Camping | New York

Camping in New York | The Ultimate Camping Guide

Camping in New York | The Ultimate Camping Guide

Camping in New York

Learn about places to visit and camp in New York, things to consider and a few insider tips from our team and community members. Get ready for a camp trip of a lifetime.


New York State is so much more than just “The City”. Mountains, Lakes, streams, two Great Lakes and tons of opportunities for fun for all ages. What better way to explore such a diverse state, than by packing your tent and hitting the road.

Things to Consider Before Camping in New York

Research where you’re heading to camp. There are tons of state and private campgrounds, there’s even free camping in forest preserves! Know your options before you go.

New York is a large state, meaning temperatures can vary greatly depending on where you’re camping. Pack for summer days as warm as 90F, and nights into the 40s F, depending on where you go.

Know the rules. Camping in destinations like the Adirondacks or the Catskills can be an amazing time, and an inexpensive way to enjoy the outdoors by camping for free or for cheap in State Campgrounds.

But make sure you read up on the local regulations for camping, as group numbers, pets, and more, can determine whether a campsite is a proper fit for you.

Tips for Camping in New York

  • Check the rules, and the weather - as we said, the weather can vary and so can the rules. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has great resources on climate and regulations in the state:
  • Get outside your comfort zone - New York is more than just for camping. Try something new like Canoe camping, whitewater rafting, and mountain biking. Pack clothes you don’t mind getting dirty, and get after it!
  • Bring your bug spray - New York can be very buggy, especially along the lake shores and in the mountains. Mosquitos, Deerflies and Horseflies... Oh my!

 Places to Visit in New York

The Adirondack Mountains - this place is a campers dream! Beautiful Island campsites, lakes and rivers to boat for miles. Plus the Adirondacks are home to Lake Placid, home of the 1980 Winter Olympics, Lake George, a lake town packed full of amusement parks, and 46 of the Highest Peaks in the state. We recommend stopping at Donnelly’s Ice Cream, outside Saranac Lake, for a true Adirondack tradition-soft serve ice cream with a mountain view!

The Great Lakes - There is so much to explore in the Great Lakes region. Camp on the shore of Lake Erie and you’re just a short drive from Buffalo, Vernon Downs, Niagara Falls, and more. Plus you’re only a couple hours away from Toronto, Ontario-if you’re really looking for a respite from camping for the city life. Lake Ontario is nearby as well, and is loaded with beautiful beach towns and State Parks.

The Finger Lakes and the Southern Tier - These geographically close spots are southern New York at her best. Camp in the Finger Lakes and explore Geneva and the Gorges of Ithaca, or head to the Southern Tier and enjoy the exciting ski town, but year-round destination known as Ellicottville - just a short drive from Allegany State Park. Visit Allegany and paddle or raft between Pennsylvania and New York and back again. Right between the two, you’ll find Letchworth State Park, known as the Grand Canyon of the East.

The Catskill Mountains - Almost the little sibling of the Adirondacks, the Catskills have their own host of amazing hikes. The Hudson River flows nearby, with tons of historical sites like Olana, and the home of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Visit Roscoe, also known as “Trout Town USA” for some of the best fly fishing around.

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