Editor’s note 05/22/17: The DEC was overwhelmed with requests for this program and are currently at capacity with reservations.
Have you ever been curious about camping in Lake George or the Adirondacks, but hesitant to spend the money on decent supplies before knowing what you’re getting into? Now you can experience the joy of camping firsthand – for free! The DEC and State Parks recently announced a brand new First Time Camper Program and you can try it out this summer.
First Time Camper Program
Families who have never camped before will have the opportunity to do so at a fully stocked campsite at certain state campgrounds for one weekend from July 7th through August 25th.
Campers will be provided with a family tent, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, camp chairs, a lantern, and firewood. A Camping Ambassador will meet with families at the campsite and help them get set up with a quick camping lesson. You’ll also have a chance to learn from experts how to fish, hike, bird watch, paddle, and more.
Still not sure if roughing it outside is for you? Bathrooms and hot showers are just a short walk from the campsites!
If you or your kids have ever wanted to try out camping this is an excellent opportunity to do so! Reservations are required and will be taken on a first-come, first-served basis, so hurry and secure your spot!
To make a reservation call 518.474.6718 between 9am and 5pm.
Camping Locations & Dates
- North South Lake (in the Catskills): 07/07 – 07/09
- Wellesley Island State Park (near Watertown): 07/14 – 07/16
- Paradox Lake (in the Adirondacks): 07/21 – 07/23
- Schodack Island State Park (about half hour from Albany): 07/28 to 07/29
- Kenneth L. Wilson Campground (in the Catskills): 08/04 – 08/06
- Green Lakes State Park (near Syracuse): 08/11 – 08/13
- Hearthstone Point (on Lake George): 8/18 – 08/20
- Hamlin Beach State Park (near Rochester): 08/25 – 08/27
More Camping Options
Once you’ve tried out the First Time Camper Program and have a little experience under your belt at state campgrounds you might be ready for something with a few more amenities.
Lake George has extensive options when it comes to camping – or even glamping! – to check out. Island camping is also very popular! If you enjoyed your first camping experience but still don’t feel invested enough to purchase equipment you can rent a cottage or a cabin instead.
Step away from your day-to-day routine and reconnect with nature and your loved ones.