Thursday, December 18, 2014

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NY1 combs the five boroughs, the Hudson Valley and Long Island for interesting outdoor activities and places to see.

Brooklyn Campsite Offers Year-Round Opportunity to Rough it

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TWC News: Brooklyn Campsite Offers Year-Round Opportunity to Rough it
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Brooklyn is home to a campground where visitors can get the outdoor experience without ever leaving the city. NY1's Jeanine Ramirez filed the following report.

Equipped with a picnic table, firepit and grill, a section of Floyd Bennett Field looks like a typical camp site. But this is in Brooklyn. And it's the only year-round camping grounds in the city.

"This is a gem. This is a hideaway. We found out about this place by mistake and we love it," says one camper.

"As you see in here you really don't know you're in the city," says Jamaica Bay Unit Supervisory Park Ranger Jennifer Bethea.

The site is called Camp Gateway, part of Gateway National Recreation Area at Floyd Bennett Field. There are 34 tent camping sites with some basic amenities.

"We have showers, hot and cold running water. We have a camp store. We have bathrooms," says Bethea.

But for those addicted to electronics, maybe a wind up radio? There is no electricity.

"Too bad they don't have outlets out here. My phone's dead so it's like. It's kind of a drag,"
says Marcus Parlemont, a camper.

"We're going to be here for one night. We're going to set up. We're going to cook our s'mores. We're going to make our lamb," says Arnold McCloud, a camper.

It's also a chance to get in touch with nature. The Park Rangers offer all kinds of programs from kayak lessons in Jamaica Bay to nature walks focused on birding.

"More than 100 species of birds that reside here annually and also migrate here as Jamaica Bay is one of the last great salt marshes on the northeastern flyway," says National Parks of New York Harbor Public Affairs Specialist Mindi Rambo.

Then there are the small animals roaming about like rabbits.

"And raccoons, which some people might so much not like. But don't keep food in your tent and you don't have a problem with them. They're just as welcome here as you are," says Bethea.

McCloud says he camps here about three times a year.

"I come in the summertime but I also come in the winter. I like to rough it so I come all seasons," he says.

"Where else can you camp close to public transportation? Close to all the sites that we have to offer in New York City?" says Bethea.

The city's bright lights are only a bus and subway ride away from the flicker of a lantern.

Campsites cost $20/night, can be reserved up to 14 nights and reservations can be made online. ClientIP: UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP