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The Best Camping in New York State


Are you planning a camping trip to the beautiful state of New York?

Although New York City often steals the spotlight, New York State is a haven for outdoor lovers, offering a wide range of pristine campsites and thrilling outdoor adventures. 

In this guide, we are covering everything you need to know about camping in New York State, including several of the best campgrounds and state parks to check out during your stay.

Keep reading to begin planning your dream camping trip to New York State!

Why Should You Go Camping in New York State? 

New York State is home to a diverse and stunning natural landscape that makes it an ideal destination for camping enthusiasts. The state offers a plethora of state and national parks, providing outdoor enthusiasts with a rich tapestry of camping opportunities. 

Exploring the great outdoors in New York State is not only a retreat from the urban hustle but also an immersion into a world of natural wonders.

Here are X reasons to go camping in New York State:

  1. Natural Diversity: One of the compelling reasons to go camping in New York State is the remarkable diversity of landscapes it offers. From the majestic Adirondack Mountains to the serene Finger Lakes and the picturesque Catskills, campers can choose from a range of environments, each with its own unique charm. Whether you prefer mountain vistas, tranquil lakeshores, or dense forests, New York’s diverse geography has something for everyone.
  2. National & State Parks: New York State boasts an impressive number of state parks, national parks, and other protected areas, providing countless camping options. There are 215 state parks and historic sites scattered across the state, offering a wide array of recreational activities and camping facilities. Additionally, New York is home to several national parks, including the iconic Niagara Falls National Heritage Area and the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, adding to the wealth of outdoor exploration opportunities.
  3. Stunning Mountain Ranges: The Adirondack mountains are considered a crown jewel of New York’s natural attractions. The Adirondack Park is the largest publicly protected area in the contiguous United States encompassing over six million acres that act as a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. The Adirondacks offer numerous campgrounds, hiking trails, and pristine lakes, providing a true wilderness experience. Campers can immerse themselves in the beauty of the High Peaks region or enjoy a tranquil lakeside retreat. Meanwhile, the Catskill mountains are equally stunning and often considered more of a hidden gem. Covering more than 700,000 acres of forested mountains and valleys, this park is a paradise for hikers, campers, and nature lovers. Scenic campsites are nestled along winding trails, offering a perfect blend of outdoor adventure and relaxation.
  4. Rich History and Culture: Beyond the natural beauty, camping in New York State offers the opportunity to explore its rich history and cultural heritage. Many state parks are home to historic sites, showcasing the state’s role in American history. For example, Saratoga Spa State Park features historic bathhouses, and Fort Niagara State Park preserves a historic fort dating back to the 18th century.

Camping in New York State provides a diverse and immersive experience for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. With its abundance of state and national parks, ranging from the grandeur of the Adirondacks to the tranquil Finger Lakes, New York offers a multitude of camping options. 

Whether seeking adventure in the mountains or tranquility by the water, camping in New York State promises unforgettable moments in the heart of nature.

Best Camping In New York State

We have already covered some of the most popular outdoor recreation areas in New York State, such as the Adirondacks and the Catskills. Now, let’s explore the top camping spots in New York state parks.

Harriman State Park: Nestled in the Hudson Valley, Harriman State Park is a sprawling wilderness covering over 47,000 acres. With more than 200 miles of trails, it offers hikers and campers a haven of natural beauty. Numerous lakes and scenic vistas provide a serene backdrop, making it a popular escape from the nearby urban hustle.

Buttermilk Falls State Park: In the heart of the Finger Lakes region, Buttermilk Falls State Park enchants visitors with its cascading waterfalls, deep gorges, and lush woodlands. Hikers can explore challenging trails, and families can enjoy picnics by the falls. The park’s natural beauty is a testament to the wonders of upstate New York. Whether you’re an experienced camper seeking adventure or a family in search of a tranquil getaway, the park’s camping options will provide an unforgettable experience.

Hither Hills State Park: Located on the eastern tip of Long Island, Hither Hills State Park offers a coastal camping experience with stunning ocean views. Campers can enjoy sandy beaches, rolling dunes, and a network of trails for hiking and biking. This park’s unique combination of woodlands and shoreline makes it a distinctive destination for outdoor enthusiasts.

Green Lakes State Park: Green Lakes State Park, near Syracuse, is renowned for its two glacial lakes with striking emerald-green hues. The park features a golf course, swimming, and miles of well-maintained trails. Campers can explore the unique meromictic lakes or relax in the peaceful surroundings of this Central New York gem.

Fahnestock State Park: Tucked away in the Hudson Valley, Fahnestock State Park offers a diverse outdoor experience with forests, lakes, and scenic trails. The park is a haven for fishing, boating, and birdwatching. Its proximity to New York City makes it a convenient camping spot for urban dwellers seeking a nature retreat.

