Best Camping in New York
Concrete jungle where dreams are made of? Camping in New York might not be the first thing that comes to mind. The Big Apple is renowned for its towering skyscrapers, bright lights, and fast-paced lifestyle. But what many people don’t realize is that New York is home to some of the most beautiful campgrounds in America.
With its majestic mountains, pristine lakes, and picturesque forests, New York offers campers a wealth of opportunities to explore the great outdoors. If you are interested in camping in New York, read on for 10 of the best campgrounds in the state.
These campgrounds will surely give you an unforgettable camping experience.
1. Fahnestock State Park
Cost: $7 per vehicle
Location: 1498 Route 301, Carmel, NY 10512
Phone: (845) 225-7207
New York’s Fahnestock State Park is a true hidden gem. Located just two hours from New York City, the park offers 14,000 acres of pristine wilderness. There are endless ways to enjoy the great outdoors, from hiking and camping to fishing and hunting.
For those who crave a little more adventure, the park also offers various challenging trails for mountain biking and climbing. Eighty campgrounds are available, with picnic tables, a charcoal grill, and a fire ring.
Stillwater and Canopus Lakes are the perfect spots for a refreshing swim, and there are also several boat launches if you want to go fishing or boating.
2. Wildwood State Park
Cost: $18 to $39
Location: 790 Hulse Landing Road, Wading River, NY 11792
Phone: (631) 929-4314
Wildwood State Park is another excellent option for camping in New York. The park is located on Suffolk County’s Long Island, just a few hours from New York City.
The park offers 600 acres of undeveloped forest land and seven miles of coastline along the Long Island Sound. Newly built cottages are available for rent, and there are also plenty of campsites.
If you want to unwind on the beach, hike, go birdwatching, or try fishing or crabbing, Wildwood State Park is the place to be.
Trailer sites and RV hookups are available, and there are also several picnic areas and playgrounds.
3. Wellesley Island State Park
Location: 44927 Cross Island Rd, Fineview, NY 13640
Phone: (315) 482-2722
Nestled in the Thousand Islands region of New York State, Wellesley Island State Park is a nature lover’s paradise. The park offers more than 2,600 acres of sheer beauty, with woods, wetlands, and meadows to explore.
This is the perfect place to escape city life and experience nature. The park has 400 campsites that highlight its natural beauty. Many wild creatures call the park home, so keep your eyes peeled for deer, birds, and other wildlife.
St. Lawrence River is ideal for swimming, fishing, and boating. Several challenging hiking trails wind through the woods for the more active camper to enjoy.
4. Letchworth State Park
Location: 1 Letchworth State Park, Castile, NY 14427
Phone: (585) 493-3600
Letchworth State Park, located in Western New York, is often referred to as the “Grand Canyon of the East.” The park is dominated by the Genesee River, which winds its way through a deep gorge for several miles.
The river has carved out several impressive waterfalls, including the 107-foot-high Middle Falls. Hiking is a popular activity in the park, and there are over 66 miles of trails to explore. In addition, the park is home to a variety of wildlife, including white-tailed deer, black bears, and coyotes.
Camping sites with showers and dumping stations are available, as well as trailer sites and RV hookups. You can do many different things in Letchworth State Park, from fishing and swimming to horseback riding and cross-country skiing.
5. Saranac Lake Islands Public Campground
Cost: $22 per night
Location: 4468 State Route 3, Saranac Lake, NY 12983
Phone: (518) 891-2841
The Saranac Lake Islands Public Campground, located in the picturesque Adirondacks, is a kayaker and a canoeist’s dream come true.
Selected island sites are only accessible by boat, adding an extra layer of adventure to your camping trip. Campsites are simple but provide stunning views of the Saranac Lake chain.
87 campsites surround Saranac Lake with outhouses, picnic tables, and grills. Campers can also enjoy swimming, fishing, and hiking.
6. Rip Van Winkle Campgrounds
Cost: $40 per night
Location: 149 Blue Mountain Rd, Saugerties, NY 12477
Phone: (845) 246-8334
The Catskill mountains are a popular destination for camping in New York. Rip Van Winkle Campgrounds, located in the heart of the Catskills, is one of the best places to set up camp.
The 160 acres of land is covered in woods and has several amenities, including a playground, a swimming hole, a pool, and an outdoor movie theater.
Families who enjoy being active will appreciate the hiking trails and the basketball and volleyball courts. Campsites with water and electric hookups are available for RVs and trailers.
7. Harriman State Parks
Cost: $7 per vehicle
Location: Seven Lakes Dr / Bear Mountain Circle, Ramapo, NY 10974
Phone: (845) 947-2444
Harriman State Parks is a state park located in New York. It is the second-largest state park in the United States.
The park covers an area of 47,000 acres and is considered a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. There are more than 200 miles of hiking trails, as well as lakes and rivers for swimming, fishing, and canoeing.
Harriman State Park is a popular winter destination for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Campsites are available year-round but are basic and do not offer hookups. You’ll also enjoy stunning views of the Hudson River Valley from Harriman State Parks.
8. Collective Governors Island
Cost: Starting at $150 per night
Location: Governors Is, New York, NY 10004
Phone: (970) 445-2033
Are you considering glamping for your next camping trip? Then you’ll want to check out Collective Governors Island. Collective Governors Island features a rustic yet spacious glamping site with luxury amenities like 1,500-thread-count sheets, private shared bathrooms, air conditioning, and wifi.
