KICK START YOUR SUMMER TRAVEL PLANNING BY CHECKING OUT CAMPNEWYORK.COM'S SUGGESTIONS FOR HEALTHY ACTIVITIES IN THE GREAT OUTDOORS
The travel planning website also recommends campgrounds that can be used as base camps for hiking, rafting, fishing, biking, zip-lining and even caving adventures
As the weather warms up, people of all ages are increasingly escaping into the Great Outdoors, enjoying every outdoor activity New York has to offer, from hiking and biking and fishing to river tubing, kayaking and whitewater rafting.
“Now is the time to get out and enjoy some fresh air and healthy outdoor activities in nature,” said Donald G. Bennett, Jr., president and CEO of Campground Owners of New York, which hosts CampNewYork.com, the travel planning website for camping enthusiasts.
To kickstart your vacation planning, CampNewYork.com has compiled suggestions of several great hiking, biking, fishing and watercraft and even caving destinations across the state, along with campgrounds with RV and tent sites and rental accommodations that can be used as base camps for these and other outdoor activities. Here are several destinations to consider:
The Chautauqua-Allegheny Region
— Allegany State Park (https://stateparks.com/allegany_state_park_in_new_york.html): New York’s largest state park features numerous hiking trails as well as five miles of paved bike paths. Other activities include fishing and horseback riding.
— Jamestown Audubon Community Nature Center in Jamestown: This 600-acre wetland preserve has over five miles of trails, a native tree arboretum, picnic areas, a natural play space and educational gardens as well as interactive exhibits with live animals. https://auduboncnc.org/
— Panama Rocks Trail (https://www.panamarocks.com/): This is a top-rated destination in Chautauqua County, according to TripAdvisor.com. The trail involves a one-mile loop around a scenic half-mile ridge of towering, moss-covered rock formations.
Potential Base Camps:
— Bella Vista Campground in Kennedy: This campground offers RV and tent sites as well as organized family activities. Amenities include a heated swimming pool, a playground, bocce courts and horseshoe pits. https://bellavistacampground.com/
— Camp Chautauqua in Stow: This campground offers RV and tent sites and features 2,000 feet of frontage along Lake Chautauqua, a popular destination for musky, bass and walleye fishing as well as kayaking, wake boarding, water skiing, boat rides and swimming. https://campchautauqua.com/
— Hidden Valley Camping Area in Jamestown: This campground features RV and tent sites and rental cabins as well as organized family activities. https://www.hiddenvalleycampingarea.com/
— Triple R Camping Resort in Franklinville: This campground has RV and tent sites as well as rental accommodations. The park recently completed a new water attraction, LeeKee Lagoon, a water play structure with interactive features. The park is also renovating part of its barn and plans to offer food service, including sandwiches, pizza and wings. https://www.triplercamp.com/
1000 Islands-Seaway Region
— Kayaking, Paddling and Canoeing in the calm waterways of St. Lawrence County (https://www.visitstlc.com/paddle/): This beautiful county has more than 200 rivers, ponds, and lakes in addition to the calm waters of the St. Lawrence River.
— White Water Rafting on the Black River: Several companies offer guided rafting tours, including Black River Outfitters (http://www.brorafting.com/) and Whitewater Challenges (https://whitewaterchallengers.com/black-river-accommodations/).
— Bicycling through the St. Lawrence River Valley: Tom Ortmeyer and John Barron compiled a booklet (https://growthzonesitesprod.azureedge.net/wp-content/uploads/sites/1355/2020/05/Cycling-Routes-of-the-Saint-Lawrence-River-Valley-and-Northern-Adirondacks.pdf) that identifies numerous bike routes in Upstate New York, including the St. Lawrence River Valley, which is popular because of its relatively flat terrain.
— Fishing in the Indian River Lakes (https://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/51581.html): The Indian River Lakes system, located on the St. Lawrence River plain in Jefferson and St. Lawrence Counties, consists of 18 natural lakes, 15 of which are accessible. They range from shallow, highly productive warm water lakes to deep, cold water lakes. The system provides a unique opportunity to fish for a variety of species in a relatively small geographic area. Depending on the depth of the lake, the species of fish include bass, walleye, perch, crappie, bullhead, northern pike, and salmon.
— The Minna Anthony Common Nature Center (https://macnaturecenter.com/): Located on 600 acres of land inside Wellesley Island State Park, the Nature Center features educational displays, a Discovery Room for children, and nine miles of trails, including an ADA accessible Friendship Loop.
— Wellesley Island State Park (https://parks.ny.gov/parks/wellesleyisland/details.aspx): Activities include hiking, boating and fishing for smallmouth bass, pike and muskie.
