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“Funtime-Camping with kids!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Mongaup Pond Campground

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Mongaup Pond Campground
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231 Mongaup Pond Road, Livingston Manor, NY 12758   |  
Hotel amenities
New York City, New York
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Funtime-Camping with kids!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2013

We wanted to go camping with our 3 boys now that they were all at a good age to manage it (ages 8,6,4). I happened to be on the mommypoppins site and a writer suggested Mongaup. I agonized over making the reservations b/c the 'joy of camping' has a lot to do with what kind of site you get. Reserveamerica was extremely efficient to use, and I chose a site that (with much web searching) would be as close to the water as possible-in lieu of a site waterside which of course were all booked. Let me tell you that we were completely impressed from the second we drove up, obviously a very well kept and picturesque campground. When you first enter the site, the 'beach' and pavilion, garbage disposal, shower houses are there to you right-very organized layout. From there, you either go further right to Loops A,B,C or go left to Loops D, E, F. Loops D,E,F apparently are the more sought after ones because there are less sites situated within the areas, and slightly more remote. We chose Loop D-site105....beautiful!! Nice big space under tall trees (plenty of spacing between neighbors), water spigot across from us and even though we were not on the water-EVERY site in Loop D has a water view!! Lovely!The toilets were centrally located within the Loop and might I add, really clean! There were 2 toilets each in the mens and woman's room. We had one air mattress that had a built in pump so we went to the shower house to use the electricity there. If you are thinking of bringing bikes-bring them b/c this is not only a beautiful place to ride through, but everything is far apart and the campground itself is immense. We were there midweek and it was very quiet-fantastic, had only one solo neighbor behind us.. Ranger would drive by here and there, but we did not see this 'truck' that other reviewers mentioned that would come around with wood and snacks like an ice cream truck. Bring everything with you before you get there. Stop in town (Livingston Manor) and go to Pecks which is right off the exit, and buy your wood and bait. Wood is half the price at Peck's than at Mongaup, and the campground does not sell bait if your kids want to fish. The water / beachfront is very small, but perfect for the kids because it's extremely shallow and there is a lifeguard. Personally, I couldn't get myself to go in. It was warm for mid-august, but between the 'mushy' sand feeling, the geese feathers, and the brown water, it was too much for my city-fide feet..even with water shoes on. It was absolutely picture perfect nonetheless and many campers were taking advantage of the canoeing and kayaking. The whole family loved this place and we have no doubt that we will be back next summer. Thank you Mongaup for a wonderful time!
My only Con: 3 showers for woman (and 3 for men) for the entire campground...you don't have to pay but you have to hold the button in for the water to come out-very difficult to do while showering little kids!! Obviously this part is only a minor inconvenience in comparison to an overall awesome campsite.

Room Tip: Can't go wrong with any site in Loops D E F. Even the dreaded sites located next to bathrooms, a...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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42 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (17)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
New Paltz, NY
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 14, 2013

I love reading some of the nostalgic entries that people have contributed and have just begun to create some for me and my family. My 8 year old daughter and 6 year old son returned to Mongaup with my wife and me to celebrate the end of the school year. It felt so good to see that we can count on certain things like a clean and civil campground, an extremely family friendly environment, and delicious disconnection from the real world. Mongaup Pond didn't disappoint.

One bear sighting (don't worry--it ran away as fast as it could once it came within 50 yards of people and the rangers seemed genuinely surprised and excited that one was seen at all), lots of bike riding, Harry Potter reading, plenty of meals by the fire, and a smattering of canoeing have given us a good foundation to build some nostalgia upon.

The predictability of this place is a big attraction for me and my family. We know what we're gonna' get when we get there and--from our perspective, at least--it's all good.

Room Tip: There are a few sites that have paths to the restroom adjacent to them and I'd try to avoid thes...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 14, 2013

We went to this campground for the first time this weekend and were very pleased! It is very pretty and the sites are good size for two (or more) tents and two cars. You can rent a boat $20 all day or kayaks $15 and enjoy the pond. The only thing is that you need to bring EVERYTHING, and I mean it. There are no stores around, not even 10 or 15 min drive, so be prepared with all you need. They are very serious about recycling so do your part and separate your trash before getting to the dumpsters. We are definitely going back there, hopefully to a waterfront site (which you need to reserve several months in advance)!

