18 Best Places to Go Camping on Long Island with Kids

Hither Hills State Park campground offers oceanfront camping in Montauk.
Hither Hills State Park campground offers oceanfront camping in Montauk.
4/28/23 - By Lisa Mancuso

Families have bonded over camping for generations, and Long Island campgrounds can offer oceanside views, hiking trails, historic landmarks, and even lighthouses. Happy campers can enjoy roasting hot dogs and marshmallows, making shadow animals on tent walls, chasing after fireflies, and otherwise celebrating nature.

We've compiled a list of the best camping destinations in Nassau and Suffolk counties just waiting to host you and your family. Some are located in our favorite state parks, while others are in county parks, where residency restrictions might apply. Other camping spots are private or corporately run and open to all. Regardless, camping is an especially popular Long Island pastime from May to October, so book soon if you plan to go camping this season.

Find more great outdoor fun in our Guide to Playgrounds and Parks on Long Island, and more vacation inspiration in our Long Island Getaway Guide.


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Top Spots for Camping in Nassau County

1. Battle Row Campground — Old Bethpage

Open year-round
A camping trip at Battle Row features 44 acres of dense woods and 64 campsites ranging in length from 40 to 45 feet. A comfort station is equipped with restrooms and private showers. The campground also offers swings, a recreational field, a softball field, and a rally field for club group camping, along with tent and overflow campsites.

2. Nickerson Beach Park Campground — Lido Beach

Open April through early November
Nickerson Beach Park offers 121 acres of camping surrounded by protected beach property. The campground features 74 RV sites. It also offers admission to the swimming pool, picnic area, skate park, concession stand, and grills. Sewer and electric hook-ups are available.

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Suffolk County Parks offers plenty of options for a family camping trip
There are many options for family camping at Suffolk County Parks Campgrounds. Photo courtesy of the Suffolk County Parks Department

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3. Blydenburgh County Park — Smithtown

Open April through early November
Blydenburgh is a 600-plus-acre park of forests and meadows that lies along the headwaters of the Nissequogue River. Here you will find 50 campsites for tents and trailers with shower and dump facilities. There is fishing and rowing on Stump Pond, a historic homestead and water mill to explore, a playground, and an extensive trail system that links up with trails in the neighboring Caleb Smith State Park Preserve.

4. Cathedral Pines County Park — Middle Island

Open year-round
Cathedral Pines is a 320-acre camping site situated along the headwaters of the Carmans River and adjacent to Prosser Pines Nature Preserve. Facilities include campsites for individuals, youth groups, clubs (10 or more units), and families, including 10 camping sites with water and electric hookups. Other entertainment includes a playground, hiking, mountain biking, bridle paths, and picnicking.

5. Heckscher State Park  — East Islip

Open mid-April through mid-October
The 1,600-acre Heckscher State Park offers more than 60 campsites on the shore of Great South Bay. In addition, 23 waterfront cottages offer three-season accommodations for parties of 2-6 people. Great South Bay offers swimming, paddle boarding, sailboarding, and canoeing. Park fields allow space for baseball and softball, soccer, lacrosse, and more.      

6. Smith Point County Park Campground — Shirley

Open April through mid-November
Smith Point’s campground, on the east end of Fire Island, offers more than 270 trailer sites and features a playground, fireplaces, grills, and a camp store. A beach restaurant offers meals, and a protected beach area is featured. Outer-beach camping is available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

7. Southaven County Park — Brookhaven

Open April through mid-November
The Carmans River flows through this 1,350-acre park. Southaven offers fishing, row boating, horseback riding trails, camping for tents and trailers, and picnic areas accommodating 1,000 people. On the second and fourth Sundays of the summer months, attend a Long Island Live Steamers open house and ride around 8 acres of tracks on miniature model steam trains.

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Go camping at Fire Island's Watch Hill campground
Pitch a tent near the seashore at Fire Island's Watch Hill campground. Photo courtesy of Kevin Farley

8. Watch Hill Marina and Campground — Fire Island

Open mid-May through early-October
Watch Hill Marina and Campground offers 26 sand sites, all nestled among the dunes right by the beach. Each has water, picnic tables, and barbecue grills, and many have electrical hookups. There is a National Park Service Visitors Center with programs every day for kids and families. There is also a restaurant and tiki bar. Dogs are allowed on leashes. Note: Sand camping requires longer than normal tent stakes. 

