Friday, May 15, 2020

Adirondack Outdoor Conditions (5/14): Beaches will open; campgrounds remain closed

Per NYS Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s daily news briefing:

“As a region we have established a joint agreement on beaches in NY, NJ, CT and DE. State beaches will open Friday of Memorial Day weekend with strict precautions. Beaches will be at 50 percent capacity & masks will be required when social distance not possible. Staff will enforce.”

That re-opening applies to NYS-run beaches.

Also from the Governor: “City, town and county beaches may open as well on Friday of Memorial Day weekend, as long as they fully enforce the minimum rules. They may impose additional conditions. If local government’s don’t enforce these rules, the beaches will be closed.”

While it’s obviously still too cold for swimming in the Adirondacks, this is a story we’ll be following.

Click here for our full list of COVID-related closures (and openings as they happen):

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As far as whether NYS campgrounds will be open this summer, an answer is still unclear but NYS Parks made this announcement yesterday:

UPDATE FOR 2021 CAMPING: New York State Parks has temporarily lifted the 9-month reservation window restriction for camping and will allow for transfers of existing camping reservations into the 2021 season. If you choose to transfer, the change fee will be waived until June 11th for online transactions only. In addition, you may also make new reservations for the 2021 season at this time. Please note that there is no guarantee that you will get the same camping site or dates for 2021 whether you transfer or make a new reservation. We encourage online reservations as the Call Center is experiencing longer than average wait times.


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Melissa is a journalist with experience as a reporter and editor with the Burlington Free Press, Ithaca Journal and Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. She worked as a communications specialist for the Adirondack North Country Association and is currently digital editor for Adirondack Explorer, overseeing both the Explorer's website and its community forum the Adirondack Almanack. She enjoys hiking, camping and other outdoors activities, and spending time with her husband, their twin daughters, and rescue animals -- two dogs and two cats.

11 Responses

  1. James Fox says:

    When an article is titled “Adirondacks “ does that include Herkimer Cnty since we are stupidly in the Leatherstocking region not north country? And Herkimer isn’t “open” yet, like the rest of the Adirondacks.

  2. Todd says:

    So several thousand people on a beach is ok. Early season camping for self contained units that are social distanced by design at the state campgrounds is too risky. We camped at NYS campgrounds all the time and have always remained more than 6 feet away from other campers. If we had a bigger camper the wife and I would stay 6 feet away from each other as well

    • Boreas says:


      It isn’t only about the recreationists possibly infecting each other. Part of these seemingly odd decisions to open or stay closed are based on the staffing needed to clean up after people. To open campgrounds, you need to open rest rooms and showers. What is the risk to the people who have to clean them? Are we going to be able to keep them safe? Indeed, are there any people even willing to perform these services when we still don’t have a handle on the number of people who could be infected? Keeping the workforce safe is as important as keeping consumers safe. And yet to be determined is the looming issue of liability when re-opening businesses and facilities in the midst of a pandemic. Can you blame NYS for being cautious, being the epicenter for the pandemic in this part of the world?

      • Todd says:

        Understood. I can’t imagine no one at the beach will need the bathroom. They could keep the bathrooms at state campground closed and only permit self contained campers in. They could change health code by executive order to permit that. When we camp at state campground the only human contact we have is checking in. We don’t need their facilities and they don’t provide any assistance at the dump station when leaving.

        • Steve B. says:

          Was at Robert Moses State Park (Fire Island Nat’l Seashore) and beach this afternoon, briefly. Of the 4 parking facilities that have bathrooms, only one building was open. There was a very long line for the men’s room, massively longer at the ladies, with really few examples of people wearing masks and keeping a 6 ft. distance.

          My gut feeling and observation from being out and riding a bike extensively on road rides in a suburban area, is that a common attitude seems to be “well if I haven’t caught it by now, I’m probably not going to”, thus many not wearing masks or keeping a social distance. At stores – Yes, on the streets, No. It’s very disturbing and is going to be a problem over the next few months as this pandemic takes forever to subside.

  3. Jordan says:

    Does the “campgrounds remained closed” include the various lean-to’s & primitive campsites throughout the ADKs?

    • Steve B. says:

      Good question on lean-to’s, as the Nat’l Park Service parks on the eastern seaboard – namely Great Smokey and Shenandoah and that have lean-to’s, have been closed completely – I.E. all access prohibited, all roads, all hiking trails, all campgrounds, all facilities, the Appalachian Trail is closed.

      I did not read however that the DEC had closed back country and/or primitive camp sites.

    • Hi Jordan!
      Per the DEC: Use of lean-tos should be restricted to members of a single household at a time to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

  4. Jeff Knecht says:

    What is the current coronavirus19 legislation in the Old Forge, 4th Lake area? We have reservations on 4th Lake in mid July in one camp. There will be 23 of us in two homes.

  5. Charlie S says:

    Steve B says: ” There was a very long line for the men’s room, massively longer at the ladies, with really few examples of people wearing masks and keeping a 6 ft. distance.”

    Mainstreamer’s Steve, oblivious to the real world! We are going to see how this opening up goes. From the reports coming out of other countries after they’ve ‘opened up’ it don’t look promising, but maybe somehow this will work out, though I cannot see this virus being too far away. Me! I’m keeping my distance.. no bars, no crowds or group gatherings. Social distancing is easy for me as it is all i’ve ever known. I have it down to a science. Robert Moses! It has been eons since I’ve seen that place!

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