Michael B.

Potsdam, NY

Joined August 2017

Ethnomusicologist, currently living in India while pursuing a PhD. BSA Lone Scout Counselor for my Cub Scout and Boy Scout.

Very Busy, But HUGE amount of trails!

We camped here this weekend, working on some Scouting requirements. Had a great time! The only downsides: (1) the grass was quite tall in the Organized Group Camp sites (above-ankle grass + scouts in and out of tents after the dew falls = wet feet!); (2) It was fine for us this specific time, but if more/all the Organized Group Campsite spots were being used, there would not have been anywhere near enough toilets (unless the boys just all use the woods).  Other than that, was a great time! Parking is just by the Organized Camp sites; there really are toilets, even if only one, non-flush toilet per 5 organized group sites; SO many great trails, etc. The regular campsites were FULLY filled with people too, even after Labor Day! :-)  

We also took the Guided Mushroom Hike, and it was great! Around 3-4 miles in 4 hours, with a LOT of observation and collection! Photos included in my comment. Also a great treat for all was that in addition to the great Ranger leading the tour, there were also two members of the Philly Mycology Club on the hike too! So between the three of them, this was an informative group! And VERY patient with my kids who asked probably around a thousand questions. 

All in all, a GREAT time!

Beautiful park. Too bad we missed the pool.

Had a great time at Stony Brook State Park this week! The campground side doesn't open until around 11 we were told, and we reached at 8am, so we started at the North (day-use) side, parked there, hiked, ate, and eventually drove back to the other side, checked in, and set up camp. 😁 It was a very nice time. Due to the COVID-19 regulations, masks need to be worn in the bathhouse (except when brushing teeth or showering). Was a good, quiet, fun time, with a few other families nearby. The only negatives: *According to their website, the natural pool would be open the day we went. It was not. ☹️ *No alcohol permitted in the whole campgrounds. Fine for us, but annoying for many. From the trash in the bathhouse, looks like some were anyways. *No "camp store" - so if you forgot an essential item, you've got to go out from the park. Positive part: town is only 8 minutes away via car. Also, we got GREAT and easy burning from the people selling wood for $5/bundle just outside the campground entrance.

All in all, a GREAT time! We all enjoyed it!

A great campsite!

A great campsite! We had a fantastic time last week! We also had the privelidge of having the park COMPLETELY to ourselves…the ranger confirmed that we were the only campers that night!

A beautiful site, we only wished that we could stay longer.

A nice place to camp

A very nice state park.  Our visit was too short to enjoy much,  but we definitely did enjoy it for the overnight-to-late-morning that we were there! and,  there are playgrounds and a beach!

A family of raccoons must have been fed by someone,  though, as they had NO fear nor qualms of coming right up to our table end one evening! 😱

Great park with great programs!

Great park with great programs! Had such a fun time as a family here! Gator program, Pond-life exploration program, guided hikes, bird watching, etc! So fun! Also, virtually no mosquitoes, due to the prevalent BeautyBerry plants!

Nice, but many bees; Positive: not as busy as expected

If not for the bee infestation in the water pipes at the forst site, the rating would be MUCH higher…

Overall, we had a good time camping here. The only problem was the bugs (mosquitoes, spiders, etc.), but that's a risk of camping. Our actual, reserved site was overrun with bees in the water tap, though. We told the rangers who set off to spray them, and who also gave us a new, slightly bigger site to set up our tent. This one had many mosquitoes under the picnic table, but no bees! And mosquitoes happen, so we dealt with it:-) The bathrooms were GREAT, and even Air Conditioned! The firewood which was officially purchased there and covered in spiderwebs took a LONG time to get burning, but once it was, it burned hot and well into the night. It was a good stay, with the exception of getting stung by the bees, but thankfully it was only me and not the kids who were stung.

Surprisingly empty, given the very few options shown to reserve online. Maybe many people cancelled?

One thing to note: the office has WiFi during open hours…otherwise, we didn't even have ANY phone signal in the area. Good while camping, so not a complaint…just an observation FYI.

