After spending several very quiet nights in sparsely occupied campgrounds, we arrived at Watkins Glen to a full campground. The Six Nation Campground is comprised of six loops, each named after a tribe, with a total of over 300 sites. It looked like some of the sites were being rehabbed. The Mohawk Loop is the only one with electric hookups. There are also cabins, but I did not see them. Rates vary depending on how many nights you spend, whether you have an electric or non-electric site, and if you are a NY resident or not. Although the sites are spaced a decent amount apart, most do not have trees or any other barrier to separate them. However, despite our loop being completely full, we did not feel too close to our neighbors. The bathroom/shower facility was reasonably clean. There are two shower stalls and four toilets, and I feared it might be overwhelmed when the loop was full, but I never had to wait.
There is a large day-use area with some nice playground equipment and there are additional playground areas (not as nice) in the loops. There is also a swimming pool but since we were there in October, it had already closed for the season (despite temperatures hovering near 90 degrees)! Normally, there is a trail that leads from the campground to the South Rim Trail, from which you can access the Gorge and other trails, however, due to recent heavy rains, this trail was closed when we were there. There are three access points to the trails: south entrance, upper entrance, or main entrance. From any of these, you can do a loop or just part of the trails. The most popular Gorge trail can get very crowded. We arrived at 10 am on a Tuesday in October and by the time we left at noon, the trail was much more crowded. I can only imagine how crowded it could get on the weekends (judging by the size of the parking lot).
We travel a lot around the country and as such, trash and recycling policies can vary greatly. There was a sign on all the dumpsters listing materials accepted for recycling so we assumed we should use one dumpster for all garbage and recycling (this is how it was in Acadia NP). It wasn’t until later that we saw on a bulletin board that there is a recycling bin near the camp office. This could easily be confusing and could easily be remedied with additional information on the sign indicating where to bring recyclables!
We loved our two-night stay at this park. It is a very compact park and once you are settled, everything is within walking distance. 76 sites plus 12 cabins in two loops– an “old” one and a “new” one. The old loop has 35 sites (sites 1-12 have electric hookups but, in my opinion, they are not nearly as nice as other sites with no hookups. These 12 sites are very close together (1-6 are more like parallel parking spots) with no privacy between them. Sites 36-72 are in the new loop and can vary significantly. I was told there are future plans for electric hookups in the new loop. If you are camping in the summer, you will want Sites 36, 38, 40, 42, 48, 50, or 76 as these are very shaded and private. The sites on the outside of the grassy area(52, 54, 56, 58, 60, 62, 64, 66, 68, 70, 72) were in full sun, which was very nice in September but could be brutal during hot summer months. Some have trees for separation, but these sites are spaced a generous distance apart. The sites on the inside of the loop seem less desirable to me and no one occupied them during our stay.
Only the bathhouse in the new loop (which was very clean) had showers, which were very nice (clean with a good hard spray and hot water).
The office was staffed until 6:30 pm and since we pre-registered, the process was very smooth. There is one garbage/recycling area between the two loops and the bonus for us was propane canister recycling. There are a large day-use area and a shelter available to rent, along with two playgrounds (one designated for ages 2-5 and the other for ages 5-12). During the summer months, there is a swimming hole fed by Lower Falls; swimming is only allowed when lifeguards are present.
What we loved most about our stay here was the hike on the Gorge and Rim Trails. You can make a loop by hiking both. It was a good workout, but the views were incredible on the Gorge Trail. With your camping fee, you can also visit nearby Buttermilk Falls State Park and there is a similar, but shorter, Rim/Gorge Trail which was also worth visiting.
We stayed on two different sites over 5 days. A very busy park, lots of reservations.
The gate house was closed so we managed reservations by phone. Nice bathrooms and showers. All options available FHU, WE, primitive. Beautiful mountains and Lake. We visited the Grand Canyon of PA during our stay.
Okey to be honest this campground is a little crowded for my liking, but WOW we’re the owners just the nicest people! My boyfriend and I showed up on Labor Day weekend having trouble finding a camping spot in the area due to the holiday weekend. They accommodated us and actually made us a space in their campground. It was right next to the river and actually very nice! They ever had karaoke at night, which was fun and different! Great place !!
Very large campground with a lot of spots! The park is nice and has a beautiful gorge trail close to the campground. Right outside the park is the town of Watkins glen, which has cute stores and restaurants! The Watkins glen international is close by and we got to see some racing , which was really neat! Would recommend this spot.
The hiking in the part is incredible! The gorge trail is an absolute must do! Some spots of the campground are secluded, but I can see how some areas can get crowded. We went on a slow day and it was very empty. Showers and full bathrooms available!
Went for a quick getaway to this little gem of a state park in the finger lakes region of New York. I’ll be coy, and use their slogan ‘Ithaca is Gorges’ and Gorgeous!!! The falls trails were all well defined and excellent for a beginner, moderate hiker. More advanced trails were also offered as well as biking trails, so plenty for any level of adventurer!! Lots of educational posters along the way to keep you informed of what you were seeing and the history about how it was created. The locals were pleasant, and eager to share fun facts about their area. We stayed at the campground in the park. It was cozy, clean, and just right for a little off the grid fun. No electricity or water hook ups available, but nice big public baths and plenty of water access all around the camp ground. (Say one water spot every 3-4 camp sites). There was also a dump station and trash dumpsters easily accessible at the entrance. Can not wait to go back, planning a week long trip next year and will do all three tours, wine, beer, and cheese!! Till next September!! Stay Gorges!!!
