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“Really nice place to pitch a tent!”

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North-South Lake Campground
Reviewed July 11, 2010

Just got back from North South State Park. We really liked it and would recommend it to others. We've tented at quite a few places, and other than Nickerson (out on Cape Cod), we have felt a drive to return to a particular place. We plan to return to North South. My DH actually commented at one point that the layout and feel reminded him of Nickerson. The majority of sites here are spacious and offer a fair amount of privacy - even the sites on the inside of the loops are much more private than at a typical campground (especially ones this large).

Based on a previous reviewer's comments, we stayed in Loop 1, site 11. It was quite private - didn't have a site across from it, backed to the stream and woods, and on one side had total "green screen". I didn't love how we could clearly see the campers in site 9, but in fairness to the campground that's more my issue than theirs! LOL It wasn't that bad; I'm just neurotic on privacy! Unfortunately, this has been a dry season, so the stream was really just a series of water puddles rather than any running water. It was still very pretty, but DH didn't like how many people walked along it as a trail.

If we go back in the spring (during what's typically a wet season), we'd be interested in having this site again (in hopes that the stream would be flowing), but we'd probably skip it otherwise. We drove around and, in general, are most interested in staying in Loop 6 since it is just a short walk from there to the beach area and playground - much more convenient with the kids (we have 4). If I weren't going with the children, I'd probably opt for Loop 7 since the sites were more private and it seemed like the quietest part of the park. (As an aside, while our loop wasn't particularly loud, once Friday late afternoon / early evening came, it was very "active" - almost a shock to my senses after how quiet it had been.)

All of the sites in Loop 1 are generally very good (even 21, which is the site next to the bathroom!), but avoid 13, 14, and 15 as you'd have campers from Loop 2 butting up against you. Sites 0, 2, and 5 are up against the marshy part of the lake and have trails leading down to it. They're very pretty but short and small, so you'd have trouble with a big tent or much equipment. We also especially liked sites 19 and 22.

We didn't find anything especially appealing (or terrible) about any of the sites in Loops 2, 3, or 4.

In Loop 5, our picks are 138, 145, 146, and 149.

In Loop 6, our picks are 169, 171, 173, and 179. Site 171 is right on the lake. Site 179 is essentially lakeside but it didn't seem to open right up to it. Sites 169 and 173 seemed to be very private.

In Loop 7, our picks are 202, 204, 211, 212, 214, 217, and 218. Avoid sites 201, 201, and 205 because the way the loop turns, they all back up against one another. All on the exterior of the loop are nice, though, in that there's just woods behind them.

Note this is definitely a tenter's campground. I didn't see any RVs and I saw maybe just a couple of trailers or pop-ups. Beaches are nice, trails are nice, Catskill Mountain House overlook is amazing, ice cream truck is sweet. Boat rentals are expensive - can't rent them by the hour, only by the day (for $25!). No programs for kids due to budget cuts. Stop at the falls on 23A at some point - you'll feel like you're risking your life walking along the mountain road to get to the trail head, but then it's a nice 1/2 mile hike up to the bottom of the falls - we spent about an hour up there and loved it.

  • Stayed: July 2010, traveled with family
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31  Thank CottageSpirit
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed October 8, 2009

We visited this campground in late September with our two young children (1yo and 4yo) and had a really great time. We were on Loop 4 and found it really comfortable for car camping. Across the road from our campsite, there was a water spigot, and a short walk away were very clean bathrooms, showers, and a facility for washing dishes (very handy!). Elsewhere in the campground, there was a playground and lots of other activities -- hiking, fishing, swimming (in summer) -- that were very nice. The leaves were just beginning to change when we visited, which was beautiful. Our one complaint was probably our own fault -- it was very cold at night and we weren't 100% prepared for that. The good thing was that they sell firewood right at the entrance to the campground, which is very handy. I should also note that there's a grocery store and other supplies not far away, should you realize, once you've got there, that you've forgotten something.

  • Stayed: September 2009, traveled with family
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5  Thank FreeRangePamela
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 11, 2009

This is a beautiful campground surrounded by trails for all levels of ability. We stayed at site 146 on the eastern shore of North Lake for 3 nights midweek in early June 2009. The site is noisy as you are close to the other sites and directly across from the eastern swimming beach but the view of the lake is priceless. After scouting around we decided site 11, off the lake but on a quiet stream, would be our spot of choice should we return. There are no stores in the park, only a small general store a mile or two from the park entrance, so try to bring everything you need with you. Although rain and fog cut our trip short, hiking on the one clear day to Sunset Rock/Inspiration Point (in Day Hike brochure provided at check-in) was spectacular. Great trail for birding. Be sure to check out the Kaaterskill Hotel ruins but watch out for the Ruffed Grouse. We got chased on 2 separate occasions by a momma defending her chicks. Nearly got pecked to death! If it rains, we recommend the Village Bistro in Tannersville or a 10 mile drive to the funky, historic town of Catskill, NY for a meal at MOD Gourmet Cafe and ice cream at Spoon Me.

  • Stayed: June 2009, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Gary L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 26, 2008

NYS DEC North / South Lake Campground is probably the gold standard to which I judge other campgrounds. Most sites are wooded except the ones on the lake. The facilities are alawys clean and well kept. DEC Rangers, Police and staff patrol regularlly. The beaches are clean. I recommend south lake. (Less people go there) There are alot of hiking trails and local historic ruins. I would highly recommend this facility to any camper!

  • Stayed: June 2008, traveled with family
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3  Thank EVT0005
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 4, 2008

We just got back from our 4 day campout at North-South Lake. The lake is a little drier then it was a year ago but still clean and beautiful. North-South Lake is a beautiful campground, we stayed at loop one, the bathroom is impressively clean, the cleanest we ever seen. In loop one, there is a creek at the back of our sites, our kids enjoyed catching little fish and craw fish.
The campground that run by the DEC has many programs, even on weekday. The best one we joined was the educational canoe trip out to the lake by the rangers.
There are 2 beaches on the lake, the north lake are usually crowded, we like the south lake better with nicer view.
Neaby the campgound is Kaaterskill Falls, we took a nice but steep hike up to the falls, the waterfall wasn't impressive as Catskill hasn't get much rain in the month of June.

4  Thank Babooi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about North-South Lake Campground

Address: County Route 18, Haines Falls, NY 12436
Location: United States > New York > Haines Falls
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Specialty Lodging in Haines Falls
Number of rooms: 219
Also Known As:
North-South Lake Campground Hotel Haines Falls

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