Thankfully, Upstate New York is full of wild (or wild-ish) places where you can camp or glamp to your heart’s desire, from the lower Hudson Valley just a train ride out of the city, all the way up to Adirondack Park on the Canadian border. Whether you’re a seasoned camper who’s packing out into the backcountry or more of a glamper jonesing for a cozy night out under the stars, we’ve rounded up the best campsites in Upstate New York worth exploring this summer. So, pack your bags (and your bug spray) and heed the call of the wild.
15 of the best campsites in Upstate New York worth exploring
Looking for a short jaunt just outside the city? Explore the Hudson Valley, which extends 150 miles past the tippy top of Manhattan, spanning mountains, valleys, orchards, forests, and more. There’s plenty to explore, including the gorgeous Catskill Mountains in Catskill State Park, which can provide an ideal getaway for city dwellers aching for some adventure.
If you’re short on camping time, head up to Harriman State Park, which is only about 1.5 hours north of the city. Here, you can bring your own tent and camping gear, rent a cabin, or book one of the many Tentrr canvas glampsites around the park. Many Tentrr sites come equipped with everything you need to enjoy a night or two in the wilderness, so all you have to do is show up. Whatever camping you decide to do, Harriman is the second largest state park in the state, with plenty (31 lakes! 200 miles of hiking! 3 beaches!) to do. Book it now.
While you’re there: Take the 20 minute drive to Bear Mountain State Park, which has even more scenic trails and waterways to wander around.
Drive up to Coxsackie and book yourself a tiny cabin at Gather Greene. The campground is home to 17 quaint cabins designed to help you relax and unplug in nature, sans the tent and sleeping bags. Gather Greene is situated on 100 acres, conveniently located between two stellar mountain ranges: the Catskills and the Berkshires. Venture out on a hike to take in the views, stroll an open meadow, or sip a cup of hot tea on your tiny cabin’s deck. Cabins start at $248 a night. Book it now.
While you’re there: See the Northern Catskills, which is much more than mountains. Between farms, waterfalls, museums, farmers’ markets, even a lighthouse, there’s plenty to explore.
Hikers and adventurers on the lookout for their next trek would be wise to check out Woodland Valley Campground, which is located in the middle of Catskill Park. The campground is situated at the base of Slide Mountain, the tallest peak in the entire Catskill range, and is close to numerous other popular trailheads, as well. Woodland Valley Campground features 70 tent and trailer sites, as well as a picnic area, flush toilets, and showers. Reserve a spot for $20/night ($25 for out-of-state residents.) Book it now.
While you’re there: After you’re done hiking (or if you don’t plan on hiking at all), check out the town of Phoenicia, which is about five miles away from your campsite. The cozy hamlet is home to a smattering of restaurants, shops, and more, so you can grab a bite to eat, drink, and shop to your heart’s desire.
4. June Farms
Gather your glamping buddies and head up to June Farms, which has something for everybody. Spread over 120 acres, it has its own seasonal pub, event spaces, a lodge, and several unique rentals. With so much to do and see (including an adorable herd of Highland cattle), we recommend booking a stay ASAP.
To do so, just hop on Airbnb, where you’ll find each of the property’s rental units online alongside its availability. If “classic cabin” is the vibe you’re going for, check out one of the cabins set aside on the farm’s woods, all equipped with three-season wood-burning stoves. Better yet, book the AirStream, a vintage RV complete with a hot tub and shower, or stay in the rustic lodge with friends. No matter what you’re in the mood for, June Farms has you covered. Book it now.
While you’re there: Make a furry friend, like one of the gorgeous Shire horses, or the cute Scottish Highland cattle. Also, enjoy a drink at the on-site lounge, the Pony Barn.
Taconic State Park sits on the southeastern border of New York, along the Massachusetts and Connecticut borders. Here, you can enjoy all sorts of tried-and-true outdoor activities, like hiking, trail-running, mountain-biking, fishing, swimming, and more.
