20 Best Places to Camp Within Two Hours of New York City

New York is known for a lot of things as well as its great camping spots. It’s the heart of America, the beating heart of culture for so much of the world. There’s nothing like New York City in the entire country. The vibrant culture that springs forth from making good of the promise of the American melting pot is indescribable.

If there’s something that New York City isn’t known for, it’s taking it slow. The pace here is incredible. Everybody up here has their fingers in a lot of pies, but that can make New Yorkers prone to burnout.

Take some time for yourself, and get out of the city (or at least out to an island) and reset. If you’re trying to stay within two hours of home, you’ll be surprised how much prime camping is hidden right underneath your nose.

 

People hiking in the woods.

In NYC, it’s easy to forget there’s more than the city nearby.

 

1. River Beach Campsites

This Kittatinny campground in the Catskills is right on the Delaware River. There’s plenty of hiking and canoeing to be had in this area. The Kittatinny area is chock full of camping activities. If the River Beach Campsite isn’t exactly what you’re looking for, but you’re wanting to head that way, take a quick browse of their website, and find another one of their several campsites.

 

Pros:

  • Tons of activities
  • Several nearby sister sites

 

Cons:

  • A lot of the activities require signing waivers and learning rules, which might slow the momentum of your camping trip

 

2. North-South Lake Campground

Keeping it in the Catskills for a little bit longer, we have the North-South Lake Campground Catskills. Take a virtual tour of their campground before setting your sights on it, and choose from approximately two hundred pet-friendly campsites. 

Rent a rowboat, or bring your own to the boat launch ramp, and spend some time on the lake. 

If you’re looking to stay dry, there’s some great bird watching and ample room for picnicking, grilling, and even some room for volleyball.

 

Pros:

  • Near Hunter Mountain and its plentiful summer festivals
  • Easy drive to horseback riding and mini-golf

 

Cons:

  • Rigid cancellation policy may be tough to navigate if your plans change

 

3. Cedar Point County Park

Cedar Point Country Park is right on the tip of Long Island, so even if you’re coming from the heart of New York City, you really don’t have far to go to find some incredibly solid camping, distant feeling camping.

With over 600 acres of land to roam in, this Suffolk offers a chance to really stretch your legs and take a long deep breath.

 

Pros:

  • Beautiful beach views
  • A chance to check out Cedar Point Lighthouse while the restoration project is in progress

 

Cons:

  • The hunting area is shared with the hikers during archery season
  • Temporary tree stands are permitted, but there aren’t any permanent stands

 

4. Wildwood State Park

This state park is another Long Island gem. Wildwood state park is an incredibly short walk to a two-mile stretch of beach. You’re sure to find a great spot without anybody else stepping on your toes.

After a long stint at the beach, you can find some shaded picnicking, and if the kids get bored with the water, there’s some playground nearby for them to enjoy.

Wintertime doesn’t shut this place down. There’s cross country skiing, and snowshoeing to take part in if you’re only able to get yourself some free time during the colder months.

 

Pros:

  • Easy access to food
  • Great for hunting
  • Newly added cottages

Cons:

  • No pets allowed
  • Water quality fluctuates, so keep an eye on the quality tracker to avoid visiting during a closure

 

5. Taconic State Park 

The Taconic State Park campgrounds have several different options for lodging, from cottages to tent sites.

This is a campground tucked into a verdant location with access to even more nature, like Lake Taghkanic State Park and Rudd Pond. It’s also a great area to get some skiing or snowshoeing done during the winter. The Rail Trail is paved for rollerbladers and bikers. The Greenwich cabins can hold parties of 4 to 6, and the tent sites are roomy.

 

Pros:

  • If you’ve got a leash, you can bring your dog.
  • Close to all manner of outdoor activity and the facility itself has room for being active.
  • Cabin and cottages are open all year

Cons:

  • Campsites are seasonal

 

6. Fahnestock State Park

Fahnestock State Park is a camper’s delight. This massive 14,000-acre park is home to fishing, bird watching, and hiking. The fishing here is bountiful all year long with, brook, rainbow trout, and bass taking up home throughout the state park.

The campground is beautiful. The natural rock ridges also lend campers the privacy you’re probably looking for if you’ve driven all the way out here to camp. There’s an RV area, but no hookups, so you’re going to have to rough it during your stay.

 

Pros:

  • Lack of hookups is made up for with on-site restrooms and showers
  • The nature center has beautiful environmental displays and touch boxes

 

Cons:

  • Only one reservable pavilion
  • Pets are allowed, but only a maximum of two per site

 

7. Collective Governors Island Glamping

You don’t even have to leave the city to get some of the most unique camping in the state. Collective Governors Island in manhattan. This is glamping turned up to eleven. There’s world-class dining, flooring in the tents, and an unobstructed view of The Statue of Liberty.

