At the first sighting of an Army Mule, or if the gentle melody of On Brave Old Army Team is playing in the background, you know something big is about to happen. Gold, black, and gray are blanketing West Point, New York, and the gates to Michie Stadium are swinging open. It can only mean one thing: United States Military Academy is about to unleash the Army Black Knights on their opponents, and tailgating season is ready to begin.
The United States Military Academy division is in fine form, with hockey, rugby, wrestling, football, and gymnastics, all bringing tens of thousands of people to West Point by the Hudson River for some stiff competition.
Not only does Michie Stadium, which has a 38,000-person capacity, provide the perfect battleground for the Academy’s football team, but it also promotes an environment of togetherness for fans, family, and students.
Before everyone files into the stadium for football, or Christl Arena for a game of basketball, they first participate in traditional tailgating that grows in strength every year.
Tailgating areas open at the crack of dawn, allowing tailgaters to make the most of the experience before the game begins. Those in motorhomes can confidently make their way to the North Dock, which is the only tailgating area for large vehicles. Cook your breakfast, indulge in a morning brew or two, or visit the booths that set up in Black Knight Alley for a bite to eat, face painting, and activities.
The game then begins with a cadet regiment march, army band, and parachuting from helicopters with the game ball. Once the game is over, the action continues.
Post-game activities are plentiful nearby, and fans don’t have to be in any hurry to leave. While you can’t keep your RV on United States Military Academy property overnight, there is plenty of time to trundle back to your booked RV campground in West Point, New York.
Whether the Army Black Knights are facing their arch-rivals, the Naval Academy, or they’re competing for the Commander-in-Chief’s trophy, you aren’t going to want to miss the competition heating up. Prepare your motorhome for a trip to West Point, New York, today.
The most cost-effective method for purchasing tickets to United States Military Academy sports events is membership passes. The unit rate is often lower than single-day tickets, while also offering you the freedom to travel to West Point for any game as you please. Pricing in the past has varied between $115 for priority seating and $175 for club seating. Single-day ticket prices vary, depending on the sports event and type of game.
Parking lots open around six hours before games at United States Military Academy begin. That allows you plenty of flexibility with time to get to West Point, New York. However, given the limited parking and congestion for such a large-scale event, you will need to put a travel plan in place. A traffic resource like 511NY can allow you to plan your travel route with plenty of time to spare.
On your travels to this Orange County military post, there is plenty to see and do along the way. You can marvel at the beauty of the Hudson River, or even go walking at Bear Mountain State Park before you arrive. Natural attractions, such as Sterling Forest State Park, make the journey to West Point as memorable as the destination.
You will need your wits about you when you arrive near the United States Military Academy. The tailgating area for RVs is located a little off the beaten track at River Courts by the Kosciuszko’s Garden.
Parking and tailgating at any United States Military Academy event can be quite exciting. The Academy boasts a myriad of different turnkey packages to take all the hassle out of the day. Those who are traveling in a large RV, such as an Airstream or 5th-wheel, may like to consider the use of a tow vehicle and a shade tent, as spaces are limited.
There are also maximum vehicle limits in each of the tailgating areas, excluding North Dock, which welcomes RV-goers. Parking passes are required for any tow vehicle or RV in Academy tailgating and parking areas around Buffalo Soldier Field, South Dock, and Daly Field. If you don’t have a parking pass, you must enter through Washington Gate.
For convenience’s sake and due to a lack of day parking, RV-goers may like to arrange transportation from their accommodation to Michie Stadium and the tailgating lots. Otherwise, RV-goers who plan to tailgate with their motorhome may wish to arrive bright and early to North Dock to ensure they don’t miss out on a place to set up.
Within a few hours of football games beginning at Michie Stadium, shuttle buses start running. These will bring you from the various parking lots around West Point to the central hub of the action: Michie Stadium.
RV-goers who have chosen to enjoy tailgating activities and the game without their set of wheels may like to arrange a rideshare service or taxi from their accommodation to West Point. Doing so can save much hassle with congestion and wait times.
While there is a dedicated RV area set up for tailgaters, this is only available from dawn until after the game. You will then need to move your camper to an RV campground near West Point. While you are parked at North Dock, however, you will be able to use your onboard kitchen appliances, generators, and even pitch tents. There are plenty of places that are accessible with a large RV in surrounding towns and cities, such as Vails Gate and Garrison across the Hudson River.
