Golden Hill State Park | Outdoorsy

Golden Hill State Park
Guide

Introduction

Golden Hill State Park is located in Barker, New York along the shores of Lake Ontario, adjacent to the Canadian border. This scenic area is known as the Niagara Region of the state because of its proximity to Niagara Falls. RV campers and recreational enthusiasts will enjoy the beautiful lake-front scenery and the abundant activities happening in and around the park. The park operates year-round, but some facilities, like the campground, operate on a seasonal schedule.

Golden Hill State Park is known for its historical Thirty Mile Lighthouse, a fully operational lighthouse cottage that visitors can rent year-round. The lighthouse, once a beacon along the shores of Lake Ontario didn’t guide mariners to a safe port, but rather, it steered mariners around the shallows of the lake, protecting their boats from damage. Within recent years, after the restoration process completed, the lighthouse’s new beacon became active in the lantern room, and guests who stay in this once-fully functioning lighthouse can now enjoy the beacon without the trouble of tending to and maintaining the light overnight.

RV campers can enjoy a myriad of activities within the park's borders, including fishing, hiking, biking, disc golfing, and snowshoeing. In addition to the historical and recreational aspect of the park, visitors stay here and take day-trips to Niagara Falls, which is only a 45-mile drive away. If you have a motorhome or driving RV, be aware that parking near the falls fills up quickly for larger vehicles like buses and RVs, and RVs are only allowed to park in Parking Lot 3, located on the east end of Goat Island.

RV Rentals in Golden Hill State Park

Transportation

Driving

Golden Hill State Park is 55 miles northwest of Rochester, New York, and 52 miles northeast of Buffalo. The roads surrounding the park are relatively flat and wide, so they shouldn't be any trouble for most RVs or travel trailers. Some areas are relatively wooded, so watch out for falling branches during a rainstorm. Heavy snowstorms and blizzards are not uncommon this far north, so check weather conditions before traveling in the winter.

Most New York State Parks charge a vehicle use fee to enter the facility. The boat launch charges a fee to access the water. Campers, once entering the park, will proceed to the camp office for check-in. The dump station and the campground are both located past the camp office.

Parking

There are five parking lots scattered around the park. The largest parking lots, which will have more room for RVs and campers, are located at the campground entrance and near the lighthouse.

Public Transportation

Campgrounds and parking in Golden Hill State Park

Campsites in Golden Hill State Park

Reservations camping

Medina / Wildwood Lake KOA

The family-friendly Medina/Wildwood Lake KOA has so much to offer, you may never want to leave. Near Lake Ontario, and Niagara Falls, this KOA will be a fun base for you to explore all that this area has to offer. Enjoy relaxing near the 13-acre lake, with swimming, fishing, canoeing, and kayaking. Or, let the kids romp on the playground, or play in one of the two heated pools. There’s also a jumping pillow, mini disc golf course, game room, and activities like fire truck rides, special events and celebrations, and even golf cart rentals. Bring the pup, and let them play in the dog park. Pull-through sites can accommodate rigs up to 80 feet long.

Golden Hill State Park Campground

Golden Hill State Park Campground is a seasonally-operating campground that offers RV guests sites with different levels of camping amenities. The large campground has both pull-through and back-in gravel spaces that accommodate RVs and trailers up to 40 feet in length. Each site has a picnic table and a fire pit, and the spaces are all located near restrooms and showers. Waterfront views are available on select sites. Some of the camping sites are primitive style, offering no water or electrical hookups, while other spaces have water and either 30- or 50-amp electrical outlets.

When making your reservation, you can check to see which amenities your site offers. Registered campers may use the sanitary dump station and the hydrants located throughout the campground. Campers arriving after 9:00 PM are asked to call the park or risk losing the reservation. While pets are allowed, please be aware that only two pets per site are permitted, and current proof of a rabies certificate is required. Please maintain quiet between the hours of 10:00 PM and 7:00 AM.

