21 unique spots to try across the region
Want to get away?
A vacation doesn’t have to mean a trip to the airport and a long journey to an exotic locale. The Southern Tier offers a variety of things to do closer to home, and campgrounds across the region are ready to welcome visitors for a bit of rest and relaxation or new adventures.
Here are 21 campgrounds across the region that offer something a little different when you’re planning that summer getaway.
Tall Pines ATV Park, Andover
What sets it apart: Rev up the summer fun and maybe get a little muddy at Tall Pines ATV Park in Andover. Tall Pines maintains more than 70 miles of trails for ATVs, side-by-sides and dirt bikes, complete with mud holes, an obstacle course and trails for all ability levels. The park offers a variety of cabin rentals for weekend warriors looking to relax after a long day of riding, as well as locations for traditional camping with a tent or RV. Kate’s Kitchen caters to hungry appetites and showers are available onsite. The Kent Beer Company sits just down the road.
Where to find it: 1812 Jones Road Spur, Andover, NY 14806
Trout Run Camp Resort, Wellsville
What sets it apart: Trout Run sits on the Genesee River in Allegany County and features around 150 full hook-up camping sites and a number of log cabins available for rent. While the river is nearby, Trout Run’s comfortable amenities include a heated pool, a bathhouse, laundromat, playground, fishing pond, golf cart rentals to travel around the 100-acre campground, a dog park and more. Trout Run has grown significantly in recent years, and new for 2022 is a splash pad for young campers.
Where to find it: 2137 Stannards Road, Wellsville, New York 14895.
Riverside Park Campground, Wellsville
What sets it apart: Riverside Park Campground opens its season with the annual Greater Wellsville Trout Derby in April and offers camping into October. Riverside Park sits on the east bank of the Genesee River, which is one of the few major rivers that flows north. The river offers excellent fishing opportunities shaded by hardwood trees that give the park a natural feel. The campground offers electric, water and sewer hook-ups for RVs with shower and bathroom facilities on site.
Where to find it: 3541 Riverside Drive, Wellsville, NY 14895
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Breezy Point Campground, Scio
What sets it apart: Breezy Point Campground is built around six small lakes in the hills of Allegany County. Enjoy fishing, kayaking and canoeing the waters. Breezy Point also recently added a pool that is open from Memorial Day weekend though Labor Day weekend. Events include barbecues on holiday weekends and arts and crafts, Bingo and family nights. Laundry, showers and propane are available on site.
Where to find it: 2749 Wolf Spring Rd. Scio, NY 14880
Sunny Hill Campground, Bolivar
What sets it apart: Sunny Hill welcomes musical acts from across the country to the campground outside Bolivar. Sunny Hill Campground is a member of the Nashville Stops Here Tour, which supports national touring country acts. Sunny Hill also welcomes rock, pop and acoustic music to the stage during a packed concert schedule. Aside from the regular musical attractions, Sunny Hill features a pool, four playgrounds, outdoor movies, a mud run, hot air balloon rides and more during the camping season.
Where to find it: 7856 Messer Hill Rd., Bolivar, NY 14715
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Broome, Tioga County
Binghamton Bear Campground, Endwell
What sets it apart: Camping is an adventure at Binghamton Bear Campground in Endicott, which offers some unique sleeping arrangements. Stay in a luxury wagon that has modern amenities and an old-time feel, or a premium yurt, a circular setup that is part tent, part cabin. The glamping tents feature the comforts of home, such as mattresses and electricity, in a camp setting. There’s also traditional tent sites and RV hookups. Activities at the campground are many and varied, with some of the highlights including giant hill slides, a floating obstacle course, jumping pillows, gem mining, pedal carts and mini golf.
Where to find it: 600 Boswell Hill Rd. Endicott, NY 13760
Lakeside Campground, Windsor
What sets it apart: With a large 84-foot pavilion that features a kitchen and bathrooms, Lakeside Campground in Windsor offers an ideal venue for events like family reunions, company picnics, birthday parties and the like. Air Force veterans Penny and Tony Spaid took over ownership of the campground in 2020 and offer campsites for everything from small tents to large RVs. Trailers and cabins are also available for rent. The campground includes a private lake with a designated swimming area and kayaks and small boats are available for fishing or recreation. Other campgrounds in Windsor include Pine Crest Campground and Forest Lake Campground.
