Ideal driving distance from NYC

Mountain Lakes park is a great place to camp within driving distance from NYC. A fun option available at Mountain lakes is to rent a yurt to camp in. The area, as the name implies, is home to several lakes which can be used for various recreational purposes. There are also many hikes which can be trekked straight from the campgrounds which is always a huge plus in my mind. When we were there it was right after a rain storm and everything was a bit muddy and slippery. We will definitely be planning a trip back to Mountain Lakes when the weather gets nicer though!

Difficult trek but amazing views

Suffern-Bear Mountain from Gate Hill Road is a high difficulty 15 mile out and back trail. At one point of the trail is a very difficult, but doable, rock scramble up the side of the mountain. At the top of the scramble is a primitive camping site with amazing views. The most difficult part about camping in this location is that you will have to carry your supplies up the mountain to the site. I would advise packing light if planning on camping here. The campsite is about 2.5 miles from the trailhead.

RV camping only but great as a beach

Nickerson Beach only offers camping for RVs. I do not have an RV so I was unable to spend the night. The beach itself is a great place to spend a summer day and I have gone several times. They recently installed a path that goes all the way down to the beach area so you don't have to walk on the sand for so long. There is also fantastic food in the area as well. The best for freshly fried seafood is a place called Bigelow's (see pictures). Would highly recommend their fried clams!

Primitive site - Right on the river

Stonetown Circular trail is a 11 mile medium/high difficulty loop trail. This is the second of two primitive sites along the trail. The trailhead is across the street from a large parking lot. This site is about 4 miles into the hike. This is a nice spot to set up camp because it is right next to a flowing stream with fresh water. The site is marked by a sign on a tree that says ’The Island’. This is a pretty spread out site with plenty of level space to set up multiple tents. There is a great fire pit to heat up water and cook food. The trail loop is definitely a difficult hike and setting up camp at one of the two sites is a nice way to break up adventure. Be ready for a difficult uphill rock scramble and I would advise packing light.

Primitive site - worth the scramble for the view

Stonetown Circular trail is a 11 mile medium/high difficulty loop trail. This is the first of two primitive sites along the trail. The trailhead is across the street from a large parking lot. This site is about 2 miles into the hike. This is a great spot to set up camp because it has a wide area and an amazing view. You will find the site right next to the American Flag at the top of the mountain. The only difficult thing about this site is that it is at the top of a fairly difficult rock scramble. I would advise packing light if making camp at this site because a heavy pack would make this scramble up the mountain even harder.

Great shelters, better trails!

This is a great place for camping. The shelters are great for people who want to camp and not have to worry about unplanned weather. The best part of this campsite are the endless trails in the area (see screenshot of AllTrails). I believe there are over 40 miles of trails in this area. Would definitely recommend for those who want to camp near NYC but not drive too far.

Fantastic, spacious campground

This is an amazing campground! We had plenty of space and easy access to the lake. We went on a busy weekend and they are currently only operating at 50% capacity. I would recommend reserving a spot well in advance. This is a very large campground with multiple different areas. It has a good water pump and the bathrooms were well maintained and had a nice sink washing area.

Great primitive and cabin rental camping

I really enjoyed staying at Jenny Jump. It is set up nicely for primitive camping and you are able to hike out straight from the campsite(which is always a plus!). Theres a great look out point as well. If you want, they have the option of renting a small cabin/shelter that you can stay in if you are not into tent camping. There is also specific areas for group camping but always good idea to reserve in advance to make sure you can lock it down.

Camping not allowed, only a trailhead

Hialeah is NOT a campground for tenting and staying over night. It is a great picnic area and beautifully set up right along the Delaware River. The site is the beginning of the Hileah trailhead for the McDade recreational trail. The signs make it clear, however, that you are not supposed to camp in the area.

Catered towards RV

I did not particularly like staying at Foxwood. They certainly cater towards RV camping and not really set up as well for primitive camping. They did have a pool which was a plus, however, nothing felt like it was kept up and maintained well. If you are in the area, I would advise checking out one of the other campsites instead. I also felt like it was too expensive for what they offered.

Large area, family friendly!

Delaware Water Gap was a massive campground that was incredibly well kept and had spaces for both RVs and primitive camping. The site was very kid and pet friendly, outfitted with both a pet and children's playground(see pictures and videos). The primitive sites were separated from the RV area which is nice because it felt like we had more privacy that way. Each site had its own fire pit as well. If you stay here, be aware of the wild grouse that roam the whole campground!

Not a camping site - Nice health/weight loss facility

Deerfield Spa is NOT a campground and we did not stay here. We stopped by because we were in the area and were able to speak to one of the employees. The spa/resort is for people to come for a few days and get healthy and try to lose weight. The facility seems very nice with tennis courts, a pool, a workout gym, and a private chef for the entire stay. Everything was very clean and well kept.

Small and woodsy (and wolfy!)

Camp Taylor is a small and woodsy campground. Each site a decent amount of space and privacy which was nice. They have a welcome store with some rocking chairs out front if you want to relax away from your campsite. I would say the definite highlight and attraction for staying at Camp Taylor, though, is signing up to go see the rescue wolves. Unfortunately we did not do this because the timing did not work out. If I ever am back in the area I will definitely try to make that happen though!

Ranger Review: Primus Onja at Worthington State Forest

**Campground Review**

We REALLY enjoyed staying at Worthing State Park. The whole place was fairly large and very well maintained. We had a ton of space for our individual campsite and felt like we were far enough away from others to have our privacy but not too far into the woods that it felt creepy. They bathrooms were also clean which is always a plus. If I were to come back, I would consider reserving a spot ahead of time to get one of the campsites along the riverbank(although it seemed like those could get buggy). The only downside I would say to Worthing State Park is how far it took for us to drive to our site every time we wanted to leave. It was a good 5 minute drive down a gravel road from the entrance of the campgrounds to our tensile (watch the time lapse). That said, I would highly recommend staying at Worthing State Park!

