Old Forge site offers free First-Time Camper weekend


Nicks Lake Campground and Day Use Area in Old Forge will provide a free First-Time Camper weekend on July 19-21, as one of several state sites offering the events this summer.

Families that have never camped before will have the opportunity to enjoy the outdoor activity and be provided equipment, guidance, and programs, said the state Department of Environmental Conservation and the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.

Interested New York residents can apply to participate through an online sign-up form which enters them into an online lottery. The application period is May 10-12. Eligible participants who apply for the lottery during that period will be randomly selected to fill camper slots. Details about the program and how to apply are at dec.ny.gov/outdoor/109909.html online.

The Nicks Lake facility, at 278 Bisby Road, is among six DEC campgrounds participating along with five state parks campgrounds. Locations include the Catskills, Hudson Valley, Adirondacks, and western New York.

“Last year, dozens of families participated as first-time campers and I encourage anyone that hasn’t gone on a camping adventure in New York’s peerless natural areas to take advantage of the First-Time Camper program and give camping a try,” said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos.

Acting State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid said the program “offers prospective campers a chance to learn and apply skills and fully embrace sleeping under the stars by providing know-how, equipment and fun activities which will help instill a lifelong enjoyment of the outdoors.”


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