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Thursday, January 8, 2015

Camping at Hither Hills State Park, and NYS Announces Winners of 2014 Camping Photo Contest

With single-digit temps outside, I just keep thinking about warmer times.

Friends and I have booked a long weekend in late May at Hither Hills NYS Park for some basically-beach-front camping in Montauk, Long Island/The Hamptons. (Annoyingly, it's the same weekend as my 10th SLU reunion but it's also the only summer weekend available for camping at this park.)

So, maybe I'll submit my own photo for the contest next year.

Though I did always like this one I took at Sampson State Park, a Finger Lakes trip I blogged about as well.

Here's the NYS press release with a link to the winning camping photos:

Images Capture the Beauty of the Outdoors

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (State Parks) and the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Thursday announced the winners of the 2014 Camping Photo Contest showcasing New York’s scenic outdoors.  State Parks and DEC selected one grand prize winner and six category finalists from more than 2,200 submissions.  
Kate Montgomery of Rome, NY is the grand prize winner with her submission of a starry night at Keewaydin State Park in the Thousand Islands.  Montgomery will receive a $250 camping gift card, a tent, outdoor accessories, a wildlife guide and subscription to the Conservationist. In addition, her winning image will be featured in the 2015 New York State Camping Guide and on various websites.   

(Kate Montgomery of Rome, NY's winning camping photo)

The top images in each of the six categories include:
  • Amanda Morris of Piscataway, NJ (Rollins Pond - Outdoor Activities/Watersports);
  • Lisa Barnes of Boiling Springs, PA, (Buttermilk Falls State Park - Points of Interest/Scenic Views);
  • Elinor Hickey of Fairport, NY (Forked Lake Campground - Sunrise/Sunset);
  • Alyssa Wisniewski of Rochester, NY (Allegany State Park – Seasons);
  • Dawn Seitz of Canandaigua, NY (Fair Haven Beach State Park - Nature); and
  • James Sickler of Buffalo, NY (Buck Pond Campground - Camping Life). 
Each finalist will receive a $50 camping gift card and an outdoor experience package which includes a tent, knapsack, a water bottle, a subscription to theConservationist and a copy of the New York Wildlife Viewing Guide. 
The grand-winning and finalist photographs can be viewed here.
“The sheer volume of high-quality and engaging images we received during the contest underscores just how captivating and photogenic New York’s public lands are,” said State Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey. “From sharing special family memories around the campfire to capturing the beauty of the outdoors in all four seasons, the entries clearly portray why camping is so popular among New Yorkers and visitors of all ages.  Congratulations to the seven winners and thanks to all who participated for making this contest fun and competitive.” 
“The camping and outdoor recreation areas across New York State provide an ideal background for anyone capturing a special memory, and the entries to our 2014 photo contest illustrate this beautifully,” said DEC Commissioner Joe Martens. “From exciting wildlife sightings and spectacular views to outdoor adventures and family traditions, the photo submissions allow everyone to enjoy a glimpse of what's possible in New York. It is our hope that the photos will serve as a reminder to our loyal customers of just how special New York State is while attracting new visitors to all we have to offer."

ReserveAmerica/ACTIVE Network conducted the contest for amateur photographers, which ran Memorial Day weekend through Columbus Day. State Parks and DEC selected the seven winners through public views, comments and committee selection. Further details regarding contest rules, eligibility, and the prizes are available at
“The 2014 camping photo contest is a shining example of the visitation efforts we’ve helped support throughout our partnership with New York,” said Gary Evans, General Manager, ACTIVE Network, Outdoors. “The thousands of images submitted reflect people enjoying all that New York state parks and campgrounds have to offer. The photos engaged visitors throughout the camping season, inspiring them to get outdoors to create their own experiences and unforgettable memories.” 
New York offers 15,500 state-operated campsites for tents and RVs as well as nearly 800 cabins, cottages, yurts and a lighthouse available for rental. Campers can choose from tranquil tent sites tucked amid the woods to boat-access only waterfront sites to multi-room cottages, and everything in between.  Many state campgrounds are conveniently located near day-use parks, trails, historic sites, golf courses and other family-friendly destinations offering adventure and relaxation of all kinds.  
Information about any of the campgrounds, a digital version of the camping guide, links to virtual tours of select properties and reservations can be found at


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