Wellesley Island State Park: Situated in the Thousand Islands region of the St. Lawrence River, Wellesley Island State Park is a waterfront paradise. Campers can enjoy the river’s beauty, explore wooded trails, and visit nearby attractions. The park’s diverse recreational opportunities make it a sought-after destination for those seeking a mix of relaxation and adventure in the state’s northern reaches.

What is the Best Campground in New York State?

Covered Bridge Campsite is located in the Western Catskills, just over two hours from NYC.

As the name suggests, this campground offers a rustic experience that takes campers back in time. With its charming and serene setting, Covered Bridge Campsite provides a peaceful escape from everyday life. 

The sound of the nearby creek and the rustling leaves create a soothing ambiance for relaxation — plus, this campground provides the perfect environment for fly fishing, camping, and other activities!

Amenities included at Covered Bridge Campsite include: 

  • Tent, RV, and Glamping sites
  • Onsite fly fishing
  • Nearby hiking trails and waterfalls
  • Clean bathrooms and free hot showers
  • Flexible check-in hours from 2:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Covered Bridge Campsite offers tent sites starting at $40 per night, as well as secluded sites for a more private experience. The Glamping Sites feature vintage-style campers, while the RV Sites offer 20- or 30-amp electric and water hookups. 

Check out the Covered Bridge Campsite website to check out current rates and availability.

Where Can You Camp for Free in New York State?

Like most states, New York has a variety of free camping options scattered across its natural regions and parks. Information on primitive camping can be found on the New York Department of Environmental Conservation website, including details on which state land allows primitive camping and where you can set up camp on the state grounds. 

As for non-state-run campgrounds, most require a nightly fee to reserve a tent space. However, this nightly price often includes amenities like bathroom facilities and outdoor equipment that make the cost of a more traditional private campground all the more appealing. 

Important Safety Considerations When Camping in New York State

Camping in New York State offers a wonderful opportunity to connect with nature, but it’s crucial to prioritize safety to ensure a positive and secure outdoor experience. 

Here are some important safety considerations for campers in the diverse landscapes of New York:

  • Weather Preparedness: New York experiences a range of weather conditions throughout the year. Campers should check weather forecasts before their trip and pack accordingly. Be prepared for sudden changes in temperature, rain, or even unexpected snowfall in higher elevations.
  • Wildlife Awareness: New York is home to diverse wildlife, including black bears, deer, and various bird species. Campers should be knowledgeable about local wildlife and take precautions, such as storing food securely to avoid attracting animals to the campsite. Proper food storage helps prevent potential encounters with wildlife.
  • Tick Prevention: Tick-borne illnesses, such as Lyme disease, are a concern in wooded areas. Campers should wear appropriate clothing, use insect repellent containing DEET, and regularly check for ticks, especially in tall grass and wooded areas.
  • Water Safety: New York offers numerous lakes, rivers, and coastal areas for camping, but water safety is paramount. Always wear life jackets when boating, swimming, or participating in water activities. Be aware of water currents and potential hazards, and supervise children near water.
  • Campfire Safety: If permitted, campfires should be built in designated fire rings and kept small. Never leave a fire unattended, and ensure it is fully extinguished before leaving the campsite. Familiarize yourself with any fire restrictions or bans in effect during your camping period.
  • First Aid Kit: A well-stocked first aid kit is essential for any camping trip. Include basic supplies such as bandages, antiseptic wipes, pain relievers, and any personal medications. Familiarize yourself with basic first aid procedures and emergency contact information.
  • Navigation and Maps: Trails in New York State can be extensive, and it’s easy to get disoriented. Always carry a map and compass, or a GPS device, and familiarize yourself with the trail system before embarking on a hike. Stay on marked trails to avoid getting lost.
  • Leave No Trace: Practicing Leave No Trace principles is vital for preserving the natural beauty of camping areas. Pack out all trash, follow established trails, and minimize impact on vegetation. Respect wildlife by observing from a distance and refraining from feeding them.
  • Emergency Contacts: Inform someone reliable about your camping plans, including your expected return date. In case of an emergency, this information can be crucial. Carry a charged cellphone but be aware that signal strength may be limited in certain remote areas.
  • Permit and Regulations: Familiarize yourself with camping regulations and obtain any necessary permits before your trip. Respect posted signs and guidelines provided by park authorities to ensure a safe and lawful camping experience.

By incorporating these safety considerations into your camping preparations, you can enhance your enjoyment of New York State’s natural wonders while prioritizing the well-being of yourself, fellow campers, and the environment.

Plan Your New York Camping Trip at Covered Bridge Campground Today

New York State is flush with natural beauty that invites thousands of outdoor lovers to come out and play. 

For a camping experience you won’t soon forget, reserve your spot at Covered Bridge Camping today. With accommodations for tents, RVs, and even glamping sites, Covered Bridge Campsite has the amenities you need for your perfect camping trip to New York State. Visit the Covered Bridge Campsite website today for more information on rates and site availability.

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