Kayuta Lake Campground, south of Forestport, New York (which is 10 miles SE of Boonville) is a large commercial campground with many amenities, but they have not forgotten to provide for those who prefer a more primitive experience.
For the final four nights of our big Adirondack hike this summer we needed to stay somewhere and just go out each day to hike the trail because of a lack of camping locations along the trail. Many commercial campgrounds do not even offer tent sites, and many that do just place tenters alongside of the RV campers. Most tent campers do not appreciate being wedged between vehicles. Kayuta Lake Campground has a large area set aside just for tent campers, with drive-in sites.
It also worked out that this was Labor Day Weekend, the busiest days of the entire camping year for the new owners of Kayuta Lake Campground. Nevertheless they were personable, helpful, and friendly.
The campground is a huge operation. They have over 160 sites. Many of these are year-round RV lots, permanently rented. These sections of the campground are really like a small community. There are also full hookup sites for short-term RV camping. Some have 30 amps, while others have 50 amps, and the price varies accordingly. All sites have a fire ring and a picnic table. Two vehicles are allowed per site without extra charges.
There is a well-stocked camp store, two large bathhouses, and various latrines in the outlying areas. The bathhouses have good hot water. Showers cost 25 cents for 7 minutes of water. There is a laundry room, propane filling station, and dump station.
Recreation opportunities on site include a playground, a basketball court, a large recreation/game room, tennis, volleyball, corn hole, horseshoes, ladderball, disc golf, geocaches, and a small beach on an arm of Kayuta Lake. One can swim there or boat out into the main body of the lake. Canoes and kayaks can be rented. There are quite a lot of planned activities, movies under the stars, and occasional concerts (there was a big country group there on Saturday night, but we skipped it.)
We rented a tent site for $22 a night. We requested the site farthest from the rest of the campground since we didn’t want to lose immediately all of our sense of having our trip to ourselves. We didn’t have any close neighbors, but there was a huge group camped around the nearest pavilion and they were definitely in a party mood for the holiday weekend. One night they were playing loud music long after the quiet curfew. However, we decided to make allowances for the fact that it was a big holiday.
The facility was kept quite clean despite the heavy holiday use. One latrine in the tent area ran out of toilet paper over the weekend, but the showerhouse was kept cleaned and stocked. Extra staff was hired for the weekend. They actually met and greeted people as they were driving in. Of course, this was done to prevent unauthorized vehicles from coming in, but it was done with a wonderful friendly attitude rather than a surly “looking for troublemakers” style which can happen all too often when owners become cynical about people who try to take advantage of them.
The new owners say that they have been long-time tent campers themselves, and not only do they plan to keep the current tent sites, but they would like to add a more remote and private area for a few elite tent sites.
This had everything one could expect from a commercial campground. There are only a couple of negatives that we could think of. It is not too close to any of the major attractions in the area. Old Forge, one of the major tourist towns of the western Adirondacks is about 30 miles away. That said, there are many attractions within a 30-mile radius of the campground in several directions (Rome, Utica, Old Forge, Thendara). And the dumpster area was inadequate for the holiday weekend.
There are several very good, yet reasonably priced, restaurants within 4-10 miles of the campground.
This is not the kind of camping that I like very much, but for the type of campground that it is supposed to be, I think that Kayuta Lake Campground does the job very well.
Kayuta Lake Campground