NY Campgrounds

Canoes, kayaks and guideboats take over a number of sites at Fish Creek Campground before the third and final day of the Adirondack Canoe Classic in 2018. JUSTIN A. LEVINE/ADIRONDACK DAILY ENTERPRISE PHOTO

State campgrounds in New York’s Adirondack Park brought in more overnight visitors this year than ever before, according to the Press-Republican.

More than 1.1 million visitors stayed overnight in Department of Environmental Conservation-run campgrounds in the park this year, which breaks the 2016 record of 1,017,492 campers, according to DEC Public Information Officer Lori Severino.

DEC campgrounds also broke the 2016 record for the most overnight stays in the Adirondacks this year by more than 10%, from 309,714 nights in 2016 to 342,407 nights in 2021, according to Severino.

The 2020 camping season was cut short because of COVID-19 restrictions. Some campgrounds opened in mid-June of 2020, but many didn’t open to visitors until the end of June.

This year, the camping season returned to its full length, with all 44 DEC campgrounds in the Adirondacks open by May 21.

The DEC also operates eight campgrounds in the Catskills.

Privately-owned campgrounds

Data from the Campground Owners of New York, a Pittsford-based trade association, shows that privately owned and operated campgrounds in the state had a busy 2021 season, too, and more of the same is expected next year. Many privately-owned campgrounds in the state reported a 10 to 15% increase in business this year compared to 2020, according to a press release from CONY.

Debbie Potter, general manager at North Pole Resorts, a family-run campground resort in Wilmington, confirmed that the upward trend reached the North Pole this year. Potter said that 2020 was a “record-breaking” season at the campground — despite limiting camping to around 60% capacity due to COVID-19 — but that 2021 exceeded those visitor numbers by more than 12%, from 7,227 visitors in 2020 to 8,147 visitors in 2021. She said a lot of new campers came to the resort last year as camping became a safer way to vacation during the pandemic, and those campers returned throughout last season and this year.

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