Rollins is a quieter version of Fish Creek with most sites directly by the water but with more tree buffer between sites for more privacy and boats are limited to 25 HP. There may be one or two motorboats however as there are a handful of old camps on the pond and they have been grandfathered before the 25 HP motor limited was imposed.
Rollins will also be quieter overall than Fish Creek, especially during the busy summer months.
You can fill up with water on the way at either the Fish Creek Amphitheatre (on the left side of the road) or the dump station at Fish Creek at the Rollins Pond turn off which is the most accessible for those with larger trailers. The Rollins water fill is located by the Rollins boat launch and is more exposed to traffic. Visit Fish Creek Campground. and click on 'Campground Map' to see the exact location of the dump station/water fill in Fish Creek.
As one of New York top 3 most popular campgrounds it is highly suggested that you book your site out exactly 9 months out at 9:00:00am!
Sites with the best beach areas include sites 56-64, 141-146 and 160-177. Sites just above or below these ranges may have access to the beach via a short path. Check site photos to verify. Be sure to check the map! Not all sites in these ranges are on the pond side of the road!
For ambience, sites on the first peninsula around site 34 have a great view through the narrows. These sites will be subject to less wind as well as the water is not as open in this area.
Sites from about 185-199 are up higher above the water and will require a walk down to the waterline.
You can also head up to the northeast end of Rollins Pond and exit the pond via a narrow stream to arrive into Floodwood Pond. Continuing on from Floodwood you can follow the interconnected waterways on the ponds at Fish Creek Pond campground. If you left a second vehicle here you could drive back to your site in Rollins. This loop is about a 3 hour paddle.
Kayaks and canoes can be rented upon arrival right in the campground by the boat launch. They usually open mid June thru closing weekend (Labor Day). You can connect with Rollins Pond Boat Rentals on their Facebook page.
Having said that here are the main differences between Fish Creek and Rollins Pond:
Fish Creek Pros
- 90% of sites are directly by the water with easy access
- 95% of the sites are nice and level
- many sites have a bit of a sandy beach
- great open views of the ponds from most sites
- easy water access for most sites
- closer to getting out of the campground onto Route 30
- larger sites at the far end (ie sites beyond 137)
- you can bring your power boat
- view of campfires across the ponds at night
- offers 3 different paddling routes right from your site
- offers access to Upper Saranac
- has its own beach area
- offers easy access and swimming directly from most sites
- opens early April through the 3rd week in October (longest season of any DEC campground)
- offers two gates during peak season (summer) for easier access to Route 30 / store etc
- kayak rentals can be delivered right to your site
- overall better cell phone coverage
- morning coffee and donuts vendor
Fish Creek Cons
- through traffic to Rollins and all Fish Creek traffic pass by sites 1-134 (far gate helps if it is open)
- if you don’t like motor boats, well Fish Creek has them including jet skis
- has very few sites that offer much of a wooded buffer between sites for privacy
- sites in the 1-20 range are very close together
- some areas have sites very close to the road
Rollins Pond Pros
- 78% of sites are lakeside with approx 1/4 directly by the water with easy water access
- for groups you can keep closer together by reserving a nearby off water site which are less in demand
- offers many more private sites than Fish Creek
- overall much quieter than Fish Creek
- has two road bypasses which reduces thru traffic for low numbered sites
- has less big RVs than Fish Creek
- offers great paddling options in a quiet setting
- offers a more wild feel
- limited boat usage so the pond tends to be much more quiet than Fish Creek
- kayak rentals available right in the campground
Rollins Pond Cons
- many of the more private sites such as A loop have poor water access and little to no view of the water from site pad
- many water sites are up off the water with longer (and sometimes steep) pathways down to the water
- very hilly- some site pads are not level with road and may be difficult for anything larger than a pop up or small trailer
- some areas are smaller sites packed together close to the road
- less big trailer friendly than Fish Creek (A loop is an exception)
- long drive out to Route 30 / store etc
- extra caution required at night due to hills, the windy road and peoples equipment in close proximity to the road in certain areas
- there is no beach in the campground
- some bathrooms are up hills
- opens Memorial Day weekend and closes after Labour Day weekend (much shorter season than Fish Creek)