Upstate NY, Niagara & Adirondacks Travel & Camping advice

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Sep 24, 2016

Planning a 2 week or so trip from central Maryland up through upstate NY and back.  Routes in general would be up Rt 15 to Williamsport, north of there would be Interstate 90, 390, State Roads 486, 78, 400 into Niagara, out of Niagara on Interstates 190, 290 & 90 toward Adirondacks... still planning after that. Current itinerary starting first part of September...
1. Lancaster PA (Country Acres CG), Attend Balloon Festival & visit friends (2-3 days)
2. Williamsport PA, Driveway Camp visit friends (2 Days)
3. Letchworth State Park, Woodstream, Gainesville NY CG Hike & Bike (2-3 days)
4. Niagara Falls area, Branches of Niagara CG (3-4 days) (Will have passports with us)
5. Head West from Niagara toward Adirondacks, Saratoga Spring (Villages RV Park Verona, NY, Adirondacks (looking for CG) (2-3 days)
6. Maybe head west toward White Mountains (1-2 days)
7. South to Cooperstown and Baseball Hall of Fame (1 Day)
8. heading south returning home..... Binghamton NY or Watkins Glen & one more stop between there and home 2.3 days combined)

Looking for suggestions on Campground(s) & POIs in the Adirondacks and white mountains

We're pretty new RV'ers (1st year) and looking primarily for FHU CGs but would entertain boondocking a night or two.  My preferred routes are good roads (avoid interstates in populated areas) that will get us into the country and near interesting, pretty places.  I know we're a little early for the leaves but photography is a big hobby for me ( reason for targeting Letchworth SP).  Our normal mode is pretty laid back and enjoying the journey traveling max 200 miles/day

Suggestions, thoughts on campgrounds in the Adirondacks areas, routes, POIs, CGs and issues I should watch for would be great.

Be sure to call ahead, or check the websites, on the campgrounds.  Many start shutting down Labor Day.
If you like good photo ops, try 4 Mile Creek State Park instead of the spendy Branches. The park is only about 20 minutes from the falls, and your park receipt also lets you into the falls parking at no charge. And best to head east from Niagara instead of west (#5). West will take you into Canada. ;)

The Villages in Verona are about a 2 hour drive from Saratoga. If your trip is before Labor Day, Saratoga is a zoo this time of year during the racing season. The Lake George area might be your best bet for a campground. And again, the White Mountains are to the east, not the west. ;)
We stayed here,, a couple years ago on the south side of the Adirondacks .  Nice campground and we spent two days mining for Herkimer Diamonds and had a blast, also found diamonds.  Not sure how close you will be to it, don't know anything about the camping, but Hunter Mountain Ziplining is incredible.  Longest Zipline in America, second longest in the world.
We went through upstate New York many years ago. Gas stations were few and far between so start looking when you get down to a half tank.

Go to Cooperstown to see where baseball started.  Went to the diamond mines in joy but it was a nice campground!
If your travels take you into the area, Hyde Park & Rhinebeck NY have a lot to offer. The Roosevelt homes, Culinary Institute of America, Vanderbilt mansion, Rhinebeck Aerodrome. Walkway Over the Hudson is just south in Poughkeepsie, with great opportunities for photos.

Route 9 is an alternative to I-87 south of Albany.

Interlake RV Park in Rhinebeck is a favorite of ours. Clean, quiet place with a great staff.
I was in Watkins Glen today if you like to take pictures you should check it out.  Look at Shequaga Falls Park, South Genesee Street, Montour Falls, NY. Amazing falls. Letchworth SP is a good place to.
Do you have your Passport? The Canadian side of the falls is the best. If you are going East I have just spent some time up on the St Lawrence near Clayton. We stayed at the Merry Knoll Campground, 38115 NY-12E, Clayton, NY 13624,, (315) 686-3055.
Let me know if you have any questions.

Another vote for a stop in Watkins Glen here! The hike through the glen is fantastic. It's part of the state park which also has camping but I think they have a 25' or 30' limit so not sure you can get in there. We've stayed at the KOA about 10 minutes south - it's expensive but they have really nice Big Rig sites: Corning Museum of Glass is only about 20 minutes south of the KOA as well.

