Date of Stay: July, 2007
Our site was cramped and un-level (it had ruts in it). When I said something to one of the staff, no one offered to change my site or compensate me otherwise. We generally thought this campground was way overpriced for the overall value. We have a large family and the per-child fee starts to add up. We have stayed on much nicer full-hookup campsites in NYS for far less money (at a flat rate I should add). The campground is obviously making continual improvements (roads, pool, lighting, etc.). However, the roads were all dirt and very dusty when we were there. We would not stay here again.
Date of Stay: June, 2006
Overall, Rocky Neck State Park is a nice campground. The sites were a decent size, generally flat and paved. However, we probably would not camp here again for a couple of reasons. First, the beach was too far away; a 1.5 mile drive from our campsite to the beach parking lot. Second, the bathrooms could use some help. Third, there was no playground that we could find. We camp with small children and it is inevitable that someone will need something back at the camper after having arrived at the beach. Having said that, the beach is awesome for small children. Being on the LI Sound, the waves are gentle and the water is very shallow for quite some distance from the beach. We enjoyed swimming during the day and watching the sunset (on the beach) at night. The beach was also very clean. Regarding the bathrooms, they were cleaned every day, had hot showers and were otherwise acceptable. However, the shower curtains had a healthy amount of mildew on them. Near the end of our stay, the cleaning staff must have realized this and decided something needed to be done, because someone cut the bottom two-and-a-half feet off of each curtain. As a result, the shower curtain barely hung below your waist! Not only was this a little unnerving, but everything you brought with you into the shower stall got soaked. There was no playground. You can only play frisbee or throw a ball around for so long before the fun wears off. It would have been nice to have a couple of swings and a slide to mix things up. I should mention that a "nature center" was just recently re-opened after having been closed for 5 years. It had a nice collection of indigenous snakes, turtles, etc. for the kids to look at. Also, the young man that worked here was very knowledgeable and offered to take us on nature hikes. If we did camp here again, we would avoid camping near the tent sites. The tent sites only have port-a-lav' s available. Thus, we had a steady flow of tenters passing through our campsite to use the full service bathrooms in our loop and wash their dishes. If you do camp here, make a trip to the Submarine Museum at Groton. It was very nice. It is also free.
Date of Stay: June, 2005
If you love the ocean, you will love Hither Hills State Park. Where else can you camp for less than $30/day and hear the waves crashing from your campsite. The sunrises and sunsets are fantastic. Although there are approx. 2 miles of beach to walk, swimming is limited to a smaller area due to large surf and occassional rip tides. The life guards are very vigilant about enforcing the rules. Our kids generally didn't go in the water past their knees. We like to camp in June when the campground is still fairly empty and campfires are still allowed. However, the water is still pretty cold in June . . . it's the Atlantic Ocean! Campfires are banned past mid-June due to fire danger. All of the bathrooms are usable. However, the main bath-house near the swimming area is less than 5 years old and is by far the nicest bathroom/shower facility I have seen at a campground. The campsites are all flat and sunny . . . very sunny. Your site comes with a concrete pad for your picnic table. There is a near constant breeze, which can get cool while the water is still cold. As such, most campers bring a tarp or a screen house with a solid wall panel to provide some relief. On a related note, the nights can be cool. All of the campsites are close to the beach. In fact, we have gone days at a time without wearing shoes. There is a nice general store, playground, and baseball field. There was also a very nice game room/library for those rainy days. The park staff also showed children's movies outside during the evening. Aside from the campground, there is an abundance of things to do in Montauk itself. See the lighthouse. Hike in a number of state/county/town parks in the area. Walk by the fishing boats in the area Marinas. In fact, we were in town during a shark fishing tournament at the Star Island Yacht Club which was a big thrill for the kids. Finally, it is nearly impossible to reserve a site at Hither Hills during July and August. Check out the the Reserve America website and plan your trip well in advance if you plan to go during the peak summer months. Enjoy!