A Guide to Camping in New York

Living in New York might mean hectic schedules, crammed apartments and busy weekends. And if you are a New Yorker then getting out might mean a lot to you. Here are a few good campsites close to New York that make for great escapades for those who want to getaway from the madding city crowd.

Floyd Bennett Field

Floyd Bennett Field

Located at one end of Brooklyn, Bennett Field is originally an airstrip which is now abandoned. The 1400 acres of campsite is managed by the US national Park Service and has everything that a campsite needs – ocean, lush green fields and all. It is a hot spot for trekking, fishing and kayaking. There is also an ice-skating rink in one of the hangars. Another hosts Hasidic weddings. One hangar is a hobby hut for retired aircraft mechanics who like to restore old jets and Dakotas.

Despite all the activity, there is some quiet too. At the other end of the fields is the Jamaican Bay. It has clearings for camping amid a lot of greenery and pine trees. The only downside to this campsite is the fierce mosquitoes. Whatever you may or may not carry, make sure you have enough gear to protect you from these bugs.

A 15-minutebus ride takes you close to tyre shops and burger joints. You can reach this place by subway that will take you from Manhattan to the Flatbush Avenue Station in 35 minutes flat.

Great Hill, Central Park

Great Hill, Central Park

The hill is a quaint little hideout perched on the top of granite bluffs located in the Central Park. It can be accessed through narrow paths across thick woods. Campsites are set up in the quiet lawns which can fit in 20 camping tents.  It is a typical book style campsite where one can expect a night hike, supper by the campfire with marshmallow roasts. The only catch is that you have to be the lucky one to win the online lottery to become a part of this biannual camping event. It is a one-night-only camping.

Fire Island

Fire Island

For those who could not win the lottery, there is an equally good campsite – The Fire Island, located close to the central Park. It is a 90-minute ride from the park and then a ferry to the island. This campsite is open to all and also has hot showers. The island is a 32 mile strip with a good mix of sand and greenery with holiday homes, marinas and restaurants. On the other side of the island are the beach homes of the wealthy bankers of Manhattan. Helicopters can be seen ferrying them to their private homes. The campers can bathe in the ocean surf and eat at the restaurants.

Watch Hill is a part of the Fire Island. It is the National Seashore’s most developed area. Located on the western edge of the Island, Watch Hill houses 26 campsites for families and 1 for groups. It is a campsite that allows for camping according to your comfort level. It has all the amenities of modern living that come handy if required.

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