How to Open a Homestead Campground

Learn how this family decided to make a bit of money on their homestead by opening up sections of their land for public camping.

| March/April 1980

  • 062 campground - jumping off the pier
    A diving platform proved safer than the diving boards at the swimming hole.
    ALDEN STAHR
  • 062 campground - lake view3
    A view towards the shore of the two acre swimming hole Joe Taylor made on his homestead campground.
    PHOTO: ALDEN STAHR
  • 062 campground - five panels
    TOP LEFT: The camp ""zoo"" is an added attraction. CENTER LEFT: This small cottage and all of the campground's other buildings were constructed by the Taylor family. BOTTOM LEFT: The "Big Cabin," which the Taylors rented out to guests by the week. TOP RIGHT: Photographers who are interested in wildlife find plenty of subject matter. CENTER RIGHT: The Taylors sold firewood for extra income.
    ALDEN STAHR
  • 062 campground - hunters
    Hunters rent out the property twice each year.
    ALDEN STAHR

  • 062 campground - jumping off the pier
  • 062 campground - lake view3
  • 062 campground - five panels
  • 062 campground - hunters

Sixteen years ago, Joe Taylor, his wife Amy, and their four sons opened up their land to a few campers. Today, Camp Taylor has 84 campsites . . . and the family has a thriving home business!

Since I've lived on his "homestead campground" for the last eight years, I've had plenty of chances to talk with Mr. Taylor about the ins and outs of opening a campground. And Joe tells me that you can start as small as you wish (as he did for instance with just a few picnic tables, garbage pails, and an outhouse) and then let your campground grow until it's as big as you can manage.

How It Happened

In 1953 when Joe bought his 137 acres of northwestern New Jersey woods he had no intention of starting a campground. He just wanted some recreational acreage for his family and friends. But as taxes (inevitably) increased, the new landowner had to make his property pay ... or lose it.

At first, the Taylors leased their land during hunting season, and took in about $400, but that wasn't nearly enough. So, Joe's next thought was to build a bungalow colony, but he ran into trouble with local building codes (which required a minimum of 1,250 square feet for any dwelling) and decided that such a project wouldn't pay off.



It was at that point that the landowner chopped down enough trees to make space for a few campsites, built several picnic tables, provided garbage cans, constructed a two-holer outhouse . . . and opened his campground.

In order to make the place more attractive to his guests, Joe Taylor's next move was to create a lake. Although he had a full-time job and was moonlighting at another besides, this determined man cleared all the trees for the two-acre lake site with an axe!

adilator
5/12/2019 8:14:48 PM

Hi, really enjoyed this article. i myself also did one related to this topic about how to start a campground. Would love you to check it and hopefully leave us a link Here is the article: https://www.valrin.com/how-to-build-a-campground-from-scratch/ Cheers,







mother-audience

MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR

February 15-16, 2020
Belton, Texas

Join us in the Lone Star state to explore ways to save money and live efficiently. This two-day event includes hands-on workshops and a marketplace featuring the latest homesteading products.

LEARN MORE






Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 64% Off the Cover Price

50 Years of Money-Saving Tips!

Mother Earth NewsAt MOTHER EARTH NEWS for 50 years and counting, we are dedicated to conserving our planet's natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. You'll find tips for slashing heating bills, growing fresh, natural produce at home, and more. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.95 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.95 for 6 issues.

Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
International Subscribers - Click Here
Canadian subscriptions: 1 year (includes postage & GST).


Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter flipboard

Free Product Information Classifieds Newsletters

click me