Picnic or Day-Use Area

Fall Color Hike in Minnewaska State Park

The Tarpmaster had back-to-back business travel upstate and to Long Island over the past and coming week, so we had a rental car over the weekend. We decided to take advantage of the opportunity to go upstate for some outdoor adventure. We planned an excursion to New Paltz, with a hike in Minnewaska State Park Preserve, a visit to Adair Vineyards, and dinner at Rock Da Pasta in town, which offers gluten-free options.

Camping in the Hamptons, November 2013

It's finally happened: the boys are at the age to rebel against what their parents want, and for us now that means going camping. Sigh. They actually just grumbled a bit about going and of course had a great time once we set off. That was a couple of hours later than we had hoped/planned; we weren't all packed and ready to go till about 5:30. The drive is about two and a half hours without traffic, and we also had to stop for some groceries and dinner on the way. Traffic getting out of the city wasn't too terrible, but we didn't stop until after 8, somewhere between Islip and Patchogue.

"Sunset Yoga" - a Hike Without the Kids

I normally wouldn't go on an organized hike with an outfitter because in general, we have our own expertise. We don't have our own car, however, in which to escape the city heat. I've always wanted to do a yoga or meditation retreat, but they've always seemed too expensive and time-consuming. I happened to spot an Amazon Local deal for a one-day yoga hike with Destination Backcountry Adventures, and one of the dates was July 16, while all my boys are away at Scout camp or the National Jamboree, so it seemed perfect.

Bike Trip to Brooklyn Bridge Park

For our second consecutive Sunday of family biking, we decided to check out the new Brooklyn Bridge Park, which we'd only visited briefly in the winter, when it was cold and extremely windy. In June it was the opposite—warm with a welcome cool breeze. Our plan was to bike there, explore, and get lunch from Smorgasburg. Our route, once again planned on the Ride the City site, took us around Prospect Park and down Vanderbilt Avenue.

Shawme-Crowell State Forest (MA)

Drive Time: 
4 hours 12 minutes
Distance in Miles: 
245
Address: 
42 Main St, Sandwich, MA
Phone: 
508-888-0351
Description: 
This quiet campground at the beginning of Cape Cod offers year-round camping, including accessible sites. We stayed in a yurt (unheated) that was equipped with bunk beds, a table and chairs, and outdoor barbecue and water spigot. A full bathroom facility was a short distance from the campsite. There are easy hiking trails within the 700-acre park and the beach is a short drive away. (You can probably also hike or bike there, but we drove.) The landscape is rocky and sandy, with scrubby pine woods.
Year We Camped There: 
2009
Public/Private: 
Public
Type of Site: 
Drive-Up
Type of Site: 
Tents
Type of Site: 
Yurt
Plumbing: 
Flush Toilet
Plumbing: 
Pump/Spigot

Belleplain State Forest (NJ)

Drive Time: 
2 hours 40 minutes
Distance in Miles: 
140
Address: 
1 Henkinsifkin Road, Woodbine, NJ 08270
Phone: 
(609) 861-2404
Description: 
Belleplain State Forest is mostly flat and wooded, a mixture of evergreen and other trees but not true pine barrens although those are nearby. It is open for camping year-round and has unheated yurts and enclosed lean-tos with propane heaters as well as tent sites. Some of the state forest land is open to hunting in season. Belleplain is near the Garden State Parkway and Jersey shore. There are hiking and biking trails, a self-guided nature trail, and plenty of interesting geocaches. There is a seasonal swimming area on the lake.
Year We Camped There: 
2012
Public/Private: 
Public
Type of Site: 
Cabin (rustic)
Type of Site: 
Drive-Up
Type of Site: 
Group
Type of Site: 
Lean-To
Type of Site: 
Tents
Type of Site: 
Yurt
Plumbing: 
Flush Toilet
Plumbing: 
Pump/Spigot
Plumbing: 
Sink
Plumbing: 
Showers

Nockamixon State Park (PA)

Drive Time: 
1 hour 50 minutes
Distance in Miles: 
98
Address: 
1542 Mountain View Dr. Quakertown, PA 18951
Phone: 
215-529-7300
Description: 
Just a bit under 2 hours from NYC, scenic Nockamixon State Park features rolling, wooded terrain surrounding a large lake that offers seasonal fishing, swimming, and boating. There are miles of trails for hiking, biking (paved and off-road), and horseback riding. The park has ten cabins that are available year-round, but no tent sites. In addition to the park's amenities, there's lots to enjoy in nearby Bucks County, including geocaching, <a href="http://www.buckscounty.org/government/departments/parksandrec/Parks/Towhee.aspx">Lake Towhee County Park</a>, <a href="http://www.scenicbuckscounty.com/CoveredBridges/CoveredBridges.html">picturesque covered bridges</a>, and the fascinating <a href="http://vansantairport.com/">Van Sant Airport</a> with its hangars of vintage small aircraft.
Year We Camped There: 
2010
Public/Private: 
Public
Type of Site: 
Cottage (with amenities)
Plumbing: 
Flush Toilet
Plumbing: 
Sink
Plumbing: 
Showers

World's End State Park (PA)

Drive Time: 
4 hours
Distance in Miles: 
194
Address: 
PO Box 62 Forksville, PA 18616
Phone: 
570-924-3287
Description: 
My favorite thing about the Poconos region of Pennsylvania is that you can camp at both "Promised Land" and "World's End." Worlds End State Park offers year-round amenities with a variety of seasonal activities. Many families return to the historic Civilian Conservation Corps-built cabins year after year for Thanksgiving or Christmas reunions. The park offers whitewater boating, swimming, fishing, and cross-country skiing seasonally, and plenty of hiking trails and scenic views year-round. There is a visitor and nature center that is open year-round with seasonal events and interpretive programs.
Year We Camped There: 
2007
Type of Site: 
Cabin (rustic)
Type of Site: 
Drive-Up
Type of Site: 
Group
Plumbing: 
Flush Toilet
Plumbing: 
Sink
Plumbing: 
Showers

Hickory Run State Park (PA)

Drive Time: 
2 hours 30 minutes (Route 80)
Distance in Miles: 
120
Address: 
RR 1 Box 81 White Haven, PA 18661-9712
Phone: 
570-443-0400
Description: 
Hickory Run has a lot to offer. There's a lake with a swimming beach, an amazing giant boulder field, a pond with fishing, and plenty of hiking trails. The area is wooded with rocky gorges and ridges. There's a camp store which saved my neck when I forgot the kids' fishing gear.
Year We Camped There: 
2004
Public/Private: 
Public
Type of Site: 
Cabin (rustic)
Type of Site: 
Drive-Up
Type of Site: 
Group
Type of Site: 
Tents
Plumbing: 
Flush Toilet
Plumbing: 
Sink
Plumbing: 
Showers