I have camped Beaver Pond for the last 45 years and have found something new and better each every year I've gone to the campgrounds. I have gone from tent platform, tent camping, tarp, and now hammock camping. The sites can be a bit tight, at times and you may find a few visitors, not necessarily on two legs, but always a delight. It's great to be among the trees away from the hustle and bustle of the city in what I consider a majestic chapel that will always welcome and embrace your presence. Something for all, swimming, camping, access to bear mountain pool, or the appalachian trails, and lean tos, (not on the camp sites). Prices all can afford to come. Great for all types of levels of campers.
This campsite has everything, several beaches, historic building and history, amazing sunsets ,shade trees and very long bike trails.
A quick 40 minutes north of NYC, Harriman State Park has an eclectic little campground called Beaver Pond. The grounds are just steps away from Welch Lake, offering a lifeguard monitored sandy beach which is open during the summer season for swimming, fishing, and small boat craft further out.
“Welcome to Bear Mountain” grumbles the park ranger as he sits in complete darkness! He is in his ranger hut, checking in the late evening arrivals to the campground. It’s totally dark inside, lit only by the glow of the outside lamps. The atmosphere is complete with spider webs covering the walk up window, and I swear I saw a black widow doppelgänger . He’s nice, but you can tell he’s given this welcome speech too many times to get overly excited about it. He offers us a highlighted map to our site, wishes us a good stay, and gives us the run down on bear activity in the area. I mean, we are in Bear Mountain, what do you expect?!?
The campground offers several different sties, from platform tent spaces to those for 25’ trailers. All sites have a standard picnic table and fire ring. Our site is a trailer site, it’s perfect for the trusty old pop-up, and feels nice and roomy. Although no site offers electric or water hook up, camp amenities include: a moderately stocked store, public bath houses, a laundry facility, playground for the kids and camp-sinks with access to water.
Offering the peaceful tranquility of sitting under the changing oak, sumacs, maples, and poplars, I wouldn’t recommend this site for the quiet hearted. There is a constant buzz in the air of conversation, music, laughter and shrieking toddlers. Quiet time at night is laughable as the enjoyment of being in nature rages on into the early morning. I myself could go either way; I’m not overly bothered by the late nights and chorus of noise, but living in the megalopolis that I call home, it would be nice to not have the ruckus constantly follow you to the great outdoors.
We didn’t visit Welch Lake beach but for a quick walk to the area for a few pictures; it’s past season at this point, and I still have to do some fishing pole shopping. A quick 15 minute drive from Beaver Pond, is Bear Mountain State Park. Here you can find some of the Appalachian Trail, with various smaller trail heads for this historic (Revolutionary Times 1770s) part of the region including the one to Doodle Town. Long since the last resident left, the area is a ruins with markers showing where a house was, but most of the area has been taken back by nature leaving only a stone stair case here or a partial foundation wall there. It terminates at Iona Island Bird Sanctuary, a lovely long grassed marshland. The trails in the area are friendly to hikers, bikers, and the non arthritic kneers, as most are rated moderate to challenging. Don’t fret, trails that are rated easy and accessible to disabled are equally enjoyable and beautiful. They offer stunning views of the changing foliage, quick glances at the Hudson River and the rolling hills of the area. We didn’t take the Perkins Memorial Tower trail, but heard it was amazing. Next Time!!!
There are 20 tent sites spread across four loops. There is NO beach access. Some sites have shelters, others do not. Pay attention when reserving. All sites have a fire pit and picnic table. Sites are walk-in (only about¼ mile) and carts are available to haul gear. Two water spigots and bathrooms with flush toilets are also on-premise. No electric, hook-ups, or showers. The nearby beaches have outdoor shower facilities though. The racoons are fierce. They will eat through your tent. Use the bear lockers provided to store anything scented.
Activities abound: hit the beaches for (non-motorized) water sports or sunbathing (Gunnison is the nude beach), learn about the military history of the area on an NPS tour, visit the oldest working lighthouse in the US, walk or bike the multi-use trails, go birding, and more! Nearby Hartshorne Woods Park (Monmouth County Park System) has great hiking and mountain bike trails too.