Potential Base Camps:
— Back Bay Campground and Cottages in Hammond: This campground is on the shores of Black Lake, one of New York’s most popular fishing lakes. The lake is over 20 miles long and 4 miles across at its widest point. The campground offers RV and tent sites as well as rental accommodations. https://www.backbaycamping.com/
— Bedford Creek Campground & Marina in Sackets Harbor: This campground borders Lake Ontario and features RV sites, rental cabins and boat slips. Amenities include private beach; a playground; a miniature golf course; and a pizza and ice cream parlor. https://bedfordcreekcampground.com/
— Black River Bay Campground in Dexter: Located on the banks of the Black River, this campground features RV and tent sites and cabin rentals. http://blackriverbaycamp.044d7e3.rcomhost.com/
— McLear’s Cottage Colony and Campground in Hammond: Situated along Black Lake, this campground features RV sites, cabin and boat rentals and an onsite restaurant called the Fish Bone Cafe. https://www.mclears.com/
— Merry Knoll Campground in Clayton: This campground borders the St. Lawrence River and offers RV sites and rental cabins. Amenities include a swimming pool, a playground, a game room and a fishing pier. https://www.merryknollcampground.com/
— Swan Bay Resort & Marina in Alexandria Bay: Situated along the St. Lawrence River, this campground not only has RV and tent sites, but a 30-foot Sea Ray that has been repurposed as a floating cabin rental that sleeps four. Guests can literally wake up each morning and watch cargo ships navigate the St. Lawrence River. Amenities include a swimming pool and a tiki bar with domestic and imported beers, wine and wine slushies. Live music is also provided. Kayaks, boats, stand-up paddle boards, and bikes are also available for rent. Nearby trails include the Otter Creek Preserve, which is 4 miles away, and the Carnegie Bay Trail, which is 5.8 miles away. Keewaydin State Park is 3.4 miles away. https://swanbayresort.com/
— Sun Outdoors Association Island in Henderson: This unique island campground on Lake Ontario offers its guests the ability to watch either the sunrise or the sunset over the water, depending on which campsites they reserve. Additional offerings include several waterfront cottages, cabins and a few tent sites as well as a 68-slip marina and boat launch. Guests can schedule excursions on the park’s on-site fishing charter or take advantage of boat and kayak rentals. The park also has an onsite restaurant. https://www.sunoutdoors.com/new-york/sun-outdoors-association-island
— 1000 Islands Campground in Alexandria Bay: This campground has RV and tent sites as well as glamping tents and RV rentals. Amenities for kids include a pirate ship play structure, a wooden castle and hay rides. https://www.1000islandscampground.com/
— Lake George: In addition to offering opportunities for swimming, boating and fishing, Lake George is a popular area for hiking with numerous trails (https://www.visitlakegeorge.com/recreation/hiking) in the Black Mountains and other locations around the lake.
— Hiking in the Adirondacks: Hiking enthusiasts aspire to climb the 46 high peaks of the Adirondacks, which are conveniently identified in online hiking guides (https://www.adirondack.net/hiking/high-peaks/) that provide details on trail lengths, elevation and estimated hiking times.
— Guided Kayaking, Canoeing, Stand-Up Paddle Board and Rafting Trips: Square Eddy Expeditions (https://squareeddy.com/) offers a variety of hiking and river rafting trips through the Hudson River Gorge. The Department of Environmental Conservation (https://www.dec.ny.gov/lands/101210.html) also offers information for self guided trips through the gorge. Adirondack Lakes and Trails Outfitters https://www.adirondackoutfitters.com/), for its part, offers information on self-guided kayaking and canoe and stand-up paddle board trips as well as guided trips in the Saranac Lake area.
— The Wild Center in Tupper Lake (https://wildcenter.org) A new kind of natural history museum that transforms the forest into a living, breathing, learning landscape through nature-driven activities and carefully designed observation points. The center includes a Wild Walk trail through the forest to see a four-story twig tree house and swinging bridges, a human-sized spider’s web hovering 24-feet off the ground, and a spiral walk inside a ‘dead’ tree’s thriving core. During the summer there are daily naturalist-led canoe and stand-up paddle board trips around the Oxbow.
Potential Base Camps:
— Camp Tin Box RV Resort in North Hudson: This campground features RV and tent sites as well as cabin and RV rental accommodations. Amenities include mini train rides, pedal carts, Gaga ball, gem mining and a jumping pillow. The campground is less than 15 miles from both Schroon and Paradox Lakes, which are popular destinations for catching trout, lake herring and smallmouth bass. Hikers will also enjoy Mount Severance and other trails through the Adirondacks. https://camptinboxrvresort.com/
— Lake George Camping Village in Lake George: This campground has RV and tent sites and rental cabins. The campground is 1.7 miles from Lake George.
— Wilmington / North Pole KOA Holiday in Wilmington: This campgrounds features RV and tent sites and rental accommodations. Amenities include a swimming pool and game room. https://koa.com/campgrounds/wilmington-north-pole/
— Bristol Mountain Aerial Adventures in Canandaigua (https://bristolmountainadventures.com/adventure-park/): This adventure park offers everything from tight rope walks to rope ladders, bridges and ziplines.
