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Camping in the Catskills is an escape from every day that many desires. The Catskills represent a mix of adventure and relaxation as the Mecca of nature that sits not too far from the Big Apple.

Regardless of if travelers are venturing to the Catskills solo, as a small group, or with family, there is a campsite for them. There is much to choose from here, from more casual sites with hot showers to deep in the wild campgrounds where travelers can get close to nature.

What To Know About Camping In The Catskills

The Catskills are quite a famous destination for travelers. Located just north of the Hudson Valley and a quick trip from New York City, the Catskills were once the epitome of lavish travel for those in the northeast. Now, in more quiet times, it has become a destination for the outdoorsy and campers. Encompassing 7000,0000 acres of natural rolling landscape, there is much in the way of nature to discover. Travelers can discover unspoiled lakes, rivers, and hiking trails. Travelers can also enjoy the wildlife of the region or perhaps try their hand at horseback riding.

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Activities

  • Biking
  • Boating
  • Fishing
  • Hiking - Trail Maps
  • Horseback riding
  • Paddling
  • Snow sports
  • Swimming
  • Wildlife watching

When To Camp In The Catskills

The Catskills are closed for camping through the winter, but they do open some Catskill campsites starting in the spring, primarily for some fishing. The summer is an ideal time to come for campers who prefer a dryer experience. The weather of the Catskills doesn’t usually become unbearably hot in the summer. The Fall is a good time for those looking to experience some foliage or possibly do some hunting as it coincides with the hunting season.

Top-Rated Campsites In The Catskills

With so many campsites in the Catskills to consider, it's hard to narrow it down to just the top-rated ones. However, to help out travelers trying to make this decision, here are six sites that receive the best reviews.

Related: Craig-e-Clair: Is This Abandoned Catskills Castle Really Cursed?

North/South Lake Campground

North and South Lake Campground is the usual home base for hikers who are visiting the Catskills. It is in proximity to some incredible overlooks, Kaaterskill Falls (the largest in New York), some historic structures, and miles of trails to cover all breaths of skill level. Additionally, those staying at these campsites will have easy access to two lakes for swimming and fishing, plus there are also boats to rent.

  • Tent or RV sites
  • Sites - 207
  • Guests - Up to 6 guests per site
  • Vehicles - Up to 6 per site
  • No wheelchair access

Woodland Valley Campground

Located at the base of Slide Mountain, the tallest in the Catskills is the Woodland Valley Campground. Being in proximity to what might be considered the State’s best hiking trails and with the sensation of being right on the edge of the world, this is an enticing choice for those looking for the absolute best hiking experience.

  • Tent or RV sites
  • Sites - 65
  • Guests - Up to 6 per site
  • Vehicles - Up to 6 per site
  • No wheelchair access

Mongaup Pond Campground

Mongaup Pond, at 120 acres, is a pond only in name. Being quite large, it is teeming with fish while being secluded and in the midst of the wild Catskills. The dense forests surrounding this campsite are teeming with life. This is the ideal campsite for travelers that prefer total privacy and the ability to be immersed in nature.

  • Tent or RV sites
  • Sites - 154
  • Guests - Up to 6 per site
  • Vehicles - Up to 6 per site
  • No wheelchair access

Kenneth L. Wilson Campground and Day Use Area

For travelers who value having accessibility to a bit of everything, Kenneth L. Wilson Campground and Day Use Area will be the perfect location for them. There are boat rentals and accessible launch sites, a fishing pier, hiking and biking trails, and even hot showers! A luxury not commonly found throughout these campsites.

  • Tent or RV sites
  • Sites - 71
  • Guests - Up to 6 per site
  • Vehicles - Up to 6 per site
  • No wheelchair access

Devil’s Tombstone Campground

Despite the spooky name, this is an incredibly hospitable campground. This campground can be found in the mountain town of Hunter. It is also one of the older and smaller sites in the Catskills. It offers aesthetic scenery, fishing, swimming, hiking and biking trails, and a bit of devilish mystery.

  • Tent or RV sites
  • Sites - 22 sites
  • Guests - Up to 6 per site
  • Vehicles - Up to 6 vehicles
  • No wheelchair access

Related: This Is What Summer In The Catskills Looked Like In The 1950s

Bear Spring Mountain Campground

This campsite is open to both tent and RV campers. Bear Spring encompasses 7,100 acres and holds the title of the only state park in New York intended for the specific purpose of horseback riding. There are also trails here suited for hiking and biking, but there will be horses present around this site, so travelers should keep that in mind.

  • Tent or RV sites
  • Sites - 41 sites
  • Guests - Up to 6 per site
  • Vehicles - Up to 6 per site
  • No wheelchair access

Dos & Don'ts Of Catskills Camping

Travelers do have a few things to keep in mind when they plan their adventure to the Catskills. It is important to respect the rules and regulations of the area as they exist to help sustain them for future use.

Brief Rules and Regulations to Consider

  • All persons entering a campground must register.
  • All campers must obtain a camping permit.
  • Campers may check in from 2:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. but must register and occupy their campsite by 9:00 p.m. on the first night of their reservation, or the campsite will be subject to re-rental, and fees may be forfeited.
  • Campers must vacate their campsite no later than 10:00 a.m. on the final day.
  • Camping permits will not be issued for more than 14 nights but may be renewed depending upon the availability of sites.
  • Complete Rules and Regulations