Where to find it: 336 Hargrave Rd., Windsor, NY 13865
Belden Hill Campground, Harpursville
What sets it apart: Few campgrounds have a longer view than Belden Hill Campground. Located on a hilltop in Harpursville, the site offers vistas into Pennsylvania. Belden Hill promises a “near constant breeze of clean mountain air” across its 72 acres, with hiking and biking available on its open spaces and wooded trails. The grounds also include four stocked ponds and the camp store offers hand-dipped ice cream. Not far from Binghamton, restaurants are available within a few miles and shopping centers are just 10 miles away. The campground counts a golf course among its neighbors, and it also has basketball and volleyball courts onsite, among other amenities.
Where to find it: 1843 State Route 7, Harpursville, NY 13787
Fire Fox Resorts, Lisle
What sets it apart: For some, Fire Fox Resorts will offer the best of both worlds — golfing by day, camping by night. Fire Fox Resorts is home to “The Fox” Golf Course & RV Park in Lisle. The Fox promises to challenge the best of golfers. It’s an 18-hole, par 67 Adirondack-style course in the scenic hills of Nanticoke, 20 miles north of Binghamton, complete with a pro shop, clubhouse, putting green, restaurant and bar. The Fire Fox RV Park is surrounded by the golf course. Each site has water and electric hook-ups to accommodate RVs, while spots are available for tents as well. Other amenities include hot showers, fishing, hiking, horseshoes, billiards and shuffleboard.
Where to find it: 330 Rabbit Path Rd. Lisle, NY 13797
Aspen Campground, Candor
What sets it apart: Aspen Campground of Candor, in Tioga County, is described as “rustic camping with a modern accent” less than 20 miles south of Ithaca. The campground features a 24,000 gallon, solar-heated saltwater pool, a 4.5 acre pond and a massage therapist onsite. Aspen Campground hosts 40 RV and tent sites, with most including water and electric, a fire ring and picnic table. A large open field allows groups to camp together. Nearby tourist attractions include Tioga Downs, the Corning Museum of Glass, Watkins Glen and the New York Wine Trail in the Finger Lakes region.
Where to find it: 217 Tuttle Hill Rd., Candor NY
Sun Valley Campsites, Arkport
What sets it apart: Sprawling across 180 scenic acres in Arkport, Sun Valley Campsites keeps it fresh with an event every weekend from May to mid-October. Some events on the calendar include a Caribbean Pirate Weekend, First Responders Weekend, Christmas in July and a “Wine a Little Bit” Weekend for the adult crowd. Cabins are available for rent, and the grounds include a pool, playground and waterfalls. For those who don’t want to completely disconnect, Sun Valley features cable TV and a WiFi Zone. Bonus: a massage therapist is available on weekends for campers.
Where to find it: 10740 Poags Hole Rd. Arkport, NY 14807
Lake Demmon Campground, Bath
What sets it apart: Load up your ATV and hit the road for Lake Demmon Campground. ATVs can be driven directly from the campground to the nearby Demon Run ATV Trails, which has 20-plus miles of trails, mud holes and hill climbs. Lake Demmon spans 48 acres and offers great fishing opportunities, with small boats permitted on the water. The campground is under the new ownership of Becky Sick in 2022. It can accommodate RVs and offers cable and WiFi availability. The lake features a swimming area, with a special wading area for young campers.
Where to find it: 9139 East Shore Rd. Bath, NY 14810
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Ferenbaugh Campground, Corning
What sets it apart: If location is everything, Ferenbaugh Campground has it. The campground sits a quick drive from the Corning Museum of Glass, which welcomes close to half a million visitors from all over the globe each year. Ferenbaugh Campground has a few attractions of its own on its 274 acres, including a pool, miniature golf course, playground, game room, trout stream, and more. The campground offers a mix of cabins, tent sites and pull-through campsites. Water, sewer, cable TV and WiFi are available.
Where to find it: 4248 State Rt. 414 Corning, NY 14830
Skybrook Campground, Dansville
What sets it apart: Skybrook Campground in Dansville is perfectly situated for the nature lover, with all the benefits of a private campground that happens to sit between two of the region’s signature state parks. Skybrook is just a few minutes from Stony Brook State Park, which has its own camping areas and hiking trails. Two state forests and the Rattlesnake Hill Wildlife Management Area are just to the west, while a little further afield in easy driving distance is the world-renowned Letchworth State Park. Skybrook offers 350 camping sites for RVs and tents, with cabin and camper rentals available as well. The campground has easy access for travelers as it sits near interstates 390 and 86.
