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Rough it or camp in style?



Nestled in the woods or a cozy cabin with planned activities- which do you prefer?

For some families, a vacation means roughing it, far from the TV, computer games and bustle of Mom or Dad’s busy workday. Being nestled in the woods with only a tent and a crackling fire is just what they’re looking for. But, as appealing as roughing it may be to some, other families are looking for a more comfortable way to camp – with a cozy cabin, trailer, and planned activities to keep the kids entertained.

After you decide what kind of camping adventure your family wants to try, do some research. What facilities, such as cabins, electric hookup for trailers or general store, are provided at the campground you’re considering? Is there an arcade in the event of a rainy day? Does the site have special events?

READ MORE: Backyard camping 101

If you and the kids are planning a weekend stay, there’s probably enough to keep you busy without leaving the campground. But for a longer stay, find out what attractions are nearby in case the kids get antsy and need some alternative stimulation. Maybe there are historic sites, hiking trails or special events close by that are worth visiting.

If you’re heading to the Hudson Valley or Capital District this summer, here are a few campgrounds to consider.

Located in Gardiner in the shadow of the Shawangunk Mountains in Ulster County, Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp-Resort at Lazy River offers camping from rustic to luxurious. The park contains many cabins, ranging from a generic model to a full service space. RVing and tenting is also available.

Jellystone also boasts two swimming pools, a playground, mini-golf area, basketball courts, a baseball field, and more. Your family may also rent kayaks, bicycles, paddle boats, pedal carts and golf carts for your outdoor activities.

The park often holds theme weekends as well, adding even more fun to your camping experience. The kids won’t have time to get bored, with bingo, potato sack races, hula hoop races, movie nights and much more on the agenda. They’ll love to tell their friends they mined for gems, made some fun crafts and listened to live bands on their camping trip this summer!

Wurtsboro in Sullivan County is home to The Catskill Mountain Ranch & Camping Club. The ranch has secluded tent sites, quaint lakeside cabins, and motor home sites with water, sewer and electric hook-up. Parents will be glad to note there’s an on-site laundromat, an adult lounge, teen lounge, and playground.

READ MORE: Tons of places to go this summer

The campground features a skate park, basketball courts, and a stocked lake for fishing. There is also a full restaurant and a country store for families, in case you forgot one of the necessities. Live entertainment and many coordinated activities just for kids will keep the entire family busy!

The River Road Resort Campground in Corinth is located just minutes from downtown Saratoga and close to both Albany and Lake George. If you wish to stay within the grounds, the family can burn off all those s’mores with swimming, fishing, canoeing, or rowing. Scavenger hunts, pot luck dinners, live music and bonfires make River Road a great place to unwind, with some fun opportunities to kick up your heels if you want to.

If primitive camping is your thing, there are dozens of state-owned campgrounds scattered throughout some of the most scenic areas in New York State.

At Kenneth L. Wilson Campground in Mt. Tremper, located just minutes from Woodstock, tent and trailer sites are provided in this secluded campsite run by the state Department of Environmental Conservation. While motorized boats are not allowed, canoes, kayaks and pedal boats can be rented to give families a unique view of the park from the water. Kids can also stay busy on the facility’s baseball and soccer fields, volleyball area, and mountain bike and hiking trails.

Further north, at Thompson’s Lake State Park in East Berne in Albany county campers can choose from 140 campsites. A sandy beach, hiking trails, row boat rentals, ball fields, horseshoe pits and playground offer summertime fun for toddlers to teens.

Fossil-hunting youngsters will get a kick out of nearby John Boyd Thacher State Park, which sits above the fossil-rich Helderberg Escarpment. A walk along the Indian Ladder Trail at the park takes hikers beneath waterfalls and along paths once taken by Native Americans.

Whether your family likes to keep it rustic or you like all the comforts of home when you camp, be sure to book your site now before the summer flies by. Many summer and holiday weekends sell out early!