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Where to Go Camping in the Catskills and the Hudson Valley

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Adobe Stock | Photo by cherryandbees

Savor the beauty of the Hudson River region while toasting marshmallows over the bonfire at one of these local campsites.

By Charlotte Mac Kay and Sabrina Sucato

Maybe we’re biased, but the Hudson Valley may just be the most magnificent place to go camping (ever). With rolling hillsides, rocky mountains, and rippling rivers, the region is precisely the sort of natural paradise that graces calendar pages or computer backdrops. On camping trips, these locations welcome visitors to spend the night in the great outdoors, a wondrous place where technology is forgotten and slow living thrives.

So what are you waiting for? Take a scroll through our list of Hudson Valley campsites, then get packing. With a tent, a sleeping bag, and a requisite bag of marshmallows, you’ll be well on your way to a staycation filled with nature walks and stargazing, with nary an iPad in sight.

 

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Albany County

Magic Forest Farm

Coeymans Hollow

Not just a campsite in Albany County, Magic Forest Farm is an agritourism destination that encourages visitors to connect with nature and experience the great outdoors. Reservations must be made online, and there are two different types of camp setups available. Traditional campsites are secluded and have room for tents, while teepees come fully furnished near the farm’s vegetable garden and have their own fire pit.

 

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Columbia County

Copake Camping Resort

Copake

Escape with the whole family to this picturesque campground voted best in Columbia County four years in a row. With featured events like paint and sips and karaoke nights, a pool, and two dog parks for the family pooch, this forest hideaway is good for all age groups. RV sites and cabin rentals are available with electric hookups.

Waubeeka Family Campground

Copake

 Find your home away from home at Waubeeka Family Campground. The site accommodates all campers, whether in an RV, cabin, or tent. In the mood for fishing? How about swimming? Separate swimming and fishing lakes encourage both activities, while a private mile-long hiking trail allows for exploration and outdoor recreation.

Dutchess County

Malouf’s Mountain Campground

Beacon

Malouf’s Mountain Campground is a family-owned and operated hiking site that is perfect for adventure seekers. Dozens of hikes are accessible from its central location in the East Hudson Trail region, and a fishing lake is a short 15-minute walk from camp. Getting to the camp is an experience in-and-of itself, with a thirty minute to three-hour hike from the road depending on the access point. For people looking to enjoy nature away from the bustle of everyday life, the trip is well worth the effort.

 

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Mills Norrie State Park

Staatsburg 

As a part of a 1,000-acre lot with a boat marina, numerous hiking trails, picnic areas, and golfing, Mills Norrie has something sure to interest everyone in the family. Picnic on the bluffs overlooking the Hudson River or enjoy a night of s’mores by the fireside at the 46 tent sites and 10 cabins available for rent.

Mirror Lake Retreat

Milan

The former Taconic Retreat center has been reimagined as a premier family campground, Mirror Lake Retreat. In addition to expansive tent campsites, the Milan destination also boasts quaint cottage rooms, rustic log cabins, and a luxurious lodge rental. Renovations are continuing with more accommodations opening up on a rolling basis. Explore the lake via kayak, canoe, and paddleboat, and enjoy a warm shoreside fire at the end of the day. Activities like fishing, archery, axe throwing, and more will keep every guest entertained for the entire stay.

 

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Orange County 

Bear Mountain State Park

Bear Mountain

Bridging Rockland and Orange Counties, Bear Mountain State Park is a rugged, rustic beauty ideal for nature lovers. Surrounded by 24 miles of hiking trails, including access to a fishing lake and the Perkins Memorial Tower with its breathtaking view of the surrounding area, the park offers plenty to explore nearby. The little ones are sure to have a blast as well, with access to a pool, trail-side museums (including a zoo for injured and orphaned native wildlife), and the nearby Bear Mountain merry-go-round.

Korn’s Campground

Middletown  

This gem hides away in the middle of 39 forested acres on the bank of the Shawangunk River. From the volleyball court to the arcade, the 98-site campground has room for all and plenty of activities to entertain. Tents, RVs, and motor homes are all welcome.