This park is in Potter County in the PA Wilds. The campsites are flat, some in full shade and others out in the open. Electric sites are available with water access to fill tanks but no water hookups. The bath houses are well maintained with newer renovations, tiled floors, shelves over the sinks, large stainless steel utility sinks for dish washing. Firewood is available 24 hours on the honor system for $6 per bundle. The campground hosts are right next to the ranger station in case the ranger isn't in.
There is a lot to do in the park; hiking, fishing, swimming in Kettle Creek, horseshoes, swings and playsets, and several charcoal grills and picnic tables for day use. This is a great location if you want to explore the area, Ole Bull is less than 20 minutes away from Cherry Springs Dark Sky preserve. It is an hour and 30 minutes from Kinzua Bridge State Park, The PA Grand Canyon is near by, and the Town of Wellsboro. Its also near Route 6 Scenic Highway.
Large open grassy campsites that are obviously maintained and manicured. Friendly guy Pat at the gate helped me and and chatted with me for a while bout photography and the area. 3 loops, 150 sites, clean bathrooms and showers, boat ramp, beach/picnic area, a few short trails
This is one of the darkest places that I have ever been. They go to a lot of trouble to make sure that it stays dark. There are no lights in the bathroom at the campground but that’s a sacrifice for the dark sky and they give out red cellophane to put over flashlights that are too bright. The stars were so bright during our visit that I could probably have counted over 1000. I would love to go back with a telescope when the kids are a little older.
Close to wine country you will find this gem of a family campground. Dog and kid friendly with activities such as wagon rides, arts and crafts, movie night and various themed weekend events. The hosts were super friendly and welcoming during our entire stay. An easy back in site with full hookups (B10) backed against a row of trees and a field that provided much entertainment of squirrels and birds. There is a camp store with very reasonable prices and accepts credit cards. Wood ($4) and ice ($2) are also for sale. There are two small cabins to rent along with a couple of family tent sites. The bathrooms/showers were clean near the camp store. Amenities include a pool, mini golf ($1/person), two playgrounds, horseshoes, a recreation center with games and movies, basketball and shuffle board. There are many seasonal campers at this campground, but all seemed friendly and welcoming as well. It truly seemed like one big happy family there.
This was a great campground. Just be advised that if you plan to camp with just a tent you will have to cross a creek to do it, so make sure to have an elevated, AWD/4x4 car or truck to help with the process. Showers were great and with consistent hot water, but it’s only one temp, no adjustment. The bathrooms are clean and they provide poop bags for your pups.
We stayed in the Tuscarora village loop. The sites there were non-electric. There was one central bathroom/shower house, so if being close to a restroom is important, choose your site accordingly. Some of the campsites were quite a walk from the facilities. Many of the sites back up to the woods, making them feel more spacious. There are also sites that are very close to together and we saw several extended family groups using adjoining sites - one for cooking, one for sleeping and one for hanging out. here is a wonderful playground in the Tuscarora loop. There’s another great playground next to the swimming pool. The town of Watkins Glen is adjacent to the park and has lots of little restaurants and shops - even a Ben and Jerry’s scoop shop! The town itself gets very crowded with people arriving on tour buses to see the waterfalls, and the bottom half of the Gorge Trail can be very busy. The rim trails and the upper half of the Gorge Trail were much less crowded.
Super kind people who work there. Great amenities. Climbing wall, pool, putt putt, giant bouncy thing. Basketball hoop, playground. Lots of cars, lots of people, super close campsites. None of the 3 toilets flushed well. Sink was a little clogged. It WAS clean though. They clean and collect trash daily. I dont have kids but could see how parents would like this. For a couple with a dog, it was too crowded and loud.
We went looking for waterfalls to hike and the Gorge hike is located in this state park. We camped for 2 nights at site 166 in the Onondaga Village camground. The site is spacious and has a picnic table and fire ring. Although it was gravel, there are some sites with grassy areas. Our site was right behind the shower house which had clean, hot showers and restrooms. There are water spigots to fill containers located throughout the campground. Most sites don’t have electric and water except on one loop for RVs. We hiked through this park and the Gorge, and unfortunately we lost our camp photos when one of our phones fell in the Gorge and we couldn’t retrieve it. This is a great Basecamp for neighboring parks and trails. We will definitely be back again. Check the website for closures and hours as some things are weather dependent.
If your looking for a smaller, quieter campground and you don’t have kids with you then this is the place. The owners are great people and the campground is very clean. Seasonal people seem very nice and willing to chat with you. There is not many overnight sites but all in all a nice campground.
We stayed at site 8 which is creekside. It was a large, beautiful site and the sound of the burbling water lulled us to sleep every night. The bathrooms and showers are very clean and modern (tiled, not concrete block for a change). The only downside to the area is the quantity of timber rattle snakes that we encountered, one at our site and one in the woods nearby. Something to keep in mind if you have pets or small children.
Amazing park. We’ve gone there multiple times. We prefer walking down and catching the bus back. There is a shop. There are bathrooms at the top and bottom of the trails. There are many trails we haven’t walked them all yet. Bring your camera for sure lots to see!