Nestled in the Black River Wild Forest within the larger Adirondack Park, Nicks Lake Campground offers a tranquil retreat complete with boating, fishing, hiking, swimming, and more. With its more than 100 campsites in a peaceful setting on the 205-acre Nicks Lake, this New York campground makes for an excellent choice for your next RV trip.
Nicks Lake, which abuts the campground, is the perfect spot for paddling, swimming, and fishing, as no motorboats are allowed on this shallow, calm lake. Paddlers can launch their kayak, canoe, or rowboat from the car-top boat launch in the campground, while swimmers can enjoy swimming at the campground’s sand beach, and anglers can try their hand at catching rainbow trout, yellow perch, and common sunfish in the lake’s waters. Hikers will also appreciate the immense hiking opportunities that Nicks Lake Campground opens up: the Nicks Lake Trail, which can be reached from within the campground, provides access to the 122,000-acre Black River Wild Forest and its extensive trail system. History buffs will meanwhile appreciate that the lake received its present name from Nick Stoner of the south-central Adirondacks, who was a distinguished soldier in the Revolutionary War and functions as a near-legend in the area’s history.
Nicks Lake Campground offers 112 campsites, all of which offer easy access to comfort stations, showers, hiking trails, and more. The sites do not offer water, sewer, or electric hookups, but the campground does offer drinking water, a dump station, and multiple restrooms for convenience. The campground is open from mid-May to mid-October, and the sites can be reserved online, so those hoping to secure a particular spot should plan ahead and reserve their ideal campsite in advance.
Located in the heart of the Adirondacks, Nicks Lake Campground feels like a remote and tranquil escape in New York State. The campground is just a couple miles off of Route 28 from the town of Old Forge, and sits roughly two hours northeast of Syracuse and two and a half hours northwest of Albany.
Once inside the park, visitors can expect to navigate fairly easily in a rig or car, as driving within the campground mostly consists of one road with turns onto the five campground loops. Visitors can plan to park their rig at their campsite or in the large parking lot located near the picnic area and playground, which gives visitors convenient access to the swimming beach as well as the car-top boat launch.
There are no stores or vendors within Nicks Lake Campground, but visitors will find plenty of options for food, supplies, and even boat rentals just outside the park. In particular, visitors can plan to drive just a few miles north into the nearby town of Old Forge, where they will find a charming mix of restaurants, breweries, coffee shops, supermarkets, gas stations, outdoor sports stores, and other small shops.
Nicks Lake Campground has 112 campsites for visitors to choose from. These sites are spread across five loops all located along the shore of the lake. These loops feature comfort stations with flush toilets, hot showers, and easy access to Shoreline Trail—a hiking trail along Nicks Lake. Guests will be glad to hear that the park underwent recent renovations and now offers brand-new ADA accessible restrooms. While these sites do not offer water, sewer, or electric hookups, visitors can take advantage of the dump station located near the campground entrance, the water station located near the entrance, and the restrooms and bathhouses located throughout the campground. The sites at Nicks Lake Campground can accommodate rigs of up to 40 feet in length, and the sites are mostly back-in, though a handful are pull-through. The campground is open from mid-May to mid-October, and the sites can be reserved ahead of time, so visitors hoping to snag a particular spot should plan ahead and book their site accordingly.
One of the best ways to enjoy Nicks Lake Campground is by boat—and by canoe or kayak, in particular. The campground sits next to a shallow 205-acre lake perfect for paddling, as the lake is closed to motor boats. Paddlers can take advantage of the car-top boat launch located next to the parking lot and picnic area, and can take their kayak, canoe, rowboat, paddle board, or other human-powered vessel out onto scenic Nicks Lake. While on the water, paddlers can soak in the stunning views, the sound of the loons, and the colors of the sunset.
Since the lake prohibits motorboats, Nicks Lake also makes for an excellent spot for swimming. Swimmers can escape the summer heat by cooling off in the refreshing waters of the shallow lake, or can soak up more rays by sunbathing on the campground’s sand beach. This swimming beach at Nicks Lake Campground is located in the southern area of the campground, near the parking lot and picnic area. Before or after a swim, swimmers can also make use of the bathhouses located right next to the beach.
Anglers will also have plenty to keep them busy during their visit to Nicks Lake Campground, as Nicks Lake offers excellent opportunities for fishing. In particular, anglers can try their luck at catching white sucker, yellow perch, brown trout, rainbow trout, bass, creek chub, common sunfish, brown bullhead, blacknose dace, and common shiner, which can all be found in the area. Anglers should note that a New York State fishing license is required for anyone over the age of 16; while licenses are no longer sold at the campground facilities, they can be purchased online or by phone.
Visitors eager to pull on their hiking boots, stretch their legs, and explore this New York campground by foot will be happy to hear that Nicks Lake Campground offers access to plenty of hiking trails. Within the campground, visitors can access the Nicks Lake Trailhead, which then provides access to the more than 122,000-acre Black River Wild Forest and its extensive trail system. Inside the campground, hikers can also check out a nature trail with 14 educational stations, to learn more about the nature of the area.
Families with kids or groups looking for additional recreation while at Nicks Lake Campground will be especially happy to hear that the campground also has a wide range of play areas and sports available onsite. Families with young kids can stop by the ADA accessible playground, conveniently located near the picnic area and restrooms, and groups of all ages can take advantage of the campground’s facilities for volleyball, basketball, softball, and horseshoes, to add another kind of activity to their trip in the woods.
While there are plenty of recreation options within the campground itself, Nicks Lake Campground also offers visitors exposure to an interesting region worth exploring more, for those who have the time. In particular, visitors can head just a few minutes away to take a chairlift up to the top of McCauley Mountain, where they can get a view of the Fulton Chain of lakes, or drive into the town of Old Forge to shop, dine along Main Street, and visit the Enchanted Forest and Water Safari theme park in town.