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.
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 tipis come fully furnished near the farm’s vegetable garden and have their own fire pit.
COVID-19 update: Campsites must be reserved in advance.
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.
COVID-19 update: Face masks must be worn when away from the campsite and when social distancing is not possible. Gatherings of more than 10 people are not allowed.
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 acitivies, while a private mile-long hiking trail allows for exploration and outdoor recreation.
COVID-19 update: Groups at a campsite are limited to 25 people. All guests must be registered. No tent sites are currently available, and advanced pre-registration is required to get an RV space.
Malouf’s Mountain Campground is a family-owned and operated hikeing 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.
COVID-19 update: Campsites are household-only. Camp outdoor games have been removed, but campers can bring their own. Campers must bring their own utensils. Bath house is limited to two guests per sink area.
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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.
COVID-19 update: Advanced registration is required (walk-ins not allowed). Atlantic Kayak Tours near the campground has suspended services.
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 mini reptile zoo), and the nearby Bear Mountain merry-go-round.
COVID-19 update: Many access sites and roads have been closed, including Tiorati Brook Road, Arden Valley Road, and Perkins Memorial Drive. The merry-go-round, gift shop, Bear Mountain Inn Restaurant & Café, and Bear Mountain Inn Spa are closed for the time being.
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.
COVID-19 update: The pool and recreation hall are closed, with a maximum of six people per campsite.
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.
COVID-19 update: Only registered campers are allowed, and no day visitors are permitted. Cabin, cottage, and yurt stays are limited to five-day maximum stays in order to sufficiently clean between reservations. Check-in and check-out times have been changed to 5 p.m. and 10 a.m., respectively.
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.
COVID-19 update: Mandatory extra day between campers added to allow for increased sanitation procedures. Guests are provided with soap and two five-gallon jugs of water and liquid soap to use for hand-washing.
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.
COVID-19 update: Campsites must be reserved in advance.
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.
COVID-19 update: A maximum of 10 people are allowed outside per campsite. All visitors to the camp must be pre-registered. Masks must be worn when social distancing is not possible and everyone must wash hands with soap or water before using any of the camp facilities.
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.
COVID-19 update: There’s a maximum of 10 people per campsite. Playground access is reduced and visitors must bring their own toys for the sandbox. Guests must provide their own chairs for the pool and water areas.
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.
COVID-19 update: All campers must be registered, and visitors are not allowed. Restroom/shower access is limited and scheduled to provide time to deep-clean. Social distancing should always be followed, and towels at the beach must be at least 10 feet apart.
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.
COVID-19 updates: Visitors must wear masks when social distancing is not possible. There have been a number of incidents involving black bears approaching campers recently, so camping in the vicinity of the Fingerboard and Bald Rock shelters in Harriman State Park is temporarily suspended.
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.
COVID-19 update: Campers should observe the CDC guidelines for social distancing in any common areas at the campground.
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.
COVID-19 update: Guests can cancel their stay up to 24 hours prior to arrival as long as pandemic restrictions are in place. Campsites are 50’ x 50’ with adequate space for social distancing. Masks are required in common areas.
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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.
COVID-19 update: Masks required in the camp store and when social distancing is not possible. The pool and recreation hall recently reopened.
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.
Covid-19 Updates: Campers should bring their own sport equipment for outdoor recreation such as tennis and volleyball. Masks are required while inside any common area buildings. Hand sanitizers and washing stations are available throughout the camp. There are designated time slots for the Water Zones and pools, and guests must sign up for swim times in advance. The Tiki Snack Bar is open for take-out only. No day passes.