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Old 04-10-2020, 02:01 PM   #1
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Campgrounds are opening. Is it okay to go?

I live here in upstate New York. Like virtually everyone, we are in a state of partial lockdown. NYS has closed or delayed opening all of its State Campgrounds until at least early May.

But private campgrounds are still considered essential and are being allowed to open. There are several private campgrounds (including KOAs) that are open or opening within the next couple weeks.

In some ways this makes sense as it allows families to continue to socially distance themselves from others while getting some outdoor recreation and a badly needed change of scenery. On the other hand, going camping seems like a contradiction to the state’s shelter in place mandate.

Locally, and I’m sure this is true most anywhere, there has been a movement to support local businesses such as grocery stores and restaurants. I do not see why campgrounds should be excluded from this.

So my question to fellow New Yorkers, or those who are under similar restrictions, what do you plan to do?

Stay in and shelter or support small business campground owners who are allowed to open for the season?

It’s a quandary for me.
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Old 04-10-2020, 02:14 PM   #2
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IMO, if I had a chance to go, AND it was a full hook up, so I don't have to use community restroom/showers, I'd prolly go. Problem is are people smart enough to respect the social distancing rules? Prolly not. Look at us here in Michigan. It just goes to show how stupid people are. We are the 3rd worst in the country next to NYC and LA. We have morons out there thinking this stay at home is a vacation. These idiots are having parties and when the cops show up to hand out fines and break things up they scatter like a bunch of cockroaches.
I'd give it a try and if things got uncomfortable, pack up and leave.
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Old 04-10-2020, 03:07 PM   #3
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The private campgrounds here in Minnesota and Wisconsin are open and they have the playgrounds and restrooms closed for obvious reasons. You have to have a self contained unit and then your good to go.
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Old 04-10-2020, 05:00 PM   #4
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We're 60 miles from you, and personally, we would go given the opportunity. Safely. If our state park reservations get cancelled by the governor, we will still go to some private parks in the state. I'm not sure what the future holds for crossing state lines for camping. Just our current thoughts on this question.
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Old 04-10-2020, 05:05 PM   #5
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CT here. We're in the same boat as NY, though I don't know about campgrounds opening up. I know MA has told private campgrounds they can only allow seasonal or permanent sites to be occupied. That apparently applies to those that had early May opening dates, so I interpret that as meaning that state is extending it's quarantine beyond early May. CT has now stated that schools and non-essential businesses will remain closed until "at least" May 20th.
I guess it all remains to be seen and tweaked as time goes by.
I would certainly go to a campground because we have a totally self-contained unit, and I would consider it just as much a quarantine to stay there.
Many high-rise condos with elevators are far harder to isolate in when you cannot get in or out without passing others or riding an elevator that someone was just using.
We're all hoping this settles down soon. So far the social distancing does seem to be making an impact.
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Old 04-10-2020, 07:01 PM   #6
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snip.......So my question to fellow New Yorkers, or those who are under similar restrictions, what do you plan to do? Stay in and shelter or support small business campground owners who are allowed to open for the season?.......snip
I plan to stay put at my home base where I have more control of my surrounding environment, social distancing, and essential needs around my home town. Based on the present situation in my home state of Michigan I'm going to hold off on any camping thoughts for now and will revisit the overall situation in June/July.

I know of a couple Michigan private membership campgrounds that are presently open all winter, but they only allow "existing" campers to remain that don't have a private home residence (full timers). They aren't accepting any new campers.
Bob
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Old 04-10-2020, 07:31 PM   #7
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Michigan State Parks are now closed until May 15th, even State forest area is off limits. Looks like we just wait it out.
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Old 04-10-2020, 08:25 PM   #8
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Some great feedback here, thanks!

We are leaning towards going out next weekend and getting our season started. Assuming that it's not snowing at least. I think we can actually stay more isolated doing this than remaining home and walking the local parks which are getting very crowded.

In the past we've stayed at a KOA in Lewiston that opens this coming Friday. It's never busy in the early season. Last year the weekend we stayed there were 4-5 sites occupied besides ours. It's close to Niagara Falls, which has a lot of well-spaced out trails if you get away from the falls.

We were there on the last weekend in April last year.. Everything was closed except the visitors center (which is closed this year due to COVID-19). Last year the weather was beautiful, and the crowds were nonexistent. I'm thinking crowds will be even lighter this year making this a great choice.

There are trails near Devils Hole that are never busy, even in the summer. So that is what we are leaning towards for next weekend.
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Old 04-10-2020, 08:47 PM   #9
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I was at a KOA in NC when they issued their "stay at home" order and left there to go to VA as they issued theirs.

The KOAs both closed most common areas such as pools, game rooms etc... Both of them had one bath house open that was cleaned often during the day but we elected to use our own facilities in the coach. Not sure about forks in NY but in NC nd VA people maintained their social distance. Although people would try to be sociable they did not enter another's RV site and would converse from the street while maintaining an adequate distance.

Personally, I believe there is a higher chance of catching something while grocery shopping that there is from going out in the RV.

