Compared with others, the Max V. Shaul State Park is a relatively small campground with 30 sites.
But the mountainside camp, which comes with free access to another state park, is expected to lure more guests following changes by the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.
The park on state Route 30 south of Middleburgh joined only two others in the 179-park system offering extended stays for guests this season.
Last year, the state made long-term camping available in two Southern Tier parks, Bowman Lake in Chenango County and Oquaga Creek in Broome and Delaware counties. This year, Max V. Shaul joined the list.
State Parks spokeswoman MaryAnn Corbisiero said the idea took off last year at the other campgrounds.
“They’re all booked,” she said of the extended-stay available sites, which give campers the option to stay from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
With only 30 sites, the Max V. Shaul Park is letting long-term campers choose whatever site they seek.
It’s an initiative aimed at boosting use at some parks that don’t get as many guests, Corbisiero said.
“We’re trying really hard in state parks to give them different reasons to come in,” she said.
In some instances, the state is offering discounts, and at some parks, cabins are being offered for use for the first time.
Last year was a “banner year” for camping. This year, not so much, she said.
In the other two campsites opened up for long-term camping, people most often bring a camper.
But the hardy outdoors people are welcome to use tents, as well.
Max V. Shaul is situated on the edge of a mountain and features the shade of conifers along with picnic grounds, a playground, hiking trail and easy access for fishing in Panther Creek.
Access to mine kill
Corbisiero said the Max V. Shaul Park offers an advantage not available elsewhere: free access to Mine Kill State Park just down the road in Blenheim.
Situated amid scenic Schoharie Valley views, Mine Kill has an Olympic-sized swimming pool, a diving pool and a wading pool in addition to fishing in the New York Power Authority’s lower reservoir.
It’s stocked with trout and walleyes and other fish like bass are found there as well.
Mine Kill also features miles of hiking trails, paths for mountain biking and photo opportunities at Mine Kill Falls, an 80-foot cascade viewable from the top of an overlook or from below on a trail.
People can learn more about Max V. Shaul Park on the website of the state office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation online at http://nysparks.com/parks/94/.