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Paltz, New York
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 11, 2013

We've been going here since 1973! (No showers then.) One of our first trips was when our youngest was 3 years old. Now he's in his 40's. He rode away on his tricycle while we were setting up camp. The ranger brought him back. One time our dog ran away and swam across the pond. The ranger brought him back We have enjoyed the tiny trout in the spring which you can see at night with a flash light. While walking to the spring, show the children the north star. Rent a boat and let the children fish--it's easier than getting the lines out of the trees. And yes they caught fish, cleaned, cooked and ate them. Nature programs and hikes were a big hit. I can't say enough about the natural beauty. The lake at sunset; watching an eagle catch a fish and fly to a high tree; the raccoons; lightening over the pond...

We always liked F and G loop with sites on the water. We are tenters We were unable to swim from these sites but picturesque and patrolled! Don't miss the waterfall for an invigorating, soap-less shower followed by a slide down the rocks.

Go with friends and family. These are our happiest memories. One friend is gone, but our kids still sing the songs he taught them around the campfire. We are going the end of August with our granddaughters. We have been with our grandsons. We are in our 70's. We have stayed at the Ritz-Carlton a few times and Mongaup Pond has more to offer in satisfaction and purely good times. Don't miss out on this wonderful experience. Go. Enjoy.

Well-maintained. just the right distance from town. If it rains, go into Livingston Manor for an ice cream soda at the soda fountain in the old drug store. Build a fire to dry shoes, socks and everything that gets wet. Then sit under the tarp and play monopoly. Cannot bring in firewood from home. (plant and insects not indigenous to the area are carried on wood). Bring a harp saw.

On a clear night, stars, stars and more stars. Lie on your back in the ball field by the rest rooms and look into infinite space. Bring your bikes! Oh, I can't wait.

Room Tip: Best water sites are F and G loop. There's one good site by the spring, top of hill in G loop...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Top Contributor
114 reviews 114 reviews
55 hotel reviews
Reviews in 56 cities Reviews in 56 cities
118 helpful votes 118 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2013

We spent a week in an RV, and our experience was just okay--and on the weekend a nightmare. Nobody controls loud campers around the campfire during "quiet hours"; we had four across from us and four next to us. Only after several complaints from other campers did a ranger shut down four drunken teenagers with two pick-up trucks, their radios synchronized and blaring for three hours, albeit not during "quiet hours." On Friday night, the dog barking began as well. The beach is mobbed on weekends, and the shower facility there--3 showers for women, one out of order all week--were filthy.

Other reviewers here may have been camping in a tent in an area where only tents are allowed. Perhaps this is a more peaceful area, although I must say that the loudest neighbors we had were staying in a tent, not in an RV. No monitoring of how many people are staying at one site can prevent families who have rented several sites gathering at one of them for a loud campfire confab or late dinner. It was relatively quiet after 11 or 12 PM, but we left on a Saturday and went to another camp when we discovered that all the noise we were hearing was from a party being held at the lakeside beach. The staff knew about it because a golf cart with a staff member was there. So, forget about the quiet contemplation of the night sky. They party went on until 11 PM.

The staff is friendly and the facilities for an RV (dump station, water, etc.) are good, but of course there are no hook-ups. The number of sites in this campground make it less desirable as the potential for people who want to party on the weekends is increased. If you stay Sunday through Thursday, it's okay. Couples should certainly only stay during these times, as other times there are lots of children and dogs, both of whom add considerably to the noise level.

As to the nearest town, it's Livingston Manor about 8 miles from the Mongaup gate, or a 20 minute drive. Travel time from New York City is about 4 hours. A walking path around the camp is nice, and one is able to ride a bike on much of it, as well as on the paved "streets" where drivers generally comply with the 15 mph limit.

