I have a few friends who live in the New York/New Jersey area who always want to get out and enjoy the outdoors. They often ask me for advice on finding free campsites. I use a lot of BLM land, something they obviously don’t have there. Any suggestions for free or less than $20 a night camping options for tent camping??? Since I am not from the area I never know what to tell them.
Hi Bunny. I live in central NJ. When we first learned about BLM and US forest land out west we were AMAZED (and super jealous)! We’ve tried a few local spots over the past few years but nothing is quite as good. Depending on where your friends live some of these could be too much of a trek because of horrendous summer weekend traffic. It’s cheaper for state residents at their own state parks so that could help with the selection. So… a few suggestions w/ links to theDyrt page (I think I’ve reviewed them all there):
Hammonasset Beach State Park, Madison, CT. $22/night (out of state rate). Super family oriented if that’s your thing. https://thedyrt.com/camping/connecticut/connecticut-hammonasset-beach-state-park
Sandy Hook Gateway Recreational Area, NJ. Managed by NPS. $30/night. Near the beach/ocean. Lots of multi-use trails. https://thedyrt.com/camping/new-jersey/sandy-hook-gateway-national-rec-area. Good hikes/biking at nearby Hawthshorne Woods too.
FYI, all NJ run properties are no alcohol.
- Worthington State Forest, Columbia, NJ. My favorite NJ campground so far. More private sites and can hike the nearby Appalachian Trail. https://thedyrt.com/camping/new-jersey/new-jersey-worthington-state-forest
- Stokes State Forest, Branchville, NJ. This was nice as well. https://thedyrt.com/camping/new-jersey/stokes-state-forest
- High Point State Park, NJ. Just ok. https://thedyrt.com/camping/new-jersey/new-jersey-high-point-state-park
In terms of NY, I’m originally from upstate NY and there’s lots of beauty up there… (might be too far?)
- Ithaca, NY area (~4 hrs from NYC) - lots of good camping and really nice local area too - Buttermilk Falls State Park OR Robert H. Treman State Park OR Taughannock Falls State Park
- Watkins Glen State Park - very nice! https://thedyrt.com/camping/new-york/new-york-watkins-glen-state-park
- overall the Catskill and Adirondack areas have good hiking and cute towns
And then there’s New Hampshire to Vermont to Maine. NH being the closest, one of our favorite parks:https://thedyrt.com/camping/new-hampshire/new-hampshire-pawtuckaway-state-park
Hope it helps and happy to answer any specific quesitons if I can.
great list to work from!!! I will make sure to share some of these ideas with my friends… I know that once things start moving around again they will be interested in having some recommendations!!!