Watkins Glen State Park
Guide

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Introduction

If you are looking for an RV getaway in the Finger Lakes region, Watkins Glen State Park is a great choice. Nestled near the scenic shores of Seneca Lake, this state park is a mosaic of beautiful natural attractions including glistening streams, cliffs towering 200-feet high, and 19 cascading waterfalls. Cavern Cascade is a focal point of the park where gorges and waterfalls merge 400 feet deep into a majestic aquatic wonder. Watkins Glen State Park has a history dating back to the 1860s and is still a popular attraction for RVers in New York due to its enchanting natural phenomena and opportunities for outdoor recreation.

If you want to visit during the peak season from mid-May to early November, you can enjoy all sorts of regularly scheduled activities and amenities, like taking an exciting gorge tour or relaxing by the Olympic-sized swimming pool. The summer months are sunny and typically reach a pleasant temperature in the 80s. If, however, you drive your motorhome to Watkins Glen State Park during the off season, you can still enjoy plenty of fun activities like cross-country skiing. Temperatures in the winter can range from the mid-30s to 50s. No matter what time of year you visit Watkins Glen State Park, you’ll be in for an incredible RV adventure that you won’t want to miss.

RV Rentals in Watkins Glen State Park

Transportation in Watkins Glen State Park

Driving

Watkins Glen State Park is located in Schuyler County off of highway 14, so you shouldn’t have any trouble driving your vehicle, RV, or trailer to the park. There are several entrances and internal roads, making it simple to navigate within the park. There are no restrictions for driving RVs or large vehicles within the park. There are also several shuttle stops within the park, which provide an alternative way to get around. Shuttles run daily during the summer and on weekends during the rest of the year.

Parking

There are six main parking lots within the park including near the main entrance, park office, and South Pavilion so you shouldn’t have any trouble finding parking. You can also park your RV at one of the park’s campgrounds if you are staying overnight.

Public Transport

Campgrounds and parking in Watkins Glen State Park

Campsites in Watkins Glen State Park

Reservations camping

Cayuga Village

Cayuga Village is a pet-friendly campground that offers 49 campsites for tents and RVs. 33 of the campsites can accommodate RVs up to either 20 or 30 feet in length. This campground is located closest to the trailer dump station, camp office, and South Pavilion. It features restrooms, showers, and water fillup stations.

Mohawk Village

Mohawk Village offers 54 campsites that are open to RVs up to 20 or 30 feet in length. There is only one tent-only campsite in this area. Mohawk Village is pet-friendly and provides electric hookups. You will have access to restrooms, showers, picnic tables, and a playground.

Oneida Village

Most of the 47 campsites at Oneida Village are only suitable for tents, but there are 4 campsites available for RVs up to 20 or 30 feet long. Oneida Village is centrally located, providing easy access to the rest of the park. This pet-friendly campground offers picnic tables, fire rings, showers, and restrooms.

Onondaga Village

There are 49 campsites at Onondaga Village, 26 of which are open to RVs up to 20 or 30 feet in length. This pet-friendly campground offers easy access to the Indian and Gorge Hiking Trails. You’ll enjoy the use of picnic tables, fire rings, restrooms, and showers.

Seneca Village

Seneca Village features 47 campsites, of which 24 are suitable for RVs up to 20 or 30 feet long. This pet-friendly campground offers a playground, showers, and restrooms. You can have a picnic at the picnic tables or sit by the fire at one the fire rings.

Tuscarora Village

Tuscarora Village is a great campsite to access a network of hiking trails within the park. Most of the 53 campsites at this campground are only suitable for tents, but 12 of them are open to RVs up to 20 or 30 feet long. You can enjoy use of the nearby playground as well as restrooms and showers on-site. You can also use the picnic tables and fire rings at this pet-friendly campground.

First-come first-served

First-Come First-Served

There are no First-Come, First-Served campgrounds at Watkins Glen State Park.It may be possible to get a site if someone has canceled a reservation, but it is recommended that you book in advance.

