The Finger Lakes and stunning waterfalls are just a stone's throw from Elmira.
A hidden gem in Upstate New York, Elmira is more than just a quiet riverside town near Corning. It's a camper's paradise. Pitching a tent here means waking up to steep gorges, waterfalls, and the awe-inspiring Finger Lakes. Boating, hiking, and gliding over lakes in a sailplane are all in a day's adventure. For enchanting landscapes, check out Watkins Glen State Park. A stream with 19 waterfalls passes through a 200-foot gorge in one of New York's most impressive displays. Want to set up camp here? The park offers wilderness cabins and a sprawling campground with restrooms and hot showers. In Watkins Glen, outdoor fun is in rich supply. Hiking trails meander below the cliffs and along the rim. When you're legs are tired, jump in the seasonal swimming pool or have lunch in the glen at the picnic tables. A short drive north brings you to the Finger Lakes region. The easiest to access from Elmira is Seneca Lake, a haven for boating and fishing. Make a detour on the Seneca Lake Wine Trail for some wine tasting at the region's first-rate wineries. You can also stop to gawk up at Montour Falls. Of course, there's a lot to do right in Elmira. Ride the trolley, or visit the study and grave of Mark Twain. If you want to try your luck, cast a line on the Chemung River. (Don't forget your state fishing license!) For more state park camping around Elmira and Corning, check out Newtown Battlefield State Park and Buttermilk Falls State Park. You can also find private RV parks and family campgrounds nestled among farms, woods, and ranches. Want to camp in style? Consider booking a rustic cabin, yurt, or cottage. Elmira has something to offer in every season. For a summer trip, be sure to book your campsite early—the crowds are no joke. The rush tends to die down in the winter when the heavy snowfall makes for great cross-country skiing.