On the banks of Lake Erie in southwestern New York, you can find Evangola State Park in Irving. This 733-acre park was created in 1954 and has a gorgeous one-mile sandy beach bordered by Angola shale cliffs. Open all year long, you can enjoy all kinds of activities here, from swimming to snowmobiling and biking to birding. No matter what time of year you visit, this park has something for everyone.
During the hot summers of New York, spend the day on the lake boating, skiing, or paddling. You can also enjoy land recreation, such as picnicking, hiking, or disc golfing. The park even has tennis and basketball courts to enjoy as well as a baseball field. If you enjoy cold-weather sports, try getting out on the trails with some snowshoes, skis, or just enjoying nature.
You don’t have to leave when the sun starts to go down. Just make sure you reserve one of the 80 RV and tent sites with electricity so you can stay and enjoy more of the park’s activities the next day. You can bring your furbaby too. If you would rather get out of the rig for a night or two, rent a cabin or yurt for a different type of camping experience.
In Erie County near the small village of Farnham, Evangola State Park can be found just off NY-5. You can reach NY-5 from US-20 or I-90, which are both easy rides for any size vehicle. However, it is important that you still drive slowly since the wildlife in the area have a habit of walking out onto the roadway. It is good to take it slow anyway so you can see the beautiful scenery along Lake Erie.
Less than 30 miles southwest of Buffalo, you can stop in at Buffalo Harbor State Park or Delaware Park, where you can enjoy various water sports like fishing and boating or take a hike on one of the many trails. In fact, Buffalo has more than 20 parks you can visit while you are in the neighborhood. The Allegheny National Forest is also nearby, giving you many other opportunities to enjoy the outdoors.
Once you get into Evangola State Park, you will want to slow way down and stay alert because this popular park has a lot of visitors running around. From the very young to the very old, and even some four-footed family members, you have to watch out for those who are out enjoying the park. The park roads are sometimes narrow, and some of the turns can be a trying experience for those with rigs larger than 40 feet long. Talk to the park employees at the office about the best route to take to get to your campsite.
Spread out nicely in a wooded area at the end of Camp Road, the Family Campground has 52 campsites for RVs with 20-, 30-, and 50-amp electric hookups and 28 tent-only sites without utilities. Sites 22 and 46 are ADA-accessible, and there is a comfort station with ADA-accessible restrooms and showers. Each site has a large picnic table and campfire ring, as well as a pedestal charcoal barbecue pit to cook on. Potable water is found in several spots in the camp and at the restrooms.
Motorhomes and trailers up to 40 feet long are able to use all of these sites, although some of them may take a bit of finesse to maneuver into. Pets are welcome, so go ahead and bring your furbabies. However, if you have more than two, you are going to have to either leave someone at home or get two campsites and split them up because only two pets are allowed per site. The kiddos will enjoy the playground, and you will love that it is close by. You can reserve a spot up to nine months before your expected visit. If you are coming on a weekend or holiday, be sure to book it as early as you can. Camping is open from the end of April until the middle of October every year.
The park only has one cabin, so if you want to stay there, you better book your spot way in advance. Located at the edge of the woods in the Family Campground, this cozy ADA-accessible cabin has a wraparound deck and sleeps up to eight guests with bunk beds, twin beds, and a queen-sized bed. Mattresses and pillows are provided but you will need to bring your own blankets. The kitchen has a stove, refrigerator, and a nice indoor picnic table that seats eight.
Up to two vehicles are allowed, and you can even have your RV with you if it is under 20 feet long. With lighting, electricity, air conditioning, and heating, you will have most of the comforts of home. However, there is no water, so you won’t find a sink or bathroom here. The comfort station at the campground or your personal RV will have to do if you need to shower or use the restroom. Pets are not allowed, so your furbaby will have to skip the cabin this time.
For a truly unique camping experience, try renting one of the six yurts at Evangola State Park. Actually, you may as well call these cabins or cottages because of all the amenities they have. These huge yurts have wooden floors, beds, air conditioning, and electricity. You will even have a refrigerator to keep your food and drinks cold. The only thing they don’t have is water, so you will have to go to the campsite comfort station to use the restrooms and showers. The yurts are spaced out nicely around a small pond, and each one has a fire ring, BBQ pit, and picnic table outside.
Yurts five and six are ADA-accessible, and you can make your reservations up to nine months in advance. The futon makes an excellent seating area as well as an extra bed, so up to six people can sleep here with a maximum of two vehicles. In fact, the length limit is 20 feet, so you can even have your RV with you if it is one of the smaller ones. Unfortunately, you will have to leave the furbabies at home if you are planning on staying in a yurt because pets are not allowed.
The three-mile cross-country ski and snowshoe trail at Evangola State Park is popular with the locals as well as those visiting the area. Starting at the baseball field, the trail takes you through the woods and along Lake Erie. The Rim Trail is another popular hike where you can see some amazing views and ice formations along the lake and in the forest. In all the peacefulness and white backgrounds, you are sure to see some wildlife like white-tailed deer and maybe some foxes or rabbits.
Deer and turkey hunting at Evangola State Park is popular, but it is bow or crossbow hunting only. You have to have your New York state hunting permit and sign in at the kiosk or park office when you arrive. Small game can be taken by gun after deer season has passed. Be sure to wear your hunter orange hat or vest and practice safe hunting rules at all times.
Believe it or not, ice fishing on Lake Erie in Evangola State Park is quite a big deal. Even though it is such a big lake, the water freezes enough for you to park a warming hut and drill a hole to drop your line into. Some species actually migrate for the winter, but there is plenty of bass and perch to be found as well as other species hungry for anything they can find in the cold waters. Check out the ice volcanoes on the lake while you are out there. These actually shoot water up through them at times. It is an exciting sight to behold.
Sail boating is one of the most popular water sports at the park, and you can see dozens of sails on the water at any time of year. During the warmer months, you can launch your boat no matter what type it is, as Lake Erie is big enough for even the largest houseboat. You’ll even see some paddleboards and kayaks dotting the horizon. Fishing boats, as well as pontoons, can be spotted in the nooks and crannies of the lake, trying to find a nice secluded spot to swim or fish. Whatever type of boating you are into, you can do it on Lake Erie.
If you have not played before but enjoy golfing or frisbee, you are going to love disc golfing. Your RV camping trip to Evangola State Park is a great place to start because their 18-hole course is fairly easy for beginners while still being fun for experienced golfers. The 54-par course is moderately wooded and hilly with some amazing views on the shore of Lake Erie. The park does not provide discs or other golfing gear, so if you don’t have any, you will have to check in town for a source.
The one-mile expanse of golden sand beach at Angola State Park will cool you off as well as keep your eyes busy with the stunning scenery. Be sure to pack your sunscreen in the rig because the New York sun can get mighty hot. This section of Lake Erie is one of the state’s cleanest and has been rated one of the best in the area. Lifeguards are on duty along the beach when the beach is open from Memorial Day weekend until Labor Day.