Hop on the ferry, and ten minutes later you’ll find yourself totally removed from the city without taking a step away from it. You can get from here to Brooklyn in a heartbeat. 

Collective Governors Island Glamping is a luxurious sight to behold, and if you’re looking for something unlike anything you’ve ever seen at any campsite, then this is well worth your time.

 

Pros:

  • The most unique location on this list
  • Fully decked out in amenities

 

Cons:

  • Glamping in every sense of the word
  • Closer to a hotel than a traditional camping retreat
  • You’re going to be paying a pretty penny, especially compared to just booking a camping site

 

Camping with RV's in New York.

There is some great RV camping just outside New York City.

 

8. Hither Hills State Park

Coming back down to Earth, we’ve got the Hinter Hills State Park, home of the “walking dunes.” These dunes are fascinating. They started blowing in about a hundred years ago, and the wind is slowly, but surely pushing them towards the southeast, creating a weird sort of living hiking trail.

If that’s not enough for you’re also close to the Montauk Downs State Park. and there’s lots of space for spots on-site. 

 

Pros:

  • Biking, fishing hunting, and sports
  • Great location
  • Lots to do within a reasonable distance of the campsite

 

Cons:

  • No RV site or hookups

 

9. Fort Wadsworth Staten Island

This National Park is settled around one of the oldest military sites in the United States. If you want some hands-on time with a unique piece of history, then this is the place to be.

The fort is more than just an old military installation, it also provides visitors with a breathtaking view of the New York harbor, some choice bike paths, and film crew free relaxation.

 

Pros:

  • Cool historic landmark
  • Lots of trails for staying active
  • Accessible through public transit

 

Cons: 

  • Dogs are only allowed in some areas
  • The areas dogs are allowed do not include the campsite

 

10. Mountain Lakes Park

Have you been looking for a campground with heated yurts? This rugged native hardwood forest has them all over the place.

This campground is excellent for weddings and other special events. Your guests will have access to a commercial kitchen for caterers to do their thing on-site. You can rent out the entire yurt village so the bride doesn’t have to sleep on the dirt before the big day.

 

Pros:

  • Beautiful wooded camping
  • Choice of rustic, yurt, and full amenity camping

 

Cons:

  • No dogs in the picnic areas
  • No alcohol allowed on-site
  • You’ll have to plan around events that may want to use the whole yurt village

 

11. Malouf Mountain Campground

This campground in beacon has so much for any kind of camper. If you’re wanting to camp from New York City, and you don’t have a car, this one is accessible via train.

Worried about not being able to carry everything you need if you’re not coming via private vehicle? Just a couple of bucks will get you the ingredients you need for a decent camp cooked meal. 

 

Pros:

  • Incredibly easy for anybody to plan a trip to
  • Several hiking access points
  • Campsites are all private

 

Cons:

  • No pets
  • No glass
  • Campers under 21 must be accompanied by a parent

 

12. Hammonasset Beach State Park

This state park is near Meigs Point Nature Center if you’re the type looking for a little recreational education. 

The shoreline is over two miles long, making it Connecticut’s largest shoreline park. There are over 500 grassy campsites to choose from. There are bathrooms, picnic shelters, and car-top boats like kayaks that have free reign of the waters.

 

Pros:

  • Deeply historic campground
  • The nature center offers activities for visitors all year

 

Cons:

  • Pets are allowed on the beach and campgrounds, but only during certain times of the year

 

13. New York City North/ Newburgh KOA

The New York City KOA campground is just like any good KOA campground. If you’ve never visited one of these campgrounds you’ll be greeted by several amenities that’ll make your camping trip a breezy blast.

There are so many different ways to camp here that any camper will find a reason to bunker down here.

 

Pros:

  • RV sites come with full 30 or 50 amp hookups, some of them even have cable TV
  • Some sites have fire pits

 

Cons:

  • If you’re looking to get away from people, you may feel a little crowded here
  • Not every site is easy to cook at

 

14. Appalachian Mountain Club

There are several Appalachian Mountain Clubs to choose from. We’ll focus on the Mohican Outdoor Center, but all of the Appalachian Mountain Club make great vacation spots.

The Mohican Outdoor Center is a short 90-minute drive from New York City. This campground offers wetland wildlife spotting or Appalachian Trail hiking, making it an excellent base of operations for wilderness 

 

Pros:

  • Meal service is available on-site 
  • Large group cabins are offered on-site

 

Cons:

  • Campsites are accessible for arrival only on Fridays and Saturdays from November through April.
  • The entire campground can be reserved which could also be a pro

 

A canoe on the water.

Mongaup Pond offers some great canoeing opportunities.