They have a small playground, activities, tennis court, basketball. Not to mention its next to the amusement park.
However the tent spots are small and close together. Also there is only one set of facilities for the whole place. It's quite a walk to the bathrooms.
Great park with large enough campsites. Bathrooms were clean, showers were ok, could use a little bleach. We were at site 52 and had to drive to the bath house because it was so far, but we didn’t mind. Mosquitos were terrible. Water taps scattered around campground. We were drinking the water right out the tap but by our 4th day there were new signs to boil the water before drinking. We figured since we had been drinking it so long and felt fine we were ok so we didn’t boil our last day.
This campground is old and there isn't much there, but it depends on why you're camping whether that matters to you. We wanted to be by the beach and we were.
The playground is new and centrally located. They also have a horseshoe pit.
There are lots of RVs but not close to tent sites. There were lots of showers but only 1 was unlocked (free and with hot water). The bathroom was very clean and well stocked.
There are 5-7 tent sites. Ours was #59, well shaded and spacious.
The water spigot and the gray-water dump are not right by the tent sites. Seems silly since the tents are the ones using them.
Our site was not clean when we arrived. There was garbage in the woods and cigarette butts on the ground. We cleaned up everything ourselves (except in the woods due to poison ivy), but I think they can do better.
There are NO fire pits, you must bring your own. Fires are allowed but you must have a fire container or bucket for your fire off of the ground.
The sites all have a table and raised BBQ "pit" for cooking only.
They are extremely nice there.
I still give this campground 4 stars because it was quiet, the campground itself was clean, the bathrooms were clean and it was centrally located to what I wanted to do plus the sites are very big.
Only about 20 min drive and 30 min ferry trip for us we got to watch hill. Awesome place close to home easy check in and very friendly ppl. It’s a bit of a walk to camp site but all on board walk (we took to carts full of stuff) some sites are not private meaning some site will have your neighbor right behind you. We had site 2 which was a nice private site. Short walk to the beach. Only thing no hot showers as it was a beach bathroom shower. It was a little cooler so showering was not that great also showers are not covered no curtains. Also come with deet repellent as mosquitos are vicious. Over all great weekend
Spent the weekend camping with friends and we really enjoyed our time at Clarence Fahnestock. We were lucky our site was secluded from everyone else and we were surrounded by lots of trees. They also have community sites if that’s your thing. The bathrooms were fairly clean but only 2 stalls so sometimes got a bit crowded. The beach across the way was great and had its own bathrooms and a small concession stand. Overall very pleased and would definitely go back.
Super lindo todo!! $15 dolares la noche para los que viven en el Estado de New York o New York city .. si es fuera del estado son $5 dolares mas!! Lo mejor es reservar online y escojer el espacio pero no es obligatorio.. si quieres acampar en un area lejos y solo pues escojan la seccion W… no todas las secciones tienen una plataforma de madera para poner tu caseta de campaña.. algunas secciones son las casetas ensima de la grama.. lo mejor es buscar una seccion que esten los bańos y las duchas cerca en caso también de que se te antoje ir de madrugada … para el mes de Agosto no habia nada de mosquitos ni moscas .. El personal muy amable .. no habia mucha vigilancia.. lo que si es llevar mucho gas y carbon y palos de madera para la fogata y estar preparado si llueve.. hay una tienda que venden palos para la fogata $12.. venden Cafe $1 . Hielo $5 ..$10 .. venden frisas .. leche y muchas cosas mas!!! Hay un lago estilo playa..bueno lo unico que los que no están acostumbrados a ver o escuchar animales salvajes es un poco miedoso en la noche!! Nunca tener comida ni nada de olor dentro de las casetas por que los osos viene por la comida .. dejar todo dentro del carro .. y en fin todo muy lindo.. los bańos y bańera muy limpios y ademas puedes cargar en el bańo el celular
This park is run by the state located on the North Shore of Long Island, it's a good place to go if your a local and are looking for the country campground feel. It does sit on Long Island sound so there is beach access , mostly a rocky shore line. It's usually booked on weekends during the summer. Weekdays are easy to book and the price is great..
