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I’m not a camper, but in covid times camping seemed our family’s best option to get away. My ONLY requirement was clean bathrooms. These bathrooms were cleaned 3 times a day! The sites were clean, each one has a fire pit and picnic table. Water stations are tucked between every few campsites. Our campsite was small (#70), and was mostly gravel (bring a comfy mat!), but some of the others were bigger with grassy area. As someone else said, it’s close to a semi-busy road, so get a spot on the south side of the campsite if that bothers you (the trucks going up the hill did wake us up at night). The falls was a small trickle when we went, but the hike (which can be accessed from the campgrounds) up and down the North and South Rim was beautiful and my kids had such fun walking on the river (Gorge Trail).
Large grassy sites with privacy between the sites. Most sites have a good level gravel pad to park on.
We stayed in the non-electric loop with a small travel trailer, but there are electric sites available. Spigots for water are spaced well enough that with a few lengths you can fill up.
The hike to the beach wasn't too bad through the woods, with ones being a grassy walking path and the other being a dirt trail through the woods. The beach is typically crowded.
This is a place I would always recommend.
Where to begin , I guess with the pros. This campground is located at the southern end of Lake Seneca in Watkins Glen. The park has access to the Lake for all water activities. It's located a few blocks from the main strip in town. The staff was friendly and the bathrooms were clean. The draw to this campground is it's location to the lake. My gripes. I'm sure by now you have read what other write ups have said about this park. It's just a large grass field, it's a lot of seasonal campers blah blah blah. Ok I get it. Like I said this place is all about location so you gotta give a little to get a little. The price point was a little high in my opinion. $65 a night. I think 50 would have been a fairer price. There are municipal buildings on the grounds so the roads were heavily trafficked with trucks and the speed limit is 15mph . To fast for these big trucks with little ones running around. And unfortunately we stayed during a point where they were repaving the main road through the park, and that only added to the noise and traffic. Thinking the fall or early spring would have been a better time to repave a campground.. all that said when I come back I will stay here again just for the convenience of the location.
I can’t even describe how beautiful this place is. The trails… awesome the gorge trail is very wide wide enough you could drive on so easy for young and old no real climbing the north ridge trail and the south ridge trail however include stairs and are longer more intensive hikes. Amazing place for families because there are so many things that kids can do besides hike or lounge at the campsite. The lake has a beachfront where they can swim, kayak, paddle board, fish, boat, and so much more. Walking along the bottom of a dry limestone flat is the most invigorating thing. At the end of the gorge trail you’ll see not only an area with clear water to swim in but feeding this natural pool is a 215 foot waterfall!! Big birds (I thought they were falcons or osprey) swing over your head hundreds of feet in the air and sit at the top of the waterfall. If you believe in a god you will just be inspired by what He can create and if you don’t you will still be amazed at how this amazing place was carved out thousands of years ago by big sheets of glacier. The sheer beauty of seeing 400 foot vertical strips of rock wall is just amazing. The finger lakes region is amazing. I love NY and I love the NY state parks. I am lucky enough to live nearby in Buffalo and it’s always worth the drive. I’ve even just gone for day trips. Also the city of Ithaca is 15 minutes down the road and you can find other amazing places to go like buttermilk falls and local places to eat. My personal favorite was a small restaurant in the heart of town called Luna inspired Street food. Amazing! Lots of choices for anyone in the family. I should also mention though that the campsites here on the top look are a little cramped and the bottom loop is a little better you might not get the privacy you want on the top loop of campsites however, the bottom loop is closer to the NY 89 route so you might hear trucks in the night. Don’t have too many picture unfortunately my phone always dies and there’s no point for me to charge it out there with no service. If you have T mobile or most other carriers be prepared to not get any service unless you are in Ithaca itself.
I’ve stayed here in the pine woods loop 3 times with my family. Some sites are a bit small and some are spacious so look them up on the website. They offer electric only in that loop but have full hookups in an open area. The bathrooms are nice, new and clean. You might find a wait because they don’t have a lot of them. The lakes and beach are beautiful and there’s a nice wide trail that would be good for handicapped people as well. Great opportunities for photo ops. I highly recommend.