Mongaup Pond Campground has something for everybody, no matter how big your RV is, or no matter how many people you’re bringing with you. Whether it’s hiking or snowmobiling, Mongaup Pond is full of activities. Situated by a 120-acre lake, the largest lake in the Catskills region, and surrounded by lush forests, like the Balsam Lake Mountain Wild Forest, there’s plenty to do at this campground such as swimming in the lake, renting a boat, or just relaxing by the water. If you plan your stay during July and August, there are even Environmental Educational Recreation programs offered. Mongaup Pond Campground also has many sightseeing attractions and points of interest nearby, especially for the outdoor-inclined. These attractions include the Catskill Fish Hatchery, which is three miles away, as well as Fort Delaware and numerous historic bridges to visit nearby.
Located in Upstate New York, Mongaup Pond Campground has a temperate climate during the summer and fall, and colder-than-average temperatures during the winter. Since the park is closed for the majority of the cold season, you’ll only have to contend with the climates of late spring, summer, and early fall. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, Mongaup Pond Campground is RV-friendly. Whether you're renting a rig from nearby or driving your campervan across the country, the campground is a welcome escape from the hectic energy of New York City, which is located just a few hours to the south. At Mongaup Pond, campers will have total immersion in nature while 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 Campground is easy to get to from any major city in the region such as New York City or Syracuse. The campground is located approximately 120 miles northwest of New York City, and about 150 miles southeast of Syracuse. Drivers should be prepared for congested areas in and around the city areas as well as be ready to pay tolls for certain routes.
Like many campgrounds, Mongaup Pond has narrow roads and sharp turns, so those who have larger rigs or hard-to-maneuver trailers might want to look for parking sites that don't require driving too far into the campground.
Mongaup Pond Campground is a seasonally-operating facility that closes during the winter.
Campgrounds and parking in Mongaup Pond Campground
Campsites in Mongaup Pond Campground
Mongaup Pond is popular among those who want an RV-camping experience that take you back to the basics. The campground has no hookups, no-frills, and just nature's surroundings at its best. Many RVers prefer to get their daily dose of nature camping in primitive locations, and for that reason, booking your space in advance is recommended. There are a total of 158 reservable sites, 43 of which are by the lake, giving RVers access to watersports, swimming, and all the facilities by the water. Of those 43 lakefront sites, six will fit 30 foot RVs or trailers and 37 sites will fit up to 40-foot rigs. In terms of the campground as a whole, many sites accommodate trailers and tow vehicles up to 40 feet in length. Reservations are recommended, and should be made at least one day ahead of your planned arrival.
If the Mongaup Pond Campground is full, or if you're just looking for a campground with a few more amenities, there are numerous options in the Catskill Mountain area. Multiple RV parks and resorts can be found near Mongaup Pond, and most offer top-notch facilities with full hookups, flush toilets, hot showers, Wi-Fi, and cable television. Some are open year-round, so if you need a place to stay after a full day of playing in the snow, you'll be set.
Seasonal activities in Mongaup Pond Campground
Mongaup Pond is home to an array of fish species, and anglers are welcome to try their luck in these plentiful waters. Brook trout, chain pickerel, cheek chub, golden shiner, pumpkin seed, smallmouth bass, yellow bullhead, and yellow perch are all common catches in this area. You can cast out from shore, or drop a line in from the canoe or paddle boat from the center of the lake. Anglers should note that fishing licenses are no longer available for purchase from the campground, but they can be bought online or by phone right from your pop-up camper or motorhome.
Mongaup Pond is the perfect place to drop the boat in the water and peacefully enjoy your surroundings. If what you’re after is a campground with an old-school, back-to-nature vibe, Mongaup Pond can offer that. No motorboats are allowed, but paddling and canoeing are encouraged. If you didn't haul your boat along with you, you could rent a rowboat or canoe onsite. There is no trailer boat launch available at the campground, so visitors must hand launch all watercraft. The easiest way to access the water is to disconnect the Airstream from your tow vehicle and take the truck or SUV as close to the water's edge as allowed.
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. Talk about convenience! There are also 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.
Lace-up the hiking boots and leave your pop-up behind because there are plenty of trails winding through the Mongaup Pond Campground. The trails range in difficulty, and no matter how challenging the hike may be, the scenery is top-notch. Mongaup Pond Loop is a dog-friendly, leisurely, three-mile loop trail by the lake. The looped path is more or less perfect for anybody who wants to walk, run, or hike. Mongaup Pond Campground Trail, on the other hand, is a more challenging six-mile out and back trail for the serious hikers. Even though the trail is rated difficult, you can still bring your dog with you. The best time of year to hike is during the fall because you get the vivid colors of the changing leaves to help entertain you along your hike.
The crisp, cool air, the warm-colored leaves, and the serene water at Mongaup Pond Campground all collide to create the perfect backdrop for professional photographers and amateurs alike— it's impossible to take a bad picture here! In the autumn, the fall foliage is at its peak, and the pond offers stunning views of the surrounding forest. On the beach, you'll also find an observation deck that is an ideal place for an impromptu photo-op. If you tread lightly on the trails around the campground, you may even be able to snap some memorable pictures of local wildlife. Keep your eyes to the sky for the chance to glimpse some large bald eagles that call this area home. During the fall, the drive into the campground is extraordinarily breathtaking, and you may be able to take some great photos from the comfort of your motorhome. Wherever you wander, you'll find yourself wanting to capture it all.
At this campground, anglers can enjoy fishing year-round, but the ice fishing experience is one you won't soon forget. The below-freezing temperatures help to make ice fishing not only possible but also fun. Once the ice becomes thick enough on the pond, you can set up your ice shanty and try to catch wild brook trout and brown trout. 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 the snowmobiling opportunities at this campground. Mongaup Pond Campground forms part of a snowmobile circuit in the southwestern part of the mountain range, together with Long Pond and Willowemoc Wild Forest Preserve. From Mongaup Pond, the other locations are easily accessible. Willowemoc Wild Forest alone has 14,800 acres, which should be enough land to satisfy any snowmobile enthusiast who is looking for an extended backcountry adventure.
If you get bored of snowmobiling, or if you’re into the idea of a tougher workout, plenty of the trails can be used for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. If you choose to engage in either of these activities, though, be careful: many snowmobilers may be out on the same trails when the visibility is low. Snowsports can be rewarding, but you should always exercise caution and take a partner along with you. Make sure you have warm clothes and the items you will need for a fun and safe day on the trails. Since the park is closed during the winter, there isn't park staff onsite to help you in an emergency.