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About Us

Founder, Elton Johnson, owned quite a bit of property on the road and mountain where Rip Van Winkle campgrounds now exists. When it came to his attention that there was space available to build, KOA approached Johnson and planted the seed in his head to build a campground. Johnson politely declined and instead, insisted on building the campground his way.

So in 1962, the construction started.

By 1966, the campground officially opened. Today, the 160 acres that make up Rip Van Winkle campgrounds is now home to nearly 200 campsites, several fun zones including an outdoor movie theater, swimming pool, R/C tracks and a soft serve ice cream shop.

Built for “the lover of nature,” Rip Van Winkle campgrounds is unique because of how heavily wooded and spread out it is.

This family-oriented campground is a great place to escape from the hectic day-to-day schedule and truly absorb the beauty of the great outdoors. The overall family-feel that Rip Van Winkle campgrounds gives off can be attributed to its longstanding chain of familial history.

The third-generation campground is now run by Johnson’s three grandsons who are in the process of priming the fourth generation to carry on the Rip Van Winkle campground legacy.

Elton Johnson, Founder of Rip Van Winkle Campgrounds in Saugerties, NY

For Families, For Friends, For Fun!