My husband and and I camped one night at this newly reopened park over the weekend in Long Island just to check it out and were pretty disappointed by the tent camping area. There are 69 tent/trailer sites(no hook ups). There is no distinguishing separation between each site nor a designated driveway for your car- you merely pull up on the grass. It's basically like camping in your local city park. People park wildly all over the place, which also makes it more difficult to determine which site is which by the number painted on the roadway. Each"site" has a picnic table and an barbecue grate on a post. There is one bath/shower house in the center of all of these sites with no path provided for folks to walk to and fro, so naturally people will walk right through your site randomly rather than around the road. While the bathroom building itself is in decent shape and has a large amount of toilet stalls and about five showers, the condition of women's room was absolutely ghastly inside.
At some point during the evening, a maintenance worker on a golf cart showed up with a mop and some cleaning supplies and cleaned the men's side of the building. I was so relieved when I saw him, but he seemed to neglect the women's side completely, so I resorted to using the men's facilities all night.
There are no fire pits on any of the sites, although I learned afterwards that they do allow you to bring your own metal fire pit as long as it is elevated off the ground. There are large dumpsters located throughout the camping area and a large trash bag is provided (if needed) at the camp office when you check in.
The highlight of Heckscher State Park is the newly constructed heated cottages located on the shore of Nichol's& Great South Bays.. There are currently 11 cottages--- with more under construction. There are cottages suited for two, four, and six people and range in price from$225-$285 per night during off peak seasons and$250- 320 per night during the peak seasons.
The cottages are fully furnished, with a full kitchen and large bathroom with a walk in shower. The cottages are a short walk from the beach and also include a fire pit with Adirondack chairs and an outdoor shower on the exterior each property. I do not have photos of the inside, but they do have them on the Reserve America website if you are interested.
While the cottages are lovely and their location is fabulous they are quite pricey and no TLC was spent in the$22 tent/rv camping area, other than a new registration office which is not yet completed as of this weekend. I do hope they invest some funding in the primitive area to add fire pits,more water spigots, clearer site markings and for the continued maintenance& upkeep of the bath/shower house.
* I emailed the parks departement about the issues mentioned above about the camping area and received this reply:
I am sorry that you are upset with the conditions in our recently opened campgrounds. We have replaced all of the picnic tables. Although, they may look old because they are weathered since these picnic tables were put together during the Winter, however, they are brand new. All of the barbeques are also new and were installed during the Winter. We have changed and modernized the light fixtures and we will be replacing the rusted doors that you mentioned. There are also plans to install a playground within the campground beginning this Fall and we are looking for other improvements and additions to the campgrounds. As you probably noticed there is a new building under construction, at the entrance to the campgrounds, and it will serve as a check-in area, as well as, additional comfort stations, including family restrooms. Your suggestion of fire pits is a good one and the Park Managers will evaluate the feasibility of installing these. Lastly, I have spoken to the Park Manager who will review the cleaning operation to ensure the restrooms are appropriately maintained. I apologize for our employee not cleaning the women's room. Again, I am sorry for your negative experience but we are continuing to make improvements to the campgrounds.
Sincerely, George Gorman Regional Director New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation
I will check back later this year to see if anything was changed and report back.
Love this place. We have stayed here multiple times since it’s so close to home. Reservations are needed only for major holidays during camping season; Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day. Must book the entire holiday weekend 3 days (90$ for non electric sites add $5 each day for electric). I believe it’s 51 camp sites which vary in size and majority has electric hookups. When not going on a holiday it is first come first serve spots which is good if you just need to spend one night here. Pull into whichever site you want and at some point the groundskeepers will come to collect your money.
It’s deep in the woods of the park so there is good shade which is nice on the hotter days. The campgrounds have two bathroom facilities which have showers. No complaints with the bathrooms from me but I didn’t use the shower part. The bathrooms are cleaned daily or every other day it seemed. Some spots are more secluded than others..and there is a bit of a hill to the bathroom if you pick spots 1-7 and 48/9 I think it was. Something to consider if you have mobility issues. There are water spigots around the grounds and attached to the bathroom facilities. But no actual sites with water hookups for RVs.