Where to find it: 10861 McCurdy Rd. Dansville, NY 14437
Camp Bell, Campbell
What sets it apart: Want the experience of camping in an RV trailer, without the extra payment or the trouble of transport? Camp Bell offers three fully-equipped trailers for rent at its campground in Campbell. When not enjoying the comfort of the RV, Camp Bell has a heated pool, mini golf course, playground, arcade, library and regular activities for campers. Visitors without an RV can rent a cabin or traditional campsite at the Finger Lakes venue. Each site includes water, electric, a picnic table and a fire ring.
Where to find it: 8700 State Rt. 415, Campbell NY 14821
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Chemung, Schuyler County
Gardner Hill Campground, Baldwin
What sets it apart: While most campgrounds are open seasonally, Gardner Hill Campground is open year-round with limited winter facilities, although visitors are advised to call first before showing up for a winter stay. A pool is available for guests in warmer months, along with a fishing pond and rec hall that hosts square dancing. The campground offers large pull-through sites for RVs, trailer rentals, primitive tent areas and group tenting areas with a bathhouse and laundry room. The campground touts its proximity to many tourist attractions in the Finger Lakes and the Southern Tier.
Where to find it: 1451 Norway Road, Lowman, NY 14861
Park Station Campground, Erin
What sets it apart: Operated by Chemung County Buildings and Grounds, the Park Station Campground and Recreation Center is a public resource great for large gatherings and small family getaways. The park includes two pavilions with electric that can hold 75 people. Park Station features 40 campsites, with some located on the 100-acre lake. Each campsite has electric, a picnic table and a fire ring. Also available in the park are flush bathrooms, hot/cold showers, a laundry facility, vending machines, water taps, playgrounds and a camp store. Attractions include hiking trails, fishing, swimming, boating and bicycling. Chemung County residents receive discounts on rentals.
Where to find it: 2 W. Beaver Pond Rd. Erin, NY 14838
Cool-Lea Camp, Odessa
What sets it apart: Cool-Lea Camp has one of the more unique origin stories in the region. It sits on the shores of Cayuta Lake, which was named for the Seneca princess Kayutah. According to the camp, legend says the princess was kidnapped by a hostile tribe and her mother’s tears filled the valley to form the lake. Located in the Schuyler County township of Odessa, Cool-Lea Camp offers an ideal launching pad to visit the Seneca Lake Wine Trail, Watkins Glens State Park, the Seneca-Iroquois National Museum and Watkins Glen International. The camp has cabins and cottages for rent for guests who aren’t traveling in an RV.
Where to find it: NY-228 Odessa, NY 14867
Clute Park & Campground, Watkins Glen
What sets it apart: Enjoy the camping experience within walking distance of downtown Watkins Glen at the 35-acre Clute Park Campground, with views of Seneca Lake. The campground includes electric, water, sewer, cable TV and WiFi. Clute Park offers swimming, picnic areas, fishing, a boat launch, tennis courts, fire rings, a playground, skate park, a ball field, a kayak launch with rentals available, a community center and pavilion rentals. Campsites can also be rented on a weekly, monthly or seasonal basis.
Where to find it: 155 S. Clute Park Dr. Watkins Glen, NY 14891
Sugar Hill Recreation Area, Watkins Glen
What sets it apart: Interested in roughing it, or camping where horse trails and infrastructure are readily available? The Sugar Hill Recreation Area in Schuyler County may be the ideal getaway. Located in the Sugar Hill State Forest, the Recreation Area is outfitted with an accessible horse-mounting platform and open horse stalls. A nine-acre open field is open for camping on a first-come first-serve basis, with fire rings, picnic tables and a pavilion onsite. A restroom with potable water is available during the summer, along with access to the Six Nations Trail System and the Sugar Hill Fire Tower.
Where to find it: 3360 Tower Hill Rd. Watkins Glen, NY
Blueberry Patch Campground, Burdett
What sets it apart: True to its namesake, the Blueberry Patch Campground sits next to a large blueberry patch that has grown into a popular place to pick the tasty treats when they are in season. The patch includes both high bush and low bush blueberries, according to the USDA. The campground is small, with nine campsites available on a first-come, first-served basis. It is also economical, costing just $15 per night. Each campsite has a fire pit, a tent pad, a picnic table and parking for up to two cars. Blueberry Patch Campground is designed for tents or small campers under 24 feet long. Interloken Trail and Burnt Hill Trail offer nearby hiking options.
Where to find it: Picnic Area Rd, Burdett, NY 14818
Chris Potter can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @ChrisPotter413. To get unlimited access to the latest news, please subscribe or activate your digital account today.
This article originally appeared on Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin: NY camping in the Southern Tier: Broome, Allegany, Steuben, Chemung