Summer is prime outdoors season in the Hudson Valley, with innumerable options to hike, bike, swim, climb, kayak, fish, and forage. But where to rest your weary head? We've rounded up a handful of Hudson Valley campgrounds for every type of camper, from those who want to hike in to a remote spot to the trowel-shy folks who'd rather have access to a public toilet. Happy camping.
- What Hudson Valley campground is the right fit for you?
Camping for Water Signs, aka Waterfront Camping
To look at an aerial photo of the Hudson Valley and the Catskills is to behold a verdant landscape laced with countless waterways, from babbling brooks to curving creeks to backyard ponds and mountain lakes. In this water-logged region, there is no shortage of campsites that have access to a lake, pond, river, or stream.
874 North Lake Road, Haines Falls
This is the largest and most popular site in Catskill State Park, and for good reason: the two beautiful scenic lakes and access to hiking trails to Alligator Rock, Kaaterskill Falls, and the old site of the Catskill Mountain House. There are also boat rentals and two picnic areas with charcoal grills.
700 Kanawauke Road, Stony Point
Located in Harriman State Park and adjacent to Lake Welch, Beaver Pond campground has access to beaches, state park facilities (like showers and laundry), and hiking trails. The campsites can also accommodate trailers and RVs.
Lake Taghkanic State Park
1528 Route 82, Ancram
Lake Taghkanic has rowboat, paddleboat, and kayak rentals, plus two beaches, sports fields, beach volleyball, and a picnic pavilion. It's suitable for trailers and RVs, as well. And there are four vacation cottages, if glamping is more your style.
Clarence Fahnestock Memorial State Park
1498 Route 301, Carmel
This state park spreads across 14,000 acres in the highlands of Dutchess and Putnam counties, with miles of trails (including a portion of the Appalachian Trail) and opportunities for birding, boating, and fishing at Canopus Lake and the park's four ponds.
Camping for Over-Achievers, aka Medium-to-Strenuous Hike-In Sites
Some of us with a more Protestant-bent to our work ethic feel we have to really earn our free time. For campers who prefer to break a sweat hiking their gear and food in before setting up shop, we've rounded up some of the more remote campsites.
Woodland Valley Campground
1319 Woodland Valley Road, Phoenicia
This site is nestled at the base of Slide Mountain, the tallest peak in the Catskills, and surrounded by Panther, Cornell, and Wittenberg Mountains. It's a two-hour hike from Tanbark Trail, and the Slide-Wittenberg and Woodland Valley-Denning trails are also accessible. Bonus: you can cool off or catch dinner by tubing or fishing at Esopus Creek.
Sam Pryor Shawangunk Gateway Campground
953 Route 299, Gardiner
Getting here requires a five-hour hike from Sam's Point Preserve (or a much shorter walk from the Mohonk Preserve Visitor Center), and gives you access to the Gunks, a world-famous climbing region. Alpine Endeavors provides guided tours.
134-146 Peekamoose Road, Grahamsville
A popular spot for primitive campers, Peekamoose Valley in the Sundown Wild Forest has 24 campsites, and there is no way to reserve them. (Groups of 10 or more must get permits from a forest ranger at least two weeks in advance.) There's an impressive range of mountains, streams, and hiking trails in this southeast corner of Catskill Park. A popular route is to hike the eight miles from Vernooy Kill Falls.
Route 214, Hunter
One of oldest campgrounds in the Catskill Forest Preserve and another popular primitive camping site, the Devil's Tombstone campground is a perfect base camp for serious hikers, surrounded as it is by some of the highest peaks in the park. The 21-mile Devil's Path trail crosses through the area, linking the Indian Head and Hunter-West Kill wilderness trail systems.
For Campers Who Need Entertainment, aka Sites with Access to Other Recreation
Just in case melodious birdsong, forest bathing, and primitive cooking don't cut it, here are a couple of campsites with access to (still wholesome) recreation opportunities for the perennially overstimulated. These picks are good for those who want to unplug but can't actually slow down.
Taconic State Park—Copake Falls Area
253 Route 344, Copake Falls
This is one of the largest campgrounds on our list, with 106 sites for tents and trailers, 18 cabins, and a wide range of recreational activities in the Taconic region's oldest state park. There are several swimming spots and day hikes—including to Bish Bash Falls, just across the border into Massachusetts—plus the paved Harlem Valley rail trail for bicycling and rollerblading, fishing, hunting, and, in the winter, trails for cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, and snowshoeing.
796 Barry Brook Road Spur, Roscoe
Want to go fishing? The Beaverkill River flows east-to-west through this site and is regarded as one of the best trout fishing streams in the country. There's also a picnic zone with grills and a historic 150-year-old covered bridge. A few miles north lies the Delaware Wild Forest, with 33 miles of hiking trails.
For Campers Who Don't Like Camping, aka Camping With Amenities
For those who would secretly rather stay at home but have had their bluffs called, we've rounded up some campgrounds with hot showers, flushable toilets, and power outlets. These aren't quite glampsites, but they offer some respite from the harshness of being out in nature.
Sebago Cabin Camp
7 Seven Lakes Drive, Airmont
Rustic cabins and full-service cottages on Lake Sebago in Harriman State Park fall just shy of full-scale glamping in our book. Visitors also have access to tennis courts, a recreation hall, and the full range of recreational activities (including biking, boating, fishing, hiking, and cross-country skiing) at Harriman (plus: restrooms with showers).
Malouf's Mountain Sunset Campground
Old Town Road, Beacon
This family-owned and -operated campground is hike-in and hike-out, with primitive sites for campers who bring their own gear. The platform sites, on the other hand, are tarped and come with a chowbox containing cooking equipment, playing cards, a fly swatter, and more not-quite essentials. There's also an on-site bathhouse with hot showers, flush toilets, and two hair dryers.
The New Echo Lake
185 Echo Lane, Afton
This private campground on serene Echo Lake has indoor showers and bathrooms, electrical power stations, and a general store. It has hosted large-scale events since the 1970s and came under new ownership in 2018, which has repositioned the resort as a perfect site for festivals and company retreats.
For Campers with Separation Anxiety, aka Dog-Friendly Camping
The only thing better than sleeping out in the brisk summer night air with the sound of tree frogs and crickets lulling you to sleep is to do so while snuggling your dog. While many campgrounds we've listed are leashed-dog-friendly (including all of the state park sites—although they're not allowed on beaches!), here are two that are truly pro-pup.
Glen Highland Farm
217 Pegg Road, Morris
This getaway out in Otsego County is explicitly dog-centric, with meadows and trails where your pooch can run free, and well-appointed RVs, cottages, cabins, and tents that all permit dogs. Proceeds benefit the farm's border collie rescue efforts.
Kenneth L. Wilson Campground
859 Wittenberg Road, Mount Tremper
You and your pup will love this campground secluded in the Catskill wilderness and surrounded by mountains. There are 35 miles of hiking and biking trails accessible from here, plus access to Little Beaver Kill.