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.
Enjoyed the rustic setting. In the sparse woods of the northern pine barrens. Nicely manicured sand roads and sites. Stay in the outer loops if you like more privacy.
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
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
The place was nice & cleaned and cheap. The lady in the store is rude & smokes to much, the pool area closes at 6pm that’s to early I think, the Baseball fields is run down, Quite time is from 10:00pm-8am Strictly Enforced but people were still partying & making noise at till 1am.
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.
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.