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Upstate New York has some of the best outdoors sights in not just New York, but the United States as a whole. With lush forests, peaceful lakes, exciting waterfalls, and so much more, the natural landscape of Upstate New York is simply breathtaking.

As a result, this makes it a perfect spot for family camping. 

But what are the best family campgrounds in Upstate NY? With so many different areas and campgrounds to choose from, it can be difficult narrowing the options down and finding the spot that’s going to be best for you and your family.

Well, we’ve done the work for you! In our fun-filled guide below, we’re going to list the best family campgrounds in Upstate NY. With each one, we’ve got a breakdown of its sights and features, highlighting just what makes it a great pick. Read on!

Why Should You Go To Family Campgrounds In Upstate NY?

Just before we get to our list of the best family campgrounds in Upstate NY, it’s worth looking at why Upstate New York is such a great place for family campgrounds in the first place.

The key reason is sights. Upstate New York features some of the most breathtaking natural landscapes you’re likely to see, with a beautiful blend of forestry and water.

There are so many lush, beautiful forests to explore, which families will really take too, because kids will love clambering around the wooded areas. 

There’s also a wide variety of lakes to visit, many of them activities like fishing and kayaking that are great for the whole family to do together.

On top of that, there’s plenty of jaw-dropping waterfalls too, with their great sound and thundering water being a great spectacle for families to look at from a distance.

Of course, you could just go on a hike through some of Upstate New York and experience these things, but it’s so much better when you’re camping.

By staying at a campground, your family can truly immerse themselves in the brilliant natural landscape, properly inhabiting the gorgeous sights and sounds.

Best Family Campgrounds In Upstate NY

1. Letchworth State Park Camping Areas

The first entry on our list is the various camping areas in Letchworth State Park, a gorgeous 17 mile long. When it comes to natural features for you and your family to enjoy, Letchworth has it all.

The whole park follows the Genesee River, meaning that there’s a constant body of water snaking through it all. Better yet, the river flows through a variety of breathtaking waterfalls, which tumble down deep gorges and offer a great spectacle. 

Along this stretching river you’ll find lots of different camping sites, available for families to pitch a tent at and stay in the great forest areas near to the water. Many of the campsites are perfectly placed, and there’s access to showers too.

As for activities, some sites are close to playgrounds for the kids, and there’s plenty of walking and biking trails.

2. North-South Lake Campground

This is the largest and most popular camping grounds in all of the Catskill Forest Preserve. This area is home to loads of beautiful sightseeing spots, like the stunning two-stage waterfall of Kaaterskill Falls, and historical sites for the family to learn about. 

There are 7 different camping loops, with 219 sites for tents or trailers. As for amenities, you’ll be able to visit a pair of beaches for a great family day out, as well as a pair of lakes.

Picnic areas are also present, so that you can enjoy your family lunch surrounded by wondrous scenery, and the areas have tables and grills. 

There’s also a playing field for sports, and you can rent a range of boats to go out on the water if you want.

3. Beaver Pond Campground

Our next Upstate NY campground is found in Harriman State Park, meaning that there’s plenty of brilliant woodlands to explore with your family. Better yet, it’s right near to the stunning Lake Welch. 

When it comes to the campgrounds, sites can have up to six people and two tents, and each comes with a picnic table and a grill for cooking. Bathroom access is included, too. And for activities?

There are plenty of hiking trails nearby, as well as historical sites, stores, and even swimming beaches to relax at.

4. Saranac Lake Islands Campground

This beautiful area of Upstate NY is perfect for a family camping trip, with plenty of beauty and activities. The campground is right next to water that can lead to four other lakes if you’re using a boat, allowing endless exploring. 

As for activities, there’s so much! You can fish in the water, or even go water skiing instead. If you prefer something on land, though, there’s plenty of trails for hiking and a nearby golf course.

The spot is near to Saranac Lake, a village of three towns that’s got plenty to see and do too. You can even find horseback riding places nearby!

5. Cranberry Lake Campground

Next on our list is Cranberry Lake Campground, which is one of the very best spots for getting truly in touch with nature. Why? Well, Cranberry Lake is one of the biggest remote areas in all of New York state, with almost all of its natural landscape left unimposed upon by people.

This means that there’s 1000s of acres of forest to explore, along with beautiful ponds and wondrous marked trails to walk.

When it comes to setting up camp, a lot of the sites have trees between them, which will give your family some privacy from other campers. There are water spigots to use, and each campsite has a picnic table for eating at, as well as a fireplace for warming yourselves on.

There’s plenty for your family to do in the surrounding area, with picnicking spots in the forest, and places for swimming. 

Best Family Campgrounds In Upstate NY

6. Cherry Plain State Park Camping Area

This is a brilliant place for lakeside camping, which is always a fresh and exhilarating experience. There are 10 lakeside tenets available, but there’s also 10 “hike-in” tent sites for simple overnight stays if you’re just passing through. 

As for the area, the park has 175 acres of land to explore, with its Black River Pond being a key feature. There’s plenty of biking and biking to be done in the forest areas, while the lake sees boat launching and fishing. There’s also a playground for the kids to have fun with! 

In the winter, the nature trails become cross-country skiing spots, and the pond is used for ice fishing. What a versatile campground!

7. Ausable Point Campground

You’re going to get an astonishing shoreline view when you stay at the Ausable Point Campground, which is particularly beautiful for sunrises and sunsets. 123 campsites are available here and it’s generally just $22 a night.

You’ll be able to enjoy the gorgeous Lake Champlain and its shoreline, with sand to play around on, and there’s areas nearby for fun hikes. 

As you can expect from such a water-based campground, there’s plenty of water activities! Fishing is popular, but you can also boat out on the water, or even wind surf at the designated area. Swimming is also popular, but needs to only be done at the designated swimming areas, and a lifeguard needs to be on duty.

8. Kayuta Lake Campground

This campground is at Kayuta Lake, a beautiful area filled with lofty trees and a large body of water. There are plenty of camping sites available, and it’s located right by the Adirondacks Mountains, which are very fun to explore at their bases. 

You may not want to leave the campground, though, because it’s packed with activities! Fishing is popular on the lake, but you can also kayak or canoe out on the water too.

There’s also fun archery that you can take part in, or even laser tag – which the kids are sure to enjoy! And when you just want to relax? You can rent a movie easily and sit down with the family.

9. Fish Creek Pond Campground

Fish Creek Pond is a large body of water with loads of camping sites dotted all around its edge, placing you right near the water for maximum family fun. There’s miles of trails to walk from the campground, with lovely lush trees and fascinating paths. 

There’s a picnic area for eating family meals, and kids will love the playground and the beach. Basketball and volleyball areas are present too. And the pond is popular for fishing!

10. Hunter Lake Campground

We’re finishing our list with this beautiful lake-based campground. It’s a peaceful spot for your whole family to enjoy, with lovely woods and brilliant-blue water. 

Activities include lake swimming, boating, and fishing. On land, though, there’s even more! Volleyball, horseshoes, shuffleboard, softball, and more are present. There’s even a recreation hall and dances!

Final Thoughts

Upstate New York is full of lush forests and beautiful lakes and rivers – find the best campgrounds with our list!

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