Leaf peepers and fall lookers are disappointed when they can’t camp in Caroga, N.Y., at the state-run Caroga Lake Campground during October, Jennifer Lair, owner of the Camper’s Corner Store, told the Leader Herald.

“You can get the best look at the weather. The majority of the time it doesn’t rain. So many campers pull in and try to do some camping and they can’t,” Lair said.

Lair and her husband Rick, whose business is located near the campground in the Adirondacks, said over the past three years they have sent letters to the New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and had businesses in the community sign petitions in an attempt to keep the campsite open later, but they said they never received any response.

The Lairs then contacted town board member Beth Morris. Morris and the rest of the board are now attempting to persuade the state to keep the campgrounds open until Columbus Day this season.

David Winchell, spokesman for the DEC Region 5, said the number of campers in the Adirondacks drops significantly after Labor Day.

He said only a few of the most popular campgrounds remain open until Columbus Day.

“I believe the reason why they close is because they think it’s not as busy,” Morris said.

Winchell said the Caroga Lake Campground has an occupancy rate of 23% during the summer camping season. That is well below the average 40% occupancy rate for DEC campgrounds in the Adirondacks, he explained.

Winchell said in order to keep the Caroga Lake campsites open until Columbus Day, “there would need to be significant increase in the number of people camping there in the summer and a proven significant demand for fall camping.”

For the full story, click here.