Campers love Clute Park, lakes
WATKINS GLEN (7/27/16)--They come from places near and far, but those who camp at Clute Park share both a love of the area and the community. The REVIEW&EXPRESS talked to several campers Saturday morning, July 23, asking them about what they like about camping at Clute Park and how long they have been coming. Whether it was their first visit or if they have been coming for decades, one thing all of the campers stressed was the friendly community of campers who were also enjoying their vacations.
Bob Schultz and Bud Brewer were enjoying their morning in front of an RV Saturday and talked about the many years they have camped at Clute. Schultz said he has been coming to Clute Park since around 2000, while Brewer said he has been coming since 1980.
"It's pretty much all about the lake," Schultz said. "And the people," Brewer added. Schultz agreed, saying, "Very much so. It works out very well and it is very well run. It is a lot of fun."
Brewer said the wine trails and racetrack are a big draw for his family while he is visiting the area.
"My wife is a wino and I love cars," Brewer said. "I love the vintage cups, I've been to a lot of the NASCAR stuff. I don't go up there anymore because it is too crowded, but [‚Ä¶] there's a lot around here to do."
Brewer added the park has not changed much at all since 1980 other than some new water and sewer lines. Brewer said he comes from Elmira, while Schultz comes from the Rome, Pennsylvania area.
"It's just far enough to be in a different world and not travel six or eight hours," Schultz said.
Roger and Peggy Comstock live in Campbell and have been visiting the Clute Park Campground for eight or nine years. Roger said the people and the lake first brought them to the grounds, highlighting the atmosphere as one of it's perks.
"It's a good place to get away from home," Roger said. "everybody in the park is so friendly."
The two usually visit on weekends, adding they eat out often and take advantage of happy hours whenever they can. Peggy added they like to boat and fish as well, with Roger adding they like to do their fishing around Severne Point to get away from the busier parts of the lake.
Paul Parsoneault and his family enjoyed their first year of camping this year, making the trip all the way from Maryland. He said his daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren decided to come up, so he made the trip along with them. They have been camping for a week, adding he is getting used to a new culture that comes with it.
"I'm not familiar with the whole RV subculture, so I've got a good flavor for what that subculture feels like right now," Parsoneault said. "it was very interesting to see everything from these large motor homes to what my son-in-law has which is a pop up one. Another interesting thing is there are a lot of fifth wheels in here that looks like they are here permanently or quasi-permanently, almost like they are set up as a vacation home here. It's also nice because it is close to everything here."
Parsoneault said his family went biking on the Catharine Valley Trail, boating on Keuka Lake, visited the Corning Museum of Glass and hiking at the Watkins Glen State Park. He said they had a group of seven people with them, but noted his favorite activity was getting out on Keuka Lake and pulling the kids around on water tubes.
Becky Henderson and her dog Roger were out for a walk Saturday morning, adding she is visiting from Corning. This is her fourth year camping at Clute, adding she is originally from Watkins so she knows the area.
"It's just a nice weekend retreat," Henderson said.
Henderson mentioned they mostly come up on weekends, but are able to come up a few days in the middle of the week as well during the summer. She said they initially had a boat they kept in Watkins, but later switched to an RV because "There is a lot more room in a 30-foot camper than in a 30-foot boat." Henderson said the lake, gorge and new wineries and breweries are some of their favorite things to explore while visiting, adding the park community is also great.
Eivian Allington said she is winding down her camping, noting this is her last year camping at Clute Park making the trip from Pine City. She has been camping there for 17 years.
"Most of our friends have left and passed on," Allington said. "It's getting kind of tiring. My husband fishes, but I just usually sit around, read and play cards."
Allington said she usually visits with just her husband, but used to bring their kids up in earlier years. She said the park hasn't changed much, adding they usually camp for the whole summer. Allington said the kids used to like visiting the campground, but are all marry now and have their own lives to attend to.