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Enjoy a Camping Trip Among the Foliage This Fall

posted by Teresa Farrell at 2020-09-11 20:32:00

Even though summer is on its way out and the air is getting a bit chilly, you don’t have to give up on camping season in Upstate New York quite yet. In fact, of the state’s more than 200 state parks and campgrounds, more than 60 stay open until Columbus Day or later—and many private campgrounds do too. Even better, fall is the perfect time to immerse yourself in nature; you can enjoy foliage season up close, and take part in all the fall activities in the region you’re visiting, from pumpkin patches to apple orchards and everything in between.
Changing leaves reflected on water photo credit sagesolar
Both public and private parks and campgrounds can be found in every region of Upstate New York, 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 and Hudson Valley regions to Central and Western New York and the Chautauqua-Allegany region. 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. You can even rent cabins and cottages in many parks, and some offer ‘glamping’ experiences as well.
View of changing leaves from below photo credit stillwell mike
The regions have one thing in common: a fall camping trip to any of them 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 nearby 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. Even though swimming may not be on the agenda this time of year, a walk on the beach looking out as the changing leaves reflect on the water is a pretty peaceful way to spend a fall afternoon. Fishing is still going strong this time of year, too, especially in places like Lake Ontario and the Thousand Islands along the Seaway Trail, and some marinas are still renting boats, while chartered fishing trips keep clients on the water well into the fall. 
Fall chair on dock photo credit Sarah Reid
Hiking and biking trails wind throughout the parks, providing the most immersive foliage experience yet as you follow their paths though large swaths of forests, over networks of boardwalks over wetlands and marshes, and along the shores of waterways and lakes. Playgrounds, picnic areas, sports fields and golf courses are commonly found throughout the parks, perfect for a family getaway.

Nature centers and recreation centers are commonly found in or near the parks too; in fact, wildlife is a major focal point amongst many of these areas, 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. Since many species of birds migrate in the fall, you may score the opportunity to see something totally different than you would if you visited the same place in the summer.
Cardinal in fall photo credit Thomas
But camping is not just about how you spend the day—it’s also about the novelty of spending the night around the campfire under the stars. And fall is an excellent campfire season. Break out the hot cocoa, wrap up in a comfy old sweatshirt and enjoy the crisp air as you bask in the warm glow of the campfire after a perfect day exploring all this unique season has to offer outdoors. It doesn’t get much cozier than that!
Campfire photo credit Mark Doliner
Before you embark on a fall camping trip, keep in mind you’ll need a reservation, and make sure to pack your warm clothes before you go! With that taken care of, you’ll be ready for a new kind of camping experience that will give you a whole new appreciation for fall in Upstate New York.

Changing leaves reflected on water photo credit sagesolar
View of changing leaves from below photo credit stillwell mike
Fall chair on dock photo credit Sarah Reid
Cardinal in fall photo credit Thomas
Campfire photo credit Mark Doliner

posted at: 2020-09-11 20:32:00, last updated: 2021-04-06 21:17:06

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