Room Tip: If you are in a tent, grab the sites reserved for them. In an RV, the best ones are not always lakes...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Top Contributor
82 reviews 82 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 40 cities Reviews in 40 cities
62 helpful votes 62 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2013

Recently went up here with some friends. I was concerned that because we booked it at the last minute that it wouldn't be that nice. The campground itself was pretty, the lake was nice, we found the rangers to be really helpful (except that they didn't seem to know much about the surrounding area/trails). A big downside for us was the availability of showers. They were pretty far away from our loop and there were 4 per gender. You had no control over water temp and you had to restart the water every 15 seconds. But hey, they worked and were free.

The huge problem is if you have to go to Liberty for anything. Its at least a 15 minute ride (we had GPS so I assume we were going the right way) and once you got there, we generally found the people to be VERY unfriendly. We got food/supplies at a few different places and with only one exception were treated pretty poorly. It was just a weird vibe. We never got to check out the camp store which is closer to the camp site itself.

All said, we probably would try another place before we came back here. But I can see this being a perfect place if you have all your supplies already and just want a relaxing place for families with kids.

Room Tip: We got a site in "loop b" which I later heard was the "party loop". We got no e...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2013

My friends and family have been staying at Mongaup Pond since 2001. This place is fabulous if you actually like camping. I've read all of the reviews here, and the complaints are almost comical. You are allowed two tents (and that includes your screen tent, if you use one), and six people per site. This means that potentially you will have six people in one tent, plus a screen tent. Plan accordingly. You WILL be evicted if you violate this policy. No play tents. No pup tents. No nothing. Two tents or stay somewhere else. In regards to the quiet hours, they ARE strictly enforced. Quiet hours begin at 10pm. If you plan to sit around your campfire later than this, camp somewhere else. For those reviewers claiming the rangers were stalking them, I'm positive that they actually had that experience. No excuses, be quiet by 10. In regards to late arrivals, nobody cares where you drive from, get there by 9pm or plan to arrive the next morning. Nobody wants you setting up next to them while they're cleaning up, relaxing and trying to enjoy the quiet end of day. You WILL be turned away, even if you have a paid reservation. As for the boat rentals, this campground has at least two dozen canoes, kayaks and rowboats. That isn't enough for each campsite to have one, and if a camper decides to pay extra and keep them overnight, you'd better be there first thing in the morning to get it when it's returned. We have NEVER not rented boats. There's always been one or two available. This trip, we rented two canoes, two kayaks and a rowboat. We kept all but the rowboat for five nights. As for the bathrooms, all I can say is, "This is CAMPING!" If you want hot water, paper towels, etc. then stay at the Holiday Inn. This campground has a shower house. In the Women's side, there are three sinks, two stalls and four showers. There is plenty of hot water. I've found that showering in the afternoon after a morning at the beach is simply divine. You WILL wait in line if you intend to shower in the morning or at night just before quiet time. As for the beach, it is wonderful for families. There are two roped off sections, and yes they are small. The largest section is the size of a double wide trailer as described in another review. We've been there with at least a dozen other families and did not find it crowded. The lifeguard takes a break every hour for five minutes, and you have to get out of the water. We use this as a snack/potty break. Floating devices are NOT allowed, but life preservers, water wings, etc ARE allowed. Leave the blow up stuff at home. As for the actual camping, some of the sites are on the water, and I highly recommend reserving well in advance if you expect to get one. Loops G, F, E, D and C all have waterfront sites. You are technically not allowed to swim off of your site, however. We stayed in Loop D, and our kids swam everyday, wearing shoes, and nobody said anything. We do not expect to be this lucky next time. Some sites are better than others. If you've never been, call ahead and ask! We have our three favorite areas that we try to reserve every year. This year, we waited a little too long and ended up with our second choice. We had 14 adults, 8 children, 4 sites, 8 tents and 7 cars. We had the BEST time. I can't say enough good things about this campground. You can swim, fish, hike, cookout, spend time with friends and family and enjoy nature. There is no cell service, thank goodness. We had Sprint, Verizon, T-Mobile and AT&T all represented and all without service. We used airplane mode
and saved our batteries for pictures.

  • Stayed July 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Mongaup Pond Campground

Address: 231 Mongaup Pond Road, Livingston Manor, NY 12758
Location: United States > New York > Catskill Region > Livingston Manor
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Specialty Lodging in Livingston Manor
Number of rooms: 163
Also Known As:
Mongaup Pond Campground Hotel Livingston Manor

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