Large hardwood trees decorate the banks of Lake Harris which is fed by the mighty Hudson River. The beautiful waters and picturesque views provide the ideal place to enjoy aquatic activities while surrounded by beautiful forests. The campground is located on the north shore of the 275-acre Lake Harris, with over 50 sites directly on the water. Many sites are separated by trees, giving you privacy. The diversity of campsites include options for all camping setups, from the smallest tent to 40-foot RVs.
Canoeing, boating, fishing, hiking, and bicycling are all popular activities. One of the best hikes includes a walk to the fire tower on Goodnow Mountain. If you prefer cycling, there are some trails leading to a historic lodge located on Newcomb Lake. Canoes and rowboats can be rented at the campground which is the perfect way to explore the banks of the lake. If you enjoy fishing, you can expect to find species such as walleye, northern pike, yellow perch, and bass.
The Visitors Interpretive Center and Santanoni Preserve Historic Site are located nearby. Additionally, on the East Side of the campground, there is a monument commemorating Theodore Roosevelt's midnight ride, which he took when President William Mckinley had been shot.
Lake Harris Campground is located in upstate New York near Newcomb. You could reach the park in two hours, driving north from Albany. Luckily, this state park is close to a large highway, I-87, making travel to the park easy. Once you get off the highway, local roads can be narrow and heavily forests. Make sure to watch out for falling tree branches during storms. Most of the campsites are back-in and are a short distance from a sealed road, making it easy to access in any type of vehicle you arrive in. There are two large parking areas near the park entrance and a smaller one in the campground. The most convenient place for campers to park their rig is at the campsite. Once you park your campervan, trailer, or RV, it's easy to walk around the campground.
Lake Harris Campground has 89 campsites, with 57 campsites being right on the lakefront and 32 a little further inland. There are several campsites which are well separated by a line of trees, giving occupants an almost private camping experience.
There are basic amenities including hot showers, flushing toilets, recycling center, firewood sales, picnic areas, and a public telephones. It is to be noted that the closest area with cellphone reception is 20 minutes away.
All the camping is dry camping, with no hookups available. However, there is a dump station and hot showers available. There are 12 campsites which can house 40-foot-long vehicles, 43 sites which can accommodate 30-foot-long vehicles, and the rest are limited to rigs up to 20 feet in length. Pets are welcome, and generator use is allowed during daytime hours. The campground is open from May to September.
Take your canoe, motorboat, or rowboat out onto Lake Harris to enjoy the fresh water and gorgeous views. Rowboat and canoes can be rented at the campground. There is a small informal boat launch available directly from the campground. For bigger boats, there is a larger boat ramp located across the lake. The 275-acre lake is home to many species of birds, fish, and reptiles that can be seen along the banks. You can also paddle down the Hudson River, which will take you to many gorgeous inlets or continue down to Belden Lake. You will enjoy maneuvering through the shallow rocky river with the overhanging hardwoods providing shade from the summer sun.
There are supervised swimming areas where you can take a dip or splash around to beat the heat in the summer sun. However, swimming is only permitted during designated hours when a lifeguard is on duty. It is possible that lifeguards are unavailable during which times the beaches will be closed, and swimming is prohibited. Only some of the campground locations offer swimming, so make sure to check in with the campground first.
You can trek to the summits of Goodnow and Vanderwhacker Mountains. Goodnow mountain is a summit not to be missed. It is a two-mile easy-going hike to a restored fire tower which features fantastic views of 23 of the High Peaks. Keep in mind the trail is owned by the College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse meaning there is no camping or fires allowed here.
A hike to Vandewhaker Mountain features a fire tower at its summit of 3,386 feet with spectacular views of the High Peaks. It is a nearly three-mile hike and includes steep sections, but a fit hiker can reach the top in 45 minutes.
Don't forget to pack your fishing pole and bait in your campervan since you'll love the biting fish at Lake Harris. If you're an avid fisher you can potentially catch walleye, northern pike, pumpkin seed, yellow perch, or small and large mouth bass. Ice fishing is permitted during the winter months.
During the peak season, the campground offers interpretive programs for children and the whole family. The campground prides itself in becoming an outdoor classroom for children aged five to 13. They have the opportunity to enjoy games, participate in activities, and earn a beautiful embroidered patch. They will leave with the title "Junior Naturalist" from the program.
There are many hiking trails which depart right from the Lake Harris Park with detailed hiking trail maps located at the Visitor Center in Newcomb.
There is a trail to Santanoni Preserve that begins directly from the campground. This is the Santanoni-Lake Harris Trail, where you can hike for two miles along the scenic shores of Lake Harris.