries of the campground. Camping equipment from tents to 30 foot RVs can be accommodated. Campground offers a variety of recreational opportunities including: Canoeing and boating, fishing, hiking, and bicycling.” – Reservations
Hearthstone Point – Lake George, NY
“Located on picturesque Lake George just 2 miles north of the Village of Lake George, this has become a very popular vacation location. Lake George region offers some of the most diverse recreation opportunities in NYS.” – Reservations
*Cedar Point State Park – Clayton, NY
“Cedar Point State Park, one of the oldest state parks in New York, is a popular spot, offering excellent camping, fishing, boating and swimming. The beach is sheltered and sandy, there are docks for boats, a fishing pier and picnic grounds. From the overlook area, visitors can watch ocean-going freighters pass by.” – Reservations
Coles Creek State Park – Waddington, NY
“Coles Creek State Park has wooded and open campsites near a swimming beach on Lake St. Lawrence. The lake is ideal for boating and fishing as well. A marina on the mouth of Coles Creek lies just north of the park entrance. The park also has a playground, playing fields and a large pavilion.” – Reservations
Keewyadin State Park – Alexandria Bay, NY
“Keewaydin State Park is on the St. Lawrence River, offering excellent boating, fishing and, during the winter, ice fishing and cross-country skiing. The sheltered marina provides dock space for seasonal and transient visitors. Overlooking the river are 48 campsites. The park’s terrain includes steep, rocky outcroppings between the campsites and the shoreline, providing vantage points for watching the ocean-going vessels traversing the river. The park also has a swimming pool and picnic areas.” – Reservations
* I think they mistakenly listed “Cedar Island” in the press release.
Top 25 Kid-Friendly Parks
Cumberland Bay State Park – Plattsburgh, NY
“Cumberland Bay State Park, on the west shore of Lake Champlain, is a very popular day-use area because of its large natural sand beach and picnic grounds with tables and grills. The park has 152 campsites, a playground and playing fields. Cross-country runners frequent the park in the fall.” – Reservations
Lake Placid/Whiteface Mountain KOA – Wilmington, NY
“Enjoy seventy acres of the Adirondack’s finest natural elements at the base of Whiteface Mountain. The campground sits along a half mile of the trout-rich Ausable River, with magnificent gorge and waterfall views. Unquestionably, this is the most beautiful campground in the region.”