 

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Putnam County

Clarence Fahnestock State Park

Carmel

Clarence Fahnestock is a fisherman’s dream, with four ponds stocked with bass, pickerel, perch, brook, and rainbow trout. After fishing, wind down in the evening with a fireside barbecue or explore the camp’s many nature trails. Fahnestock’s recreational activities are plentiful and include a beach, picnic areas, and boat rentals for kayaks and rowboats.

Holmestead Woods

Brewster

Camp like never before at this Tentrr site near Patterson. Hiking supplies are included onsite, so campers have everything they need to hit the trails. Bugs spray? Dining table? Tiki torch? Holmestead Woods has it all on hand and strikes a good balance between glamping and camping, thanks to its rugged setting and platform-raised sites that come fully stocked with necessities. Notable for its close access to the Big Apple, it also has access to kayaking, swimming, hiking, biking, and bouldering at nearby parks.

Rensselaer County

Alps Family Campground

Averill Park

Located primely between Albany and Troy, Alps Family Campground feels a world away from the hustle and bustle of the Capital Region. A drive down the tree-lined path leads visitors to a scenic campsite open for both RV and tent camping. On the grounds, all sites come with a fire ring, picnic tables, water, and electric, with some featuring sewer hookups as well. The season runs from May to mid-October, and reservations in advance are required.

Aqua Vista Campground

Petersburg

Unplug and sleep under the stars at this riverside campground. Aqua Vista keeps its campers entertained with daily activities like bingo nights or the socially distanced street parties run by a DJ every Saturday. For a more relaxing time, spend the evening by the camp pool or take a stroll in the wooded areas.

Broken Wheel Campground

Petersburg

Broken Wheel Campground is a fun-filled option for RV camping. Sign in at the red-caboose-turned-office building and spend the week enjoying the camp’s pool, playground, sandbox, and river access. Nearby trails provide places to hike, bike, relax, and explore nature at its best, away from the hustle and bustle.

 

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Rockland County

Beaver Pond Campground

Stony Point

Beaver Pond keeps it simple with a fire ring, picnic table, and flip-top grill for each of its electric-free tent or RV campsites. Located adjacent to Lake Welch in Harriman State Park, the site grants campers access to miles of hiking and biking trails, fishing areas, and swimming points.

Sebago Cabin Camp

Harriman State Park

Right next to Beaver Pond is its sister campground Sebago Cabin Camp. On the bank of Lake Sebago, Sebago Cabin Camp has access to miles of hiking and biking trails as well as swimming locations. Tennis courts, row boat rentals, and organized sports are added bonuses for campers looking to fill their days with adventure.

 

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Sullivan County

Happy Days Campground

Bethel

Peace, love, and adventure might just be Happy Day’s Campground’s unofficial slogan. Located only four miles from Bethel Woods, this family-friendly site thrives on its group activities, vintage camper rentals, and welcoming vibes.

Skinners Falls Campground

Narrowsburg

Not far from  Skinner’s Falls, a launch location for rafters, canoers, and tubers, this campground is a must-stay spot for adventure-seekers. Camping sites include open field areas, secluded woodland havens, lean-tos, and waterfront spots directly on the scenic Delaware River.

Ulster County

Rip Van Winkle Campgrounds

Saugerties

Bonfires and good company: what else do you really need for the ideal camping experience? Rip Van Winkle’s inclusive campground supplies all that and plenty more at its 160-acre woodland location. Over a mile of water access is available, as well as a fully stocked bass pond for fishing and a koi fish pond.

Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp Resort

Gardiner

Jellystone Park is the iconic all-inclusive family camping experience that is great for any summer. With a waterslide-centric playground called the Water Zone, several pools, and access to the Wallkill River, it is filled with family activities. Miles of hiking trails surround the central campsite while a giant jumping pillow, gem mining, laser tag, kayak rentals, and sport courts ensure adventure-filled days for the kiddos. For food lovers, a Tiki Snack Bar sells camp-friendly treats while camp-sponsored activities like arts and crafts and scavenger hunts entertain in the evenings.

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