Rating 3.7 of 5
Sebago Cabins—Bear Mountain
Lake Sebago, Harriman State Park
Sebago Cabins is full of rustic cabins built in the 1930’s. Rocky paths and sunken trees surround this secluded campsite.
Camping Season 2009
Pre-Season April 17- June 26 (2 night minimum)
Peak Season June 27-August 29 (week minimum)
Post Season August – October 12 (2 night minimum)
Check In 3 pm (no exceptions)
Check Out 11 am (no exceptions)
Sebago Cabins is a natural—rocky and hilly site. It has a rustic character that blends into the natural wild habitat of the deer and bear. This campsite does not have a resort feel to it. It is all about nature—fresh air, hilly plains, towering trees and rocks for miles, with a beautiful lake view.
Sebago Cabins has a few cottages that overlook the Sebago Lake. The cabins in the C section of the campground are as peaceful as it is scenic.
The full service cottages have a private bath, linens on the beds, a fully supplied kitchen and heat (B5—studio and B7—two bedroom). They range from $670-$740 per week.
The other cabins range from $240-$405 depending if it has a porch (A3, A5, A11, A12, B12, C1, C2, C5), handicap accessible (A3, A5, A11, A12, and C1), has a lake view, or if it has three (A8, B1, B3, B4, B9) or four bedrooms (A6, B18).
If you want to secure a full service cottage or a lake view cabin you should book your reservations at least nine months in advance.
They have porta–potties located not to far from the cabins. But if you are like me, you may want a toilet that flushes—these can be found at the main office where you check in or in the A section of the campground.
The communal baths. The women’s bath has two showers. They are small and you do not have a lot of space to bathe comfortably. Once you step out of the shower, you are in a sitting area getting dressed with someone you do not know—if you did not go with a friend.
The showers do not cut off like the ones at Wildwood State Park and the water remains hot though out the shower.
Each cabin has its own outdoor garbage can, picnic table, stone fire pit, and outdoor grill for your BBQ pleasure. There is a laundry room on the premises (it cost $1.50 per load).
There is no camp store on the site where you could pick up any forgotten items—like wood, rope or bug spray.
The campground has many fun activities for children—ping pong tables (there is a twenty-five cent charge for a ping pong ball), softball field, volleyball, basketball and tennis court. They also have group bon fires, swimming on the beach, movie and karaoke nights and boat rentals (require a $20 deposit and costs $5.00 per hour) for an excursion on the lake.
Sebago Cabins has many hiking trails for the hiking enthusiast. There is an absence of biking trails for bikers—if you want to go riding you could ride on 7 Lake Drive.
About 20 miles away is the Harriman Commons Shopping Mall, there you will find a Super Wal-Mart, BJ’s, Payless, UPS, Wendy’s, Chili’s, Home Depot, TJ Max, Target, Mandee, Best Buy, Subway’s, KFC, Taco Bell, Provident Bank and more. The mall is just off Larkin Drive.
If you continue on Route 17 N you will find the Woodbury Centre which has a Staples, Michael’s and Kohl’s, TGI Friday’s, Dunkin Donuts, Sleep’s, Modell’s, Uno Chicago, Pier 1 Imports, Game Stop, The Christian Living Store, and more.
Less than five minutes away is the Woodbury Common Premium Outlets which has the Gap, Aldo, Fendi, Converse, Hugo Boss, Ralph Lauren, Neiman Marcus, Dior, and more.
No matter what your need or desire you can probably find a store that will meet it at one of these three shopping malls.
The campsite is regularly patrolled by staff during the day and at night by the police and the park ranger—on the weekends.
Cell phone service
Apparently, only Verizon works out at Sebago Cabins. Some people report that AT& T also can be gotten there. But we did not have that experience—our AT&T did not work no matter where we went—by the check in office, in the cabin, down neither by the beach nor on the deck.
If you need to make a phone call go prepared—carry a calling card and use the pay phones at the registration office or you can get Verizon.
On our first night there, we were warned that a bear cub was sited earlier. The ranger said that they would patrol all night—but we should not feed or pet the bear. He suggested that we not stay outdoors after 11 pm for that is the time that they come out to feed and get water.
According to the ranger each year a bear named Yogi comes down the same path to survey the campgrounds. Though he usually comes late night—he is a regular. Be safe and keep your children safe as well—don’t feed or pet these wild animals.
According to one of the night rangers the bears rarely come down into the cabin areas they mostly stay close to the garbage dump at the upper end of the campground.
According to one of the rangers there has been an unusual amount of skunk sightings. He jokingly warned us to be careful around them for if sprayed we would need to bathe in tomato juice—and that would not be pleasant.
