Camping? In New York City?

Camping? In New York City?

Can you (legally) go camping in New York City?

It might be a stupid question to ask about a heavily populated urban area that, save for Central Park, is notoriously devoid of large green spaces. Yet, in honor of Ask a Stupid Question Day (September 28th), we thought we’d research that very topic.

Turns out the answer is: Yes, there is a campground in New York City.

And we aren’t talking about pitching a tent on a desolate plot of concrete either. Take the 2 train to Brooklyn’s Flatbush Avenue, then hop on the Q35 bus, and you’ll be find yourself at a campground by Jamaica Bay. A campground with, you know, dirt and trees. The sort of campground where you can roast s’mores.

lightgrey Camping? In New York City?


space Camping? In New York City?
lightgrey Camping? In New York City?
space Camping? In New York City?

Of course, pitching a tent in Brooklyn isn’t like camping in a utopian wilderness. New York City’s only official camping is on the grounds of a former airport—Floyd Bennett Field—and within earshot of a current one—JFK International.

Bennett Field’s glory days were in the 1930s, when it served as the city’s first airport and hosted historic flights from the likes of Amelia Earhart and Howard Hughes. Today, the former airplane hangers are a derelict mess. The former power plant looks as if it were bombed out in a long-ago war. The remnants of the old airport haven’t been removed so much as they’ve been abandon and semi-overgrown.

The U.S. National Park Service, which runs Bennett Field as part of its Gateway National Recreation Area, plans to restore portions of the property and help nature along in reclaiming the rest. Currently, there is enough cleared out woodsy area for 41 camp sites: 6 for small RVs and 35 for tents only. After restoration is complete there could be more than 600 sites, which would make Bennett Field the world’s largest urban campground.

Should you camp there?

Out-of-town travelers considering making a tent at Bennett Field their home base for exploring NYC should take note: At the time of writing the campground has no shower facilities. However, each camping site does have a picnic table and fire ring. Dumpsters, restrooms, recycling bins and basic wash-it-yourself laundry facilities are a short walk away. The area is well patrolled by park rangers and, by all accounts, safe.

In addition to being connected to the Manhattan by public transportation, there’s a surprising range of activities on tap in the vicinity of the campground. Those include fishing, hiking, kayaking and golfing. Rent a bike at the Aviator Sports Complex (see map below) and explore the old runways. Zoom (vicariously) around the remote control car racetrack. See vintage airplanes in the resorted portions of the old airport open to visitors.

But the best part about the camping accommodations at Bennett Field is the budget price. A three-night stay will set you back a mere $50. Is there any hotel in New York City with rooms that cheap? Now THAT is a stupid question.

LEARN MORE | NYC GUIDEBOOKS | JOIN US ON TWITTER / FACEBOOK |

published: 27 Sept 2011
space Camping? In New York City?

Related posts:
A Review of the Aerobed Pakmat Portable, Inflatable Mattress
5 Wonderfully Earthy Glamping Sites
The NYC Bar Where Prices Fluctuate Like Stocks
3 Las Vegas Resorts Under $20

bennett field nyc camping Camping? In New York City? follow me on pinterest button Camping? In New York City?

This is New York City? It isn't a stupid question.


bennett field brooklyn Camping? In New York City? follow me on pinterest button Camping? In New York City?

bennett field camping nyc 1 Camping? In New York City? follow me on pinterest button Camping? In New York City?

Click to see full size:
bennett field camping map l Camping? In New York City? follow me on pinterest button Camping? In New York City?
space Camping? In New York City?
space Camping? In New York City?

LEARN MORE | NYC GUIDEBOOKS | JOIN US ON TWITTER / FACEBOOK

 Camping? In New York City?

space Camping? In New York City?
tbm light stamps Camping? In New York City?

Every month a group of expert, independent travel bloggers converge on a single topic in a Travel Blog Mob. September 28th being Ask a Stupid Question Day, we asked “Why not adapt that as our monthly theme?” Check out:

space Camping? In New York City?

 7 Fun Things to Do during the Harsh Michigan Winters by Wandering Educators

 Tips to Avoid Traffic Jams in Los Angeles by The Vacation Gals

 Our Writers Answer Some of Our Strangest Reader Questions by BootsnAll

space Camping? In New York City?


Responses

  1. Matt says:

    Hey there, I am wondering if this campground fills up quickly around May and June? How does one go about booking a site?

    [Reply to this comment]

    Spot Cool Travel Stuff Reply:

    The campground is pretty massive and relatively unknown (considering it is in NYC). Definitely make a booking but, in May, it usually doesn’t fill up quickly at all. In June, weekends can fill up but not so much the weekdays.

    ~ SCS

    [Reply to this comment]

    Spot Cool Travel Stuff Reply:

    Matt,

    The campground is pretty massive and relatively unknown (considering it is in NYC). Definitely make a booking but, in May, it usually doesn’t fill up quickly at all. In June, weekends can fill up but not so much the weekdays.

    ~ SCS

    [Reply to this comment]

  2. Henry Williams says:

    good post i didnt know people camp in new york city

    [Reply to this comment]

  3. wandering educators says:


    Twitter:
    i am laughing – who KNEW?!!! although no shower, that’s a deal-breaker for me. great info!!

    [Reply to this comment]

Leave a Response

CommentLuv badge

SPOTCOOLSTUFF Travel reviews unusual hotels and restaurants, great attractions, cool travel gear, places with amazing views and all manner of travel destinations with a WOW! factor. Because we live on an incredible planet! Get our latest travel posts by email . . .
  • Best of Spot Cool Stuff
  • Croatia
  • Culinary Travel
  • Family Travel (Cool For Adults Too)
  • Gift Guides
  • Travel Tips
  • Travel Websites
  • Trips & Tours

    All-Inclusive Caribbean Beach Resort
    for $19 Per Person!!!

    Unlimited alcohol, food and beach lounging at the Lifestyle Tropical Beach Resort & Spa in the Dominican Republic. See our exclusive resort review for more.

$19 per night! Time left:
Book Now!
Offer Closed!



PARTNER WITH US     |     BE OUR GUEST TRAVEL WRITER    |      SUGGEST COOL STUFF FOR US TO REVIEW     |     INFO FOR TOURIST BOARDS

Other SCS SectionsHot Travel CategoriesFave Travel Posts
Cool Tech & GadgetsBest hotel room viewsCaribbeanBest Sandals in Jamaica
Cool Architecture & DesignFamily travelEuropeBest Wheeled Carry-On Luggage
Cool WebsitesHoneymoon resortsFloridaWorld's Coolest Airlines
Cool EntertainmentUnusual museumsSoutheast AsiaThe Honeymoon Resorts of Bora Bora