We arrived in Fayetteville, NY at Green Lakes state park on July 3, 2018. We had made reservations for July 3-13. The only sites they had available when we made our reservations in May were dry camping sites – no hook ups. They also did not have 1 site available for our entire stay so once again we would have to move to a different site in the middle. To make reservations for New York State parks we called “Reserve America” and each reservation included a $9 processing fee. Since we technically had to make 2 reservations we had to pay 2 $9 processing fees. Not a terrific system but the RV sites with no hook ups were only $25 per night.
When we checked in at the visitor center they gave us a permit to display in our vehicle. Before we went to our site, we stopped by the dump station to empty our black tank and grey tanks and refill our fresh water tank. Green Lakes has an excellent dump station with separate stations for dumping and refilling and also 2 lanes. We did not have to wait in line.
After the dump station, we drove to our first site, #98, only to discover that it was actually a tent site. We called the visitor center to let them know about the situation and they said “Reserve America doesn’t usually give that site to RVs, it is for tents.” So, they said they could give us their administrative overflow site. The site they gave us was grassy – no gravel or concrete pad. It had just rained the previous day so we got to back our trailer into this muddy overflow site – Mark was glad he had his 4 wheel drive. Also the tree beside the site had some gnarly branches hanging low that put a couple of tears in the roof in the process of backing up. Thankfully we had purchased some Eternabond tape after we got the RV, to use in case of just such an emergency.
On a lighter note: While parking, leveling and setting up the RV, we overheard some interesting Campground conversations. The most memorable:
Mom: Stop playing that Saxaphone!
Child (maybe 10 years old): Well, why did I bring it?
We laughed about that the whole time and later we did see this particular child playing some smooth notes under a tree across the street. His Saxaphone case was open in front of him as he practiced. We could only imagine that he was hoping to make some extra money from tips. My hope is to make a list of funny things we’ve heard at campgrounds and someday I’ll write a book!
Our next challenge would be to see how long our RV battery would last without “shore power” or electric hook ups. This was our first long term “boondocking” situation and it was a learning process! Once we were all set up, we left the RV there overnight and went to Mark’s parents’ house to spend the night. The next day, when we went to the RV the battery was reading 33%, so we hooked up the generator to recharge it. We had to have battery power to run the refrigerator even if we wouldn’t be there all the time. So, between visiting with Mark’s family and taking a couple of day trips, we went back to the RV to run the generator and recharge our battery. On July 6 we moved to the next site which was just the next one over (it had been empty the whole time we were there…I was not very happy with Reserve America and I’m wondering if they made us reserve 2 sites just so they could get two “processing fees.”) Site #104 was also a dry camping site but it had a gravel pad and no low hanging branches – a huge improvement and much easier to park and level. We stayed there through July 13 til we left New York and headed out on our next leg of this journey. I was very pleased with our location next to the bathhouse.
Overall, Green Lakes is a beautiful park with 2 lakes, multiple shady, well maintained hiking trails and an awesome beach. The workers in the visitor center were very accommodating. I know the reservation mix up was not their fault. If you ever have to use Reserve America to make any sort of reservation, make reservations SUPER EARLY, ask a lot of questions and make sure you know what they are doing and where they are putting you.
We really enjoyed the hiking trails while there and so we have added a new “checklist” to our arsenal:
- Walking stick
- Trail map
- water bottles
- bear whistle
- bear spray
- phone + extra charger
- flare gun (and/or airhorn)
Pre Hiking checklist:
- bathroom stop
- comfortable walking shoes
Next Stop? Homestead by the River Campground – Biddeford, Maine. Lobster here we come!