If you want to set up camp, we recommend doing so at the Copake Falls campsite, which has over 100 sites for tents and trailers available to book, plus a handful of small cabins that can accompany four to six people. A few cabins are even available for rent all year, so if a summer camping getaway isn’t in the stars, you can book a winter trip worry-free. Book it now.
While you’re there: Go see Bash Bish Falls, a 60-foot waterfall that’s technically on the Massachusetts side, but stunning to see, nonetheless.
Wineries, gorges, waterfalls—the Finger Lakes region is a gorgeous stretch everyone should see at least once. Known for its 11 sparkling freshwater lakes, this area offers something for first-time campers and expert explorers alike.
If you live on the east coast, you’ve likely seen an “Ithaca is Gorges” bumper sticker. To see what all the fuss is about, book a night or two at Firelight Camps in Ithaca. Here, you can set up camp in one of the stunning furnished (and sometimes heated) tents, and enjoy amenities like continental breakfast, a hot shower in the bathhouse, and communal campfires alongside other campers. Rates start at $279/night in peak season. Book it now.
While you’re there: Hike up to Buttermilk Falls, one of Ithaca’s “gorges” gorges. Glamping at Firelight Camps gives you immediate access to hiking trails, so you can wake up, roll out of bed, and be on your merry way.
For those campers who want to see Ithaca in the Great Outdoors, reserve a space at Taughannock Falls State Park. Home to Taughhannock Falls—one of the largest waterfalls east of the Rocky Mountains—it’s an excellent place to set up your primitive campsite (which generally refers to basic tent camping, sans creature comforts). Better yet, book one of the 16 cabins in the park for a DIY glamping feel off the beaten path. Rates start at $22/night for in-state residents. Book it now.
While you’re there: Venture out to see the other gorges and waterfalls in the surrounding area—there are tons. Cascadilla Gorge, Horseshoe Falls, and Triphammer Falls—a quick Google search or Alltrails query will give you all the gorges you need.
Another great glamping option lies west of Ithaca and Cayuga Lake in Rushville, New York. This safari-style tent is tucked away in the heart of Finger Lakes wine country, a stone’s throw from some of the region’s most popular vineyards. The cozy campsite is situated on 30 acres of farmland with access to walking trails, a koi pond, and a campfire. There’s no electricity, so expect solar-powered lanterns and showers on your stay—or find one of the nearby lakes in which to wash off. Rates start at $195/night. Book it now.
While you’re there: Have a glass of wine (or two) at a nearby winery. The Finger Lakes is known for its vineyards, so nominate a designated driver and venture out on one of the nearby wine trails to get your fill.
Watkins Glen is a popular destination in the Finger Lakes for good reason. The sprawling State Park is home to a gorgeous glen and—you guessed it—more gorges. In just a two-mile walk through the park, visitors can see 19 waterfalls, 200-foot cliffs, and photo-worthy vistas.
For those who want time to explore the park, book a campsite there. With 279 campsites and nine cabins up for grabs, the in-park campsite is a great, affordable way to see the park and other surrounding sights. Campsites start at $18/night for in-state residents. Book it now.
While you’re there: Drive the Seneca Lake Scenic Byway, which starts in Watkins Glens and takes you 19 miles down the lake to Lodi, New York. The picturesque views are aplenty.
Seneca Sol Glamping & Studio Suites offers another luxurious getaway in the thick of the Finger Lakes region. Here, you can reserve one of six decked-out safari tents with access to private showers, a lounge tent, and a fully equipped outdoor kitchen. The glampsite itself is located in a lush, dense forest that’s just begging to be explored. After a hike, relax and recharge (literally) in the lounge tent, where there’s electricity and 5G access. Or, nibble on s’mores near the campfire with other campers. Book it now.
While you’re there: Wine not your thing? There’s plenty of other things to do in the Finger Lakes. Cozy up with a warm cup of apple cider at the Finger Lakes Cider House, or enjoy a slice of fresh chevre at Lively Run Goat Dairy.
