Our Camping Trip At Sampson State Park

Seneca Lake at Sampson State Park

A pink glamper

Last weekend hubby and I finally went camping.  This was the very first time we have camped as a couple. We have talked about doing this for a long time  but we just never got around to it.  Sometimes it’s hard to disconnect from the busy world we live in and just let go.  I think it’s easy to convince ourselves that we either don’t have enough time or money.

Booking our trip was easy because the state parks use Reserve America, an on-line booking agent for campgrounds, marinas, and parks throughout the US.

We chose Sampson State Park for our first camping adventure and it was a great choice.  State parks are relatively inexpensive and we literally had  Seneca Lake in our very own backyard.

Seneca Lake at Sampson State Park

Sampson is located in Romulus, NY, which is in the heart of the Finger Lakes –  not too far from home for us.  While there are lot’s of things to do at the park, and in the area, we kept our activity level to a minimum this trip.  We were looking for  rest and relaxation and that’s exactly what we got.

A lot of our trip centered around consuming delicious home cooked meals. The day before our trip my husband  prepared many of our meals in advance.  He loves to cook just as I love to bake.  His menu consisted of many of our favorites – pulled pork, chicken quesadillas, homemade salad’s, spaghetti and meatballs, and of course daily cast iron skillet breakfasts.  We ate better camping than we do at home – seriously!  The key to exceptional camping food is advanced preparation and a great cook.

Homemade Pulled Pork

In between all of our  R&R and eating we found time visit to the Sampson Military Museum which is located right at the park.  This is a must do if you are a local history buff, or enjoy anything to do with maritime, aircrafts, or military history.

Sampson Military Museum

During WWII, and prior to becoming a state park,  the property housed the Sampson Navel Base from 1942-1946.  From 1950-1956, the site was converted into the Sampson Air Force Training Base.

An interesting fact; Sampson Naval Base once housed the largest naval hospital on the east coast.

The history of Sampson fascinates me.  I can’t even imagine the hustle and bustle that once existed in this rural area.

Samspon Military Museum

Aside from visiting the museum, along with many other folks, we took some time to visit the Tin Can Tourist Rally that was going on Saturday in Loop 2 of the campground.  Who can pass up gawking at vintage campers?  Not me!

As for the park itself, the sites were well kept and the restrooms literally sparkled.  Not only did they look clean, they smelled clean.  And thank goodness for the large dishwashing sinks in both the women’s and men’s restrooms because shortly after setting up camp our water pump decided to go on the fritz.

We liked the distance that we had between our neighbors.  In other words, we weren’t camping on top of each other.  The built-in fire ring was nice and we got to enjoy a great campfire on a bright starry night.  And one last reminder, this campground is pet friendly so expect to hear a few barking dog on occasion.  Hence, the reason we didn’t take our dog along.


This was a GREAT first camping trip.  I am already thinking about our next adventure.  My husband just asked me, “where next?” That my friends is a good question.  So many state parks; so many choices.

Signed,

The Happy Campers!

6 Comment

  1. Emily says:

    I’ve been dying to know how your trip went! I have decided I really want to be your next-door-camping-neighbor. Just so I can get leftovers! LOL!!
    I’m so glad your first trip went relatively well. Hope the pump is easy to fix! We’re heading out in the pop up early next month. I can’t wait. I love, love, love the chill-out time!

    1. Eileen says:

      Button up that adorable little pop-up Emily and head towards the Finger Lakes 🙂 Have fun on your trip!

  2. Sandra says:

    So happy that you had a great time in the Pink Paradise. I remember when you started the renovation and you’ve done an amazing job. Isn’t it wonderful that you don’t always have to travel far so a great adventure!

    1. Eileen says:

      I was very thankful that we had a park so nearby. It made the uncertainty of our first trip a lot less worrisome. I’m ready for another project Sandra!

  3. Karen says:

    We love Sampson!! We have attended the Tin Can Tourist Rally for the past few years. Our first Rally, we took the little red & white “Hi Lo” that you had posted pictures of. Over the past few years, we have taken newer campers as we had to accomodate a growing 15 year old and 2 Australian Cattle Dogs. We do have a ’64 Shasta that we are in process of restoring for a future (2016???) Rally. Sampson is a great park – the shower areas are clean and the campsites are just the perfect size. We are considering camping there once more this season so we can take in the lake and the beautiful scenery.

    1. Eileen says:

      Hi Karen, Your little “Hi Lo” picture was so popular on my blog. People still look at it today. I can relate to upsizing. I can’t wait to see the Shasta! I didn’t take pictures at the rally this year because of the rain but hopefully next year will be nicer. I am still thinking I’d like to get one more camping trip in this season too!

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