While Jim and I wimped out and only opted for day camping (a four month pregnant belly and ground sleeping don’t equal happiness), I must say the Clarence Fahnestock State Park is a lovely spot to get in tune with nature, build a comforting and perfect smelling wood fire, throw hot dogs (in this case, incredible ones from Schaller and Weber) on the grill, laugh with friends, and roast some mega sized marshmallows.
While eating and relaxing under a canopy of high trees plus a few games of bocce ball was about all we took part in, the nearby State Park (only about an hour and twenty minute drive in regular traffic) offers lots of hiking trails, and ponds for canoeing. Our camp mates even found some caves on a short hike nearby the camp site. Unlike the better known Bear Mountain across the river, here beer is welcome (of course so long as you are respectful and clean up after yourself). Once I am in more rugged mode, this would be a great place to return to for a couple nights of real, if not too tough (other campers are within shouting distance, the highway’s only a short ride away and running water bathrooms are available nearby) nights of roughing it in the kind-of wild.
Stop by Stew Leonards on the way up for provisions, make sure to bring along someone as handy with a tiny stove and a dutch oven as our friend Mike (who made a kicked up chicken chili verde and a blueberry cobbler with little more than a knife and ingredients) and make sure to pack some seats (which was the one of the only comforts we forgot).