Posts Tagged ‘camping’

Sunday, February 11, 2024

Discussion time: Campground stays?

discussion graphic

To quote “The Sound of Music”: How to solve a problem like online campground reservations? As anyone who camps in DEC campgrounds knows, it’s becoming increasingly more difficult to nab a great site. You have to time it just right, and hope someone else doesn’t get it first at 9 a.m. on the day nine months from when you want to go.

We’ve been following DEC’s idea to test longer stays at Rollins Pond Campground. The plan was recently put on hold. What’s your take? Should the Reserve America system get scrapped? Should campsite “no-shows” forfeit their sites?

Weigh in here!

Sunday, December 24, 2023

Beaverkill and Pisecos campgrounds open for 2024 camping reservations

nys dec logo

On December 15, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced that both the Beaverkill Campground in the Catskills and the Pisecos Campground in the Adirondacks will be available for 2024 camping reservations beginning at 9 a.m. on Dec. 19. Adjustments to campsite numbers and new additions were made at both facilities for the upcoming season.

“DEC’s Adirondack and Catskill campgrounds provide a variety of natural outdoor experiences and adventures that families and friends can enjoy together,” said Commissioner Basil Seggos. “The changes made this season at Beaverkill and Pisecos campgrounds will offer more ease of use and new larger Family Site options for groups to gather. DEC’s campgrounds are very popular and often reach capacity, so I encourage all visitors planning a trip in 2024 to make reservations in advance and early.”

» Continue Reading.

Sunday, June 18, 2023

DEC Announces First-Time Camper Weekend Program for 2023 Season

Popular Free Program Returns to Help More New Yorkers Share the Outdoors Through Camping

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today announced the return of the First-Time Camper Program for the 2023 season. New York families that have never camped before will have the opportunity to try camping in the great outdoors before making the significant investment to purchase their own gear by registering for a fully stocked campsite at a select DEC-operated campground for a designated weekend this summer.

“I am excited to once again welcome first-time campers to DEC’s world-class campgrounds in the Adirondack and Catskill Forest Preserve,” Commissioner Seggos said. “The First-Time Camper Program has successfully introduced New Yorkers to the great outdoors for several years, introducing 350 novice campers to outdoor activities like fishing, hiking, boating, and birding. DEC’s knowledgeable and experienced Camping Ambassadors are ready to assist first-time campers with every facet of their adventure to ensure a good time is had by all.”

» Continue Reading.

Monday, February 13, 2023

Recreation Highlight: Leave No Trace on State Lands this Winter

Leave no trace graphic

Everyone who recreates on New York’s State lands has a responsibility to adequately prepare themselves and protect natural resources for future generations. Following the Seven Principles of Leave No Trace™, set forth by the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics, is one-way visitors are encouraged to Love Our New York Lands.

Plan Ahead and Prepare

Proper planning is vital to a safe winter adventure. Know personal limits, set realistic goals, and choose an experience appropriate for everyone in the group. Research trails and routes before setting out and contact DEC or other knowledgeable parties with questions.

» Continue Reading.

Sunday, February 12, 2023

Looking Back to a Simpler Time: Being Paid with Food, Gardening & Camping

Valentine Cactus

So many big nature-related events happened this week, it will be hard to fit them all in. Most of you suffered through the two-day, one-night super freeze and way below zero windchill factor that would freeze any exposed skin in a matter of minutes. We had -27 here at Eight Acre Wood that morning and the birds at the feeder were sitting on their feet to keep them warm. [We had] 75 Evening Grosbeaks that morning, and the single White-Throated Sparrow was the first at the feeders, he even ate with the grosbeaks all around him.


My daughter, Erin, called me on Saturday, [Feb. 4] at quarter to three from the front porch [of her condo] in Myrtle Beach to say they just shot down the weather balloon. Photos coming via the internet. Well, I couldn’t have gotten that any sooner on the national news. They had been watching it for quite a while behind the building and then over the ocean where four jets had been all around it. Then one shot it down with a rocket. Now when she walks the beach, she will be looking for balloon parts, not shark’s teeth.

» Continue Reading.

Friday, August 5, 2022

20 more reasons to go camping, in the backcountry

An article recently appeared in the Adirondack Almanack newsletter extolling the virtues of camping. In 10 Reasons Why I Camp, Melissa Hart recounts the joys of car camping. All are great and valid reasons to spend time at a Northwoods campground.

But there are some differences between Melissa’s recent experience and going a little deeper into the woods. Here is a list, in no particular order, of reasons to leave a few more comforts behind, and go backwoods camping.

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Sunday, July 24, 2022

10 reasons why I camp

fish creek campground

I’ve been camping my whole life, as a kid growing up, with my husband for the past 21 years and now as a family of four for the past five years.

In response to the “why do you love camping?” question, I came up with this list (tailored to car camping in state/DEC campgrounds, although I’ve done my share of backpacking/backcountry camping as well), in no particular order:

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Saturday, December 18, 2021

NYS campgrounds see record season in 2021

frontier town state campgroundOvernight reservations at campgrounds operated by the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (State Parks) and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) climbed to record highs this year as visitors embraced safe, healthy, and affordable recreation during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Through Columbus Day, campsites, cabins, cottages, and yurts at State Parks campgrounds were occupied for 787,103 nights, surpassing the previous 2019 record of 684,820 nights by 15 percent. DEC campgrounds were occupied for 394,401 nights, surpassing the previous 2016 record of 354,521 nights by more than 10 percent.

Over the last decade, as improvements were being made statewide under the NY Parks 2020 capital program, total overnight stays at State Parks campgrounds have risen nearly 45 percent.

» Continue Reading.

Friday, October 8, 2021

Camping, with a stranger

richard monroe(A True Story) 

“Folks would pay big bucks for this experience.”

