8 Best RV Parks & Campgrounds in New York

If you get the chance to visit New York there are places that every RVer must see. New York is rich with history, as well as beauty. From stunning waterfalls to breathtaking mountains and sandy beaches to star-filled skies, there is a fantastic destination for anyone’s taste in this part of USA. Even if you prefer the exciting culture and speed of New York City, there is a campground sure to be found and plenty of sightseeing to do.

Watkins Glen State Park, in the Finger Lakes region is about a half hour west of Ithaca. The park features a 400-foot-deep gorge shaped by glacial shifts millions of years ago, as well as 19 stunning waterfalls — a few of which you can walk right underneath. It's not a large park — 778 acres — but you get a lot of bang for your buck.

While there are amazing destinations throughout the state, these few RV parks in New York make the top of our list.

1. Herkimer Diamond Mines and KOA Resort

Herkimer is an amazing camping destination and is one of the best RV Parks in North America. They have custom cabins that you can rent, if you have family or friends that you want to meet up with on your RV trip. If you are a star-gazer fan, there is an Astronomy Lodge with an elevated observation deck and high-powered telescope. The Solar Kolony is a group of cabins entirely powered by solar panels.

In addition, if engineering is your thing, the Robotics Lodge is a must see. Designed by Binghamton University students, this cabin is truly a gem. The highlight of the resort includes its proximity to the Herkimer Diamond Mines where visitors can dig for quartz crystals that are millions of years old. Other amenities at the resort include:

• Onsite restaurants

• Trout fishing

• Pool

• Camp Store

• Tubing

2. Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park Campgrounds

If you are traveling with a young family, the Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park Campground is the destination for your summer RVing vacation. This camping resort has family friend activities, including:

• Pools

• Water Slides

• Water Falls

• Mini-Golf Course

• Obstacle Courses

• Game Rooms

Of course, no camping trip would be complete without a visit from Yogi Bear himself. You may even get to see his friends! There are seven Yogi Campgrounds scattered throughout upstate New York.

3. Kring Point State Park

If you need to be near the water, then Kring Point State Park in Alexandria Bay is the RVing destination for you. Located on a narrow peninsula in the St. Lawrence River, Kring Point offers absolutely amazing views. Half of their campsites have direct waterfront access, and every campsite has a view of the river or bay.

While there, campers can go: boating, fishing, kayaking, swimming, and canoeing. If you want to leave the campground and explore, the Minna Anthony Common Nature Center is nearby.

4. Four Mile Creek State Park

If Niagara Falls is on your bucket list, you must stay at Four Miles Creek State Park in Youngstown. This campground is located near Lake Ontario and is just 15 miles away from Niagara Falls. During the stay, guests can hike a variety of trails and enjoy all that nature has to offer. The campground has amenities, such as:

• Restrooms

• Laundry rooms

• Camp store

• Playground

• Swimming at Fort Niagara State Park

Discount tickets are available to area attractions, including Niagara Falls State Park.

5. Camp Chautauqua

Another great park near the water is Camp Chautauqua in Mayville, NY. This beautiful, large private park is on the shores of Lake Chautauqua and features a boat ramp with docking facilities, large sites, a fishing pond and a large entertainment facility.

There are at least five main draws to the area. A few miles to the south of the campground there are two excellent breweries, Southern Tier and Ellicottville Brewing Company. Southern Tier is the larger of the two with on-site manufacturing and an adjoining distillery. You can grab a bite to eat here on their outdoor patio, play some outdoor games, enjoy live entertainment and take a tour of the brewing facilities.

Ellicottville Brewing Company is a brewpub in Bemus Point. This quaint town is an excellent place to spend a sunny afternoon strolling along the lakeshore. For some outdoor adventure, you can visit Panama Rocks Scenic Park. This privately-owned area has a loop hiking trail that is about a mile long. Entrance fees are modest and parking was easy.

Within that loop lies the worlds largest example of glacial cut ocean quartz conglomerate which dates back as much as 400 million years. The rocks form towering columns up to 60 feet high, creating a lot of crevasses and small caves to explore. While the trail is only about a mile long, you can easily spend hours here exploring the rocks and enjoying the beautiful environment.

