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“Best Family Memories!”

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Mongaup Pond Campground
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...
  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with family
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5  Thank Jackie s s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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43 - 49 of 64 reviews

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...
  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank NewYorkCityStickler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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...
  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank sypremeks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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16  Thank MeghaMonkey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 14, 2013 via mobile

I go camping a lot and can tell you this campground is one of the most beautiful I've ever seen. You have to get a lakeside site to get the most out of it (loop c & loop f). You can rent a boat all day for $20 and dock it right at your site!
If your looking to stay up all night playing beer long this is not the place. At 10:00 this place this place is dead quiet - a good thing. The pond doesn't have good fishing, but i saw really promising looking trout streams in the area of the campgrounds.
Dont listen to the other reviews about the rangers being strict. I went with 3 friends, we partied, but were respectful to our neighbors. Nobody had any problems with us.
Make sure you have everything you need before you get close to the campground. The only gas station around is 15 away.

  • Stayed: July 2013
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1  Thank Brack187
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 26, 2013

I don't usually take the time to write reviews, but fellow camper's reviews really helped me choose Mongaup Pond. It only seems fair to give my feedback to future campers. We had a wonderful experience at this campground during the summer solstice (Mid June 2013). I had read reviews about the rangers being super strict, but I didn't have a first hand experience with this. What I did experience was a well maintained and very quiet campground on site F119. The F loop is super desirable because the kids can run and enjoy the area without worrying too much about cars. We love to cook with our dutch oven. The "fireplace" fire pits are slightly awkward, but we survived and cooked some great food. Found the people and families staying there to be quiet and respectful. We arrived on Friday night at 8pm after leaving NYC at 5:15 and drivng on the 17 the whole way (they have a strict 9pm closure policy) and set up our tent and made a fire. Our 2 1/2 year and 9 month old baby were in bed a little later than usual, but it was worth the drive from NYC. On Saturday, we took a hike that starts in the F loop campground by the lake and pretty much ends at the boat dock, hugging the lake about half the hike. It took about 60 minutes and was perfect for our little family. We ate our lunch on one of the many picnic tables and then rented a canoe, which we used to get back to our campsite. I will say that I don't like the overnight cost policy. It is $20 to rent the canoe, but if you want to keep it after 6pm, even if just for a few extra hours, you have to pay another $20. But we did it anyway. We got back to our campsite around 1pm, took naps with the kids, and then cooked dinner around 5pm. By 7pm, the sun was lower and the lake was SPECTACULAR. This was truly the highlight of the trip. We enjoyed seeing the wildlife, the super moon, the wonderful lush trees and still lake waters. It was a special time to be on the lake and an experience I recommend to everyone. We went to bed that night and left after breakfast on Sunday. We did not hike to the waterfall, but we felt super satisfied with the trip and it was a place I would recommend going if you want to a true family camping experience that feels like you have escaped "the City." While I didn't check out the other camping sites closely, I definitely saw some that were not very private and too close to other campsites. Choose wisely!

Room Tip: Try for a campsite close the water
  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank thedp5000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 28, 2013

Mongaup Pond is a lovely, very well manicured campground. We spent three nights here over Memorial Day weekend and it was pretty good! We selected Mongaup Pond after reading reviews about the secluded sites. We weren't able to get a lakeside pitch, but the pitch we selected turned out to be grassy (Loop G, site 157) which was perfect as we struggled to inflate our air mattress the first night. Some of the pitches were rather small. If we go back, I would pick a lakeside pitch in G, F or D. There were lots of kids and families with dogs, so this was perfect for us as we weren't looking for a party. The rangers do a good job of keeping noise levels down. One of our neighbors had a very noisy generator and the ranger showed up and shut it down. The bathrooms were clean and there were plenty of them! There is also power in the bathrooms, but bring plenty of towels as there are no hand dryers. The showers are a bit far away, but not the worse I have seen on a campground. My only real complaint was the dish washing facility; one sink was blocked and there was no hot water. I companied at the main office but the kids on reception didn't seem to care or do anything about it. I've read some reviews that said there is nothing to do. There is so much to do! Mongaup has some great hiking trains, fishing, boating, but we mostly sat around the stone fireplace and relaxed. Sitting around the campfire is the best part and the stone fireplaces and picnic tables make it easy.

Room Tip: The lakeside pitches are stunning but if you can't get one, there really are very few bad sites...
  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank JacquiFleming
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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