Located in the cool woods of western New York, Fillmore Glen State Park is a secluded gem with some of the finest natural wonders in the state. From swimming, biking, hiking, and fishing, there is a ton of fun for everyone here. It’s the perfect destination for an RV vacation at any time of the year.
With 11 waterfalls found along the stream that runs throughout the park, hikers will get spectacular views of the water and woods. Three dedicated hiking trails will give you miles of terrain to explore and lead you to some of the most stunning views in New York.
There’s more to do than stretch your legs at Fillmore Glen State Park. Cool off in the stream-fed swimming pool after a long hike. Or go fishing in the streams fed by Lake Owasco to try to catch one of the dozens of different species of fish. And if you come during the winter, bring your skis, snowshoes, or snowmobile to enjoy the frozen trails and paths around the park.
There is so much to do at Fillmore Glen State Park that you will need more than one day to enjoy it all. Luckily, there are over 60 campsites within the park that will suit RVs up to 50 feet long. No matter how long you plan on staying, there’s plenty for you and your family to enjoy while at Fillmore Glen State Park.
Fillmore Glen State Park is located in western New York, within driving distance of the state’s major cities. The park can be reached by taking I-88 west from Albany. It will take you around three hours. It’s also a quick drive from Syracuse. Take I-81 heading south out of the city and you’ll arrive at the park in less than an hour. If you are coming from New York City, take I-80 and I-81 and you’ll reach the park in around four and a half hours.
For those who enjoy history, check out the CNY Living History Center and the 1890 House Museum in Cortland, just 17 miles to the southeast. You may also enjoy the Owasco Flats Nature Preserve about five miles to the north or the Bahar Preserve and Carpenter’s Falls 11 miles to the northeast. It is also nice to just visit the nearby small towns to peruse the shops and eateries.
Once you’ve arrived at the park, the campgrounds are a quick drive away from NY-38, and you can easily access all of the campsites directly from the park’s main roads. You should not have any trouble maneuvering your rig no matter how large it is, but it is always good to drive carefully inside any park. There are usually many park visitors walking or riding bikes around the park so keep your eyes open for them.
There are 60 campsites available at Fillmore Glen State Park. Electrical hookups are offered at many of the sites, but not all. Check your specific site before booking to ensure that you'll have electricity if you need it for your rig. There are two main groups of campsites, located on either side of the stream. Both have easy access to the main areas of the park and offer mostly the same amenities.
Most of the campsites only allow smaller vehicles under 30 feet, but there are 12 sites that have a maximum length of 50 feet. If you have a larger vehicle, consider booking well in advance. Any site can be booked up to nine months in advance and must be booked at least a day in advance. The campsites fill up quickly during summer months, so book as early as possible to make sure you have a spot. Household pets are allowed at all of the campsites but are not allowed in any of the bathing areas or playgrounds.
Leave the rig in the lot and stay in one of the three cabins at Filmore Glen State Park. Located along the water, these cozy wood cabins are furnished with two sets of bunk beds to sleep four people comfortably. In addition, you can keep your food and drinks cold in the refrigerator and cook on the fully functional stove. However, you will need to bring your own cookware. You can eat inside or out as the cabin has a table with chairs and outside there is a picnic table. In fact, you can cook outside too on the barbecue grill or fire pit.
Although the cabin has windows and electricity, it does not have A/C, heating, or water. However, being in the campground area, you are just a short walk from the restrooms and shower house. You are welcome to bring your furbabies as long as you keep them on a leash and clean up after them. Reservations are needed and can be made up to nine months in advance.
Fillmore Glen Park features three dedicated hiking trails that will lead you through the beautiful woods and across the running waters of the stream. There are five waterfalls in the park for you to explore as you hike. The Gorge Trail will lead you to a scenic spot atop a waterfall. The South Rim and North Rim trails will also give you spectacular views all throughout the park. Hiking is excellent year-round, and each season has something unique to offer. However, it tends to be best from April through October. Come in the fall for an explosion of rich autumn colors or hike along the stream during the summer to escape the heat. Be sure to practice proper trail etiquette at all times.
If you’ve tired yourself out with a long hike, consider taking a dive in the cool stream waters. There is a swimming pool that is fed with stream water so that you can safely swim without having to worry about the current. It’s perfect for hot summer afternoons and a great way to make the kids happy. There are also picnic tables located nearby, so you’ll be able to have a meal before or after your swim. And all of the hiking trails are nearby, so it’s a perfect place to begin or end your hike.
You can also bring your rod and reel to try your hand at fishing. The Owasco Lake Inlet features a wide variety of fish, such as trout, walleye, largemouth bass, crappie, carp, and many others. Fishing can be done during the off-season, although many of the fish slow down as the temperature begins to drop. If you come April through October, you will be able to take part in open season on trout. Be sure you get a New York fishing license and keep it with you at all times.
If you enjoy hunting, you’ll find plenty of both small and large game during your RV stay at Fillmore Glen State Park. The dense forests and elevated gorges make every hunt a challenge. Much of the park is open to hunting but check the hunting map to make sure before you begin your hunt. Deer hunting is allowed, although it is bow or muzzleloading only. If you choose to hunt in the park, you’ll need a valid New York hunting license. As it is a state park, hunting laws and seasons are strictly enforced.
As the snow begins to fall, the roads in Fillmore Glen State Park turn into the perfect cross-country skiing course. Bring your skis with you if you are planning a winter RV trip to the park. Explore the beautiful white woods as they completely transform into a winter paradise. Even during the winter, you’ll find wildlife wandering through the woods as you weave yourself through the trees. There isn’t always snow on the ground throughout the winter, so it can be hard to plan in advance if you want to cross-country ski at the park. Pack your skis, just in case there is some unexpected snow during your stay.
The park is also excellent for snowmobiling after major winter snowfalls. Use the campground as your starting point to explore trails throughout the region. There is also a dedicated snowmobile trail located within the park, so you’ll have plenty of land to explore without having to leave the park. Trails and roads are shared with hikers, so always be careful, especially when visibility is poor. Use sunscreen on exposed skin because you can still get burned in the winter. And always obey posted speed limits throughout the park.