Day Use

Welcome! We are so glad you came!

The public is generally welcome daily from dawn to dusk. Please see seasonal schedules below.

No fee is charged though donations are greatly appreciated.

Please park in the main parking lot next to the Commons Building.

All visitors are required to sign in/out at the Commons Building. Our “Day Use Table” is located just inside the doors and off the lobby to your right. Here you will find sign in/out sheets, map of trails and grounds, and waivers for specific activities (e.g., boating, ice fishing, or sledding). Public phone and restrooms are available in Commons Building.

Vanderkamp Trails:

The public is welcome to enjoy our trails daily from dawn to dusk. Use of trails is not impacted by seasonal schedules.

Enjoy cross-country skiing, hiking, mountain biking or snowshoeing. Vanderkamp covers 850 acres and has miles of trails to explore.

Leashed dogs are welcome. Please clean up behind your pet.

Motorized vehicles (e.g., snowmobiles or ATVs) are not permitted on Vanderkamp trails.

Don’t own cross-country skis? We rent ski packages (boots, skis, poles) for $5 per person/per day. Youth and adult sizes available. Recommend calling ahead so we can make sure we are available to get you set up.

Never skied before? Call ahead to schedule and we’ll throw in a free lesson with your first rental.

Vanderkamp’s trails are not groomed.

We rely heavily on visitors to keep us updated on trail conditions as we have a small staff outside of our summer kamp season. Thanks!

Seasonal Schedule for Access to Commons Building, Grounds, and Lake:

Winter Operations Schedule (December – February):

Commons Community Center open weekdays from 8 am through 8 pm Monday – Thursday and through 4 pm Friday. It is not open to public on Saturdays and Sundays, but visitors are welcome to use restrooms or local phone for emergencies.

Exclusive use of the building, the Dining Hall, or the Fireplace Room for parties, meetings, or other events requires a paid rental–contact the office to inquire about rates and availability. Any schedule changes due to rentals or facility issues will be posted here and on our Facebook page. 

The Dining Hall is unavailable Tuesday – Thursday between 9 am and 2 pm to accommodate the North Shore Bistro–OCO’s Senior Nutrition Program hosted by Vanderkamp.

Sledding on Cherry Hill: Vanderkamp does permit visitors and groups to sled on Cherry Hill daily from dawn to dusk. A NEW informed consent form/waiver must be signed EACH YEAR and submitted to the main office BEFORE sledding–for EVERY person. These will be kept on file for the season. Parents must complete and sign for their minor children–so group leaders should contact us ahead of time for forms. Adult supervision is required.

Vanderkamp Lake: Vanderkamp does permit visitors and small groups to ice fish on our private 45 acre lake daily from dawn to dusk. A NEW informed consent form/waiver must be signed EACH YEAR and submitted to the main office BEFORE sledding–for EVERY person. These will be kept on file for the season. Parents must complete and sign for their minor children–so group leaders should contact us ahead of time for forms. Adult supervision is required.

Other Buildings: The public is not permitted in our other buildings including lodges and Fellowship Hall. These buildings have all been winterized and are not in use this time of year. (Those interested in a tour before making a rental reservation for later in the year should contact the office to schedule.)

Spring and Autumn Operations Schedule (March through mid-June and mid August through November):

Vanderkamp facilities are available for rental to individuals, families, or groups during these seasons–limiting public access.

Commons Community Center open weekdays from 8 am through 8 pm Monday – Thursday and through 4 pm Friday. It is not open to public on Saturdays and Sundays, but visitors are welcome to use restrooms or local phone for emergencies.

Exclusive use of the building, the Dining Hall, or the Fireplace Room for parties, meetings, or other events requires a paid rental–contact the office to inquire about rates and availability. Any schedule changes due to rentals or facility issues will be posted here and on our Facebook page. 

The Dining Hall is unavailable Tuesday – Thursday between 9 am and 2 pm to accommodate the North Shore Bistro–OCO’s Senior Nutrition Program hosted by Vanderkamp.

Vanderkamp Lake: Fishing is permitted on our 45 acre private lake. Fishing is subject to all DEC regulations and licensing requirements. (That is–they know we allow this and have been known to drop by from time to time. So be prepared.) Private boats are not permitted on Vanderkamp Lake. We have no zebra mussels or millfoil… and desire to keep it that way. Motors are not permitted on the lake. Swimming by non-rental guests is prohibited by Oswego County Health Department regulations.

Vanderkamp rents canoes, sit-a-top kayaks, and row boats to visitors for $5 per day/per boat. Rental includes PFDs, paddles/oars, and boat. Recommend calling ahead as rental groups have priority access to our fleet.

Other Buildings and Grounds: The public is not permitted in our other buildings including lodges and Fellowship Hall without the knowledge and permission of Vanderkamp staff. For the privacy and enjoyment of our paid retreat or rental guests, we ask that visitors avoid the grounds around the lodges. Although you may find a building unlocked, please do not take that as an invitation to explore. Stop by the office or call ahead to schedule a tour. Often, if we have staff available, we can do a brief tour on the spot! We love to talk about Vanderkamp’s unique history as an authentic Great Kamp or Vanderkamp’s current ministry and facilities. Vanderkamp is truly a treasure and we welcome the opportunity to share more of it with you. Contact us for a tour today!

Summer Operations Schedule (mid-June through mid-August)

Commons Community Center: Due to summer kamps during the week and rentals on weekends, the community center is closed.

Vanderkamp Lake: Access to public is restricted to Saturdays (dawn to dusk) and Sundays from dawn to 12 pm (noon). Visitors may not access the lake (e.g., fish from shore) or rent boats during summer kamps. Please avoid areas in use by paid retreat/rental groups. See Spring and Autumn Operations Schedule above for details about fishing, boating, and swimming.

Other Buildings and Grounds: Public access is restricted to trails weekdays due to summer kamps. Visitors not permitted in or around buildings or areas where kampers are present. Visitors use of grounds restricted to Saturdays (dawn to dusk) and Sundays from dawn to 12 pm (noon). See Spring and Autumn Operations Schedule above for details regarding access to buildings and grounds or scheduling a tour.

Group Visits:

Group leaders are asked to contact Vanderkamp in advance so we are aware you are on grounds–and we can avoid overcrowding by multiple groups–making the experience more enjoyable for everyone.

 

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