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Go Camping at Upstate NY’s State Parks This Summer

posted by Teresa Farrell at 2019-06-14 19:26:00

It’s no secret that with tons of outdoor activities and beautiful natural areas, Upstate New York is chock full of spots that make for excellent camping trips. Whether you’re looking for a rustic experience or a home base for a week of vacationing, you’ll find plenty of places to stay and things to see at one of the more than 200 state parks and state campgrounds in Upstate New York.
New York State’s parks and campgrounds can be found in every region, from the rugged terrain of the Adirondack and Catskill Mountains to the waterfront playgrounds of the Finger Lakes and Thousand Islands to the Capital-Saratoga region to Central and Western New York and the Chautauqua-Allegany region. There’s something for everyone, and each spot offers something unique.
A camping trip or day of fun at a state park promises both the experience of unspoiled nature and a variety of way to get out and enjoy all it has to offer. Each park has its own character and attractions, from iconic national landmarks like Niagara Falls, the oldest state park in the country, to quiet, secluded spaces that are a pleasant surprise to discover. Many are near water and have beaches, fishing spots, and even marinas where you can rent a boat or launch your own. Hiking and biking trails wind throughout the parks, tracing paths though large swaths of forests, running across networks of boardwalks over wetlands and marshes, and looping along the shores of waterways and lakes.

Playgrounds, picnic areas, sports fields and golf courses are all commonly found throughout the parks, perfect for a family getaway. Nature centers and recreation centers are another common hallmark, too; in fact, wildlife is a major focal point amongst many of the parks, where bird watching is so popular that some parks hand out guides that feature a checklist of the dozens of different species commonly spotted in the area.
But camping is not just about how you spend the day—it’s also about the novelty of spending the night around the campfire or under the stars. It provides a way to deeply immerse yourself in the summery, relaxed atmosphere you crave on vacation, even after daily activities wind down.

Campsites come in a variety of sizes and settings, from sites overlooking the water to secluded, wooded sites that give the feel of being far out in the backcountry, and can accommodate anything from a single person tent to a spacious site with all the hookups necessary for a luxury RV.

There’s nothing quite like telling ghost stories and roasting marshmallows around a campfire as you enjoy the gorgeous night sky above you and the fresh, breezy air around you. It’s both soothing and exciting to fall asleep to the sounds of nature and the knowledge that there’ll be more to explore tomorrow. A word to the wise-- before you leave, do some research on your favorite spots, as many are popular and a reservation may be required; you can find descriptions of the parks at https://parks.ny.gov/ and make your reservations on reserveamerica.com.

State park sign photo credit Kenneth Zirkel
Campers with leanto photo credit Kyle Van Horn
Kayaking on lake photo credit Andy Arthur
Marshmallow photo credit Kevin Smith
Campfire and truck photo credit Andy Arthur

posted at: 2019-06-14 19:26:00, last updated: 2020-03-17 20:03:56

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