King bed and double twin bed accommodations are available. The glamping site also has a common area with a fire pit, hammocks, and a bar where you can enjoy craft beer and locally-sourced wine.
9. Gunks Campground
Cost: $24 per night
Location: 953 NY-299, Gardiner, NY 12525
Phone: (303) 951-4571
The Shawangunk Mountains, also known as the Gunks, are a popular destination for rock climbing and hiking. The Gunks Campground is the perfect place to set up base camp. The Campground has 50 spots that can accommodate two tents each. Campers will have access to three lakes, multiple waterfalls perfect for swimming, and miles of hiking trails.
If you love being surrounded by nature, the Gunks Campground is the perfect place since the Campground is situated in a forest preserve. There is also a pavilion, cooking area, bathhouse, and shower facilities.
The Shawangunk Mountains surrounding the area are known for their stunning views and tranquil atmosphere. Campers will appreciate the peace of camping at the Gunks Campground.
10. North-South Lake Campground
Cost: $22 per night
Location: 874 N Lake Rd, Haines Falls, NY 12436
Phone: (518) 589-5058
North-South Lake Campground is a popular destination for campers and hikers alike. The campground is located in the heart of New York’s Catskill region, and it offers stunning views of the mountains. It is considered the biggest campground in the Catskill preserve. The campground offers a variety of amenities, including a playground, hot showers, and boat rentals.
The area also has numerous hiking trails, making it easy to explore the beautiful Catskill Mountains. For example, Boulder Rock and Newman’s Ledge are nearby trails offering breathtaking mountain views.
Campers can also enjoy fishing, swimming, bird watching, and canoeing on North-South Lake.
11. Hither Hills State Park
Cost: $35 per night
Location: 164 Old Montauk Highway, Montauk, NY 11954
Phone: (631) 668-2554
If you want to go to the beach while camping, check out Hither Hills State Park. The park is on Long Island, just a few hours away from Manhattan.
The park offers 190 campsites on the ocean, allowing campers to enjoy the ocean breeze and stunning views of the Atlantic. Campers can also enjoy windsurfing, horseback riding, and beach swimming.
The park also features unique “walking dunes” that guests can explore. Additionally, the woodlands are filled with various types of trees, including Russian olive, oak, shad, and pine — providing tons of shade during hot summer days!
12. Robert H. Treman State Park
Cost: $18 per night
Location: 105 Enfield Falls Rd, Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: (607) 273-3440
Robert H. Treman State Park is located in Ithaca, New York. The park was established in 1920 and is named after Robert Henry Treman, an American banker and financier who bought the land to preserve it.
The park is home to various landscapes, including forests, gorges, waterfalls, and hiking trails. One of the most popular attractions at the park is the 115-foot-tall Lucifer Falls, which provides stunning views of the gorge. In addition, the Enfield Glen, a gorge that offers scenic views of the waterfalls and surrounding greenery, is also worth visiting. Numerous hiking trails in the park make it easy for visitors to explore the area.
13. Cedar Point County Park
Cost: $30 per night
Location: 5 Cedar Point Rd, East Hampton, NY 11937
Phone: (631) 852-7620
The 607-acre Cedar Point County Park in Long Island has hundreds of campsites and amenities for campers. Gardiners Bay is close by, allowing campers to take in the stunning views of the bay. The campground is also close to Cedar Point Lighthouse, which offers panoramic beach views and a unique experience. While the lighthouse is abandoned, it still attracts many people to explore and take photographs.
Saltwater fishing and scuba diving are popular activities for campers and visitors since a beautiful bay surrounds the area. Campers can also explore local trails and take a short drive to nearby beaches.
5 Tips for the Best Camping Experience in New York
New York is a great place for camping and outdoor activities. With its diverse landscapes, from mountains to beaches, New York delivers a fantastic outdoor experience.
Campers should remember to follow the following tips when camping in New York:
- Get to know the local regulations and follow them: Since New York has many different parks and campgrounds, it’s essential to know the rules and regulations in each one. Campers should make sure they understand all local laws before camping.
- Plan and book ahead: Campsites can fill up quickly during peak season, so it’s best to plan your trip and book your campsite ahead of time. Campers should also reserve any rental gear in advance, if necessary.
- Bring all the essential supplies: Campers should ensure they bring all the necessary items like food, water, and shelter for their trip. It’s also important to have a first aid kit with you at all times and other safety equipment, such as flashlights.
- Pack lightly: Camping is not the time to bring all your stuff with you, as it will only be a burden during the trip. Campers should pack light and bring only what they need for their trip.
- Stay safe and be aware of your surroundings: Campers should always be mindful of their surroundings and avoid taking any risks that could put them in danger. Campfires should also never be left unattended, as they can quickly get out of control.
If you’re looking for a fun camping trip that offers plenty of outdoor activities, the Big Apple should be your go-to destination. With so many places to choose from, it’s easy to find an area that will accommodate your needs.
Make sure you research and plan, and you’re guaranteed a fantastic time! Remember to stay safe, follow the local regulations, and you’ll have a memorable camping experience in New York.