Mongaup Pond Campground has something for everybody, no matter how big your RV is or how many people you’re bringing. Whether it’s hiking, snowmobiling, or swimming, Mongaup Pond has it on offer. Situated by a 120-acre lake, the largest one in Catskills Park, and surrounded by lush Forest Preserves land, there’s plenty to do at this campground. You can go swimming in the lake, rent a boat, or just relax by the water. If you plan your stay during July and August, there are even Environmental Educational Recreation programs offered. Moreover, Mongaup Pond Campground has many sightseeing attractions and points of interest nearby, especially for the outdoor-inclined. These include the Catskill Fish Hatchery, three miles away, as well as Fort Delaware and numerous historic bridges in the area.
Located upstate, Mongaup Pond has quite a temperate climate during the summer and fall, with colder-than-average temperatures during the winter. But as it’s closed for the majority of the cold season, you’ll only have to contend with the temperate climate of late spring, summer and early fall.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, Mongaup Pond is very friendly to those who drive RVs. It offers a welcome escape from the hectic energy of New York City, just a few hours to the South, and gives campers a total immersion in nature and camping. If you’re into the idea of old-fashioned, do-it-yourself living, and you don’t mind dry camping for the sake of beautiful sights and a gorgeous lakeside view, then Mongaup Pond may just be the perfect campground for you.
RV Rentals in Mongaup Pond Campground
Transportation in Mongaup Pond Campground
Located in upstate New York, Mongaup Pond is easy to get to from any major city in the region, like New York City or Syracuse. If coming from New York City, one can simply take Route 17-W the entire way, with the trip likely taking between two and a half and three hours. From Syracuse, potential RV campers can take Route 81-S until they get to Route 17-E, then follow it until they arrive at Mongaup Pond.
During the winter, Mongaup Pond is closed, so you won’t have to worry about outfitting your RV with any special equipment or snow gear. None of the roads will be overly slippery or dangerous.
Do keep in mind, though, that even though getting an RV to the campground by highway might be easy, maneuvering it once you’re there might not. Like many campgrounds, Mongaup Pond has many smaller trails and sharp turns, so those who have larger, hard-to-maneuver trailers might want to look for parking sites that don't require driving too far into Mongaup Pond Campground itself.
Campgrounds and parking in Mongaup Pond Campground
Campsites in Mongaup Pond Campground
Mongaup Pond is popular among those who want a camping/RV experience that will get them back to the basics: no hookups, no frills, just nature. For that reason, booking in advance is recommended.
There are a whopping total of 158 reservable sites, 43 of which are by the lake, giving you access to watersports, swimming, and all the facilities by the lakeside. Of those 43 lakeside sites, six will fit 30ft trailers and 37 will fit 40ft trailers. In terms of the campground as a whole, 30 sites will fit 30ft trailers and 128 will fit 40ft trailers.
Reservations need to be made at least one day ahead of arrival, and can be made up to nine months in advance.
Seasonal activities in Mongaup Pond Campground
Of course, being located right by a 120-acre lake, swimming is one of the most enjoyable and accessible activities one can enjoy at Mongaup Pond Campground. There are multiple sites from which one can access the lake, some very close to the RV camps themselves for maximum convenience. Furthermore, there are designated picnic sites right by many of the swimming areas, so enjoying a leisurely meal after a day on the water is easy to do
Other watersports, like boating and fishing, make up some of Mongaup Pond’s main activities as well. No motorboats are allowed, but paddling and canoeing are encouraged. If what you’re after is a campground with an old-school, back-to-nature vibe, Mongaup Pond can offer that.
There are plenty of trails around Mongaup Pond campground, ranging widely in difficulty and scenery. For example, Mongaup Pond Loop is a leisurely, three-mile loop trail by the lake that you can even take your dog on, perfect for more or less anybody who wants to walk, run, or hike it. Mongaup Pond Campground Trail, on the other hand, is a more challenging six-mile out and back trail for the serious hikers, which you can also take your dog on.
The bottom line is, hiking is widely available here. The best time to go would be in the fall for the vivid colors and foliage, but taking a hike in the park anytime can give you a breath of fresh air.
Once the ice is thick enough on Mongaup Pond, you can catch wild brook trout and occasionally brown trout by ice fishing. Please note that no motorized vehicles are allowed on the ice, and you cannot use live bait.
If snowmobiling in the Catskills sounds like your cup of tea, then you’re in luck with this campsite. Mongaup Pond Campground forms part of a snowmobile circuit in the Southwestern part of the mountain range, along with Long Pond and Willowemoc Wild Forest Preserve. From Mongaup Pond, such other sites are easily accessible. Willowemoc alone has 14,800 acres, which should be enough land to satisfy any snowmobile enthusiast for a long vacation in the backcountry.
If you get bored of snowmobiling, or if you’re into the idea of a tougher workout, plenty of those trails can be used for snowshoeing or cross-country skiing as well. If you choose to engage in either of these activities, though, just be careful: many snowmobilers may be out on the same trails when visibility is low. Snow sports can be rewarding, but you should exercise caution and probably take a partner along with you.