We recently drove past a campsite while traveling through the Catskills that looked so cute, we turned around to drive back through it. Well this past weekend we had a chance to go back and camp there, Phoenicia Black Bear Campground. We did two nights, one of which was in the rain – but we loved it. We went with our camping buddies – we both have little girls the same age and we’ve camped together before. We’re pretty much guaranteed a good time no matter what we do with them.
When we checked in, the owner of the private campground for at least 12 years, George, kindly recommended a spot for us that allowed safe access to the creek for the little girls, rather than some sites which have a bit of a drop to the water. He also loaned us a tarp at no charge to put under our tents since rain was expected and we were one tarp short. I mentioned to him that I had read some yelp reviews about the it being a party campground with no quiet hour. He assured me any partiers would be at the back of the grounds, and no where near us. Turns out he was right. We walked the grounds and met a friendly group at the back having a good ole time but from our campsite we didn’t hear a thing.
Since we knew rain was forecasted we brought a third tent – an official play tent for the girls to hang out in and play with toys we brought. Turns out this was a really good move, it kept mud out of our sleeping tents and gave them some independence. We spent two nights here and filled our time with fishing, playing in the creek, cooking, hiking the Kaaterskill Falls (this is a must see) and just having a great time together. We also found a gem of a restaurant, Phoenicia Diner. Put this place at the top of your list if you find yourself in the area, the food and vibe were awesome.
This was my first two night camping trip. The campgrounds had bathrooms and showers. Although I didn’t use the shower I was ready to go home the second afternoon to use my own 😉 I love camping, but as far as tent camping goes I think two nights may be my limit.
- This is a private campground, slightly more expensive than state run campgrounds.
- There are many great sites located along the water.
- The sites are all right next to each other. Although the campground was fairly empty during our stay I think if we had neighbors right up next to us it would have changed our experience. But we didn’t and we had an awesome time.
- The bathrooms and shower area were fine and easy walking distance from all sites as it’s a fairly small campground.
- The owners were very nice and helpful.
- The grounds themselves are really cute and kitschy with lots wood carvings of bears and other oddities.
- There have been many bears and critters reported within the campgrounds, although they’re only interested in food not the campers. I heard a busy beaver one night which freaked me out until I heard it belly flop with a big splash back into the water.
- The nearby hike to Kaaterskill Falls is amazing!
- The Phoenicia Diner nearby and the town itself are both adorable and an easy way to enjoy your time exploring.
- I would stay here again.
To see a video of our camping trip click here:
If you’ve never been camping before with your family, check out these tips from fellow blogger Jenny Holt.