If you are looking for an RV getaway in the Finger Lakes region, Watkins Glen State Park is a great choice. With hundreds of RV and trailer friendly campgrounds dispersed throughout the park, you'll have no problem finding a spot to park the motorhome for the night. 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 and beyond 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
Watkins Glen State Park is located in the Finger Lakes region, 81 miles south of Rochester, and 150 miles southeast of Buffalo, New York. The park is in Schuyler County off of NY-14, which is a well-traveled highway, 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.
There are six main parking lots within the park situated near the main entrance, the park office, and the South Pavilion, so you shouldn’t have any trouble finding parking. You can also park your rig at one of the park’s campgrounds if you are staying overnight.
Campgrounds and parking in Watkins Glen State Park
Campsites in Watkins Glen State Park
There are 49 campsites at Onondaga Village, 26 of which are open to RVs up to 25 or 30 feet in length. Each site here will require you to back the rig in, and there are no hookups available. 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. Guests will find a dump station and a water fill-up station near the camp office. This campground is open from June to early September, and reservations can be made up to nine months in advance.
Watkins Glen / Corning KOA
Watkins Glen, New York is home to the NASCAR Watkins Glen International. When you're in town to watch the race, take a day trip to Watkins Glen State Park, or explore the Finger Lakes wine region. If you are in town in July, the Finger Lakes Wine Festival is a must-do for wine lovers. Enjoy premium comfort at the Watkins Glen / Corning KOA in one of the deluxe patio or premium wooded/grassy sites with full hookups and up to 50-amp service. Shaded water/electric only sites are also available. Make your stay more pleasant with an on-site snack bar, Kamping Kitchen, outdoor pool, sauna, mini-golf, bike rentals, and giant water slides for kids. Wi-Fi and cable television are also available. Rigs of up to 120 feet in length are welcome. Pets can stay, too!
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 between 20 to 40 feet long and vary between pull-through and back-in sites. There are no hookups at this campground, but you can enjoy the nearby playground, as well as restrooms and showers on-site. You will also have access to a private picnic table and fire ring at this pet-friendly campground. A dump station and a water fill-up station are located near the camp office. This campground is open from late May through mid-October, and reservations can be made up to nine months in advance.
Seneca Village features 47 campsites, of which 24 are suitable for RVs between 25 and 35 feet in length. Each of the sites will require you to back-in. There are no hookups available at this pet-friendly campground, but you can make use of the playground, showers, and restrooms. A dump station and a water fill-up station can be found near the camp office. You can have a picnic at the picnic tables or sit by the fire at one the fire rings. Seneca Village is open from mid-June to early September, and reservations can be made up to nine months in advance.
Mohawk Village offers 54 campsites that are open to RVs between 25 and 40 feet in length. Mohawk Village is pet-friendly and is the only campground in the park that provides electric hookups. Most sites require you to back-in, but one pull-through site is also available. You will have access to restrooms, showers, picnic tables, and a playground. A dump station and water fill-up station are located near the camp office. Mohawk Village is open from late May through mid-October, and reservations can be made up to nine months in advance.
Cayuga Village is a pet-friendly campground that offers 49 campsites for tents and RVs. Thirty-three of the campsites can accommodate RVs between 25 and 40 feet in length. Campers will need to back-in to the sites here, and there are no hookups of any kind. This campground is located closest to the trailer dump station, camp office, and South Pavilion. It features restrooms, showers, and water fillup stations. Cayuga Village is open from June to early September, and reservations can be made up to nine months in advance.
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
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. While on tour, 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 fantastic scenery and wildlife all around you on this exciting guided tour.
If you’re ready to put the Sprinter in park and hit the trail, this state park boasts several hiking routes that each offer incredible views of 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.
Watkins Glen State Park is a haven for avid anglers whether you want to fish in the streams at the park or beautiful Seneca Lake nearby. You’ll want to pack your fishing gear in your Airstream and bait your hook to catch some great fish, including bass and rainbow trout, to name a few. The morning and evening are some of the best times to increase your chances of reeling in a keeper.
One of the best ways to beat the summer heat during your motorhome stay at Watkins Glen State Park is to jump in the swimming pool. The pool is open during the summer months; you can enjoy swimming at the park’s Olympic-sized 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.
If you've got your bike along with you in 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 surrounding you.
Wildlife Viewing and Birdwatching
You’ll want to bring your binoculars and cameras along 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 look for these enchanting creatures around the park, near the waterfalls, or at Seneca Lake.
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, and hunting of small game like ducks, turkey, and geese is also permitted. You’ll need a New York hunting license or permit and must adhere to all the park’s hunting regulations.
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.
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 has 19 waterfalls to discover. It is home to some of the most spectacular waterfall attractions in the Finger Lakes Region, including 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.
If you plan an 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 during your visit, you can cross-country ski amidst snowy forests, frozen streams, and icy waterfalls. Wintertime 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.