A five-hour drive north of NYC will land you in Adirondack Park, the largest protected area of natural wilderness in the lower 48. There’s more than six million acres of park to explore, including dense forests, glistening glacial lakes, and, of course, the High Peaks region, 46 mountains above 4,000 feet of elevation for epic hiking.
Given its size, there’s hundreds of campgrounds to explore that cater to every interest and need. Here are some of our favorites:
Have a kayak or a canoe? Don’t miss camping on the Saranac Lake Islands, a stretch of wild islands that provides boating and paddle access to four other gorgeous lakes. There are hundreds of campsites scattered through area’s lush islands, surrounded by clear, warm water ripe for paddling, fishing, and more. You can book one of the park’s 87 primitive campsites for around $22 a night (if you’re a New York resident.) Just note: The spot is boat access only, so don’t forget your paddles. Book it now.
While you’re there: Check out Lake Placid, home of the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics. There’s plenty more hiking, fishing, and of course, snow sports, to enjoy just east of the chain of lakes.
12. Camp Orenda
If glamping is more your speed, don’t miss Camp Orenda, a luxury outdoor getaway in Johnsburg, New York. Here, you can relax in one of the camp’s six canvas cabins, each decorated with Adirondack-inspired amenities and cozy essentials, like plush beds (queen or twins, depending on the cabin), linens, wood-burning stoves, and electrical outlets. All-inclusive rates (which start at $265/night per adult) get you everything you need to make the most out of your stay, including open-flame fireside dining daily, gear like kayaks, paddle boards, canoes, mountain bikes, and customized hikes based on your experience level. Book it now.
While you’re there: Take a hike up Gore Mountain, which is located nearby. Or, enjoy a scenic gondola ride up to the top where you can mountain bike down to the bottom.
Venture northwest of Lake Placid and Saranac Lake, and you’ll find Cranberry Lake, one of the region’s largest freshwater waterways. With miles and miles of shoreline, the lake offers access to pristine boating, paddling, and fishing, while landlubbers can wander the 50 miles of hiking trails. The campground itself offers primitive and RV sites that start at $20/night for in-state residents. Guests can take advantage of the grounds’ hot showers, flush toilets, picnic areas, and other amenities. Book it now.
While you’re there: More experienced, savvy adventurers can try their hand at the Cranberry Lake 50, a 50-mile loop around the lake. It’ll take you about three to four days of primitive camping around the trails, so come prepared and don’t underestimate the woods.
Treat yourself to a treehouse adventure in this out-of-an-adventure-novel AirBnb. Nestled in the woods near Paul Smith’s College, it’s a dreamy spot to set up camp for the night. The treehouse features a single room with a queen-sized bed, a table, and chairs. Below are the outhouse and cookhouse, which are in two separate buildings. During the day, take a hike or a nature walk, then come home and cozy up with a good book or warm up near the campfire. Rates start at $291/night. Book it now.
While you’re there: You’re only a half hour away from the towns of Saranac Lake and Lake Placid, which are worth checking out. And don’t miss the Paul Smith’s Visitor Interpretive Center (VIC), a 3,000 acre preserve that offers year-round recreation and environmental education.
The southeastern corner of the park is home to Lake George, where you’ll find something for everyone: a bustling downtown with shops and restaurants, access to hiking and outdoor sports, and a beautiful lake where you can do just about any water sport.
If you’re set on primitive, RV, or car camping, check out Hearthstone Point, which is located just two miles north of the village’s main street. It’s accessible to people with disabilities, pet-friendly, and features amenities like hot showers, flush toilets, and a recycling center. Rates start at $22/night for in-state residents. Book it now.
While you’re there: Take advantage of the local attractions—the town has a lot to offer. Museums, antique shops, wineries, live music venues, amusements—there’s something for everyone.
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