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New York's Top 10 Camping Adventures

Between the Adirondacks, the Catskills, Niagara Falls, the Great Lakes, and the magnificent state parks, New York has an adventure for everyone!

By: The Outbound Collective + Save to a List

Beyond the busy city, New York's diverse terrain is a mecca for nature lovers. You’ll be amazed by the distinct experiences you can enjoy on a single camping trip. From impressive gorges and rolling hills to stunning waterfalls and blue lakes, New York has something for every camper. Check out some of our favorites and start making your summer camping trip plans now! 

Photo: ThisIsCooperstown.com

Glimmerglass State Park

Located in central New York, Glimmerglass State Park is accessible from just about anywhere in the state. The campsites are nestled on the northernmost part of Otsego Lake, with activity options that include hiking, swimming, boating, and exploring nearby historical attractions. This campground is perfect to beat the heat in the summer or to enjoy incredible fall colors.

Check out these nearby adventures:

Paddle the Nine-Mile Swamp

Drive the Adirondack Trail Scenic Byway

Hike through the Wolf Creek Falls Preserve 

Photo: Shawn Grenninger

The Northern Forest Canoe Trail

Paddlers, rejoice! The Northern Forest Canoe Trail is a historic 740-mile canoe route that begins in Old Forge, New York and covers some of the state's most scenic camping spots. Section one of the trail meanders through 40 miles of beautiful forest and water scenery. You can camp along the way at primitive sites or at reservable, established campgrounds. If you prefer to extend your trip, you can find information on section two of the trail here.

Check out these nearby adventures:

Hike Around Nick's Lake

Bike the Tobie Pedestrian and Bike Path

Hike to the Rocky Mountain Summit

Fish Creek Pond

The Adirondacks present the classic, forested, New England camping experience. Located in the Saranac Lake region, Fish Creek Pond is the ultimate camping location for water fanatics. The campsites offer prime accessibility to many ponds and waterways--perfect for kayakers, canoers, and boaters. Campers will enjoy falling asleep among the sweet smelling trees, roasting s'mores over a campfire, and listening to the loons call in the distance.

Check out these nearby adventures:

Hike to Mount Baker 

Hike to McKenzie and Haystack Mountains

Hike to the Summit of Ampersand Mountain

Caroga Lake

The campground at Caroga Lake isn't a huge one, so it feels pretty secluded and peaceful. Spend your days chillin' by the lake, paddling on a canoe, or exploring one of the awesome local trails. The trailhead to a nearby favorite, Kane Mountain Fire Tower, is just a short drive away.

Check out these nearby adventures:

Backpack to Cedar Lakes Lean-To

Hike the Lisha Kill Preserve Loop

Photo: Brian Maley

Shindagin Lean-To

The Shindagin Lean-To is a small, hollowed out shelter surrounded by lovely hemlocks and white pines. The shelter is 12 years young and is equipped with several tools including a rake, fire ring, and large grill grate. You can access the shelter by heading out on a gentle, under one-mile hike. No reservations or permits are required, but get there early on nice weekends to secure your spot in the lean-to!

Check out these nearby adventures:

Walk through Cascadilla Gorge

Hike the Gorge Trail at Buttermilk Falls

Hike the Eldridge Wilderness Loop

Photo: Michael Martineau

Giant Ledge

Wake up to the sunrise at one of New York's very best lookout spots. Giant Ledge is a short hike in, about 1.5 miles, so this is a great intro to backpacking for those looking to get started. There are several great spots to set up camp on the ledge, some large enough for three double tents, so rally a group of friends to join you!

Check out these nearby adventures:

Hike Mt. Wittenberg

Camp at Woodland Valley

Photo: Shawn Grenninger

Highbanks Campground 

Nicknamed the “Grand Canyon of the East,” Letchworth State Park offers abundant activity options and breathtaking scenery. Letchworth State Park offers tent camping and trailer sites along with private cabins and a hotel style lodge. A camp store is equipped with all the essentials you may need during your stay. Bring friends and family and enjoy one of the best state parks that our nation has to offer!

Check out these nearby adventures:

Hike to Papermill Falls

Hike the Gorge Trail in Letchworth State Park

Photo: Michael Martineau

Woodland Valley Campground

Woodland Valley Campground is a popular location in the Catskills just two hours north of New York City. Woodland Valley offers fresh drinking water, fire pits, and grills at each camp site. The sites are relatively quiet and spacious with peaceful background noise from a small creek that runs through the campground. Woodland Valley Campground is also conveniently close to the trailhead for the popular Mount Wittenberg. 

Check out these nearby adventures:

Hike to Balsam Mountain 

Hike Twin Mountain

Sacandaga Campground

Sacandaga Campground is one of the very first built on forest preserve land way back in 1920. It's no wonder they chose this spot! Situated at the confluence of the east and west branches of the Sacandaga River, it's a beautiful place to call home for a couple nights. If you love to fish, be sure to bring your gear!

Check out these nearby adventures:

Hike to Auger Falls 

Paddle the Sacandaga and Kunjamuk Rivers 

Hike Pillsbury Mountain Fire Tower

Photo: Laura Paul

Kittatinny Campground

Camping at Kittatinny Campground offers the chance to get into nature without leaving civilization too far behind. An easy drive from New York City, Kittatinny Campground is situated right on the banks of the Delaware River. Campers can choose from sites with electric hook-ups to tent sites with more solitude located a few miles from the main camp. There is an abundance of activities to immerse yourself in: fishing, canoeing, tubing, zip lining, paintball, and volleyball! Bring all your friends and prepare for a relaxing, yet action-packed weekend.

Check out these nearby adventures:

Hike to Cliff Park Ridge

Explore Raymondskill Falls 

Explore George W Child's Park

 ***Please note that due to the ongoing pandemic, there may be special restrictions and regulations in place at each campsite. New restrictions may also impact the size of group gatherings. Be sure to visit the campground's official website or call to ask specific questions regarding your trip. 

Cover Photo: Lara Paul

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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