Favorite Camping Spots in the FLX!

Photo: Brian Maley

Favorite Camping Spots in the Finger Lakes Region!

Summer is here and it’s time to dust off that camping gear! The Finger Lakes region has plenty of locations to pitch your tent for a night under the stars. Iconic state parks offer various amenities for a complete outdoor experience, while state forests boast miles of hiking trails and plenty of solitude. For all you happy campers out there, explore some of our favorite spots in the Finger Lakes. For more suggestions, check out the map with the camping filter selected.

A wooden bridge over a stream in the woods
Photo: Tim Starmer

Birdseye Hollow State Forest

Camping is permitted throughout the 3,446-acre Birdseye Hollow State Forest following the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation’s (DEC) at-large camping guidelines. The state forest also has seven designated primitive lakeside campsites along the shores of Sanford Lake. These sites require a permit and campers must pre-register at the DEC office in Bath; note that permits are limited from Memorial Day through Labor Day and are not available on site.

A pond surrounded by trees
Photo: Tom Reimers

Finger Lakes National Forest

The Finger Lakes National Forest is home to over thirty miles of multiuse trails and three campgrounds which require a fee: Backbone Horse Camp which is mainly for equestrians, Potomac Group Campground for group camping by reservation, and Blueberry Patch Campground which has nine primitive campsites. Backpackers may camp anywhere within the national forest as long as they are at least 50 feet from streams, ponds, trails, and developed areas, and secondly, not within the pastures from May through October.

Two children walking on a sandy lakeside beach
Photo: Chris Ray

Green Lakes State Park

With nearly 20 miles of trails, old-growth forests, two pristine lakes, boat rentals, 137 campsites, a sandy swimming beach, and even golf courses (traditional and disc versions), there are numerous ways to get outside and enjoy Green Lakes State Park for an extended visit. At the heart of the 1,955-acre park are two natural wonders: meromictic lakes — a unique condition where surface waters and deeper waters do not intermix.

Pine trees
Photo: Tim Starmer

Morgan Hill State Forest

The 5,284-acre Morgan Hill State Forest remains the destination of choice for more serious hikers, backpackers, and those who want an extra challenge. In addition to backcountry camping, there is a lean-to as well as twelve roadside tent campsites near Spruce Pond. Camping here is free but requires a permit through the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation’s Cortland office.

A waterfall
Photo: Nigel Kent

Taughannock Falls State Park

In addition to its iconic namesake waterfall, Taughannock Falls State Park is home to a popular campground that is bustling with activity all summer long. Campsites and cabins are available by reservation, and campers can take advantage of the park’s many amenities during their stay. Over seven miles of hiking trails—including both a gorge and rim trail—a swimming beach, marina, large playground, and ample picnic tables and grills make this state park a premier camping destination.

*Note that state parks require reservations through the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.

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