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Wildwood State Park is home to a beautiful, sandy camping spot
Wildwood State Park offers a host of family activities from April to October. Photo by Dennis Sitarevich/CC BY-ND 2.0

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9. Eastern Long Island Kampground — Greenport

Open late April through October
Sites are available for tents, trailers, motor homes, and pop-ups. The facilities include a swimming pool, general store, laundry, playground, and a game room. There are supervised activities and special events such as "Christmas in July" and the Greenport Maritime Festival in September. A limited number of safari-style tents and yurts are available for visitors who prefer a glamping experience.

10. Indian Island County Park — Riverhead

Open year-round
Indian Island County Park is a 275-acre park located at the estuarine mouth of the Peconic River. Restrooms and showers are available for campers. The park offers picnic tables, grills, benches, and views of a glistening Flanders Bay. There are more than 100 tent and trailer campsites. Recreational options include fishing, hiking trails, and a bike hostel. Dogs must be leashed. 

11. McCann Campground — Greenport

Open year-round
This is a small, quiet, and secluded camping destination that accommodates tents, trailers, pop-ups, motor homes, and camping vans. The campground also offers water and electricity. The 6 acres of property offer restrooms, showers, a dump station, and Wi-Fi. Contained fires and house pets are permitted.

12. Wildwood State Park Campground — Wading River

Open late April through late-October
Wildwood State Park campground has 2 miles of sandy beach for swimming on Long Island Sound. It features full electric capabilities, showers, restrooms, grills, and water/sewer hookups, as well as shaded camping plots and picnic areas. The park also has several cottages available for rent that feature living rooms, kitchens, and bedrooms. Movies are shown in July and August, and there is line or square dancing once a week in the evenings. Recreation options include fishing, hiking, sand volleyball, and a field for playing baseball or softball.

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Enjoy Montauk County Park at sunset durng your camping trip on Long Island
Enjoy sunset camping on the beach at Montauk County Park. Photo by Jonathan A. Neary

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13. Cedar Point County Park — East Hampton

Open April through early-November
The 607-acre park, located on a peninsula just outside of historic Sag Harbor, has a shady forest, magnificent views of Gardiners Bay, and almost a mile of sandy beach. It also has a freshwater lake with canoe rentals, a playground, and walking trails. The on-site general store and snack bar offer free Saturday-night family movies and recreational equipment.

14. Cupsogue Beach County Park — Westhampton Beach

Open April through mid-November
Cupsogue Beach County Park, a barrier island beach spanning 296 acres, offers outer-beach camping for self-contained campers. There is a lifeguard on duty, a snack bar, restrooms, a first-aid center, a shower, and changing rooms. Pets are allowed, but dogs must be leashed.

15. Hither Hills State Park Campground — Montauk

Open late April through early-November
Hither Hills features 2 miles of ocean beachfront, a 40-acre freshwater lake to fish, and a playground. The campground has showers, restrooms, a dump station, and a general store. Hither Hills has a resort feel with movie nights, sandcastle contests, arts and crafts, and swimming.

16. Montauk County Park — Montauk

Open April through mid-November
Montauk County Park offers outer-beach access and outer-beach camping for self-contained trailers with a permit. It also offers saltwater and freshwater fishing, kayaking, and canoeing. Nearby, Deep Hollow Ranch provides horseback rides to the beach for park visitors.

17. Sears Bellows County Park — Hampton Bays

Open April through mid-November
This 979-acre park offers tent and trailer camping, as well as showers, fishing, hiking, and horseback riding (with a permit). Rowboat rentals are offered on freshwater Bellows Pond. The park also has a playground, abundant picnic tables, and barbecue grills.

18. Shinnecock East County Park — Southampton

Open April through mid-November
This rugged, undeveloped barrier island beach park includes ocean and bay beach recreation areas. The adjoining Shinnecock Inlet is known for its striped bass fishing. The park offers 100 campsites for outer-beach camping in self-contained vehicles.

This article, originally posted in 2017, was updated in April 2023.

Unless noted, photos are courtesy of the parks.

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