When it comes to planning a vacation or getaway, New York State Parks has overnight options for all kinds of adventures – and budgets!
While some enjoy sleeping in tents away from it all in remote, natural settings under the stars, others crave a few more amenities. Whether you prefer booking rustic cabins and bringing your RV, staying in fully equipped cottages, or resting your head at a historic inn or resort with the comforts of home, State Parks has something for everyone.
Our Parks system includes 8,148 campsites, 967 cabins and cottages, 18 yurts, three inns, and – yes – a lighthouse. There are countless adventures for every type of stay. Get a map handy and explore highlights from some of our most interesting properties to inspire your next stay.
La Isla Bonita
If you have a boat or have access to renting one, answer the siren song of the water and consider the benefits of staying on one of three island parks in the Thousand Islands that are only accessible by boat.
- Canoe Point, Cedar Island, and Mary Island State Parks offer a quiet camping experience with plenty of dock space for a one-of-a-kind island excursion.
Who’s On Deck?
Why worry about clearing your campsite for the tent when you can enjoy a level platform? Platform camping provides a wooden deck floor for pitching your tent on a smoother and more even surface.
- Many campgrounds across the state have platforms including Harriman and Lake Taghkanic State Parks in the Hudson Valley.
Cabins and Cottages and a Lighthouse (Oh My!)
The perfect place for a family reunion on the Great Lakes? Check. Lakefront luxe in the Finger Lakes for a bachelorette wine-tasting weekend? Check. Thousand Islands waterfront cabin for anglers telling fish tales about the day’s catch? Check. Memories to last a lifetime? Check, check, check.
- Robert Wehle State Park features a private setting that accommodates eight, and includes a compound with a main house, guest quarters, studio, and formal gardens set cliffside along the Lake Ontario shorefront.
- Fans of America’s pastime can stay at a cottage at Betty and Wilbur Davis State Park near Cooperstown and head to the National Baseball Hall of Fame, then go old school and listen to a game on the radio from the cottage’s front porch.
- The eastern shore of Seneca Lake is home to Sampson State Park in the Finger Lakes. The park’s waterfront cottages and campsites make an ideal setting for picturesque sunsets. You can also take advantage of the marina and boat slips to enjoy the views from the water. The park regularly draws visitors for its proximity to the region’s famous wine trails.
- Thirty-Mile Point Lighthouse at Golden Hill State Park on Lake Ontario is one of the most unique lodging options within the park system. Less than an hour from Niagara Falls, the second floor of the lighthouse has a three-bedroom suite available for rental and you don’t even have to know maritime navigation!
- Affordably priced, the rustic cabins at Bowman Lake State Park are great for any family vacation. These cabins are the perfect in-between for campers who like both tents and cabins. Offering protection from the elements, these one-room shelters sleep four or six, but have no electricity or water.
- Westcott Beach State Park near Henderson Harbor has a beautiful beach, sheltered marina and access to world class boating, fishing, and other watersports. In addition to campsites, the park has eight cottages atop a plateau with stunning water views. These deluxe two-bedrooms include a loft, living room, full kitchen, full bath, and outdoor patio for the ultimate in accommodations.
- In the foothills of the Adirondacks, Moreau Lake State Park offers incredibly scenic lodging with water gently lapping outside the cabin door and easy access to trails.
- On the Great South Bay, conveniently located to popular ocean beaches, Heckscher State Park is a Long Island favorite, featuring 15 cottages and a 69-site campground for tents, trailers, and RVs.
- At 65,000 acres, Allegany State Park is not only the largest state park in New York, but its two areas, Quaker and Red House are the most welcoming for winter sports enthusiasts. The park heats up when the temperatures drop, with cozy winter cabin and cottage rentals available for snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, and snow shoeing.
Yurt Going to Love These
If round and conical are your favorite shapes, we’ve got a sweet getaway idea for you and your bunkmates. Used traditionally by nomads in Central Asia, yurts are wood lattice-framed structures with heavy duty fabric sides.
