Thursday, April 7, 2016

Throwback Thursday Review: Memorial Day Weekend 2015 Camping in Warrensburg, NY

Since I've been doing reviews and summaries of places we've been recently, I thought I'd throw one back to our Memorial Day weekend last year when we went camping in the Lake George area. This was our first attempt at planning a camping trip as a couple, so while it's not really a trip I'd do again, it had some great features. If you're looking to be in a prime spot for a mix of ease and comfort and beautiful natural settings, Warrensburg outside of the heart of Lake George is absolutely the perfect place for that. However, if you're looking for something more off the grid - like no amenities, or fast food, or cell service - this is not the camping spot for you. It was great for us as our first camping trip, because the ease of the nearby town - a Tops grocery store, a Dunkin Donuts, a McDonalds, a few locally owned restaurants - was really nice when we hadn't fully thought-out our planning and had forgotten some things.

That being said, we stayed at Lake George Escape Campground. Having now taken a liking to DEC Campgrounds (talked about in this post), for the price of this privately owned campground compared to the amenities provided and what we actually took advantage of, I wasn't terribly impressed. It was sufficient... however, we paid a little extra for a spot along the river, and the river view was crowded by trees, and the river itself was murky and slow-moving... not worth the price for that river spot. Then, on top of that, the "bathrooms" nearest to us were port-o-Johns, which I have no problem with, aside from the price would make you think all the bathrooms were real! All that aside, they had a lot of amenities for families and kids, and it was large, so it would be good to bike ride around, and there was a lot to do if you wanted to just stay on the campground, like swimming and canoes to rent.

It's funny how something so natural to someone is so fresh to someone else! This trip was my millionth time setting up a tent (first time using the camping equipment we got for Christmas though!), and it was Daniel's first. So bizarre, but so exciting... first of many to come!

I mentioned this a little bit before, but one of the real benefits of this campground was its proximity to "civilization". We had a lot of half-thought out plans going on, so when we got in that night, we set up our site and then ventured back into town for something for dinner - we ended up eating at the Luck E Star Diner, which was absolutely delicious and reasonably priced! You can almost never go wrong with a cute, local diner.

That next day we had decided to go to Six Flags Great Escape. Given the name of the campground and the fact that they offered a shuttle to Six Flags, I had mistakenly assumed they were nearby (similar to how the Old Forge campground is so close to Water Safari), however, it was a 20+ minute drive. We had planned on taking the shuttle, but after learning the true distance and wanting to be on our own time table, we drove.

It was tons of fun! A nice commercial amusement in the Adirondack region... again, this was a GREAT area to be in if you're looking for that, and is especially very family friendly.

Our second day there we took in a mountain - Sleeping Beauty! It's a fantastic mountain, but I wouldn't recommend going at such a busy time. The initial parking area is a long ways off the main road on a narrow dirt road, and we ended up having to park alongside the dirt road due to the parking area being full, which is not ideal. That being said, after talking to my grandfather about this (I had done this mountain with him as a kid), what appears to be part of the hike, is actually more road. If you visit when it's not a peak weekend like we did, make note that there's a road off of the parking area, and you can actually drive down into the clearing, and that's another parking area (no one did this the day we went), and that makes the hike much shorter and more attainable. So, for us, we ended up hiking 8 miles, with a good chunk of that coming from walking into the clearing parking area.

It's another family friendly activity in the area - easy grade, and awesome views of Lake George at the top!

Almost to the summit!

And the views make it all worth it! Such a clear day... Daniel's first Adirondack mountain - done!

That night Daniel experienced another first (that makes 3!), my all-time favorite campfire meal, foil dinners. It was perfect after a long day of hiking. We went classic on these - chicken, potatoes, carrots and italian dressing!

Dessert was banana boats... bananas wrapped in foil with chocolate and marshmallows, melted over the fire. I have a picture of them, but they're not pretty, but they're definitely super tasty!

That puts us up to Monday morning, Memorial Day morning. We stopped at Dunkin Donuts before our drive home (awesome perk of this area), and the drive was nice and easy (87 to 90) back to CNY, something always greatly appreciated after a busy, active weekend when you're ready to return home!

All in all, it was a great trip. It definitely taught me more about what kind of areas we want to camp in. Like I said, it was a great family-friendly area, but it was very commercial, and as two young adults, family-friendly and commercial camping are not our top priorities. That being said, it was a great trip if those ARE your top priorities, and there's a multitude of places to stay in this area too, so you can find just what fits your desires!

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