The next day after the warning we had the pleasure of meeting one of these fine creatures. As we attempted to light our camp fire—he came waltzing up the path toward our neighbor’s cabin. He toured the place and then left. A short while later he returned…this time closer to our cabin and campfire. We were all poised and ready to run at the first sign of trouble…but he decided that he did not want to stay around any longer. He headed for the woods and we were greatly relieved.
Daily we were awakened around 6 am by the garbage activities of our neighborhood chipmunks. They would crawl underneath the cabin door to enter. Finally, we broke down and placed rolled towels secured by a chair to block their entrance. Though they are cute we could not take being awakened at six o’clock in the morning.
On our arrival we saw one deer lying at the side of the road—it was a sad sight. Later we saw four live deer’s which was an absolute thrill—unfortunately we did not have our camera ready to click a picture of these beautiful animals.
Our First Impression
Cabins are too close together. Paths are extremely hilly and rocky.
Our Cabin (B11)
A cozy two-bedroom cabin with refrigerator, hot plate (two burners), table and four metal chairs, broom and dustpan, four chairs and a kitchen table. The refrigerator was full of mold inside and out. The cabin was full of dust and dirt as if it had not been swept in years.
If you are adverse to cleaning this might not be the spot for you. Our cabin had many cobwebs in it but that is to be expected when you visit the great outdoors. The cabins do not have running water or indoor bathrooms.
Our Overall Impression
Sebago Cabins is a wonderful place to get away to distress and relax. The noise rules are enforces so you will enjoy your peace and quiet at night. The staff are mostly pleasant and friendly—but they seem to have a lot of free time on their hands. The grounds are fairly clean—and I suspect it is because the campers are diligent about cleaning up after themselves. We noticed the staff emptying cabin garbage cans on the weekend and occasionally during the week—but not daily.
The porta potties were clean when we arrived but during the week they wreaked of urine. The bathrooms are not daily attended by the staff—bugs and tissues remained in the bathroom for days. This we found disturbing since they had so much staff that seemed in need of a task to perform.
At other campgrounds staff clean the bathrooms three to four times a day…while Sebago Cabins seems to clean once a week if that often.
With limited cell phone service you will not have to worry about your boss ruining your vacation—unless you have a Verizon cell phone according to one of the park rangers! The site does have public payphones if you absolutely need to contact the outside world. The check in center will allow you to use their phones in the case of an emergency—provided the call is in New York or New Jersey.
Our experience would have been better if the unit was given a good cleaning before our arrival. The mold in the refrigerator and the cobwebs on the ceiling and walls took away from the rustic charm of the cabin—but these are the things you expect when you go camping.
All in all we had a wonderful time and we look forward to adding Sebago Cabins to our yearly camping excursions—even though the bathrooms are not as clean as Wildwood State Park and the showers and toilets are not together in the same building in all camp sections (A Section the toilet and the shower are together).
We give Sebago Cabins 3.7 out of 5 stars because of the natural beauty of the place. It is a warm and peaceful site. If it was cleaned and better attended by the staff we would have given them a 5 star. But we were forced to clean the cabin upon our arrival. We had to clean the showers before each use. We had to clean the sinks before we cleaned a dish and we had to clean the phone and the booth before we used them—as staff sat around by the recreation area lounging—both young and old.
Clorox or Lysol Wipes
Carry lots of Clorox or Lysol wipes or hand towels and Clorox spray—to wipe the refrigerator. Sweep before settling into the cabin—and if you want it to be really clean bring along a mop—with floor cleaner. Take time to clean out your bedrooms and the bookcases.
If you would rather not encounter a bear, skunk or raccoon at night while going to the bathroom walk with a camping potty.
Carry an Airbed
If you want to camp in comfort carry your own bed—we folded up the cots them to the side and blew up our queen size airbed putting our own bedding on it. It felt like home—after all we are a married couple not teens sharing a bedroom in a dorm. Furthermore, this is a wise idea if you will have more then four people in the cabin—they charge for extra cots no matter whom—child or adult—will be sleeping on it.
Clean Public Phones
If you plan to use the public phones carry a Clorox or Lysol wipes to clean the phone and the booth. I had to do this…and my wipe turned pitch black from the amount of dirt in the booth and on the phone.
Carry Flip Flops
Walk with a pair of flip flops when taking a shower…I noticed quite a few campers did not do this but stepped into the showers with their bare feet—this is okay if you cleaned it out but if not you could be opening yourself up to get a foot fungus.
If you want to save yourself a few trips up and down the hilly terrain then you should carry a 5-gallon water jug—that can be used to wash pots, food, to cook, to wash your face or brush your teeth.