If you have always wanted to go on a family camping trip but didn't know how to begin planning, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation offers a way to do it for free and they include everything.


The NYDEC will give families everything they need to have a "fully stocked" campsite and even offer experts to guide families on what they need to do.

What is The First-Time Camper Weekend Program?

The First-Time Camper Weekend Program offers free, first-time camper weekends this summer from July 12th through August 25th at various state campgrounds throughout the Catskills and Adirondacks.

Photo by Scott Goodwill on Unsplash
Photo by Scott Goodwill on Unsplash

Space is limited and reservations are open to New York state residents only.

What Does The NY DEC Provide for First-Time Campers?

The NY DEC has thought of everything for a camping trip. They provide a tent, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, camping chairs, a camp stove, a lantern, and firewood. They will even give you a camping ambassador who will meet at the campsites to help families get set up with a Camping 101 lesson.


Campers will also have an opportunity to learn from experts on how to fish, hike, bird watch, paddle, and more.


>How Do You Sign Up? Entries will be accepted beginning at 9 am on Thursday, June 13th until 9 am on Thursday, June 20th, 2024. To enter a lottery click HERE to complete a survey. Those who enter the lottery will have to choose from one of the facilities in the Adirondack and Catskill Forest Preserve.

Here Is A List Of Dates & Campgrounds That Are Participating

July 12-14, 2024
North South Lake Campground (Catskills Region)
County Route 18
Haines Falls, NY 12436

July 19-21, 2024
Ausable Point Campground (Adirondacks Region)
3346 Lake Shore Road
Peru, NY 12972

July 26-28, 2024
Luzerne Campground (Adirondacks Region)
892 Lake Avenue
Lake Luzerne, NY 12846

August 2-4, 2024
Cranberry Lake Campground (Adirondack Region)
243 Lone Pine Road
Cranberry Lake, NY 12927

August 9-11, 2024
Northampton Beach Campground (Adirondack Region)
328 Houseman Street
Mayfield, NY 12117

August 16-18, 2024
Mongaup Pond Campground (Catskills Region)
231 Mongaup Pond Road
Livingston Manor, NY 12758

August 23-25, 2024
Kenneth L. Wilson Campground (Catskills Region)
859 Wittenberg Road
Mt. Tremper, NY 12457

2024 Vacation Inspiration-Top 15 Places to Visit in New York State

Sometimes the best places to visit are right here in New York State. New York State has something for everyone from beaches, beautiful mountains, the bright lights of New York City, and the gorgeous roaring Niagara Falls not to mention the many gleaming lakes throughout the state. Check out the many different options right here in New York State. These are the top 15 destinations to visit according to U.S. News and World Report. They considered sights, culture, adventurous pursuits, and the opinions of readers and experts.

Gallery Credit: Google Maps-Canva

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