June 15, 2008
Local Campground to Be Reinvented: ‘We’re Going to Have All New Landscaping Throughout the Campground”
By Dan Heath, The Press-Republican, Plattsburgh, N.Y.
Jun. 15--CHAMPLAIN -- A campground at Kings Bay just south of Rouses Point is undergoing changes and renovations intended to make it as regal as the bay's name.
Greg Fleming said owner Les Matthews is working with him as they take over operation of the property.
"We have 177 campsites here. We like to think we're a little bit of a diamond in the rough," he said.
The property is presently occupied with a number of mobile homes and seasonal travel trailers. He said a few of the campers have left because of some of the rule changes.
Eventually, all of the mobile homes will be removed, Greg Fleming said. Those sites will be available to RVs or year-round wood cabins, with reservations for those being accepted this fall.
The sites all have water, sewer and electric connections. Camping will range from tents to full-size RVs, he said.
There is about 1,800 feet of waterfront, including one of the few sand beaches on the New York side of Lake Champlain. Greg Fleming said they are working to maintain the beach under the guidance of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.
"I can see it coming back already," he said.
Justin Fleming said they just renovated the campground clubhouse, with an arcade area that has two pool tables, an air hockey table, bingo hall and lounge area. The adjacent swimming pool is already open.
The partners are in the process of creating or renovating a number of recreational facilities, including a three-hole chip 'n' putt golf area, basketball and volleyball courts, horseshoe pits and baseball field.
The campground borders the Kings Bay Wildlife Management area, which teams with wildlife. A nearby wooded trail leads to Catfish Bay on the northern end of Point au Fer, a flat hike of about one mile.
Justin Fleming said a lakeshore park will have 15 to 20 benches. The grassy area will be great for picnics, he said.
He said the property will be pet friendly, but animals will need to be kept on a leash.
Visitors and day-use guests are welcome. They will be charged $5 per person, with an additional $5 parking fee.
One of the buildings on the beach is being turned into the Lakeside Lodge, suitable for beach-side weddings, banquets and corporate retreats, Greg Fleming said.
It has twin picture windows that overlook the beach, providing great views of the wide, shallow bay.
Two bathhouses are being renovated, including new men's and women's shower units. There will also be a new laundry room.
"We're going to have all new landscaping throughout the campground," Justin Fleming said.
Through Champlain Valley Traditions, U.S. Coast Guard and New York State licensed Captain Peete will offer fully guided hunting and fishing trips. Because of its proximity to the mouth of the Great Chazy River and the channel in the middle of the lake, Kings Bay is one of the few locations on Lake Champlain where most of the species in Lake Champlain can be found, he said.
Peete said the area features exceptional bass and Northern pike fishing.
Two boats are available. Peete said the 24-foot Grumman pontoon boat seats 10 people and is great for shallow water and bass fishing.
The 25-foot Hydra-Sports fishing boat with twin 175-horsepower motors seats six and is more of a deep-sea style vessel.
"It can take anything that Lake Champlain has to dish out," Peete said.
Guests need only show up, as Peete provides all the equipment and bait needed. He will also discuss the history of nearby attractions, such as St. Anne's Shrine on Isle La Motte and the ruins of Fort Montgomery.
Kings Bay and Lake Champlain are some of the most traveled areas on the Atlantic flyway.
"It has some of the best duck hunting you'll find," Peete said.
He will also offer two-hour sunset cruises.
Greg Fleming said the Lakeside Lodge will be used as a duck camp in the fall, with duck blinds all along the waterfront.
Guests are responsible for obtaining their own hunting and fishing license, and other needed permits.
Greg Fleming said the campground is offering a Fourth of July special. Four-day rates range from $100 to $80, depending on the site's proximity to the water.
More information about Kings Bay Campground and RV Resort and Champlain Valley Traditions is available at www.kingsbaycampground.com or www.champlainvalleytraditions.com or by calling 297-6000.
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Copyright (c) 2008, The Press-Republican, Plattsburgh, N.Y.
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