Check all the outdoor adventures off your list in Upstate NY.
The rural playground of New Yorkers, Upstate New York packs in four seasons of postcard-ready backdrops. Summer vacay? Drive your RV up to the Finger Lakes to lounge by sandy lakeside beaches. Fall camping trip? Hit the hiking trails of the Catskills or enjoy leaf-peeping to your heart's content at more than 150 state and national park sites. Winter getaway? Grab your skis and snowshoes and escape to the Adirondacks. Campers have just as many options, whether you prefer backcountry camping in the wilderness, a cozy log cabin, or an Insta-worthy glampsite. Just make sure to book ahead, especially from June through August.
Close enough to NYC for a weekend break, head to the Hudson Valley to hop between Hudson River towns, picturesque vineyards, and farm-to-table restaurants. There’s great camping and hiking at Harriman State Park and Bear Mountain State Park, while Hudson River Islands State Park has kayak-in tent sites reachable only by water. Or head to the hills to explore the forest trails and wilderness areas of the Catskills Mountains.
With more than 6 million acres of rugged mountains, untamed forests, and glittering lakes, the Adirondacks is New York state’s largest park and home to its highest peaks. There are miles of hiking trails, canoe trails, and scenic byways to explore, plus dozens of campgrounds to choose from. Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, seek out a secluded spot in the backcountry to pitch your tent—dispersed camping is permitted on state land in the area.
Woodlands, lakes, and more than a few waterfalls dot the landscapes of central New York. In summer, head to the lakeside beaches at Green Lakes State Park, Gilbert Lake State Park, or Bowman Lake State Park, all of which have popular family campgrounds. To the north, the Thousand Islands region is a favorite for coastal campers with its fairy-tale castles, island campsites, and Great Lakes Seaway Trail.
With 11 lakes, a dozen state parks, and three renowned wine trails, you won’t get bored in the Finger Lakes. Check out waterfalls at Watkins Glen State Park and Buttermilk Falls State Park, fish for trout and salmon at Keuka Lake State Park, or lounge along white-sand beaches at Fair Haven Beach State Park.
Nicknamed the “Grand Canyon of the East,” Letchworth State Park is a must for hikers and leaf-peepers visiting western New York, along with nearby Allegany State Park. If you prefer coastal camping, you’ll find RV parks and campgrounds dotted along the shores of both Lake Erie to the west and Lake Ontario to the north. Or perhaps you’re heading to Niagara Falls, in which case you should book a campsite, cabin, or yurt at Four Mile Creek State Park, a short drive from the iconic falls.