Finding somewhere to stay with an RV near West Point is easier than you might think. Those who want to explore the area will discover quality establishments to the north, such as New York City North / Newburgh KOA in Plattekill, New York. If your route originates more to the west, Deerpark / New York City NW KOA in Godeffroy may suit your travel plans. There are even primitive RV camping areas nearby, such as Harriman State Park that offers RV camping for a portion of the year.
Travelers that prefer the luxury of service hookups will find plenty of RV campgrounds and resorts within a 10 to 30-mile driving distance of West Point. Campers may also enjoy seeking out a spot along the Hudson River flowing just east of West Point.
Shuttles are one of the best ways to get around the parking lots and tailgating areas to Michie Stadium. Each shuttle color represents the gate and lot it travels to and from for Army Black Knights fans, but shuttles may not run to all areas. Once you are either at the parking lots for tailgating or the game, your feet will become the best way to get around. Scooters, skateboards, and similar are best to be left in your motorhome.
It doesn’t matter whether it’s summer, spring, fall, or winter, three colors must make their way into your suitcase: gray, black, and gold. As the official United States Military Academy Army Black Knights colors, it’s crucial to show your support for the home team.
The last thing you want to do is turn up in the opponent’s colors by accident! Check a weather app before you travel to find out whether it’s snow jacket or shorts weather.
For any sporting event at United States Military Academy, including football with the Army Black Knights, a strict bag policy is in place. You may bring a tote bag, a clear bag of a specific size, a small clutch, or a cinch bag.
You may also bring a camera and binoculars, cash, and your valid government-issued ID. However, containers of any kind, food and beverages, umbrellas, backpacks and luggage, weapons, and noisemakers are prohibited. Pop these in your RV before you make your way into Michie Stadium.
Prescription medical equipment and medication are allowed in Michie Stadium, but it’s always a good idea to make sure any prescription names match your ID. Smoking is also prohibited once you enter the stadium.
Those who plan on doing a little exploring in West Point and surrounding areas like Highland Falls, Washingtonville, and Beacon may like to ensure their RV is loaded with convenient supplies. A first-aid kit, sunscreen, bug spray, and ample drinking water will all come in handy on your RV adventure.
Tailgaters who park in one of the many well-established tailgating areas in West Point will love being able to cook on their grills and aboard their RVs. Whip up full breakfasts, chilis, stews, or whatever you feel like treating yourself and others to before the game begins. If you are staying at an RV campground nearby, make sure you refer to the RV camping rules before you light a campfire.
Westpoint is a dedicated military post, which means restaurants are not within walking distance of Michie Stadium or surrounding sports areas. A quick drive up to Cornwall, which is on the doorstep to Storm King State Park, is an idyllic location to grab a bite to eat. Ambitious visitors hunt in the Storm King area, so bring your gear and permit if that's how you plan to obtain a meal or two.
Here, you can indulge in pizza, pub grub, and café cuisine. The area also emphasizes farm to fork options for those who take pride in their food choices. Why not grab something to eat and have a picnic at Riverlight Park?
Whether you fancy breakfast burritos, chicken, pork, or pizza, the vendors in the tailgating area, and at Michie Stadium, can’t wait to fill those hungry tummies. Food is usually for sale in the Black Knight Alley before the game begins, as well as in the stadium. Make sure you bring plenty of cash, for most vendors will not accept credit cards or debit cards.
When you enter the United States Military Academy for tailgating and competition sports, allow plenty of time for security screening. You, your vehicle, and all your possessions can be subject to a search at a moment’s notice. Refrain from bringing anything into the academy grounds that could be dangerous or distracting. If in doubt, leave it out.
Security officials will be present throughout the Academy grounds and Michie Stadium to answer any of your questions. For any outside concerns, the Highland Falls Police Department is within three miles of Michie Stadium.
West Point, in the Town of Highlands, has a humid continental climate. It has four distinct seasons that are usually reflective of what you would expect for each. For example, winter brings snow, and summers bring heat and humidity.
Pay attention to the game and time of year you are attending. A glance at the weather channel will prove beneficial for knowing what you must wear and what weather conditions you may strike on your travels to Orange County.
Medical help is available in West Point if and when you need it. Trained medical staff are on hand at the Academy to help with any minor injuries. Approach an official if you require assistance. In an emergency, dial 911. You will also find the nearest medical center is just 15 miles away, while a pharmacy is within nine miles.