Celebrate National S'mores Day in the Hudson Valley


Let's be real: When it comes to holidays, what we're all mostly interested in is the food. Lucky for us, in addition to the usual suspects, the powers that be (Sandwich lobby? Secret ice cream society?) have gifted us with food holidays that skip all the fanfare and get straight to the heart of the matter. For those not in the know, August 10 is National S'mores Day - a day to kick back, relax, and enjoy the marshmallowy goodness that can only come from sitting around a campfire.

Here in the Hudson Valley, the outdoors are our specialty, so here are five spots where you can enjoy your s'mores this August:

Ward Pound Ridge Reservation

At over 4,000 acres, Ward Pound Ridge Reservation ("the Res," as it's known locally) is Westchester County's largest park. The park boasts a lot of history: first inhabited by Native Americans, its played host to a number of visitors since, from farmers to the Civilian Conservation Corps to the Leatherman (a local 19th century vagabond brought to national attention by Pearl Jam in the late 1990s). There are plenty of picnic areas where you can get your s'mores on - better yet, rent a lean-to and spend the whole night enjoying your s'mores in style.

Croton Point Park

Location in Croton-on-Hudson, this 508-acre park is located near a train station, making it easy to access from NYC. The park is right on the Hudson River, so in addition to the usual activities (camping, hiking, gazing longingly at all the dogs you want to jump in puddles with), there's also a beach. Plant yourself at a cabin, tent, or RV site next to the water and eat your s'mores the way nature intended, in between refreshing dips in the mighty Hudson.

Bear Mountain State Park

If the west coast of the Hudson is what you're into, look no further than Bear Mountain State Park. A popular destination for city-dwellers and locals alike, you can spend your day hiking or visiting the Trailside Museum and Zoo before settling in to one of the picnic areas and cooking your s'mores over one the many permanent grills provided. While they don't have a designated campground, look no further than the Bear Mountain Inn for your overnight needs.

Taconic State Park

The park has it all with over 100 campsites and 18 cabins for rent, plus plenty of hiking, swimming, and scenic views to kick your wanderlust into high gear. It's the oldest State Park in the Taconic Region and shares a border with both Connecticut and Massachusetts, meaning you can step your feet into three states in one weekend if you play your cards right. Not to be missed is Bish Bash Falls, the highest single drop waterfall in Massachusetts and an easy hike from the main camp site.

Your own backyard

Here in the Hudson Valley, you never have to go very far to enjoy nature. There's nothing like kicking back and relaxing from the comfort of your home, so what better way to enjoy National S'mores Day than in your own backyard? Fire up your grill to roast some marshmallows, or, if you're feeling adventurous (and you've checked the safety regulations of your town), why not spend a day building a fire pit to give your yard the ultimate summer camping feel? Check out these helpful instructions from Lowe's.

Kerry Erlanger is a writer from New York (state not city). She can be found on twitter @hellokerry.