Situated few miles west of Darien Center in western New York, Darien Lakes State Park spans 1,845 acres featuring woodlands, streams, and ravines. Initially known as Harlow Lake and Park, this RV-friendly park offers outdoor enthusiasts a serene place to bike, hunt, and swim. In winter, you can find guests skiing and snowmobiling on the park's multi-use trails. Additionally, you can join visitors engaging in disc golf and basketball. Darien Lakes State Park is home to deer, chipmunks, and squirrels.
Also, the park is conveniently surrounded by multiple recreational facilities in the area making it a top choice for campers. There are a variety of birds such as owls and wild turkeys. The park is open throughout the year and is busiest from May to October. The 12-acre Harlow Lake adds to the beauty of this scenic park and provides great fishing opportunities to visitors. For the adventurous, you can cross over the bridge to the Picnic Island.
After packing your trailer, you will discover the trails are well maintained. For overnight visitors, there are over 150 campsites to choose from. Whether you prefer shady or open campsites, you will find something that suits your preference. Although there are no waterfront sites in Darien Lakes State Park, the camping experience is worth fighting for. Also, this clean and quiet campground has some Lean-to sites available. Campers have access to the RV dump station and heated comfort stations too.
Located three miles away from the Darien Lake Theme Park, Darien Lakes State Park is easily accessible from Darien Center since its entrance lies north of US Route 20. Whether you are driving a trailer or a car Harlow Road is easy to navigate. Bikers and hikers using some of the major trails within the region such as Conservation Trail and Appalachian Trail to access the park. Most of the interior roads are big rig friendly and take guests to the campground, Harlow Lake, and even to the vista. There are many RV parking slots in Darien Lakes State Park including at the hunting area.
Darien Lakes State Park campground offers 155 campsites suitable for trailers, RVs, and tents. Campsites are spread across loop A and loop B. Generally loop B is more geared towards large RVs and trailers due to its roomy sites. Each campsite can accommodate six people. 142 of these sites are equipped with electric hookups, while 13 campsites offer a dry camping experience. There are no water hookups in this facility, but water spigots are located at various points within the campground.
For your convenience, please remember to park a hose preferably 100 feet in your campervan. Leashed pets with current rabies vaccine are allowed in Darien Lakes State Park. Amenities in this campground include picnic tables, water spigots, grills, fire rings, and hot showers. A dump station is conveniently located within the park. Most campsites can accommodate a trailer of up to 45 feet. If you are bringing a trailer of 50 feet, you should reserve your site in advance since only two sites can accommodate 50 feet trailers. Campsites are open for reservation up to nine months in advance. Additionally, Darien Lakes State Park offers some lean-to sites. In case you need to purchase something Darien Center is just a few miles away.
Some designated campsites are available on first-come first-served basis.
Trails winding through the hilly terrain greet visitors on arrival. Most of the trails are multi-use and are marked with colored blazes ranging from bright orange to blue, so it is easy for visitors to keep on track. For a short hike, there is a section of the 171-mile Conservation Trail that passes through the park. This two-mile trail is perfect for both hikers and mountain bikers. A portion of the Appalachian Trail meanders along the lean-to sites. For those that would rather bike, the eastern section of the park boasts of single track trails. Beginners will appreciate riding their bikes on the relatively flat path while advanced hikers will love the challenging aspect of some sections of the trail system.
During the day you can enjoy fishing with your family in Darien Lakes State Park. Harlow Lake affords some of the best bass fishing around Darien Center. Anglers can fish from both non-motorized and power boats, as well as from the shore. So don't forget to pack that fishing gear in your campervan.
How about exploring the deep ravines on horseback? If you brought your horse along in your camper, you will no doubt appreciate Darien Lakes State Park bridle trails. Both novice and intermediate equestrians can easily navigate these trails. Please remember to pack water and bug spray.
Swimming is a perfect way to fully enjoy the white sandy beach of Harlow Lake. You will love soaking in the crystal clear waters and picture-perfect scenery that Darien Lakes State Park offers each day. During the summer, you will find lifeguards manning the beach area. Pets are not allowed in this area.
If you only have a few days in Darien Center you should consider taking your family for a picnic in the park. Surrounded by the lake and wooded hills, the park day use area is the perfect place to relax and enjoy your picnic lunch. If you plan on bringing a larger group, there are two picnic shelters available on a reservation basis only. For kids, the park has a nice playground
Seasonally, Darien Lakes State Park opens its doors to gun and bow hunting. For this activity, you will need to obtain a free hunting permit from the park office. To be on the safe side, take time to go through the hunting rules and regulations. After parking your trailer in the hunting area parking lot, you have the option of heading to the bow only section or gun hunting section depending on your skills and type of gear. Deer, squirrels, and pheasants are the most popular game in Darien Lakes State Park. Hunters are prohibited from hunting in the campgrounds, beach area, and Day Use areas.