top of page
  • Writer's picturePathloom

Best Campsites Near Me: New York City

Complete Guide to the Best Campsites Near NYC: Frontcountry and Backcountry Campsites

The remnants of Fort Wadsworth on the corner of Staten Island overlook the New York City skyline across the bay, with a bridge looming overhead and a ship floating on by

Fort Wadsworth, NY - Photo Credit: Parulmah


Wintertime may not leave you feeling inspired to get outdoors to go hiking or camping, but it's the perfect time to start planning trips for the warmer months! Pathloom is here to help - Use our All-in-One outdoor adventure travel planning app to discover new hiking trails leading to new developed and dispersed campsites throughout the entire country! Click the link to join thousands in our open BETA testing today!


When most people think of New York City, they think of the hustle and bustle of the city. And while there’s nothing wrong with getting swept up in the urban lifestyle, there’s also an abundance of campsites near NYC that allow you to get off the grid and get in touch with nature when you need a little rest and recovery.

If you’re itching for some time in the great outdoors, whether it be for a quick overnight camping trip or a weekend-long vacation, there are plenty of options that are a short drive away–in fact, some are less than an hour’s drive or train ride! That means even if you don’t have a car, you can still get away. From Cheesequake State Park to Minnewaska Park Preserve, we’re here to help you choose the best campsites for your next New York camping adventure.

Even if it doesn't quite feel like camping weather right now, most of these campgrounds let you reserve in advance so you can begin the planning process before the weather breaks and demand starts to surge!

Best Frontcountry / Developed Campgrounds Near NYC:

Campground Name



# of Sites



Year Round

$35/ night


Eastern end of Long Island Region (115 miles from Manhattan)

May - Sep

$30/ night


Staten Island (19 miles from Manhattan)

Jan - Sep

$22/ night


Catskill Forest Preserve (117 miles from Manhattan)

Apr - Oct

$20-25/ night


Old Bridge, Middlesex County, New Jersey (39.1 miles from Manhattan)

Year Round

$40/ night


East Coast of Hudson River (37.1 miles from Manhattan)

Walk-ins & Reservations

May - Nov

$15/ night


Taconic Region (57.3 miles from Manhattan)

May - Oct

$35/ night


Long Island Sound, Madison, Connecticut (98.5 miles from Manhattan)

Apr - Oct

$15/ night


East Shore of Hudson River, Hyde Park (94.6 miles from Manhattan)

Apr - Oct

$20/ night


North of Scranton, Pennsylvania (139 miles from Manhattan)


Best Beach Camping: Hither Hills State Park

Beach access along a sandy fenced walkway at Hither Hills State Park near NYC

Photo Credit: Tommy Kwak

With 190 campground sites, Hither Hills is a favorite for many New Yorkers looking for a seaside getaway. Because of its close proximity to the ocean, it’s the perfect place for water sports such as surfing, paddle boarding, and fishing. However, for those that don’t want to get in the water, it also has the “walking dunes” of Napeague Harbor located on the east side of the park, along with ample woodlands and bridle paths ideal for hiking.


Closest To The City: Fort Wadsworth

Two people watch a beautiful sunrise at Fort Wadsworth on STaten Island in NYC

Photo Credit: Antony Costa

For quick overnight trips, when you just want a quick getaway from busy city life, head to Fort Wadsworth. Nestled right below the Verrazo-Narrows Bridge, this tent-only camping site offers spectacular views of the Statue of Liberty and the Manhattan skyline.

This campground only has six standard campsites, making it a much smaller option than others on this list. Because of this, getting a spot here can be extremely tricky. You can book a campsite up to six months early, so we recommend doing so as early as possible to secure a spot. However, even then, the chances are slim. If this once-in-a-lifetime campground is on your bucket list, dedicate time to searching for sites regularly, as that will (hopefully) increase your chances!


Best Campsite For Families: North-South Lake Campground

The lake glistens in the sun with mountains climbing overhead at North South Lake CAmpground in NYC

Photo Credit: Clay Banks

Sitting as the biggest and most popular campground in the Catskill Forest Preserve, the North-South Lake campground is popular amongst families and campers of all ages. With seven camping loops featuring 219 tent and trailer sites, it’s got plenty of room for you to enjoy the surrounding scenic beauty. Spend your time exploring Kaaterskill Falls – the tallest waterfall in the state of New York – or hit the water of the giant lake with a kayak or canoe.


Best For Wildlife: Cheesequake State Park

The marshes in Cheesequake State Park in Northern New Jersey stretch for miles

Photo Credit: Pixabay

Located just over an hour outside of the city, Cheesequake State Park is easily accessible by bus. This unique park lies betwixt multiple ecosystems, giving you the opportunity to explore open fields, saltwater and freshwater marshes, and hardwood forests - all within one trip! Though small, it boasts an abundance of native flora and fauna, making it an incredible spot for bird-watching and hiking.


Most Unique Amenities: Croton Point Park

Waterfalls cascade down under a high canyon bridge at Croton Point Park

Photo Credit: Michael Chiara

Situated on a peninsula off the Hudson River, Croton Point Park is a 508-acre park that offers cabin accommodations, RV sites, and tent sites starting at $40 per night. Along with plenty of activities such as fishing, kayaking, and hiking, the park is also home to historic wine cellars that are some of the oldest in the state.

