Department of Environmental Conservation

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First-time Camper Weekend Program

Due to concerns over COVID-19, the program has been cancelled for the 2020 season. We look forward to an even bigger and better 2021 program though! Stay tuned!

family camping at a site

NYS will provide FREE First -Time Camper weekends throughout the summer. New York families that have never camped before will have the opportunity to see if they enjoy the great outdoors before investing in their own gear by registering for a fully stocked campsite at a select NYS campground for a designated weekend this summer.

New campers will be provided with a family tent, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, camp chairs, camp stove, lantern, and even firewood. A Camping Ambassador will meet families at the campsite and help them get camp set up with a camping 101 lesson. To make the weekend getaway even more fun, campers will have an opportunity to learn from experts how to fish, hike, bird watch, paddle and more, all while having fun and making memories that last forever.

This program is available to NY residents only. Space is limited. Reservations are required and the application window will be announced later this spring.

Participants will be randomly selected to fill first-time camper slots. Watch a clip about the First-time Camper Program and check out other clips on DEC's YouTube Channel.

2019 First Time Campers Program, Participating Locations were

June 21-23, 2019

Luzerne Campground (Adirondacks Region) - Take the Virtual Tour!

892 Lake Avenue
Lake Luzerne, NY 12846
518-696-2031

July 12-14, 2019

Moreau Lake State Park (Saratoga Region) - Take the Virtual Tour!

605 Old Saratoga Road
Gansevoort, NY 12831
518-793-0511

July 19-21, 2019

Nicks Lake Campground (Adirondacks Region) - Take the Virtual Tour!

278 Bisby Road
Old Forge, NY 13420
315-369-3314

July 26-28, 2019

Taconic State Park, Copake Falls (Taconic Region) - Take the Virtual Tour!

Route 344
Copake Falls, NY 12517
518-329-3993

August 2-4, 2019

Ausable Point Campground (Adirondacks Region) - Take the Virtual Tour!

3346 Lake Shore Road
Peru, NY 12972
518-561-7080

August 9-11, 2019

Golden Hill State Park (Niagara Region) - Take the Virtual Tour!

9691 Lower Lake Road
Barker, NY 14012
716-795-3885

Evangola State Park (Niagara Region) - Take the Virtual Tour!

10191 Old Lake Shore Road
Irving, NY 14081
716-549-1802

August 16-18, 2019

North South Lake Campground (Catskills Region) - Take the Virtual Tour!

County Route 18
Haines Falls, NY 12436
518-589-5058

Kenneth L. Wilson Campground (Catskills Region) - Take the Virtual Tour!

859 Wittenberg Road
Mt. Tremper, NY 12457
845-679-7020

August 23-25, 2019

Four Mile Creek State Park (Niagara Region) - Take the Virtual Tour!

1055 Lake Road
Youngstown, NY 14174
716-745-3802

September 6-8, 2019

Frontier Town Campground (Adirondacks Region) - Check out our Flickr album!

41 Adventure Pass
North Hudson, NY 12855
518-532-9051