1

Cabin Camping at Moreau Lake State Park

When I was planning the first leg of our #NYSummer2017 road trip, deciding on lodging was a big concern.  Convenient location and a reasonable price were my two top criteria.  Although we were visiting several different towns, I didn’t want to have to pack up and move every couple of days.  Plus, with over 21 nights on the road throughout the summer, I couldn’t afford to spend $150+ a night for a hotel room.

I was happy to discover that Moreau Lake State Park is pretty centrally located to Lake George, Saratoga Springs and Lake Placid.  Located in Gansevoort, the New York State Park recently added six cabins as a camping option. Three of the cabins sleep four people, while the other three cabins sleep six. I grew up camping all throughout my childhood.  However, since I was going to be alone with the kids for most of the trip, I wasn’t quite up to roughing it in a tent for a week.  The cabins can only be reserved weekly, from Thursday to Thursday during the summer at a rate of $550 for the four person cabins and $575 for the six person cabins.  Reservations are made online through reserve america.  You can see what cabins, or campsites, are available during the time period you want to stay and choose your specific site or cabin.

I booked Cabin 2, Pinetree, a four-person cabin.  Check-in is 3 PM or later and I arrived close to 5 PM. Before I arrived, I pre-registered online which helped speed up the check-in process.  Only one key is given out to the cabin, with a warning that there is a $50 lost key fee.  I was also told to keep the key on me at all times, as many people have been accidentally locked out of their cabins.

It is an approximately five minute drive from the park office to the cabin loop with a 15 m.p.h. speed limit around the park.  Unfortunately, you cannot park right at the cabin.  Instead, I was directed to park in the small parking lot outside the shower house.

The women’s shower house has five showers and one toilet.  At the time of our visit, one of the shower doors was broken, as in not there at all, and only two out of the three sinks were working.  Plus, two out of the three overhead lights were out, leaving the shower area a bit dark.  There’s an outdoor sink attached to the side of the shower building as well as an eco-friendly, compostable bathroom.  The bathroom and shower appeared to be cleaned daily.  However, the room filled up with all kinds of insects, both alive and recently alive, at night.

From the parking lot there’s a hill that leads down to the cabins.  After a short walk, imagine my surprise when I saw this walk to our cabin!  For reference, out of all of the cabins, Pinetree Cabin has the longest distance from the main pathway.  I wasn’t too happy about this when making my middle-of-the-night bathroom trips!  Nor, did this make unpacking and packing up the car easy!

The cabin was cozy with both a queen-size bed and a bunk bed.  Although the cabins are only a few months old, the mattress covers were quite stained and gross.  Luckily, we had our own sheets.  There was also a small table with four chairs.  As you can see in the picture, the table has a built in checker board.  Hanging on a hook in the cabin is a small bag with checker pieces.  The cabin also has a bench to sit on, a wood-burning stove and a small refrigerator (think college dorm size).   It was small, but cozy inside and definitely beat being in a tent!  The lights had a dimmer, which I thought was a nice feature, and the windows had curtains, which helped give privacy.

How cute is this stove?! Although I didn’t use it, I definitely thought about using it a couple of nights when we were freezing cold!  I can see this being used a lot in the fall when the temps get much cooler.

We were using the cabin only as a place to sleep.  However, outside the cabin is a picnic table and fire ring.  Our neighbors had a canopy set up outside their cabin with a camp stove.  They had a fire going every night in their fire pit and were having a real camping experience.

The park has a carry-in, carry-out policy and does not do a garbage pick-up.  Instead, garbage must be taken to the garbage/recycling area near the entrance of the park.

Overall, we had a good experience cabin camping at Moreau Lake State Park.  It’s a beautiful park and I would definitely go back.  However, next time I’d pick the Bear Cabin (01), which is closest to the bathroom as well as pack heavy blankets for sleeping at night.