Alternate camping

Private Campgrounds

If you’d prefer to park your RV or trailer outside of the park there are plenty of private campgrounds to choose from surrounding the beautiful Seneca Lake. These campgrounds will offer a range of modern amenities from wireless internet and cable TV to swimming pools and laundry facilities. You can enjoy easy access to the natural wonders of Watkins Glen State Park while being close to urban amenities like shopping and dining.

Rustic Cabins

If you are looking for more of a rustic experience there are several cabins you can choose from at Watkins Glen State Park. These cabins feature restrooms and showers. You can even bring your furry friends to stay with you at the cabin since they are pet-friendly.

Seasonal activities in Watkins Glen State Park

In-Season

Biking

If you get your bike out of your travel trailer, Watkins Glen State Park is a great place to cycle in a serene atmosphere. There are several internal paved park roads you can cycle on, as well as some beautiful nature trails. You’ll love biking with views of glistening streams and majestic waterfalls all around you.

Gorge Tour

One of the best ways to experience the magic of Watkins Glen State Park is to take a guided gorge tour. These tours are regularly scheduled throughout the summer months. You’ll be escorted through the most enchanting sites in the park like the Cavern Cascade, where you can walk behind a majestic towering waterfall. You can learn from the experts about the amazing scenery and wildlife all around you on this exciting guided tour.

Hiking

If you’re ready to park your RV and hit the trail, this state park boasts several hiking routes that each offer incredible natural attractions. If you hike along the Gorge Trail you’ll run into Rainbow Falls where you can walk behind a skyscraper-like waterfall and see rainbows reflecting off the water. You can also hike through a mini-rainforest called the Narrows or the rocky, desert terrain of the Glen Cathedral.

Fishing

Watkins Glen State Park is a haven for avid anglers whether you want to fish in the streams at the park or at beautiful Seneca Lake nearby. You’ll want to pack your fishing gear in your rig and bait your hook to catch some great fish, including bass. The morning and evening are some of the best times to increase your chances of getting a good catch.

Swimming

One of the best ways to the beat the summer heat during your motorhome stay at Watkins Glen State Park is to jump in the swimming pool. Open during the summer months, you can enjoy swimming at the park’s pool for some quality family fun. You’ll love jumping and splashing around in the water surrounded by the tranquil scenery of the Finger Lakes region.

Off-Season

Cross-Country Skiing

If you take your RV road trip to Watkins Glen State Park during the winter months you can glide across the nature trails on your cross-country skis. If there is enough snowfall you can cross-country ski amidst snowy forests, frozen streams, and icy waterfalls. This is the perfect chance to experience a different side of the state park, which turns into a quiet, majestic winter wonderland during the colder months.

Exploring Waterfalls

If you want to go on a waterfall exploration adventure during your RV trip to Watkins Glen State Park you will be in the perfect setting! This state park is home to some of the most spectacular waterfall attractions in the Finger Lakes Region such as Rainbow Falls where you can see rainbows glistening through the water. You’ll also love Cavern Cascade, which is a jaw-dropping sight with a waterfall that towers over 400 feet high.

Playing Sports

You’ll want to make sure you pack your favorite sporting and recreation equipment in your trailer since this state park offers loads of opportunities to play fun-filled sporting activities. Whether you want to play catch, throw a frisbee, or kick around the soccer ball, Watkins Glen State Park features vast playing fields and open grassy knolls. You can also take the kids to play on one of the park’s thrilling playgrounds.

Hunting

If you’re an avid hunter you’ll have some great hunting opportunities during your RV stay at Watkins Glen State Park. Bow-hunting of deer is permitted in season. The hunting of small game like ducks, turkey, and geese is also permitted. You’ll need a hunting license or permit and must adhere to all the park’s hunting regulations.

Wildlife Viewing and Birdwatching

You’ll want to bring your binoculars and cameras in your motorhome since you’ll have some great opportunities for wildlife viewing and bird watching at Watkins Glen State Park. You can spot all kinds of majestic wildlife and birds native to the region like white-tailed deer, turkeys, waterfowl, and reptiles. You can see these enchanting creatures around the park, near the waterfalls, or at Seneca Lake.

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