Alternate camping

Yurts

If you're looking for a different kind of camping experience, try a few nights in one of the park's six yurts. These round structures are kind of like a mix between a tent and a cabin. Made from wooden frames and fabric, these yurts have wood floors and windows. Each yurt sleeps six and has everything you need for some modern camping, including electricity, a frig, and a microwave. You can cook up some grub and eat dinner on your open porch since a picnic table and fire pit are provided.

Lighthouse Cottage

Not many state parks offer this unique accommodation: a lighthouse cottage! That's right, you can stay in this 19th-century lighthouse and imagine what life was like for the lighthouse keeper and their family. You'll be staying inside the Thirty Mile Point Lighthouse on the second floor, complete with its own private entrance. The lighthouse cottage is furnished and can sleep up to six people in three bedrooms. Amenities include a writing desk, TV, an electric fireplace, a frig, stove, microwave, and cooking utensils. While pillows and blankets are provided, you'll want to bring your own towels and linens. Not only can you truly live in a historic relic, but you can unwind with gorgeous views of the lake right outside your window.

Seasonal activities in Golden Hill State Park

In-Season

Lighthouse Tours

Guests visiting the park during peak summer hours can learn about the Thirty Mile Lighthouse by scheduling a guided tour with one of the park’s tour guides. While on tour, you will learn about the historical significance of the lighthouse, which was originally built in the 1870s. You'll also get to see what an operational lighthouse facility looks like today. Parking is available near the boat ramp and close to the lighthouse. During operating hours, tours run every hour. Contact the park for lighthouse information, tour hour, dates of operation, and entry fees.

Hiking

Golden Hill State Park has three, grassy, color-blazed trails for guests who want an easy hiking adventure. The Blue Trail is a two-mile trail that passes the shore of Lake Ontario, offering viewpoints along the route. The Green Trail is a 1.5-mile trail that begins near the picnic pavilion, crosses over bridges, and links to the Red Trail and The Blue Trail. The Red Trail is a 1.5-mile path that loops past a viewing platform, a lake inlet, and along the shore of Lake Ontario. Be sure to pack plenty of water and prepare for any weather conditions before heading out for a walk!

Disc Golf

Disc golf, a family fun activity, is just one of the many outdoor activities that camping guests can participate in while visiting the park. Disc golfers follow a course, much like a traditional-style golf course, and attempt to throw a plastic disk into an above-ground basket in as few attempts as possible. The park’s 18-hole dirt disc golf course begins near the marina, and signs guide golfers to the proper tees along the route. Many of the tees overlook Lake Ontario, giving golfers spectacular playing views. Disc golfers need to bring their own equipment to play.

Off-Season

Hunting

Do you love to duck hunt? During hunting season, permitted hunters are allowed to hunt waterfowl, pheasant, and small game on Golden Hill State Park Land. Interested hunters should participate and complete one of the state’s Waterfowl Identification courses before acquiring the proper documentation to hunt in the area. For information on hunting, duck blind permit rules, and blind duck drawings, contact the park or the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

Snow Activities

During the cold and snowy winter months, the park is open for winter activities such as snowmobiling, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing. Winter guests should always be aware of the risk of winter activities and prepare for any inclement weather by paying attention to local weather reports as well as packing appropriately for winter outdoor recreation. Recreationists can venture out on any of the five miles of trails located within the park.

Fishing

Lake Ontario has year-round fishing for experienced and non-experienced anglers alike. During the summer months, take your boats into deeper waters to find the large salmon lurking in the dark sections of the lake. As the weather cools, salmon and trout move inshore to spawn, so anglers need to adjust their fishing tactics to match the movement of the fish. During the winter, the lake is cold and icy, and the trout and walleye fish are abundant for those ice fishers who crave the cold waters of the tributaries.

As soon as the weather warms again, springtime offers some of the best fishing because the steelhead, Brown trout, Chinook salmon, and Pacific salmon congregate within just one mile of the shore. In the state of New York, anglers over the age of 16 need to have a valid fishing license to freshwater fish. Anglers can access Lake Ontario from the boat launch near the marina entrance. If you are interested in fishing, but you don’t have the necessary equipment, consider hiring one of the many fishing charters in the area.

Find the perfect campsite.