For your Cooperstown visit, check out Hartwick Highlands,

There is a nice campground in Old Forge,, but the down side is no use of AC on their electric system. We've been there a couple of times and always seem to hit a heat wave so we have not been back in a while. Not sure what their generator policy is.
Rochester is a great place go visit if you're a history buff, Susan B Anthony House or George Eastman House are both great. Or stop by for a white hot, a garbage plate, or a trip to Wegmans.
We travel to to the Adirondacks every year and camp in the state parks. They are amazingly beautiful and serene, but do not have power so you will need to have a generator. We have been all over the ADKS but love the southern portion (near Old Forge, 8th Lake Campground is our favorite especially the water front sites, some are difficult to get a larger camper into and are always booked up early). We have never stayed at the Old Forge Camping resort but have heard it is over run by bears and they have frequent incidents with bears damaging campers, tents and especially vehicles. If you do find yourself in that area, you must go to Screamen Eagle in Inlet for their chicken wings!

I would also suggest checking out either the 1000 Islands or Cape Vincent- it sounds a bit out of your way, but is a really nice diversion. We stay at Swan Bay in Alexandria Bay (full hook ups, pools, the exact opposite of aforementioned ADK camps!)
We were along the St Lawrence Thousand Island area on the Canadian side at McLaren Campground, 15020 Long Sault Pkwy, Ingleside, ON K0C 1M0, Canada,, +1 613-543-4328.
You might like Upper Canada Village, 13740 County Road 2, Morrisburg, ON K0C 1X0, Canada,
+1 613-543-4328
connorscamping said:
We travel to to the Adirondacks every year and camp in the state parks. They are amazingly beautiful and serene, but do not have power so you will need to have a generator.

The NY state campgrounds in the Adirondacks and Catskills are operated by the  Dept. of Environmental Conservation, and typically do not have power at the sites. The rest of the state campgrounds throughout the state are operated by the Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation, and typically have on-site power, while some also have on-site water, and a few full hookups with sewers.
Thank you all for your suggestions & responses!

Target is to start weekend after Labor Day and probably be back 2-3 weeks later.  Looking forward to it



Would you mind posting how your trip went? We are looking to travel to the Adirondacks from NYC and have many of the same worries you had!

We are looking to stay away from the major tourist locations. We've done Old Forge, Lake Placid, etc. We've heard good things about the DEC parks as well. Really open to any good, quiet spots!
Some of my favorite quiet spots are Cranberry Lake, Nick's Lake, and 8th Lake.
Cranberry lake is so peaceful, lots of wildlife, and there's an island you can kayak/ canoe to that we loved going over to and having Smores. We also brought the dog over and let him run free which he loves.
Nick's Lake is actually in Old Forge, but it's so tucked away you would never know. It is equally as peaceful as Cranberry. There's a great 4 or 5 mile hiking trail around the lake and if you're into wildlife, you're almost guaranteed to have encounters. We used to go yearly and saw a bear every single time.
8th Lake is also a great campground with similar surroundings and not far from Inlet for your touristy stuff. That campground spans both 7th and 8th lakes. The water sites are fantastic.
I just love the names of these places, so charming. Thank you for the great recommendations. I'll be sure to let my wife know these names and have her look them up. Any idea how to go about reserving a spot at one of these? Can we just show up with our tent or are those days gone?
This year we stayed at:

Wellesley Island SP-Thousand Island area. Beautiful area. SP was large and a bit crowded but the sites were nice, paved and level. I kayaked with the grandkids around the shore of the St Lawrence. Sunsets were spectatacular. Take your passport since you are right at the Canadian border. Had electric and water.

Woodland Valley SP-near Woodstock. At the end of a long narrow road. There is a creek that runs through the park and many of the sites are on the creek. We had a spot right on the creek since we have a small TT I was able to jacknife it so the door opened to creek. No hookups.

Cayuga Lake SP-Finger Lakes District near Seneca Falls. We did one of the wine trails. Small CG with electric and water. Good basecamp for the several wine trails in the region.

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