Commitment-phobes who break out in hives at the prospect of signing a lease on a Catskills retreat should periodically park themselves in one of New York’s State Parks, many of which offer rustic yet comfortable cabins that rent for next to nothing. For instance, a simple four-person cabin (left) at Cayuga Lake State Park in the Finger Lakes (5 hours, 17 minutes from Grand Army Plaza by car) costs $215 per week. Cayuga Lake is arguably one of the best fresh-water fishing destinations in the region, and most cabins include simple kitchens, as well as barbecue pits. A few caveats: single beds are common and advance reservations are a necessity. The Parks also require a one-week-stay during the height of summer, but, at such reasonable rates, weekenders can skip out early and eat the cost of a few nights lodging.
Letchworth State Park—5 hours, 53 minutes from GAP—is known as “the Grand Canyon of the East” for its gorge surrounded by dramatic cliffs. Cabins start at $82.50 for a two-night minimum stay. Activities there include hiking, swimming, whitewater rafting, and horseback riding.
For more info, commit to visiting http://nysparks.state.ny.us/accomm/ or call 800-456-2267.