 

15. Mongaup Pond Campground

Mongaup Pond Campground is grand. There are 163 tent and trailer sites each with tables and grills. 

Flush toilets, and showers, and RV dump stations give you everything you need without overwhelming the camper with anything like hot tubs and water slides. Keep it simple with a little fishing and boating

 

Pros:

  • A simple and straightforward campground
  • If you’d like to take a trip out of the site, there are amusement parks and ski areas nearby

 

Cons:

  • You have to be careful about the firewood you bring to avoid bringing invasive pests
  • This campground is undergoing extended restoration, so some sites will be closed and opened periodically

 

16. Housatonic Meadows State Park

This rocky valley may not seem like a great camping spot at first, but dig a little deeper and you’ll find camping spots tucked away under tall pine trees.

If you make your way to this park, you’ll find excellent opportunities for canoeing on the river, plenty of picnicking, and, of course, camping. There are bathrooms and showers which are particularly useful if you find yourself wading through the river all day.

 

Pros:

  • A big beautiful clear river perfect for fly fishing

 

Cons:

  • There’s a permanent alcohol ban in this park
  • The fishing here is catch and release only
  • Pets are allowed on the hiking trail and picnic areas, but not on the campgrounds

 

17. Lackawanna State Park

Lackawanna State Park is another place to find yurts if you’re on the lookout for those rare accommodations. A number of the tent campsites have electricity, and there are camping cottages on-site as well should prove some good, warm shelter for you and your crew.

 

Pros:

  • If you drive an electric-vehicle there’s an electric charging station by the amphitheater
  • This state part as several ADA accessible structures

 

Cons:

  • Lackawanna State Park is on high alert for spotted lanternflies, so you’ll have to remain vigilant if you enter their quarantine zone
  • You may get kicked out of the park if your day use runs long

 

18. Liberty Harbor RV

We didn’t forget about you RV owners. If you’re looking for an RV park that’ll provide what you need without having to poke around a tight park, there’s something for you too.

Liberty Harbor RV is close to New York while still providing you a getaway in the camper. If you have a boat to bring along, then access to the harbor will get you out on the Hudson in no time. 

If your idea of getting away is more about regaining your sea legs than hunting and hiking, then this is a great way to get out on the water without breaking the or confining yourself to a lake.

 

Pros:

  • Laundry room on site
  • Free WiFi
  • Shopping, and restaurants nearby

 

Cons:

  • Peat soil on the campground means no open flames
  • More for the access to the harbor than for being lost in the wilderness

 

19. Club Getaway

Club Getaway is a lo-fi blast. Whether you’re taking the whole family or it’s a trip with the friends, Club Getaway is bursting at the seams with activities and you’ll leave with a head full of exciting memories.

Book it for a wedding, come out for the day, or stay the night. You’ll find anything from a paint and sip to lake obstacle courses and water jetting above the surface of the water. 

 

Pros:

  • Full of camping activities you’d never be able to coordinate on your own
  • Meals can be provided 
  • Excellent for getting out of your comfort zone and meeting new people

 

Cons:

  • More like an amusement park with cabins than pure lakeside camping

 

20. Lake George RV Park

Lake George RV Park is another maximalist camping experience. Bring your RV to this park in the Adirondacks, and get ready for a stay full of fun for the whole family.

No RV, huh? Well, you can rent one of their on-site 40-foot park models. You get all of the fun of a tiny weekend home on wheels without the stress of hauling it down the highway or agonizing over upkeep.

 

Pros:

  • RV sites with full amenities and access to indoor and outdoor activities
  • Access to the water park, Cascade Cove

 

Cons:

  • Pet owners may have to produce proof of a rabies vaccination

 

The Statue of Liberty.

Get a gander at the Statue of Liberty while camping near the city.

 

Final Verdict:

If you’re looking to get out of NYC for a minute, you don’t have to go far to leave the bustle behind. New York State is just like the rest of the north-eastern United States. The mountains are beautiful, the air is fresh, and the campsites here will bring you straight to the best of it. 

The Taconic State Park campgrounds are versatile and open all year in some capacity. You’ll never feel out of place here, and you won’t have to battle any crowds or kids. Just be sure to bring along the best tent possible for you and your crew!

 

Bonus tip: Check out this video below and to learn more about Green Lake in upstate New York!

 

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Riley Draper

Riley Draper

Riley Draper is a writer and entrepreneur from Chattanooga, Tennessee. As a world traveler, he has been to more than fifty countries and hiked some of the most elusive trails in the world. He is the co-founder of WeCounsel Solutions and has published work in both national and global outlets, including the Times Free Press, Patch, and Healthcare Global. When he's not writing, he's probably on a hiking trip or climbing in the mountains.