If you happen to be interested in remote control model aircrafts, you can also join the Miniature Aircraft Association of Westchester (MAAWRC), and head to the park where they regularly fly at Croton Point field.


Most Romantic: Clarence Fahnestock State Park

A beautiful lake coast at Clarence FAhenstock State Park is reflected in the crystal clear waters near NYC

Photo Credit: Stanley Zimny

Calling all outdoor enthusiasts, Clarence Fahnestock State Park is all for you! Featuring over 14,000 acres, there are countless opportunities for hiking, picnics, boating, fishing, and more. It has 80 camping sites, many of which are nestled privately in alcoves, making it a romantic spot to stargaze once the sun goes down. It’s 50 miles outside of the city, which means you’ll get a clear sky without the light pollution blocking the Milky Way.

And don’t forget to visit Canopus Lake Beach during your visit! Since there aren’t many sandy spots to swim around the Hudson Valley, it’s certainly a must-see. Just be sure to get there early in the warmer months, as it can be quite a popular place to cool off.


Biggest Campsite: Hammonasset Beach State Park

Brilliant clouds obscure the sunset over the sandy shores of Connecticut in HAmmonasset Beach State Park

Photo Credit: Hari Menon

When you want some sunshine and salty sea water, take a trip to Hammonasset Beach State Park. It’s Connecticut’s largest shoreline park and is an easy 2.5 hour train ride from the city. With over 550 grassy campsites, it’s open from May through October, making it an incredible place to kick off the summer months.

In the mood to see turtles, snakes, crabs, and fish? You can do so at the Meigs Point Nature Center. It’s home to an abundance of creatures and teaches you all about how you can protect and preserve the environment which these animals call home.


Best Campsite For History Lovers: Mills Norrie State Park

A rocky northeastern coastline at Mills Norrie State Park near NYC

Photo Credit: Julian Colton

Mills Norrie State Park is a must-visit for those who love camping but find themselves running out of things to do (or ways to entertain their children) after a couple of hours. Because of its larger size–sitting at more than 1,000 acres– there’s no shortage of activities in the park. It’s right next to the Vanderbilt Estates and Franklin D. Roosevelt’s former home, making it the perfect spot for history buffs.

This park is also home to the Staatsburgh State Historic Site's Gift Shop, which has been rated as one of the county’s best gift shops for years. Of course, there’s also plenty of water sports, serene wooded areas to explore, and ample room for cycling.


Best for Swimming: Lackawanna State Park

A lovely lake at lackawanna state park near NYC

Photo Credit: Doug Kerr

Located ten miles north of Scranton, Pennsylvania, Lackawanna State Park is a 1,445-acre park open for camping from the second Friday in April through the middle of October. The campground is within walking distance to a 198-acre lake and swimming pool, making it a go-to spot for boating and fishing. Along with 61 developed campsites, the park also offers camping cottages or yurts, both of which offer bunk beds and electricity for more of a glamping type of experience.


Backcountry Campgrounds & Dispersed Campsites

Sugar Hill Fire Tower

The fire tower at Sugar Hill looms overhead, offering great views all the way down to NEw York City

Photo Credit: Andy Arthur

When you want to get out of town at the last minute and all of the nearby frontcountry sites are booked up, try Sugar Hill Fire Tower. There are 26 sites, all situated on an open field that are first-come-first-serve and completely free. Once there, you will have to fill out a self-issued camping permit obtained from the local forest ranger, but there is no reservation system to worry about.


Moose River Plains

Moose River Plains offers dispersed campgrounds but they still have picnic tables and fire pits, a great option near NYC

Photo Credit: Andy Arthur

Located within the 79,487-acres of the Adirondack Forest Preserve, Moose River Plains has 140 primitive camping sites that offer picnic tables and fire pits, something that you don’t typically experience when boondocking. It’s the perfect spot to cook up dinner over an open bonfire and cozy up under the dark night sky. If you’re looking to get away from civilization and unplug for the weekend, this is the place to do it.


Rockwood State Forest

Rocky cliffs hang over a pristine lake at Rockwood State Park near NYC

Photo Credit: Francine Pallister

In addition to the three primitive campsites located on the property, Rockwood State Forest allows you to camp anywhere so long as you remain 150+ feet away from the nearest road, trail, or body of water. And seeing as the forest spans across 858 acres, finding spots that meet these standards isn’t too difficult. Plus, it’s full of wildlife, hiking trails, and fishing opportunities.


Plan Your Next Camping Trip near New York City with Pathloom

Ready to plan your next camping trip near New York City? Let Pathloom help you! Our job is to discover hiking trails, campsites, and everything you need for your future adventures. Join thousands of other campers and download the app today.


Wintertime may not leave you feeling inspired to get outdoors to go hiking or camping, but it's the perfect time to start planning trips for the warmer months! Pathloom is here to help - Use our All-in-One outdoor adventure travel planning app to discover new hiking trails leading to new developed and dispersed campsites throughout the entire country! Click the link to join thousands in our open BETA testing today!


See below for more articles from the Pathloom community!



bottom of page