Located in beautiful Otsego County, Glimmerglass State Park features spectacular views of Otsego Lake, picturesque woodland trails - and great RV camping. Featuring nearly 600 acres, the park was opened in 1963 and attracts over 100,000 visitors every year. The park takes its name from the the east shore of Otsego Lake, which was known as the "Glimmerglass" in James Fenimore Cooper's novel series "Leatherstocking Tales".
Located within the park grounds is the historic Hyde Hall mansion. Hyde Hall is a neoclassical country mansion that was designed for wealthy landowner George Clarke in the early 1800s. When it was completed it was the largest private home in the United States. Combining the architectural traditions of England and America, Hyde Hall also overlooks the bay and most of the park grounds.
For those looking to hit the hiking trails, the park features a wide variety of wildflowers, shrubs, ferns and mosses for you to see whilst you take on the Beaver Pond Nature Trail.
In the summertime at Glimmerglass State Park you can go swimming at the beach, biking, hiking and fishing. During the colder months the park transforms into a winter wonderland, with ice fishing, ice skating, cross-country skiing and snowmobiling becoming the most popular activities. This variation makes Glimmerglass State Park a great RV destination no matter what time of year you decide to visit, but RV camping is only available from May until October.
RV Rentals in Glimmerglass State Park
Transportation in Glimmerglass State Park
When driving to Glimmerglass State Park there are two main routes that most travellers take. If you are coming from Buffalo, Rochester or Syracuse take the I-90 East until you see Exit 30 (Herkimer). Take Exit 30 and from there take Route 28 South to Richfield Springs and turn off to Route 20 East to East Springfield. Continue on Route 20 East until you reach County Route 31 South. Take this road and you will reach the park entrance.
The other popular route is for those coming from New York and Albany. You will drive on I-90 West until you see Exit 25A. Take this exit so that you can take I-88. Once on I-88, take the exit to Duanesburg-Cooperstown. Continue to Route 20 West to East Springfield, then take County Route 31 South all the way to the park entrance.
Parking will be found near the park office before you reach the campground loop. During the week the park is known to be quiet, but it can get busy on the weekend. If you have a large rig you shouldn't have a problem parking it at the office before you check into your campsite.
There are no major public transportation options that service Glimmerglass State Park.
Campgrounds and parking in Glimmerglass State Park
Campsites in Glimmerglass State Park
Glimmerglass State Park Campground
The campground at Glimmerglass State Park is relatively small, with 43 sites available. Although not located on the lake, the campground is in a lovely location to the left of the parks entrance. All sites have a 30 amp electrical hookup but there are no water hookups. However, there is water and a dump station available near the center of the grounds. There will be enough room to back-in your RV into the gravel padded spots at this campground and it should a quiet place to stay during the week.
Other facilities at the campground include picnic tables, fire pits, barbecues, a first aid station, restrooms and a shower block. The closest major town will be found around a 15 min drive away where you will be able to stock up on any supplies you need for your trip. Phone reception is available in the campground but it can be spotty for certain providers. RV camping closes at the park from late October to mid May each year, so consider this when planning your trip.
Seasonal activities in Glimmerglass State Park
Otsego Lake is not just there to look at! The lake features a very large swimming beach that is patrolled by multiple lifeguards. The facilities at the swimming beach aren't just limited to swimming either. There is a spacious park with picnic areas to relax at and a small store to buy concessions. It is a really nice place to spend the day, so if you are at Glimmerglass State Park during the summertime, make sure you check out the beach.
Along with offering great swimming, the lake also has some of the best fishing in the area. There are over 45 different species of fish in the Otsego Lake, including rainbow trout, atlantic salmon, bluegill and smallmouth bass. A state boat launch ramp is also located in the park. It can be found at the south end of the lake off Lake Street in Cooperstown. No motorized boats are allowed on the lake though, so if you are bringing a boat remember to pack the paddles!
Glimmerglass State Park has a special hiking trail that resembles a ferocious animal. The Sleeping Lion Trail at Glimmerglass State Park, when seen from the south on Mount Wellington or from the eastern shore of Otsego Lake is said to resemble, yep, a sleeping lion. This loop trail offers a very quaint forested walk through majestic white pines, hemlocks, and hardwood trees. Even during summer some parts of the trail might be quite wet, so we recommend wearing boots if you decide to walk this trail.
A stunning reminder of a bygone American era, Hyde Hall is one of the finest examples of neoclassic country mansions in the United States. The building is a New York State Historic Site and was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1896. The architecture is immersive and reflects the building's evolution during the 14 years of its construction from 1817 to 1834. Hyde Hall is open for guided tours during the peak season from 10am to 3pm.
If you are looking for some adrenaline during the wintertime at Glimmerglass State Park you should give snow tubing a go! The tubing track is located on a hill in the park. It is groomed with a snowmobile and then surfaced by state park employees who ride down the two tracks before it is opened to the public. You aren't allowed to bring your own tube or sled onto the hill, but the tubing area has large and small rubber tubes available for hire. Snow tubing is run on weekends and only occurs during the off season when there is enough snow.
When the lake freezes over in Glimmerglass State Park, that doesn't mean that the fishing stops. The lake is a very popular ice fishing destination in the wintertime. The park often has free ice fishing clinics available so you can learn how to get started if you are a beginner. If you are interested in ice fishing, we recommend jigging for fish. To do this you must have a jigging rod and either an ice jig or a small jigging spoon, which is often tipped with a piece of bait. Raise the rod tip up and down a few inches to jig your bait, which will help attract fish to your bait. Hopefully this fishing method will lead to a nice catch for you!