Located just a short drive from Cooperstown in upstate New York overlooking Otsego Lake, Glimmerglass State Park is a haven for water lovers as well as those who enjoy land activities. From boating and fishing to sunbathing and swimming, this lake has over 4,000 acres to explore and a large sandy beach for everyone to spread out on. Even when it is at its most crowded, the beach has plenty of room for visitors. There is also another smaller body of water, Beaver Pond, where you can toss in a line or cool off during the summer heat.
If you like staying on land, Glimmerglass State Park also has some fun trails to get out on such as the 2.4-mile Sleeping Lion Trail that takes you along the lake and to the area near Hyde Mansion. There are also several picnic areas and five picnic pavilions you can reserve for parties of 65 and more. Plan a birthday or family reunion here for a great time BBQing, play in the water, take a hike, or let the kids enjoy the playgrounds.
There are only 47 campsites here, so make sure you reserve your spot early if you want to stay overnight or longer. The main campground has 37 sites with electric hookups as well as restrooms and showers. The smaller campground at Beaver Pond only has 10 sites that are primitive (no electric, water, or restrooms). Pets are welcome so go ahead and bring Fluffy and Fido along for the trip; just remember they are not allowed on the beach.
You will not have any difficulty finding Glimmerglass State Park in Springfield, New York since it is on NY-31 just off of US 20 and NY-80. You can also reach the park from NY-28 to the south and NY-166 to the east. The main interstates that connect you with these roads are I-90 to the north and I-88 to the south. The park is just 66 miles from Albany to the east and 90 miles from Syracuse to the west.
Take your time driving into the park because the roads can be a bit hilly and curvy, which can be difficult to maneuver in a large motorhome or if you're pulling a camper. Always take breaks every hour or two when driving a large rig. Stop at a truck stop or rest stop or just pull over to the side if there is a pullout you can use. Get out and walk around, have some coffee, and switch drivers if possible.
One thing about this park is that it is surrounded by state forests you can visit on your way to or from the park. R. Milton Hick Memorial State Forest is just 12 miles to the southeast, Hartwick State Forest is a bit over 16 miles to the southwest, Bear Swamp State Forest is 17 miles to the southeast, and Basswood Pond State Forest is 20 miles to the west. There are a plethora of fun natural activities you and your family can choose from at and around Glimmerglass State Park.
If you want a more primitive and rugged experience, check out Beaver Pond. Located in the northern section of the park on Beaver Pond Road by Beaver Pond, you will find 10 campsites. These are gravel sites that can accommodate rigs up to 20 feet in length. If your RV is longer than that, you should use Glimmerglass Campground, which can handle rigs up to 50 feet long. The sites are definitely primitive with no utilities, water, or restrooms, but there are vault toilets for your convenience. You can use a generator, but only during certain hours of the day.
You can cook outdoors on your own BBQ pit or camp stove, or you can use the provided campfire ring or pedestal barbecue grill. The park also provides a picnic table large enough for your whole family, so you don’t have to eat in a camp chair. Be sure to bring your own water in or you will have to trek back to the main comfort station by the day-use area and playground. Pets are welcome but must be leashed and accompanied at all times. Reservations are required and can be made up to nine months in advance.
Whether you are just staying for the night or want to stay for two weeks, you will love your visit at Glimmerglass State Park Campground. They only have 37 sites though, so make sure you reserve your spot early. Be sure to check the pad length as the maximum RV lengths range from 30 to 50 feet long. The driveways are gravel but typically level, which is a big plus. You can bring your pooch since pets are welcome, but you must watch them and keep a handle on them at all times.
You’ll be able to cook indoors and watch the game since all sites at this campground have 30-amp electric hookups. Of course, you can also cook outside on the provided campfire grill or pedestal barbecue grill. Or you can use your own camp stove or barbecue pit. You can all eat together on the provided picnic table too, so you don’t have to try and balance your plate on your lap in a camp chair. You will need to make a reservation and you can do so up to nine months in advance.
