Officials cut ribbon for Kenneth Wilson campground in Woodstock

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New foot bridge at the campground

WOODSTOCK – The sun shone down brightly Friday afternoon at Kenneth
L. Wilson state campground in Mount Tremper, on the outskirts of Woodstock.
Several dozen people including officials from Department of Environmental
Conservation’s regional headquarters gathered in the shade beneath
the park pavilion, sipping bottles of ice water.

The occasion was to announce significant improvements to the facility,
considered an iconic area destination, promoted through the New York Outdoor
Adventure initiative. “The aim is to bring people outdoors, connect
them with nature, and boost tourist economies,” said William Rudge,
natural resources supervisor for the region.

The statewide initiative was launched last month at a similar event at
Five Rivers park in Delmar in the Town of Bethlehem, Albany County.

“All of these improvements will help make the experience here at
the campground more enjoyable and welcoming for all users. We’ve
really made a special effort to make these facilities accessible to people
of all levels of ability,” Rudge said.

Regional Director Kelly Turturro added that the Outdoor Adventure initiative
also caters to every level of experience, from the avid camper to the
first-time homebody. “In everything we do, we are committed to provide
an ever-increasing range of accessible opportunities,” she noted.
New and expanded programs help encourage people to get outside.

Included among the improvements at Wilson campground, first opened in
1979, are a nature trail with a wildlife viewing platform overlooking
the Little Beaver Kill; a new fishing pier; a new floating canoe and kayak
launch; improved comfort stations; and a new rustic adventure playground.
Still under construction are a day-use picnic area; and an upcoming dog
park.

Swimming is anticipated to return to the area in the near future. Access
was discontinued in 2004 due to bacteria from bird droppings in the water.

Woodstock Town Supervisor William McKenna said the entire town is especially
excited about the possibility of someday jumping back into pond for a
swim. “All Woodstockers are looking forward to that moment,”
he said.

Rudge spoke of the special relationship DEC enjoys with the Town of Woodstock,
recalling how the front gate is left open during the off-season, allowing
the townies to enjoy the scenery while protecting the property from misuse,
cutting staff costs. “We’ve never had a vandalism property
here, and I think it speaks to the community, who really took an interest
and helps look after it; we love working with the Town of Woodstock,”
he said.

“We feel the same about you guys,” McKenna acknowledged, adding
the cooperation with DEC addressing parking and access problems at Overlook
Mountain, and California Quarry.