Ranger Review: Magna Trail boot at Peralta Canyon Campground

The Peralta Canyon Campground is located in the Superstition Mountains and includes a 5.1 miles out and back hike to Fremont Saddle on the Peralta Trail. From Fremont Saddle you get an amazing view of Weaver's Needle (see photos) and the surrounding valley. The hike up to Fremont Saddle was nearly all up hill and of moderate difficulty. You are allowed to set up camp at various points away from the trail, but if you are willing to wait to get to the top before setting up, it is definitely worth it. There is way more space to make camp and get comfortable. Also the views are much more stunning and then sleeping right off the trail.

It is important to note that there are no water sources, but definitely always will be a heat source… (there is a dried up riverbed which may flow during the rainy season?). The trailhead was very easy to find with our GPS and there is a large parking lot at the beginning with plenty of spaces. Because of the dry climate, you are not allowed to make open fires when camping in this area. There is an alternative route back down the mountain called the Cave Trail (which we did not take) which apparently is very neat, but should be done with people who know the area because that trail is not well marked or obvious.

The landscape and whole area was very beautiful (especially to someone not from the area like me) and I would definitely recommend others check out Peralta!

Product Review

As as Ranger for The Dyrt, I get products to test from time to time — on this trip I tested the Magna Trail Hiking Boot from Vivobarefoot

I was not been happy with the prior pair of hiking boots that I own and I was excited to try something new with the Magna Trail boot. If you have not hiked in shoes that try to emulate walking barefoot (which I hadn't), these definitely will take some time to get used to. At first I felt like I was feeling every rock I stepped on in the heel of my foot. It wasn't painful, but was something I was hyperfocusing on. However, after about an hour of hiking in them, I quickly forgot about that and the bumpy ground and rocks no longer bothered me at all. I also imagine this being even less of an issue if I were hiking in a flatter, less rocky environment like the forest.

One thing I particularly enjoyed about the shoe was how lightweight and breathable they are. The boots didn't weigh me down at all while still offering most of the support of a heavy, sturdy hiking boot. They also allowed my feet to breathe and not get super sweaty. There is a neoprene sleeve that tightens around your ankle which served me two purposes: 1) it provided extra support to my ankle and 2) it kept out annoying rocks and dust from sneaking into my shoes. While I felt sturdy enough, if you are someone who struggles with balance, these may not be perfect for you.

Lastly, a major advantage of all Vivo shoes is how they fold up and can be packed when space is tight. Each of their models bends and and can be folded without harming the shoe at all. I found this very useful on this past trip. See the pictures to see what I mean! Also important to note how stylish and attractive each of the models of shoes Vivo Barefoot offers!

Pros to Magna Trail:

-Weight. Super lightweight and breathable shoe that still offers enough support when hiking

-Size. The ability to fold up and pack in tight spaces is a huge advantage compared most other hiking boots which usually take up a quarter of your bag.

-Comfort. While there is a learning curve, once you get used to the shoe, the feeling of walking barefoot feels more natural

Aesthetics. They sexy af for a hiking shoe.

Cons of the Magna Trail-:

-Comfort. If you not used to walking barefoot or do the majority of your walks in a rocky environment this MAY be an issue. '

-Support. If you are someone who struggles with balance and usually uses a high ankle, heavier boot, these may not be for you.

Overall, I really like the Magna Trail shoes and am excited to hike more in the future with them. They are light, comfortable and stylish to boot! (Get it?!?!) Would definitely recommend!

Absolutely loved! Great lake and campsite

This was beautiful campground with an even nicer lake. You are able to do a hike around the lake. They have both cabins for rent and camping spots on platforms which are great, especially when it rains. You can also rent canoes and take them out on the lake for an afternoon activity. Highly recommend if you are in the area!

Very primitive, but enjoyed the seclusion

I would say that Steam Mill campground was much quieter and more secluded then the rest of the camping options in Stokes State Forest. They had a fairly nice and well maintained bathroom facility. Each of the camping spots were big and outfitted with picnic benches and fire rings for cooking. The biggest negative was that the waters spouts were near the entrance so if you are staying deeper into the campground, I would consider this. Of the camping options in Stokes State Forest, Lake Oqcuittunk and Steamill were each a bit closer to High Point which offers more hiking options which was nice.

Amazing lake! But on the pricier side...

Sebago has a huge lake and great beach area. It was perfect for lounging and swimming in during a hot summer day. We were able to rent a cabin which was equipped with an outside grill and picnic area. It is great if you are going with a group/family and people want to sleep inside a cabin as oppose to a tent outside. It was definitely more on the pricier end for just a weekend camping getaway, however, because of the cabins and nicer amenities.

Camping for Active Military and Veterans only

Unfortunately for me, Round Pond is camping reserved for active and retired military personnel only. We drove through and the whole space is rather large. There are several signs everywhere making it clear that it is only for military. The same is true for Lake Frederick another nearby campsite. Similar to Lake Frederick campsite, Round Pond had a beautiful lake that would be very ideal for a hot summer day. 2 Stars only because I was not able to camp here but the grounds looked nice!

Only for Active Military and Veterans

Unfortunately for me, Lake Frederick is camping reserved for active and retired military personnel only. We drove through and the whole space is rather large. There are several signs everywhere making it clear that it is only for military. The same is true for Round Pond Recreation Area, another nearby campsite. The lake is quite beautiful and I wish I had the chance to camp here. 2 Stars only because I was not able to camp here but the grounds looked nice!