 My non-hunting brother uttered those words, as he sat dining fireside one early September lake evening.

Taking advantage of the special early NYS military/veteran’s waterfowl hunt, I had experienced success, and bagged several ducks. What good is hunter’s bounty not shared? So, I called up my brother;

“If you want a “Camp Chef” duck dinner, meet me up on the lake. I’ve got my spices, some olive oil, butter, and an onion already. Bring a frying pan, spatula, some scallions, and a fork. I’ll kindle a fire. When you get up this way, just look for the smoke.”

     I didn’t have to ask twice. There were no leftovers.

» Continue Reading.

Monday, September 6, 2021

Smoke On the Water

A True Adirondack Lake Rescue Story

smoke on the water

“Smoke on the Water, Fire in the Sky”

Those famous lyrics may have meant one thing when they helped propel the 1970’s band Deep Purple to worldwide Rock n’ roll stardom, but to someone paddling a canoe on a wilderness lake in the Adirondacks, they quickly took on an entirely different meaning, as a group of young canoeists was about to find out.

It was the summer of 2012, and the Monroe family, as has become tradition over the past 40 plus years, once again established camp at our favorite spot near the mouth of the river flowing from the middle of the chain of Saranac Lakes, the site officially designated on the DEC reservation web page as “site 63”, but affectionately known by the locals as “Bull Rush Bay.”

Having grown up in the Adirondacks, worked, hunted and hiked the high peaks, done a stint in the Army’s 10th Mountain Division, graduated Army Ranger School- I take pride in my hardiness and skills in the woods; nights spent alone under the stars, packing only an Adirondack woodsman’s most essential tools, matching wits with Mother Nature, the elements, and high peaks terrain.

» Continue Reading.

Friday, August 13, 2021

Dill Pickle Pike: A fast camp favorite

My brother and I, circa 1969, at our Dock on the Sacandaga by our boat with a stringer full of walleyes we caught with our dad. 

“While many a pickled pepper peck Peter Piper may have indeed picked, I ponder: How many pickled pecks would have Piper picked if perhaps Peter were picking dill pickle pike.”

     My first youthful pike encounter was actually with walleyed pike, as opposed to great northerns. I’m not even sure Walleyes are technically really a true “pike”. Pickled or otherwise, I believe they are more a cross between a pickerel and a perch.

My Dad, younger brother and I used to fish the walleye run on the Great Sacandaga. We’d troll up and down, back and forth on the river, near where we kept Dad’s boat tied to our floating dock, out behind our rented grey stucco house, just above the bridge.  We trolled with yellow bucktails in Dad’s little Starcraft, at first putt-putting along with my Grandad’s old 5 HP Scott-At-Water. Somewhere along the line, Dad upgraded to a new 20 HP Johnson that started a lot easier and worked a lot better.

» Continue Reading.

Sunday, July 25, 2021

Weather Permitting: Reflections on a wet camping trip

I can recall a time when there were still tent platforms on all the prime spots along the shores of Lower & Middle Saranac lakes. Despite being built on state land, they all had “POSTED” signs. Engraved family signs hung on the doors of what had originally been intended as public camping sites. Many had docks, propane tanks, generators, all the trappings of private camps. Some had been occupied by the same family for more than a generation. Many of them had become quite elaborate.

» Continue Reading.

Friday, July 9, 2021

Green camping tips

packing tipsKeep these tips in mind when packing your suitcase or backpack:

  • Do-it-yourself (DIY) travel-size toiletries. Save small containers, rinse them out, and fill with shampoo, conditioner, and other products needed for your trip. Reuse for your future packing needs.
  • Pack a cooler. Bring beverages and snacks from home — this can reduce waste since many convenience items are packaged.
  • Pro-tip: save cans and bottles so you can get your 5-cent deposit back.
  • Use solar power. Small solar power banks are available for travel to charge phones and other electronics.

» Continue Reading.

Saturday, June 26, 2021

DEC releases final management plan for Hinckley Reservoir

hinckley day use areaThe New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has announced the finalization of the Unit Management Plan (UMP) for the Hinckley Reservoir Day Use Area. The DEC intends to transform the Hinckley Reservoir Day Use Area into a public campground, available for use in the southwestern Adirondacks.

The campground will be located on the southern shore of the Hinckley Reservoir in Herkimer County, and will include a beach, woods, a pavilion, a spacious lawn, a picnic area and a volleyball court. The UMP will call for the construction of 150 campsites, a boat launch, and miles of hiking and biking trails, as well as access and loop roads, and a comfort station.

“Hinckley Reservoir Day Use Area is already a popular spot providing access to outdoor recreation for many visitors,” said Randall C. Young, Region 6 Regional Director. “Enhancing the facilities at this location will increase opportunities for recreation at Hinckley and expand the number of people who can enjoy this beautiful location.”

Read more about the plans to enhance recreation at Hinckley Reservoir Day Use Area on DEC’s website.

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

An Adirondack Engagement

engagedI remember our orientation day visit to Paul Smith’s College with our son RJ as he prepared to enter his freshman year as a Wildlife Sciences major there.

It was August 2017. RJ had been accepted into Paul Smith’s Wildlife Sciences program. He wanted to follow his grandfather’s footsteps and become a Forest Ranger. My wife and I were so proud.

We had visited the campus several times prior to that day.  RJ had fallen in love with it from the start. So had we, as his parents. Who wouldn’t? It was perfect. A small college campus nestled in the heart of the Adirondacks, on the shore of a lake. A place where students could bring boats, kayaks & canoes, go hunting, hiking or fishing, study trees, fish & wildlife, learn to make maple syrup, where they could simply open their dorm room window and smell that cool mountain air balsam breeze.

» Continue Reading.

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