- You can find yurts at Four Mile Creek, Evangola, and Golden Hill State Parks in the Niagara region. State Parks’ versions have windows, a domed roof (and skylight!), wood floors, and creature comforts like cots with mattresses, a refrigerator, microwave, and air conditioning.
Triple Threat: Camping, Swimming, and Golf
Several popular state parks showcase three-destinations-in-one for a fun summer trifecta: a campground, swimming beach, and golf course. What’s not to love?
- Stunning Green Lakes State Park looks like it belongs in the Caribbean because of the deep color of its two glacial lakes, but it’s actually located just outside of Syracuse. With campsites, cabins, a popular beach, trails, and an 18-hole Robert Trent Jones designed golf course, the park is a Central New York favorite. And for an added bonus, the park is adjacent to the Empire State Trail.
- The Southern Tier’s Chenango Valley State Park just north of Binghamton has more than 1,200 acres and includes a beautiful beachfront and swimming area, multi-use trails, campsites and cabins, and an 18-hole course.
- Wellesley Island State Park really brings it. With campsites, cabins and cottages, a sandy beach on the river, marina, boat launches, pavilions, trails, a 9-hole golf course, and the notable Minna Anthony Common Nature Center, this flagship park is the heart of the Thousand Islands.
Most people don’t think about formal accommodations when they hear “State Parks,” but we have some phenomenal lodging options that might surprise you. For those who appreciate the outdoors but would prefer more traditional sleeping quarters, our inns are not to be missed. Just a few examples:
- The Glen Iris Inn has the front seat to a beautiful view in the northeast: the Middle Falls along the Genesee River gorge at Letchworth State Park. Known as the Grand Canyon of the East, this park southwest of Rochester sparks awe, from the inn’s bird’s eye view in a hot air balloon to white water rafting along the river below.
- In Saratoga Springs, the town is bustling during summer’s track season, and the National Historic Landmark Saratoga Spa State Park wows visitors, welcoming them along its iconic Avenue of the Pines to the elegant Gideon Putnam Resort and Spa, nestled among the trails and natural springs. Saratoga Spa State Park offers a choice of two golf courses and pampering in the resort’s spa. Museums, a theater, two pool complexes, and a renowned performing arts center round out the on-site attractions at the park.
- And sure it’s cool that people rough it and spend time completing the Appalachian Trail, but with the historic Bear Mountain Inn just about an hour north of New York City, you can stay at the namesake park, hike the original start of the famous AT, and then have a spa treatment and brunch.
Get Your Group On
Group Camps, often ranging in accommodations for between 20-100 people, can be a great alternative for your family reunion or larger group outing.
- At Stony Brook State Park, the campsite can hold 60 people and is located in a remote area so that your group is secluded from other campers, adding to the group camping experience. Grills, picnic tables, fire rings, and facilities are available with showers nearby.
Now that you a have a better sense of your options, we invite you to discover these overnight stays – and many more – among the wonders of nature, including scenic trails, crystal clear waters, and sandy beaches. Luckily, finding the perfect location for your next getaway has never been easier.
Whether you plan months ahead or are the more spontaneous traveler, you can book a stay at a New York state park from up to 3 p.m. on the day of arrival* to 9 months in advance by calling toll-free 1-800-456-CAMP or visiting http://newyorkstateparks.reserveamerica.com. [Same-day reservations will be allowed until 3pm on day of arrival; this applies to campsites only. Cabins, cottages, and yurts can be reserved as late as 1-day prior to arrival.]
Review the Camping Guide: Our NY State Parks Camping Guide is available online. Scroll down on each digital panel to get more information on options.
Check our Inventory: For prospective campers who find themselves without plans for an upcoming few days, check out the Camping This Weekend tab on our site to see what’s available throughout the Parks system. The listings are updated the Wednesday before each weekend.
Earn Points: Be sure to sign up for the New York State Parks Loyalty/Rewards Program. Earn ten points for every dollar you spend on overnight accommodations at New York State Parks Campgrounds. Start earning points on new reservations as soon as you are enrolled. Stay more, get more!
-Written by Wendy Gibson, Public Affairs Bureau