Monday, June 22, 2009

The Camping Renaissance

Quiet weekend. I'm not sure if it is the weather, or the end of the school year, but I did not have appointments either day. I did have to meet an appraiser on Saturday up by Parksville, and that gave me an excuse to stop in and see my friend Ann at Hunter Lake Campgrounds. Besides this soggy week, she says they are having one of their busiest seasons ever. (And she's been there almost thirty years.) I got a similar report from the owners of Soaring Eagle Campgrounds right over Kellams Bridge in Stalker PA. They have been just about full all season so far.

There has always been a pretty substantial camping business in Sullivan County, but now with the recession, and people returning to a "simpler time" (the media seems to have latched onto that phrase) it seems camping is having a bit of a renaissance.

There really are some hidden gems as far as campgrounds go in our area. Hunter Lake is one of my favorites, not just because the owners are real hardworking likeable people, but because it has that upstate Adirondack/Lake George feel, at half the distance. The lake is gorgeous and the campsites are tucked in by the lake.

Lander's Campgrounds at Skinners Falls is a pretty popular one, but there are quite a few all along the Delaware. Most have canoe or kayak/tube rentals, so you can enjoy the river.

Here is a list of a few others.

While there are detractors from the whole camping thing, there really is no other vacation or weekend getaway that compares in price. Yeah there are bugs, and the possibility of rain, and dirt, but I remember as a kid, sitting around the campfire at night, the fireflies blinking, the smell of smoke in the air, a stomach full of smores and hot dogs. Without sounding like a visa commercial, those memories are priceless.

Many of my buyers have similar memories of this area. It seems when they are describing their dream property, it hearkens back to a childhood summer memory, whether it be camping, or a relative who owned.

So during the lean times, lets cultivate a whole new generation, who will fall in love with the Catskills. And if you make it up to Hunter Lake, say hi to Ann for me.

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