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The best places to go camping near NYC

Trade in the urban jungle for lush forests at these spectacular places to go camping near NYC

Taconic State Park
By Jacqueline Nochisaki and Juliet Izon |

New York City in the spring and summer has its charms, but no one will fault you for escaping the sweltering heat for more peaceful surroundings—luckily, there places for camping near NYC. Find the perfect site for everyone, from the experienced wilderness professional to those who put the glam in glamping. There are plenty of things to do outside, whether you want to really rough it in the outdoors or just go for quick day trips. Read on for our list for the best places to go camping near NYC, from NYC parks to lakeside properties.

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The best places to go camping near NYC

Hither Hills State Park
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/ChrisJB

Hither Hills State Park

2.5 hours by car

With 189 ocean-side campground sites in Montauk, it’s no wonder this is the heavy favorite of many New Yorkers. A must-do: check out the “walking dunes” on Napeague Harbor; thanks to strong winds, they “walk” to the southeast about three-and-a-half-feet each year. 164 Old Montauk Hwy, Montauk, NY (631-668-2554,

Minnewaska State Park Preserve
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Jean Gazis

Minnewaska State Park Preserve

2 hours by car

The Samuel F. Pryor III Shawangunk Gateway Campground is a minimalist operation with 50 sites all perfect for hikers who want to explore the superb Shawangunk Mountains (better known as “The Gunks”). The park itself boasts 50 miles of footpaths, three lakes and multiple waterfalls. 5281 Rte 44-55, Kerhonkson, NY, 845-255-0752,

North South Lake Park
Photograph: Courtesy New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

North-South Lake Campground

1hr 50mins by car

Weighing in as the biggest campground in the Catskill Forest Preserve, this popular spot contains over 200 campsites, two swimming beaches and picnic areas with charcoal grills. The hiking is also top notch: On a cloudless day, some vantage points allow for views of five states simultaneously. Haines Falls, NY (, 518-589-5058)

lakes r nice
Photograph: Courtesy Creative Commons/Flickr/Bettyx1138

Harriman State Park

1hr by car

With 31 lakes and reservoirs, 200 miles of hiking trail, and two beaches, you could visit this park in Rockland County all summer and still see something new every time. The group camps here have all the creature comforts: dining halls, tent platforms, and even three-sided shelters. Seven Lakes Dr / Bear Mountain Circle, Ramapo, NY (, 845-947-2444)

Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Tabitha M.

Hammonasset Beach State Park

2 hr, 20 min by train

Summer camping is perfect at this Connecticut spot, which, with two miles of beach, is the largest shoreline park in the state. It also boasts 550 campsites, plus adorable wooden “rustic cabins” with bunk beds. And don’t miss a visit to the onsite Meigs Point Nature Center to brush up on your indigenous flora and fauna. 1288 Boston Post Rd, Madison, CT (203-245-1817,

Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Eric G.

Round Valley

1 hour, 15 minutes by car

This reservoir and surrounding trails in New Jersey is one of the only parks in the area to offer true wilderness camping. Sites located on the eastern side of the reservoir are reachable only by a steep three-mile hike or by boat. Don’t forget your trail mix. 1220 Lebanon-Stanton Rd, Lebanon, NJ (908-236-6355,

<p>Governors Island</p>
Attractions, Parks and gardens

Collective Governors Island

Governors Island

8 minutes by ferry

Glamping more your speed? This swanky facility on Governors Island has your number. Guests can choose from accommodations like the communal Three Peaks Lodge or splurge on a private tent with an en-suite bathroom. And no roasted hot dogs here: The on-site chef creates a multi-course, farm-to-table dinner every night.

Photograph: Courtesy Creative Commons/Flickr/Stacylynn

Fahnestock State Park

1hr 15mins by car

One of the most popular camping sites in New York State, this 14,000-acre park in the Hudson Valley is currently closed for camping while it undergoes upgrades to its water system. When it reopens, snag one of 75 campsites and enjoy swimming in the stunning Canopus Lake and hiking on part of the actual Appalachian Trail. 1498 NY-301, Carmel, NY (, 845-225-7207)

Photograph: Shutterstock

Cedar Point County Park on Long Island

2.25 hours by car

This 607-acre park in East Hampton has hundreds of campsites for both tents and RVs that are all a short walk from the sand. The park is known for its beautiful views of Gardiners Bay and its proximity to the historic Cedar Point lighthouse. Now abandoned, the lighthouse was built in 1860 and once guided whaling ships in and out of Sag Harbor. Take a quick walk to go explore it or take up another camping-friendly beach activity such as saltwater fishing or SCUBA diving. 5 Cedar Point Rd, East Hampton, NY (631-852-7620,

Lackawanna State Park
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Garett Gabriel

Lackawanna State Park

2.5 hours by car

No camper? No problem! Reserve a yurt—a round, canvas-and-wood walled tent—that features such comforts as a microwave and refrigerator and sleeps up to five people, bunk bed-style. There are only two in the 102-site, Pennsylvania campground, so book ahead. But yurt or not, the park, which surrounds the beautiful Lackawanna Lake, has plenty to offer your camping crew in the way of boating, fishing and swimming. 1839 N Abington Rd, North Abington Township, PA  (570-945 3239,

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