— Hiking through the Gorge at Watkins Glen State Park (https://parks.ny.gov/parks/watkinsglen/maps.aspx): The gorge features 19 spectacular waterfalls, including Rainbow Falls, one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the Finger Lakes Region.
— Hike, Bike, or Paddle the Cayuga Seneca Canal (https://eriecanalway.org/application/files/3815/5535/3934/6_WTGuide_CayugaSeneca_p206-222.pdf): The canal links with the Erie Canal system, Cross Lake, Cayuga Lake, Seneca Lake, the Montezuma Wildlife Refuge, and Seneca Falls (home of the Woman’s Suffrage Movement).
Potential Base Camps:
— Canandaigua/Rochester KOA Holiday in Canandaigua: Book a rustic cabin, tent site, or RV site among the shade trees that surround a reflecting pond stocked for fishing. Other amenities include a pool and minigolf. Bristol Mountain, the Erie Canal, and Canandaigua Lake are all just minutes away. https://koa.com/campgrounds/canandaigua/
— Hejamada Campground & RV Park in Montezuma: This park has over 200 sites accommodating tents, trailers, motor homes and huge slide-outs. A variety of on-site activities include a 6-hole miniature frisbee course, playground, and fitness room. The park offers bicycle rentals, and is just 20 minutes from the north end of Cayuga Lake. www.hejamadacampground.com.
— Pinecreek Campground in Newfield: This campground is located a few miles south of Ithaca, NY, and approximately 30 minutes from Watkins Glen State Park. RV sites, tent sites, and rental units including camper cabins, cottages, and RVs. The park also offers winter camping options. www.pinecreekcampground.com.
Central New York
— Caving at Howe Caverns (https://howecaverns.com/): The cave tour consists of a 1.25 mile walk with a 0.25 mile boat ride on an underground lake. There are also 139 stairs throughout the cave tour. Adventurous, guided caving tours are also available as well as an escape room experience and a gem mining station.
— River Tubing on West Canada Creek: West Canada Creek Campsites http://www.westcanadacreektubing.com/ provides river tubing adventures on the West Canada Creek, which winds through the Adirondack foothills.
Potential Base Camps:
— Belvedere Lake Campground in Cherry Valley: This campground features RV and tent sites and rental accommodations. Amenities include a game room, a playground and a 20-hole miniature gold course. https://www.belvederelakeresort.com/
— Hartwick Highlands Campground in Milford: This campground has RV and tent sites and rental accommodations, including a country home. https://www.hartwickhighlandscg.com/
— West Canada Creek Campsites in Poland: This campground offers RV and tent sites and rental accommodations. Campers who are in the mood for a snack or some delicious cold and creamy ice cream can visit the park’s unique Red Caboose. Activities include river tubing and kayaking. The park also offers guided tubing trips. http://www.westcanadacreekcampsites.com/
— Hiking in the Catskills (https://www.visitthecatskills.com/hiking): There are numerous trails throughout the Catskills, including the 7.5-mile trail to Sam’s Point in Minnewaska State Park, which features breathtaking views of the Catskills, an aerial view of the 180-foot Verkeerderkill Falls, and wooden ladder scrambling. There’s even ice caves, tight rock crevasses lined with ice left over from winter storms.
— Minnewaska State Park (https://parks.ny.gov/parks/minnewaska): This park features numerous waterfalls, three crystalline sky lakes, dense hardwood forests, sheer cliffs and ledges opening to beautiful views, as well as clear streams cut into valleys, plus 50 miles of footpaths on which to bike, walk, hike and simply enjoy — all of which is only 90 minutes from New York City.
— Whitewater Rafting and Canoeing in the Catskills (https://www.visitthecatskills.com/compass/catskills-white-water-rafting): The southern Catskills includes the Delaware and Landers Rivers.
Potential Base Camps:
— Camp Catskills RV Park in Catskill: This park features RV and tent sites as well as Airstream and cottage rentals. Amenities include a swimming pool and nature trails. https://campcatskillsrvpark.com/
— K-Camp in Barryville: This campground offers RV and tent sites and rental accommodations as well as canoeing and kayaking trips on the Delaware River. The campground also has its own racing zip-lines on its own private mountain. https://kittatinny.com/camping/k-camp-campground/
— Twin Oaks Campground in Schoharie: This campground offers RV sites and rental accommodations as well as a lake for catch and release fishing and boating. Rowboat and paddleboat rentals are available. A new swimming pool is available for cool plunges on warm summer days. The park also offers volleyball, badminton, horseshoes, and Gaga ball. https://twinoaksny.com/
About Campground Owners of New York
Campground Owners of New York is the trade association that represents independent campgrounds and RV parks in New York. Based in Pittsford, CONY provides education, government affairs and marketing services for campgrounds, including hosting CampNewYork.com, a travel planning website, and publishing a printed directory of New York campgrounds.