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In the lower reaches of southeastern New York, approximately 50 miles north of world-famous New York City, is Clarence Fahnestock Memorial State Park. When you book an RV in Putnam County, you’ll have unbridled access to this massive 14,000-acre state park that contains miles of hiking trails, four ponds, two lakes, and seemingly endless forests. Motorhome camping near the state park is easy thanks to numerous campgrounds, making an extended stay easy to accomplish.
The park was originally created in 1929 after a land donation of approximately 2,400 acres by Dr. Ernest Fahnestock as a memorial to his brother Clarence. With a rental motorhome at Clarence Fahnestock Memorial State Park, you’ll be able to explore the modern expanded grounds that now cover almost six times the original area thanks to various land donations and purchases over the years. In 2014 the park had over a quarter-million people, many of them venturing north from New York City.
Clarence Fahnestock Memorial State Park is massive and has tons of outdoor activity opportunities to keep its guests happy and entertained. With four ponds, two lakes, and miles upon miles of hiking and biking trails to explore, it would be easy to spend a week or more in the park doing something new each day. One of the larger lakes, Canopus Lake, is home to the Canopus Beach Complex, which has a swimming beach, parking, picnic tables, and other amenities to help you enjoy a day at the beach.
Depending on where you end up camping with your rental RV, different areas of the park will be easier to access than others. While camping on the east side of the park, it is easier to access the Three Lakes Trail Trailhead and the segment of the Appalachian Trail that runs through the park. Camping at Clarence Fahnestock Memorial State Park on the west side will give you more opportunities for hunting, both during the summer and winter months.
All seasons can be enjoyed at the park. During the summer months, activities like shore and boat fishing, hiking, biking, nature trails, picnics, swimming, and some hunting are more prevalent. The wintertime brings other exciting adventures like cross-country skiing, snowshoe trails, sledding, and ice fishing. Be sure to plan the time that you rent a camper near Clarence Fahnestock Memorial State Park in accordance with the activities you most want to do, whether those are summer or wintertime based.
Many campsites and campground loops exist on the east side of the park, and between the various loops, there are 75 campsites that are RV compatible. These campsites all have electric, and water hookups, and the majority of them are back-in sites. Some pull-through sites exist, but these are often reserved early, so when seeking a pull-through site specifically, it may be best to book your campsites after you sort out the details of your RV rental.
The state park RV campgrounds are a fantastic way to spend your camping trip since they have shared community amenities like comfort stations, dumping stations, and access to playgrounds, docks, boat launches, a nature center, and ample parking. There are also interpretive programs run out of the nearby interpretive center, showers with hot water, toilets that flush, and a camp office to answer any camping related questions you may have.
A short drive to the west of the campgrounds will take you to the Hudson River, and on it, the towns of Beacon and Newburgh are convenient to visit. Beacon is on the east side of the river and is connected to Newburgh by both a train that goes under the river and a bridge that goes above. Beacon is home to plenty of restaurants, many of which are located on its main street, an easily walkable part of town.
Just across the river in Newburgh, there are plenty of exciting museums to spend the day when the weather is less than agreeable. The Motorcyclepedia Museum is filled with an extensive display of modern and classic bikes, while Washington’s Headquarters State Historic Site is the original house that served as George Washington’s headquarters from 1782-1783. Other exciting museums in town include the Historical Society of Newburgh, the Mindy Ross Gallery, and the Fullerton Center.
Of course, when you camp in an RV near New York City, even 50 miles to the north, you’ll probably want to visit this massive metropolitan attraction. New York City has countless restaurants, dozens of world-class museums, and attractions to keep you entertained for weeks on end. Whether your trip is taking you north or south, working in the chance to spend a day or two in the Big Apple is a great way to round out a trip to this part of New York.