Here’s a riddle: They are beautiful, fun to find, and part of a mine. What are they? Quartz crystals of course, and they are hidden throughout this fossil-and-gemstone sluicing resort. Themed windmills, cottages, and 50-amp RV sites with a 100-foot pull-through make lodging here at the Herkimer Diamond KOA a memorable experience. Stay connected with cable TV and Wi-Fi, and keep the fires burning with on-site firewood and propane available for purchase. The West Canada Creek supplies ample trout and a good time for canoeists, tubers, and kayakers. On days you feel like taking it easy, visit the local snack bar, go for a swim in the seasonal pool, and let your pup roam off-leash in the dog park.
If you’re a fan of baseball, you’re in the right place! When you stay at Cooperstown KOA, you’re only 20 minutes from the Baseball Hall of Fame. Cooperstown is beautiful, with many attractions and surrounded by tranquil, sprawling farmland. See historic downtown Cooperstown, visit the great museums, and enjoy a selection of shopping and dining. At Cooperstown KOA, dive in for some swimming at the pool, hang out in the pavilion, and stay connected with the Wi-Fi. Pull-through sites can accommodate rigs up to 80 feet long.
Beaver Pond is the perfect size for ice skating once it gets cold enough to freeze. Typically, from late November through early March you can expect ice on this shallow pond, so bring your skates if you are coming during the off-season and you may get lucky. Make sure you talk to the rangers or other park staff to see if it is safe to skate before heading out and dress warmly in layers since it gets really cold out on the ice.
Some of the hiking trails in the park are perfect for cross-country skiing in the winter and early spring. As long as there is some snow on the ground and you have your skiing gear, head on out there and see what you can do. You can always take them off and hike the trail instead if you cannot find enough snow to ski. Try the Sleeping Lion Trail, which takes you from Hyde Hall to Mount Wellington where there is sure to be some snow.
If you are new to geocaching, now is a great time to start because New York State Parks have an awesome geocache program for kids and adults to enjoy. Just get a geocache challenge passport online from the New York State Park website or the park office. Then go to geocaching websites for the coordinates of the four different caches in Glimmerglass State Park. Grab your phone or other GPS device and head out to find the little treasures. For each cache, you should sign the logbook and use the stamp inside to stamp your passport. You can trade small trinkets if you have one such as a small toy, but make sure you leave the stamp and the book. And be sure to put the cache back exactly where you found it so others can find it too.
If you were thinking of having a birthday party or another large get-together, Glimmerglass State Park is a great place to do it because they have five different pavilions you can reserve. The Beachfront Pavilion can seat up to 65; Lakeview, West Shelter A, and West Shelter B can all accommodate up to 100; the West Shelter Full Pavilion can handle up to 200. They each have electric hookups, 10 to 20 tables, BBQ pits, and restrooms with drinking water. The Beachfront and Lakeview Pavilions are close to the beach, playground, and concessions while the West Shelter is across the picnic area but within walking distance.
Disc golf is becoming a favorite activity among the young and old as more parks introduce the sport. The game is played similarly to golf as well as frisbee. You are basically using a small disc-like a mini-frisbee and trying to get it into nine or 18 holes (depending on the course) using the least tosses. The course at Glimmerglass has nine holes, and it is moderately wooded and mostly flat. It is the only one in Otsego County and is rated as a 31-par course with a gorgeous view of the surrounding area. The holes range from 135 to 216 feet apart and is best for beginners since it is relatively easy.
Make sure you pack the sunscreen and beach toys in the rig before heading to the park. The large beach at Glimmerglass State Park is well-known all over Otsego County for its beauty and cleanliness as well as the amenities available. The beach not only has a huge area to swim and play in the sand, but it also has picnic shelters, a concession stand, comfort stations with showers, and a playground for the kids. Swimming is only allowed from Memorial Day weekend until Labor Day.