In a couple of years, I’ll be turning 50, and I realized there are a number of places relatively close by that I am always saying I want to see, but I never go. Life is fast-paced and you get caught up in the day to day routine of it. So I’ve made a short term bucket list, so to speak, of places I want to go camping. Not someday, but in the next 2 years. Starting with Acadia National Park! So here are my must-see places to camp over the next 2 summers. And after that, a bigger list. There’s so much to see but you will never see it if you don’t start now!
Letchworth State Park
Letchworth is only a few hours from home for us, and it is arguably one of the most scenic state parks in NY state. It’s called the Grand Canyon of the East and is home to 3 waterfalls, one of which is 107 feet high. Letchworth is situated along the Genesee River on 14,427 acres in Wyoming and Livingston counties in Western NY State.
There are activities to occupy everyone in the family, including hiking, canoeing, whitewater rafting, and fishing. There are camping areas ranging from rustic to full-service lodges. This is the farthest away of the NY State parks on my list, and its draw for me is the hiking and the waterfalls. Good camping, for me, is made better by great scenery, and this park definitely rates high for its scenic views.
Kring Point State Park
Kring Point is located between Goose Bay and the St. Lawrence River, on a peninsula east of Alexandria Bay. Kring Point is surrounded on most sides by water. This is perfect for anyone that loves to enjoy water activities while camping. Half of the campsites have water frontage, so bring your canoes, kayaks, and swimsuits and prepare for fun in the water.
The St Lawrence Seaway is one of my favorite areas in Upstate NY. There is a lot to do along the northern border of NY State, and Kring Point is a gem among some beautiful state parks in this area. I’ve camped at a number of parks in the Saint Lawrence River region, and this is on my list now because it’s one that I haven’t visited yet.
Watkins Glen State Park
Race fans may think of the famous road racing course when they hear Watkins Glen. But Watkins Glen is also home to 778 acre Watkins Glen State Park in NY State. The central attraction of this area is the 400 foot deep narrow gorge. Three trails provide options for enjoying the park’s 19 waterfalls, as well as connecting to the Finger Lakes Trail system.
Watkins Glen State Park has options for those wanting to camp, as well as day-use areas. Nearby are many tourist attractions located on Seneca Lake of the NY State Finger Lakes.
Acadia National Park
We will be going to Acadia in the next few weeks. Stay tuned for a more detailed rundown of this treasure of the northeast soon. Located on the east coast of Maine, Acadia is made up of around 49,000 acres mostly on Mt Desert Island. Cadillac Mountain is the first place in the US to see the sunrise for part of the year. There are three lighthouses, numerous trails for hiking, and a beautiful coastline with wonders such as Thunder Hole. There are many camping options for those that want to stay outdoors. But civilization and tourist attractions are close by in Bar Harbor.
It’s been a few years since I’ve been to Maine, and I am really looking forward to getting back there.
Assateague Island National Seashore
Assateague Island is a barrier island located off the coast of Maryland and Virginia, which was mentioned in our article on Camping in Maryland. It is home to the Chincoteague National Wildlife refuge, and the wild Chincoteague ponies. You will find beaches, hiking trails that take you through sand dunes, marshes, and pine trees, and a variety of bird species including bald eagles.
The main reason this is on my bucket list is more for my love of photography than for camping. But camping here will be a memorable experience. There are a number of options, but my experience is going to be the oceanside tent site.
That’s my list
So these are the places that I want to make sure I get to camp in the next couple of years. It’s mostly in the northeast so that it’s achievable. Longer-term, there are some other places farther west that I want to visit, but that’s another article.