Rustic Revelations in New York State: A Nature Lover’s Journey at Spacious Skies Woodland Hills

Trip Dates: May 18 – 23

This was only my fifth Spacious Skies campground, but so far, my favorite. This campground is not as stylish as Belle Ridge, not as beautiful as Shenandoah Views, not as peachy as Peach Haven or smelled as nice as Hidden Creek, but it was more me – rustic and natural. This is where a person truly connects with nature.

A small pond with a dock and boat, surrounded by trees and grass in the charming Rustic Revelations area of New York State. Nearby are swings and a picnic table. A pipe extends into the water, and several floating buoys dot the surface, adding to the serene atmosphere of Spacious Skies Woodland Hills.
A wooded area with green trees and a dirt path winds through Spacious Skies Woodland Hills. Wildflowers and tall grass grow near a tree in the foreground, while a picnic table sits to the left. This picturesque setting offers rustic revelations just waiting to be discovered.

The wildflowers were everywhere, snuggled in nooks and cranny of rocks, fallen logs, near a true frog pond, scattered along the road….everywhere. Canada geese claimed the large pond and made sure we did not get too close.

A garden bed with a cluster of small pink flowers surrounded by rocks, green grass, and leafy plants offers a rustic revelation for any nature lover's journey.
A fallen birch tree lies on the ground with peeling bark surrounded by dandelions and small blue flowers, next to a grassy area and a gravel path, capturing the essence of Nature Lover's Journey.
A stone wall with green foliage and small blue flowers at its base. A few logs lie on the grassy ground next to the wall. Trees with green leaves are in the background, epitomizing the beauty of Woodland Hills, New York State. A picnic table is partially visible.

As a former tent camper for over 30 years, the Woodland Hills campground is heaven. These sites are set apart from the RVs, and scattered according to the landscape, giving a wonderful experience of being tucked in nature. Water is provided, and nearby in my section is also electricity but no sewer, which allows small campers like mine to comingle with the tents comfortable.

The bathrooms are nearby – clean, warm (it is still spring with cool evenings) and with nice showers. Most of the tent and small camper sites had a view of the large pond with a fountain that sounded like a small waterfall.

This section of the campground was less populated, not only because it was a weekday, but also because it was still considered spring and schools were in session. During each morning walk Tipper and I wandered through vacant campsites or circled the pond and found not only colorful flowers, but birds. Lots of birds.

Every morning, we woke to a loud chorus of local and migrating birds moving north, stopping here for food, and spending a few days to gain strength as they pass through to nest and raise a family. I even saw a new bird for my bird watching life list – a worm-eating warbler.

I had no idea the benefit of traveling in the spring would make. We both genuinely enjoyed the low crowds during this season of cool weather, abundant spring flowers and quiet atmosphere. For Tipper, she enjoyed being almost the only dog in town and had the dog park to herself. Beyond the dog park, there are several Cosmic Canine Campsites, where an RV site includes its own enclosed grassy area for your pet to play or relax safely. She also appreciated the nice cut lawn in this dog park, and we played ball many times without her worrying about hurting her paws.

The other favorable aspect to Woodland Hills is the proximity to wonderful places to visit. I was able to see one of my favorite artist’s studios – Norman Rockwell. He lived for many years in Stockbridge, just a 20-minute drive from the Spacious Skies Woodland Hills campground. Near the Rockwell studio is the Berkshire Botanical Garden with whimsical flower beds, a heritage herb garden which is older than the hills, and an interesting, restored historic home with a full kitchen made into a classroom for cooking lessons. In another section is an art gallery supporting local artists.

An art studio in New York State with a large painting of diverse people, an easel, wooden chairs, and various artworks displayed. Sunlight filters through windows with green blinds, casting a serene glow. A rope barrier separates the area. It's a perfect stage for Rustic Revelations.
An old wooden shed with a sagging roof stands in a lush garden surrounded by dense greenery and blooming blue and purple flowers on a sunny day, a perfect scene from Rustic Revelations for any nature lover's journey.

On another day I visited the Hancock Shaker Village spending most of the day roaming in and out of a complete Shaker establishment with all interior items intact. The last Shaker Sister of this village sold the entire village to the local community who formed a foundation to preserve and use as an educational tool about the Shaker way of life. Do not miss the guided tour of the round barn. There are details built into this barn not obvious to the untrained eye, and will open your eyes to the ingenuity and intelligence of these people.

Two animals graze in a grassy field enclosed by wooden frames, with historic brick and stone buildings in the background. White fences and green hills stretch under the spacious skies of Woodland Hills, making it perfect for a nature lover's journey.
A round stone building and a red barn sit on a well-maintained green lawn under a clear blue sky, surrounded by various trees and plants—it's truly a Nature Lover's Journey.

I almost forgot to tell you about the bikers! The second day we arrived, I headed into town for groceries and came back with mountain bikers cruising with me along the gravel road leading into the campground. It was a Saturday, and bicycles are common in New England, but there were about 20 bikes on the road heading in my direction and more were up ahead. To my surprise, they turned into Woodland Hills, and I soon learned it was the famous Farmers Daughter Gravel Grind bike ride.

A group of cyclists on a gravel path, wearing helmets and biking gear, ride through a park area with trees in the background, embracing the scenic beauty of a Nature Lover's Journey.
Several cyclists in sportswear gather near a building with outdoor equipment, portable toilets, and a basketball hoop during a break in a bike event amidst the scenic backdrop of Woodland Hills.
Two cyclists ride on a trail through a dense forest with green foliage, embarking on their Nature Lover's Journey. This hidden gem in New York State reveals rustic revelations at every turn.

The Woodland Hills pavilion was being used as a way station. Tables were piled with fruit, granola bars and water bottles. I overheard someone say the brownies were delicious as she went back for a second helping. A few port-a-potties were next to a tent with bike repair technicians on hand. These rugged mountain bikes are designed for rough dirt roads or trails. The entire route was on gravel roads snaking in and around mountains.

What fun it was to talk to a few of them, but they didn’t hang around long. Within a couple of hours, all was peaceful and quiet again, except for the Canada geese voicing their opinions.

Tip: Be sure to visit the town of Stockbridge and have a delicious sandwich from the Public Market deli. A true New England deli, there are so many choices it will be hard to make a final decision, so order two sandwiches for a midnight snack.

Ann Bush

FB Group: Green Gypsy Travel