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Public Campsites Filling Up on Long Island

July 1, 2011 by   - () Leave a Comment

New York’s Long Islanders planning to go camping for the Fourth of July weekend have a small window of time left for finding a spot to pitch a tent on Long Island where campgrounds were nearly at capacity as of today (July 1), the Long Island Press reported.

Out of the 15 public campgrounds on Long Island — 13 in Suffolk County, two in Nassau — five were sold out and the rest were at 90% capacity, same as many upstate New York campgrounds.

“The weekend forecast is phenomenal, so we’re hoping to have a really good weekend,” said George Gorman, LI regional spokesman for the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.

Hither Hills in Easthampton and Wildwood in Wading River, the two state-run campgrounds on LI, are already sold out for the weekend, Gorman said. Camping facilities were shuttered earlier this year at Heckscher State Park in East Islip.

A spokeswoman for the Suffolk County parks department, which operates 11 campgrounds, said Smith Point County Park is booked and the remaining 10 are nearly sold out — although last-minute campers may get lucky if they’re willing to forego beach camping for inland campgrounds, where there are better chances to get a spot without making reservations.

The two beachfront, RV-only county campgrounds requiring reservations that still have vacancies include Shinnecock East and Cupsogue Beach in Westhampton.

Other county beach campgrounds include Meschutt Beach in Hampton Bays, Theodore Roosevelt in Montauk. Indian Island in Riverhead and Cedar Point in Easthampton offer bay-front views.

Inland campgrounds include Blydenburgh in Hauppauge, Southaven in Shirley, Cathedral Pines in Medford and Sears Bellows in Hampton Bays.

The two Nassau County campgrounds — Battle Row in Old Bethpage and Nickerson Beach in Lido — are both sold out for the weekend.

There is limited availability at the lone federally run campground in Watch Hill on the Fire Island National Seashore and there is near unlimited availability for backpackers seeking to rough it overnight in the Otis Pike Fire Island High Dune Wildness, an 8-mile stretch of untamed barrier beach.

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