When you ask people about great campgrounds in the Catskills, somehow Little Pond Campground always seems to comes up. And for good reason.
The campground offers beautiful woody and well-spaced-out campsites that surround a sweet lake (pond?) that offers swimming and boat rentals. Pretty typical car camping fair. BUT, there are 7 camp more secluded walk-in sites we've discovered that are particularly special. The walk is about five-minutes from where you park, but once you get to your site, you immediately feel like you are truly away from it all. Each site is right on the lake and incredibly peaceful.
The only downsides are first, these secluded sites tend to book up quickly for summer and if you wait until summer arrives you will miss out on these (this year I booked one in March for camping in June). And second, carrying in your gear even for a five minute walk can be tough with a toddler. So if you go, I highly recommend a foldable wagon or hand truck. Now, back to the good stuff!
I can't sing these seven campsites praises enough. Once we were settled in, it was sublime. The sites are shady and each one has its own picnic table, stone fireplace with grill, bear proof food locker, and rustic (heavy on the rustic) port-a-potty. We could walk to the edge of the lake and look at the trillion tadpoles (sort of grosses me out seeing that many squirming all over each other, but kids seem to like this) and there's even a nice playground nearby which Sally always loves. We hiked around the small lake several times over our stay, and even rented a row boat and rowed our way across the lake (thanks Alan!) back to our campsite for some PB&Js, and to replenished our beers for the boat ride back. Chiiiilllllll times, ya'll!
Let's talk gear!
We love camping. It's a cheap and relaxing weekend getaway. But there's always the question of what to bring. For some, the idea of thinking everything you need to bring, gathering it together, packing it in the car, etc. can feel daughting at best. Well, here's the secret. Create a camping kit! Alan and I spent a lot of time creating what ended up being 2 camping kits so that we have everything we need, all neatly organized in plastic bins ready to go at the drop of a hat. While I enjoy roughing it, I also enjoy being comfortable, so as we've gotten older and added Sally into the mix, we've added more amenities to the camping kits to make our camping experience even more pleasant. Here's a list of what's in each (with links to either the gear we have or similar)!
Camping Kit #1:
Smaller box inside the camping kit: bug spray, sunscreen, flashlight, headlamps, batteries, playing cards, matches, pocket knife, flask.
Camping Kit #2:
Tablecloth, cutting boards, aluminum foil, sandwich bags, paper towels, coffee, condiments, camping mugs, plates, paper plates, pots and pans, citronella candle, oven mitts, dish soap/sponges, frisbee.
Smaller box inside the camping kit: first aid kit, utensils, wooden spoons, tongs, olive oil, salt & pepper, hand sanitizer
Essentials outside of the kits:
Admittedly, I didn't love camping with a one year old. She wasn't old enough to understand fires are dangerous, she liked her new found walking, but was too young to be interested in exploring nature, and overall it was not the chill times that I hope for when camping. Two years old is MUCH better, and I am assuming each year it will just get more and more fun! I can't wait to keep going back to Little Pond and seeing what sort of new shenanigans Sally gets into in nature!