Campgrounds across New York are busy adding new campsites and cabins, installing new amenities, and scheduling live entertainment and theme weekends in preparation for the summer camping season.
“Campground operators are really busy in the weeks and months before they open their parks for the season. Many of them are making improvements that will make their parks even better vacation destinations than they were last year,” said Donald G. Bennett, Jr., president and CEO of Campground Owners of New York (CONY), which hosts CampNewYork.com, the travel planning website for camping enthusiasts.
Bennett also noted that many campgrounds have experienced record occupancy levels during the pandemic. But as business levels increase, he said, campground operators are better able to reinvest in their parks, adding new campsites, amenities, and attractions, including rental accommodations.
Here’s a sampling of what’s new at several campgrounds across New York:
• Beaver Meadow Family Campground in Java Center: This 260-site campground, which opens May 6, is adding a heater for its swimming pool. The park’s amenities include a gem mining sluice, a jump pad, a playground, hiking trails and a three-acre catch-and-release fishing pond. The park also has two rental cabins.
• Country Roads Campground in Gilboa: This 118-site campground, which opens May 13, is adding new RV sites and upgrading existing campsites to 50-amp service. The park is also adding a one-bedroom rental cottage. Other recent improvements include upgrading the park’s WiFi system and installing new pool decking and a basketball court. The park is also expanding its activities this year and will offer cornhole tournaments for adults and children.
• Dream Lake Campground in Warsaw: This 100-site park, which opens the first weekend in May, is adding 45 new campsites, boosting its overall site count to 145. “We’re hoping to have the expansion completed by mid-summer,” said park owner Patty Jarnot, adding that the park is also adding a new bathhouse. Half of the new campsites will be available for overnight or short-term rentals, with the rest being available for seasonal camping. Other park improvements include a new bear’s playground, replacement of another bath house and laundry facility, and a new 1 3/4-acre fishing pond.
• Kayuta Lake Campground in Forestport: This 165-site park has upgraded its WiFi so that guests can stream video from their campsites. The park has also expanded its offering of organized weekend activities. The campground has two rental cabins.
• King Phillip’s Campground in Lake George: This 216-site campground will be offering live entertainment throughout the summer, including bands, DJs and movie nights.
• Lebanon Reservoir Campground in Hamilton: This park, which opens Mother’s Day weekend, added seven new RV sites last year, boosting its overall site count to 150 sites and two rental cabins. Other recent improvements include a new office and camp store.
• Leisurewood Campground in Akron: This 910-site park, open May through Columbus Day, is adding outdoor movies and concerts.
• Medina / Wildwood Lake KOA Holiday in Medina: This 350-site campground, which opens April 29, has doubled the size of its camp store, added a new game room, and converted several of its seasonal campsites to premium RV sites. The park has frontage around a 13-acre catch-and-release fishing lake. Boat rentals are available along with many other amenities, including a jumping pillow, pedal carts, a mining sluice, and a tavern.
• Natural Bridge / Watertown KOA in Watertown: This park, under new ownership, opens May 13. They’re planning to offer theme weekends for the first time this year. Work is also underway to create five new patio RV sites and to redesign entrances to the park’s indoor heated pool. The campground is also seeking a liquor license and plans to offer craft beers as well as propane service and EV chargers.
• Niagara Falls / Grand Island KOA in Grand Island: This campground, which opened April 1, is located next to the Niagara Amusement Park and Splash World. The park is adding two RV sites, each of which will have their own private fenced area for pets. Other improvements made in recent years include adding a jumping pillow and a gravity rail play structure, which kids can hang on to and ride, sort of like a slow-moving zip line, as they make their way from one side of the play structure to the other. The campground features 138 RV sites, 25 tent sites and 54 cabins.
• Pope Haven Campground in Randolph: This campground, which opens the last weekend of April, is upgrading electrical service for 19 of its campsites and adding a new playground.
• Triple R Camping Resort in Franklinville: This park recently completed a new water attraction, LeeKee Lagoon, a water play structure with interactive features. The park also created a few more deluxe RV sites with concrete pads and patios and added two more deluxe cabin rentals with large decks and awnings so that guests can enjoy them regardless of weather conditions. Additional improvements include the installation of new basketball and volleyball courts. The park is also renovating part of its barn and plans to offer food service, including sandwiches, pizza and wings.
• Trout Run Camp Resort in Wellsville, NY: This year-round park is opening a new splash pad in May and has added six new family cabins for a total of 17 log cabins onsite. The park has also developed corporate retreat packages, geared for companies seeking a unique location for their off-site training or team-building activities.
SOURCE: Campgrounds of New York press release.