To the north of Camp Chautauqua is the Chautauqua Institution. This is a world-renowned arts facility which draws over 100,000 people per year to its art programs for both adults and children. A little further to the north you will find the Lake Erie Wine Trial where you can enjoy wine at dozens of wineries.

The trail runs from the Grand River Valley in North Eastern Ohio eastward along the southern Lake Erie Shoreline up to Buffalo, NY. The largest concentrations of wineries are in the area between Lake Chautauqua and Lake Erie. If you pick up some wine to bring back to the campground make sure you stop at the Reverie Creamery right across the street.

You can walk there from the campground and they offer some amazing cheeses that they produce in house and their service is first rate.

6. Black Bear Campground

This campground in Florida, NY is one of your best bets if you would like to visit New York City. Visiting NYC directly by RV is not something the average RVer should consider. RVs within the city are considered by the city to be commercial vehicles if they are carrying 10 lbs or more of propane.

As such, they cannot travel through any tunnels without prior permission. You must also traverse multideck bridges using the top deck only. There are also restrictions on RVs traveling on the Parkways which include vehicles over 5500 lbs, anything classified as a trailer, or uses combined plates.

Parking within the city is technically legal for up to 24 hours at a time, but in practice it is extremely difficult to do and is therefore not advised. The best way to RV to NYC is to find a park near the city that offers convenient access without the hassles of driving in directly. Black Bear Campground is just such a spot.

Located Northwest of the city, Black Bear offers a rural setting with easy in and out by RV. It also has full hookup sites and they can accommodate big rigs. For visiting NYC, they offer tour bus trips that depart directly from the campground. This is an exceptionally convenient option which brings you to see all the key points within the city.

If you prefer to tour on your own time and schedule there are rail stations in Warwick, NY (8-minute drive) and Harriman, NY (28-minute drive). Take a train from either town to Hoboken, NJ. From there you can change trains to get into Manhattan.

If you want to be even closer to the city, try Liberty Park. It is located in New Jersey just across the river from lower Manhattan. It's not as nice, harder to get into and out of and does not offer full hookups (only electric/water). On the plus side there are PATH stations within walking distance that will have you to the World Trade Center or Greenwich Village in 15 minutes.

7. Oak Orchard Marina & Campground

Located just off I90 in the Finger Lakes Region of New York, this campground offers access to a broad variety of activities. The campground itself offers water/electric and full hookup campsites with direct access to boating, fishing and paddling activities.

The central location of the campground between Syracuse and Rochester makes is a great base camp for visiting the sights in the area. Either city is less than an hour drive. In Rochester you can visit the George Eastman Museum which showcases the history of film and photography in a mansion originally built in 1905. For the kids, or the kid in you, there is also The Strong National Museum of Play. In Syracuse there is the Erie Canal Museum and the Everson Museum of Art.

Other nearby cities include Ithaca which is the location of the Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell University. The Corning Museum of Glass is located in Corning, NY which is a short drive from Ithaca. There are so many wonderful things to see and do in New York. From the coastline to the Catskills, there is a destination that will fit anyone’s tastes, hobbies, and passions.

8. Minnewaska State Park Preserve

Shawangunk Mountains Scenic Byway, a road affectionately known as the Gunks stretches 140 miles between small towns that look like American movie outlets, and Minnewaska itself, whose route is especially beautiful in the autumn. Between September and early October, many families leave the city and visit the area to harvest their own pumpkins for Halloween decorations. Beyond them, apples are also harvested.

If you continue on I 87, take the exit for New Platz, 299 West, you will come to Minnewaska. Just before arriving at the park, there is a belvedere, including parking for cars, from where you can see the valley! I suggest you stop there at the end of the afternoon, when you are coming back, so that the valley is not against the light. It is possible to see Awosting Falls at the top and at its base.

From there, a trail runs along the Peter's Kill River. Lake Minnewaska, has two belvederes. The trail does not end there. Continuing, it is possible to go around the lake, past the dam that is at the other end.
Kalyan Panja