The workers drive around the campsite every few hours and each time we have been there (maybe 4 or 5 times) the local police have made their presence known. Our recent trip around 11pm some drunk (alcohol isn’t allowed on campgrounds) was drunk screaming, 3 cop cars drove through. The screaming stopped. One thing to also consider is we had horrible cell service (we have sprint). Could not make calls or use internet at campgrounds or the park but did see others who were using cellphones…so if you have sprint don’t plan on making calls.
Each site has a picnic table & fire ring. The sites are gravel/dirt & grass. Quiet hours are from 10pm-7am. We found the sites closer to the Playground side/closer to the bathrooms to be more noisy. Also those sites are closer together which would be good for larger groups. Have never had a problem with noise though we have only stayed further away from those areas. The playground has a volleyball net and other Normal playground equipment that I saw driving past it.
Each time we have been there there was an ice cream truck that goes through each day..some days it’s multiple times.
There is no longer Boat Rentals at this park.. but there is a large lake to kayak and fish in. NO SWIMMING. The lake is a nice size and has a trail so you walk the entire length with benches around a good portion to sit and/or fish. There is a nice sized pond at the park to fish which also has benches around it. By the pond there is a nice picnic area with many picnic tables and grills. Another playground and a large pavilion. This picnic area also has a bathroom.
There is a pond when you first turn into the park. The pond also has benches around it but not all the way around.
Fishing license is require to fish here and they do come around to check licenses.
This place is great if you want to just get away into the woods. Check the parks website to see site sizes before going or stop and take your pick of what’s available.
This is a great spot with views of Manhattan, Statue of Liberty, etc. Expect to pay pretty good to be gear, but from here you can pretty much easily get anywhere in NYC. Service is great and friendly. Checking in was easy, and they accommodated our needs. Expect to pay between $35-50 for a Lyft to get to Brooklynn.
It's a good park/camp for groups. They have cabins and RV sites and now that the Tapan Zee bridge work is done most of them are now open again as the bridge workers have moved out.
There is a model airplane air field and a decent playground for young kids.
Only down side is there is a train depot right outside and you can hear them shunting trains all night.
Came in on MetroNorth from NYC then took a pre-arranged taxi ($25 flat rate) to the campground. Check-in was fast at the registration desk, and they sold bundles of wood for$6. The campsite (#040) was private, but was located next to the Nature Center and a water spigot, so it was not a super quiet place. The site was littered with small pieces of trash and there was a folding chair someone left open beside the firepit when we arrived… not ideal.
However, the site itself was solid- it is surrounded by forest, and is at the top of a small ridge above Pelton Pond, so there was a pretty consistent breeze (few bugs!) and the soft sounds of bullfrogs at night. A tree with a couple medium-size dead limbs was above the ideal place to pitch the tent. The site comes with a picnic table (it was in OK shape) and a fire ring with removable grate, as well as a standing-level charcoal BBQ grill. This site and several others on the opposite (west) side of Pelton Pond had easy access to the 1.5 mile Pelton Pond hike loop. There was plenty of dry kindling around the site, which was a huge help because the wood bought from the Park hissed and didn't really get burning (damp wood? fresh cut?).
The park rangers told us the plumbing had been re-done in the past year, so the water fountains and water spigots were in great shape and provided cold, clear water. The bathrooms were clean and well-kept (saw toilet bowl cleaner in the morning), no stalls ran out of toilet paper, and there was soap most of the time at the sinks. We did not use the showers, so can't speak to those. There are even dish washing sinks available with hot running water.
We walked 20 min from our site to the beach across the 2-lane highway. The lake is clear and sandy (some rocks in sand on shore, but standard for imported sand), and many families seemed to have traveled up for a day trip. There are facilities and a small grill (burgers, popsicles, etc.) at the beach.
Overall, the campsite was pleasant and it was peaceful during quiet hours (10pm-7am) on both Friday and Saturday nights. Removing one star for the lack of care at the site itself (litter, trash around when we arrived) and the poor firewood quality. I would recommend this campground to those looking for a quick trip out of the city, to people new to camping, or to use as a base to explore the Hudson River Valley if you have a personal vehicle.