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NY offers discount at state campgrounds this spring

A tent site rental at Lake George Battleground Campsite is an affordable alternative to hotel rooms for Lake George tourists.
A tent site rental at Lake George Battleground Campsite is an affordable alternative to hotel rooms for Lake George tourists.
G. Burdett/The Lake George Examiner

Early season campers will get a $5 per-night discount at any one of 112 New York State campgrounds Governor Andrew Cuomo announced yesterday. The promotion runs through June 26 as part of Cuomo’s initiative to build tourism in the state. The discount applies to campgrounds operated by New York State Parks (NYSP) and the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), which manages campgrounds in the Adirondacks and Catskills. The promotion excludes Hither Hills State Park, mooring buoys, walk-ins and previously made reservations.

Campers making reservations at ReserveAmerica should use promo code EARLYCAMP14 when registering to receive the discount. Reservations may also be made by phone at (800)456-CAMP. Campsite rates for NYSP and DEC sites range from $12 to $28 per night, with additional fees for premium waterfront sites and sites with amenities such as electricity and platforms. ReserveAmerica charges a $9 fee for processing reservations. Non-New York residents are charged an additional $5.

“New York has a variety of wonderful state camping sites for people of all ages and abilities, offering unforgettable outdoor experiences. Governor Cuomo has expanded opportunities for New Yorkers and visitors to enjoy outdoor recreation activities in New York, and this special promotion provides an even greater incentive to make camping part of your summer plans.” — DEC Commissioner Joe Martens

Most campgrounds have tent and RV sites, bathrooms with flush toilets, showers, hot water and electricity. With the exception of tent sites on the Lake George islands, dogs are welcome. For those that seek less primitive accommodations, NYSP also has cabin and cottage rentals available at several state campgrounds. Weekly rates for cabins and cottages run between $140 and $1,000. Most campgrounds with waterfronts offer canoe, rowboat and kayak rentals with certified lifeguards on duty.

NYSP and DEC also have many day use areas for boating, swimming and picnicking. Admission to day use areas and parking is charged per vehicle, $6 to $10 each, depending on facility and time of year. New York offers an Empire Passport that allows unlimited entrance to most state parks and recreational facilities for one vehicle. A one-year Empire Passport costs $65. Passports purchased in 2014 are valid through March 2015. The state offers a lifetime Passport, which never expires, for $750.

This is the third year the state has offered early season campers a discount. Governor Cuomo credits the discount program with increasing spring campsite rentals by 40 percent in 2013. For a complete list and description of New York campgrounds, visit the online 2014 New York Camping Guide.

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