Articles by

Evan Groll

Evan is a journalist, cameraman, cook and wanderer based in Bed-Stuy.

02/06/15 9:13am
Camp on an island in the middle of Lake George this summer. Photo:

Can’t afford a private island? Go camping on Lake George this summer instead, but book your site now. Photo: Sandy Makatura via Lake George.com

The recent “blizzard” and all-out freeze has done a number on the city, our now-treacherous sidewalks and our collective spirits. There aren’t enough double Bailey’s hot chocolates or steaming hot toddies out there to warm what’s left of my frigid core. This week, I’ve learned that walking across the Williamsburg Bridge because the subway tracks are frozen is a great way to see the cityscape, if you can manage to open your eyes in the piercing wind. Luckily, I think I’ve found a way to beat the winter blues. My solution? Planning the most epic spring and summer getaways I can imagine.

I’m talking about island getaways, battleground barracks, motorcycle rallies and one of the most spectacular firework displays in the country. Yes, you can go the AirBnB route for soaking up the sun and relaxing somewhere away from the city, but New York State Parks maintains a pretty amazing array of campsites, cabins, yurts, even lighthouses that you can reserve and stay in quite cheaply. Reservations open up nine months in advance of the booking, and some of the most coveted spots (like a cottage on a the water in the Finger Lakes for $125 a night) get snapped up almost immediately. (There are lots of campsites you can get last minute, too, so don’t despair, light travelers.) You can book through the New York State Camping website, though I’d recommend calling if you have specific questions or needs, as the site and online booking process can be a bit confusing–they’re very helpful,  1-800-456-CAMP.

Here are some outstanding spots to commune with nature this summer, though New York State has a pretty amazing array of parks, lakes and historic sites, so explore what’s on offer around the state–don’t just stick to my recommendations.

Lake George
There are a number of campgrounds near Lake George, or The Queen of American Lakes as it’s known. It sits at the base of the Adirondacks with a shoreline of more than 100 miles. So, there’s plenty of room, but the best sites get snatched quickly. (more…)

10/17/14 9:00am
The foliage is in its full glory at Mohonk Mountain preserve right now. Photo: Evan Groll

The foliage is in its full glory at Mohonk Mountain preserve right now. Photo: Evan Groll

As much as we love New York City, and as ideal as it is for many things, it is not the best place to enjoy fall foliage and get that taste of the outdoors that even the most seasoned city dwellers need from time to time. Here are two easy trips north where you can take full advantage of this gorgeous autumn. Both are much easier done by car, but if you want an autumn hike you can do completely car-free, check out this adventure in Peekskill, with foliage and beer.  (more…)

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