OUR CABIN CAMPING PACKING LIST: (some things we found useful to pack for a cabin camping trip)
*sheets and heavy blankets (queen size and (2) twins) – even in July we found it very cold at night and wish we had more/heavier blankets for sleeping
*bath towels (extra if you shower daily and are camping in the summer – we laid our towels over the chairs in the cabin to dry, but they never fully dried between uses)
*hand towels – the bathroom in the shower house only had a hand drier.  A towel was handy when washing my face, brushing my teeth, etc.
*plastic basket/shower caddy – to hold and transport all of your toiletries
*flip flops to wear in the shower
*garbage bags – size depends on how much garbage you have, we used plastic grocery bags
*disinfectant wipes – we brought a container of Lysol wipes which we used to wipe down the table before/after eating
*camp chairs (great for sitting outside your cabin or for sitting at the lake)
*flashlight(s) – although the cabin has electricity, the paths are dark at night
*bug spray – there are lots of bugs and mosquitoes in the woods
*antibacterial hand wipes – to use before eating or after applying suntan lotion when we didn’t want to make the walk up to the sink
*plastic tub for carrying and washing dishes in – if you plan on cooking/eating at the cabin
*sponge & dishwashing soap to wash the dishes
*sand toys & goggles for the beach (FYI snorkel masks with a covered nose piece are not permitted – as we discovered)

 

Children’s Camping-Themed Books

Camping CollageGrowing up my family did a lot of camping.  We went from tent camping to a pop-up to eventually an RV.  It was a cheap way for us to travel and vacation.  Prior to having kids the Weekend Chef and I did some tent camping.  We’ve taken the kids camping a couple of times when they were much younger, but haven’t had a chance to go more recently.  This summer we are planning a weekend camping trip.  In preparation, our bedtime reading books have been focused on camping! Here we share a round-up of some camping themed books for children.

*Disclosure:  This post contains affiliate links.  If you make a purchase through a link I may receive compensation which is used to support this blog.

Picture Books:

164150

A Camping Spree with Mr. Magee by Chris Van Dusen
Rating:  3 out of 5 stars

In this picture book, that is told in rhyme, Mr. Magee and his dog Dee take a camping trip.  They tow a camper up to the mountains and find a perfect place to set up camp.  Unfortunately, after roasting some marshmallows, they leave the bag of leftovers out, which attracts the attention of a bear.  In trying to get to the marshmallows the bear accidentally unhitched the camper and sends it rolling down the hill into a stream.  Before falling over a waterfall Mr. Magee and Dee are unintentionally saved by the bear.  The two decide to head home and enjoy camping in the backyard instead.  This was an adventurous camping story in which things end up getting a little chaotic, but ends well.

*This book was borrowed from the library.

239388

Just Me And My Dad by Mercer Mayer
Rating:  4 out of 5 stars

In this picture book Little Critter and his dad go camping, just the two of them.  While he has the best intentions, Little Critter ends up finding himself in disastrous situations – from pitching the tent, trying to take a canoe ride and catching fish for dinner.   Luckily, dad is there to help straighten things out!  The illustrations add to the enjoyment of this story.  This is a classic picture book that I grew up reading and it still has the charm and humor that I remember!

*This book was borrowed from the library.

1681888

S is for S’mores:  A Camping Alphabet by Helen Foster James
Rating:  5 out of 5 stars

Like the title suggests, this is an alphabet book about camping.  The main text of this book is told in rhyme touching on aspects of camping from hiking and emergencies to parks and s’mores.  The sidebars of this book include much more detailed information about the things touched upon in the main text of the story.  Colorful illustrations accompany the text.  We are big fans of the alphabet book series from Sleeping Bear Press.  I like that the books can be read on two levels – the main text with simple rhymes for my son and the more detailed text for my daughter.  The sidebars always provide information that is new even to us adults.

*This book was borrowed from the library.

16278030

Scaredy Squirrel Goes Camping by Melanie Watt
Rating:  3 out of 5 stars

If you are unfamiliar with Scaredy Squirrel, I recommend you start with the first picture book, Scaredy Squirrel.  Scaredy Squirrel is afraid of everything and never goes camping.  He realizes that he can enjoy camping through a television show that he’s found, but……he has to plug in his television.  To do that he must cross the dangerous campground.  Scaredy Squirrel always plans and is prepared.  The book contains plenty of charts and diagrams to support this.  This is a fun read that shows kids to enjoy new experiences and that sometimes you may end up liking things that you didn’t think you would.

*This book was borrowed from the library.

Poetry Book:

1223122

Toasting Marshmallows:  Camping Poems by Kristine O’Connell George
Rating:  3 out of 5 stars

This picture book is a collection of poems related to camping from the tent to hiking to toasting marshmallows and fishing.   There’s a variety of different types of poems in this book as well including a shape poem, rhyming poems, poems that don’t rhyme and more.  Each poem is accompanied by a colorful illustration.

Beginning Readers:

16247979

Flat Stanley Goes Camping by Lori Haskins Houran
Rating:  3 out of 5 stars

Flat Stanley originated as a character created by Jeff Brown in a chapter book series.  He is now part of the I Can Read series.  In this beginning reader book Flat Stanley and the rest of the Lambchop family go on a camping adventure.   After setting up camp Stanley and Arthur go exploring but mom warns them, “Don’t get lost or fall off a cliff.”  Of course they do both!  While Stanley first feels bad about being flat he soon discovers that it is helpful in getting them out of some sticky situations.  Tent camping, campfires, s’mores and hiking are all mentioned in this book.

*We borrowed this book from the library.

475348

Fred and Ted Go Camping by Peter Eastman
Rating:  3 out of 5 stars

In this early reader book Fred and Ted go on a camping trip.  They set up their tent and then decide to go fishing.  Unfortunately, after catching fish, they have a little accident and end up with no food.  A little bird helps them out and the two don’t go hungry.  This book is part of the Random House “I Can Read It All By Myself” Beginner Books.  It has short sentences with simple text.  This book contains lots of opposites and the illustrations are humorous and engaging.

*This book was borrowed from the library.

Chapter Books:

3239450

Camping Catastrophe!  (Ready, Freddy! series #14) by Abby Klein
Rating:  4 out of 5 stars

Our family has enjoyed the Ready, Freddy! series.  If you are unfamiliar with Freddy, he’s a 1st grader who loves sharks.  The series is aimed towards early to middle readers.  Camping Catastrophe!, number 14 in the series, has Freddy and his friend Robbie taking a camping trip with Freddy’s father.  It’s not a Freddy book without some type of trouble occurring.  In this book trouble involves a bee hive, fishing problems, a bear and some skunks.  This was an enjoyable read that touches upon aspects of camping like pitching a tent (remember the directions if you’ve never set it up before!), collecting firewood, fishing and making s’mores.  Despite all of the “catastrophes,” Freddy ends up having a great camping trip.

*This book was borrowed from the library.

25045

The Case of the Marshmallow Monster (Jigsaw Jones Mystery #11) by James Preller
Rating:  3 out of 5 stars

In this book Jigsaw goes on a neighborhood camping trip with his dad.  Mr. Hitchcock tells a ghost story about a lake creature.  The kids leave a bag of marshmallows out for the lake creature and wake up to find the marshmallow bag gone.  Jigsaw and Mila have a new case – to find out who (or what!) ate the marshmallows.  This book is the eleventh book in the Jigsaw Jones Mystery series, a series aimed towards readers in middle elementary grades.  This book touches upon aspects of camping like starting a fire, making s’mores, not leaving food out to attract animals and campfire ghost stories.  The lake creature story may be scary for some readers and could possibly scare them away from camping and lakes.

*We own this book.

9823258

Ellie McDoodle:  Have Pen, Will Travel by Ruth McNally Barshaw
Rating:  3 out of 5 stars

In this chapter book, Ellie McDougal (a.k.a. Ellie McDoodle) and her baby brother Ben-Ben have to spend a week camping with their aunt, uncle and cousins, while their parents are out of town.  Ellie loves to sketch (and spy) and this book is an illustrated diary of this family camping trip.  It’s filled with games played, camping adventures and of course family drama.  This is the first of Barshaw’s Ellie McDoodle books and has been compared to the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series.

*This book was borrowed from the library.

23281709

Humphrey’s Creepy-Crawly Camping Adventure by Betty G. Birney
Rating:  3 out of 5 stars

Humphrey is the class hamster in Room 26 and this book is told from his point of view.  Each weekend a different student takes him home.  In this book, Heidi takes him home and they have a campout in her backyard with several other girls from Room 26.  Richie, another student in Room 26 and Heidi’s neighbor is having a campout with some boys from Room 26 as well.  The boys try to scare the girls and later, the boys end up being scared by Humphrey and no one ends up camping out!  The girls in this book attempt to campout in a tent, take a hike around the backyard, stargaze  and play flashlight games.  This book is part of the Humphrey’s Tiny Tales series.  There is also the original Humphrey series, for readers 8 and up, though we are unfamiliar with it.

*This book was borrowed from the library.