If they in fact open up the campgrounds and allow you to leave home for camping by all means go. In most cases folks in a campground present not more hazard to anyone than if they stayed home. In some cases the distance between camp sites is greater than the distance between houses or apartments in urban areas.

Stay safe and enjoy.
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Old 04-10-2020, 09:33 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Rustic Eagle View Post
I plan to stay put at my home base where I have more control of my surrounding environment, social distancing, and essential needs around my home town. Based on the present situation in my home state of Michigan I'm going to hold off on any camping thoughts for now and will revisit the overall situation in June/July.

I know of a couple Michigan private membership campgrounds that are presently open all winter, but they only allow "existing" campers to remain that don't have a private home residence (full timers). They aren't accepting any new campers.
Bob
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Old 04-10-2020, 11:07 PM   #11
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Campgrounds are opening. Is it okay to go?

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Originally Posted by Nature Ist View Post
CT here. We're in the same boat as NY, though I don't know about campgrounds opening up. I know MA has told private campgrounds they can only allow seasonal or permanent sites to be occupied. That apparently applies to those that had early May opening dates, so I interpret that as meaning that state is extending it's quarantine beyond early May. CT has now stated that schools and non-essential businesses will remain closed until "at least" May 20th.
I guess it all remains to be seen and tweaked as time goes by.
I would certainly go to a campground because we have a totally self-contained unit, and I would consider it just as much a quarantine to stay there.
Many high-rise condos with elevators are far harder to isolate in when you cannot get in or out without passing others or riding an elevator that someone was just using.
We're all hoping this settles down soon. So far the social distancing does seem to be making an impact.

Where did you see the info on MA? I haven’t been able to find anything regarding private campgrounds. We have a seasonal on cape cod scheduled to open 5/15
Thanks!
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Old 04-10-2020, 11:45 PM   #12
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UPDATE: NYS Parks are closed for camping until at least May 14th. Reservations before then are cancelled, and will be refunded. Sorry folks!
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Old 04-11-2020, 08:07 AM   #13
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Where did you see the info on MA? I haven’t been able to find anything regarding private campgrounds. We have a seasonal on cape cod scheduled to open 5/15
Thanks!
I received an email from a private campground in MA that has both seasonal/permanent sites and day use sites/visit use. We go there for weekends etc, but because we are on their mailing list, we received the notice.

It stated:
"Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, and Commonwealth of Massachusetts public health directives, we will not open the campground to day visitors and campers on May 1 as planned.
Our opening date will be postponed until it is deemed safe to do so by officials.
If you are a member and seasonal site holder, you can occupy your site on May 1 as planned."

I'm not sure exactly how or where various states are posting these guidelines. It has to be hard get all these things posted and revised on a constant basis. There are probably more pressing issues such as unemployment compensation and deciding what to actually enact, so updating may be a bit slower than we would all like. Sometimes it might work best to call a campground you want to go to, that way you know and may be able to make reservations. Reservations are probably going to be our next problem...every campground that is open will book quickly!
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Old 04-11-2020, 08:28 AM   #14
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Friends have a seasonal site in central Wisconsin. Their campground which usually opens on April 15th is closed until April 24th as well as others in several surrounding counties. We have several reservations at WI state parks this summer and I hoping we'll at least be able to go camping in late summer.
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Old 04-15-2020, 01:32 PM   #15
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CT campgrounds

Some campgrounds here in CT are open and allowing people in. There are restrictions such as no public bathrooms and no group activities. We are waiting to hear if ours is opening up as scheduled or postponing opening day. If we do go up it will likely not be for long, it will be hard to keep the kids from wanting to gather with their friends and stay off the playground equipment.
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Old 04-15-2020, 03:12 PM   #16
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Shackrat, Yeah, I'm from the great Northeast, upstate NY as well. So today Gov. Cuomo has mandated that starting this Friday 4/17/20 it will now be MANDATORY to wear face protection whenever you are out in the public. As far as opening State campgrounds is up in the air. I'm seasonal in VT. And they will not open until May 16th.....
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Old 04-15-2020, 04:45 PM   #17
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I guess we're fortunate out here on the prairie. Kansas State Parks remain open and DW and I spent last week at our favorite state park. Maintaining social distancing was not a problem as we had the campground pretty much to ourselves for most of the week.
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Old 04-15-2020, 07:59 PM   #18
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We stayed 4 days at a State Park close to us a few weeks ago and have reservations to go back for a few days next weekend. Park is full and everyone respects the social distancing. Playground is closed but the bathrooms are still open and cleaned 4 times a day. We don’t use them because we are self contained and every sight is FHU.
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Old 04-15-2020, 08:13 PM   #19
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We’re camping now at a state park. Paid online. Zero contact with staff, full hookup. Only got out of the truck once on the way here and that was to use the restroom in the trailer. People are keeping their distance.

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Old 04-15-2020, 10:19 PM   #20
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DW is concerned about getting sick on the road, possibly having to go to the Hospital for maybe 2 weeks then getting back home. Until things calm down a quite a bit we’re staying put.
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