Very well maintained and seemingly popular campground

This campground was packed with people, and yet all were respectful, good neighbours. We were nice and near the bathhouse (purposely, as we were here with young kids), but still not far from the playground (our younger boys' favourite part of coming!). Very well maintained, with a well-stocked shop. The well-stocked shop was especially important…the park is so well-used, that there wasn't a shred of wood to use as kindling or tinder. Some pinecones and pineneedles, but that's it. Thankfully, the shop was stocked with at least 4 different kinds of firestarters, so all are able to get their fires going. Easy check-in procedure, and easy checkout too. If I didn't have my "Cowboy Coffee" Percolator, a highlight for me would have been that the office/shop also carries coffee - both beans and brewed!

All in all, a great time by all!

Great little campground near Mt Hope, WV and near BSA's "Summit"

We had a great time at this campground. Very close to the BSA's"Summit Bechtel" site, where they hold the National Jamborees and held the 2019 World Scout Jamboree. As such, people registered for the full event stayed there, and those of us coming for just a few days stayed at other nearby places, such as Rifrafters. The camp was(understandably) filled with others coming for the Jamboree.:-) 

Campsite was good and clean; short walk for all to the bath house; they ha a small playground, which the kids loved. They have wood for sale, as well as basic camping and food supplies(cans of beans, marshmallows, peanut butter, sodas/pop/cola, etc, lighters/matches, ice, etc). Also had 2 super-lovey kittens living in the office, which were a big hit with everyone. 

The only downsite was that our campsite(#7) had no place for a tent other than stone driveway-like ground. As such, even new, very strong tent stakes bend and do not go in at all…had to weigh the tent down with gear and hope for no super-high gusts of wind. 

Other than that, it was a great experience! Checkout by 12 noon at the latest.

Especially great for Renaissance Faire attendees!

We have gone here multiple years, during weekend trips to the Sterling Renaissance Faire. We have had a great experience each time. (Well, one year torrential rain storm and thunder throughout one of the 2 nights, but that's not the campsite's fault!!). :-) On the "extreme adventure camping" scale it is super low, but for the "functional, easy/family camping experience" it is really high; you can drive right up to your campsite; there are bathrooms with running water (and potable water!) a short distance away, etc. They're also really good at helping you find wood, and any that you find is fare game for burning. :-)

Our first time there, we were the only ones that showed any kind of Renaissance Faire interest, actually, so please don't feel that Renaissance Faire people are the only people that stay there…they're not at all the only clientele…though after we let people know about this place through TripAdvisor, etc, the next few years there were Pirate Campers parked nearby ours (and if you said you were coming for the Ren Fest, they can place you near others who are as well).

We've unfortunately been out of the area since 2012, but every time we went and stayed here, we really enjoyed it!

Whether staying for the evening after the ren-fest, or for a whole weekend of Ren-Festing, we have loved this campsite :-)

Don't be fooled by "Canoe" in the name...

We came here for our first camping trip together after marriage (in 2005)…and it's lucky we ever went anywhere again! Thankfully we both had previous positive camping experiences, and have had MANY together since then, just at other camp grounds.

1) "Canoe" being in the name implied that it is frequented, at least occasionally, by canoes. According to the staff person there who swore in disbelief that a canoe actually made it to the island, he didn't remember there being a canoe there before. The lack of arrival space for canoes also made this clear.

2) Everyone else who came were in basically large party-boats with multiple rooms for sleeping, though they set up tents (and didn't sleep until almost daybreak…it was loud, foul language the entire time)

3) All of the available wood was wet, so nothing would burn.

4) Spiders overrunning some areas

Not faulting them for the weather that night, as it's NY, so that happens. But in so many ways, this was a bust of a trip.

Oct 3 2009: First Snow of the Year

We stayed (me, my wife, and our toddler) at what was accidentally the first snow of the year! Oops! Thankfully, the wood purchased from the park was the best wood I have ever purchased from a park, in terms of speediness of lighting - by the time my wife and toddler got back from the walk to the bathroom at the crack of dawn through the light dusting of snow, I already had a roaring fire going!

We camped near to the parking area since we were with our toddler, though we might as well could have been further away, with all the hiking we did in the morning! It's nice that they provided carts to carry your gear from the car to the campsite. We hit up many trails, viewing the beautiful yellow autumn foliage through the melting/newly melted snow. And of course had a great time with the geocahing…the Official MN State Park Geocache series are always great, and this was no exception, especially as a family activity: a hike in the woods, with a hidden treasure to find along the way!!

We had a really great time at this really beautiful park!