Wilmington Notch
Guide

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Introduction

Do you want to challenge yourself to a catching a fish in the rapids of Ausable River? Then staying at William Notch Park is the best option for you. The campground is located in a beautiful birch and pine forest on the foot of Whiteface mountain. The campground is known for its astonishing beauty. There are steep and enormous cliffs rising abruptly from the Ausable River.

There are many spectacular hikes visitors can undertake to explore the Adirondack mountains. Other favorite activities include boating, canoeing, fishing, and mountain biking. The surrounding areas also include excellent opportunities for rock climbing, paddle boat rentals, ice skating, and a range of cultural activities. The campground itself has a large range of facilities including a comfort station, firewood sales, showers, a telephone, and a recycling station.

There are over 49 campsites, which are all pet-friendly and have space for RVs and trailers up to 30 feet in length. If you want to reach the summit of Whiteface Mountain, you can take a gondola ride to hasten the journey and enjoy the incredible view from the top. The campground is also located a mere eight miles away from the Lake Placid Olympic Village which offers a historic attraction to visitors.

RV Rentals in Wilmington Notch

Transportation in Wilmington Notch

Driving

This campground is an ideal starting place for any activities in the Lake Placid area. The Wilmington Notch State Campground is quite an isolated destination, in the middle of the wilderness with stunning views of the surrounding mountains. The closest fuel station is a 20-minute drive away, and the Lake Placid village is a mere 11 minutes away. The campground itself is located right next to the Ausland river among the dense forest. The road in the campsite is made from compact dirt, making it easy to maneuver around with your campervan and trailer. The roads are wide, and there is an abundance of parking spaces available both in the day use areas and the campsites. Most of the dive sites are back in and can accommodate trailers up to 30 feet in length. It is difficult to spot from route 86, so keep an eagle eye out when nearing the location!

Parking

Public Transport

Campgrounds and parking in Wilmington Notch

Campsites in Wilmington Notch

Reservations camping

Lake Placid / Whiteface Mtn. KOA

Home of the 1980 Winter Olympics, Lake Placid is a haven for summer and winter guests. Lake Placid/Whiteface Mtn KOA has spacious sites, great for big-rigs. In the summer, you can rent fun cycles, play miniature golf, go on a hayride, and enjoy weekend special activities, dinners, music and movies. In the winter, take advantage of the campgrounds location to partake in activities like skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing and sledding. Note that in the winter, only RV sites with electricity (no water) are open. There’s also a snack bar, seasonal pool, dog park, Wi-Fi access, and on-site fishing.

Wilmington Notch Campground

The Wilmington Notch Campground is one of the more basic campgrounds in the area, however its cheap price and proximity to everything in the Lake Placid region makes it a favorite for fishermen and bikers.

The campground has hot showers, flush toilets, a trailer dump station, and a recycling station. Unfortunately, the sites are not perfectly marked and there is no privacy between the different campsites. There are fire pits available to create campfires at your campsite. The main benefits of this campground are its location and the fact the astonishing waterfall is a mere five-minute walk from your campsite.

The campground has a handy online booking system and can accommodate camping set ups up to 30 feet in length. It can be difficult to spot when driving along route 86, so make sure to input the GPS coordinates into your navigational system.

First-come first-served

Alternate camping

Seasonal activities in Wilmington Notch

In-Season

Hiking

The Wilmington Notch is the area between Lake Placid and Wilmington which was created by the pulsating Ausable River. Walking anywhere in the surrounding area will show you astonishing waterfalls, fishing holes, and precise hiking trails.

Keep an eye out for the Wilmington Notch Falls which is an impressive 50-foot waterfall near Whiteface Mountain! It is only a short steep walk from the campsites.

There are many Adirondack High Peak Wilderness trails leaving directly from the campground. If you head south you will reach the Sentinel Range Wilderness area with astonishing views of the forests. If you head north the Wilmington Wild Forest will take you up the mountains among the bike trails and scenic views of the mountains.

Biking

Don't forget to pack your bike in our camper or trailer since there are an abundance of cycling loops and tours available throughout the gorgeous Adirondack mountains. The Wilmington Wild Forest to the north of the campground has many mountain bike trails right nearby.

If you grab a good map of the surrounding area, you can create your own unique cycling experience. Most bike shops in the area would be happy to direct you on their favorite routes. The roads in the surrounding area can be quiet and the perfect setting for a long exploration directly from the campground.

If you are more interested in mountain bike trails, the nearby Lake Placid houses an extensive single track trail network for mountain bikes. The single track was designed for all skill levels, allowing you to challenge yourself whether you are a novice or expert. A good trail to try is the Franklin Falls Road Loop which would give you a great view of the local beauty.

Fishing

Are you a fan of fly fishing? Because then the Ausable River is a must-do for any angler looking for an excellent fly fishing experience. It is considered a world-class trout river and the best fly fishing experience ready to excite any fisherman looking for a challenge. Make sure to double check the regulations during your visit since some areas and times of the year are catch-and-release only. Other areas are open to fishing year round, with most of the river considered to be good fishing. You can also purchase a fishing license online or by phone.

As the snow waters melt after the cold winters, the river has a strong flow bringing excellent fishing conditions in May. The waters are deep and teeming with fish. Later in July and August, the water temperatures rise and the best fishing is early in the morning or late in the day. The tumbling water means the river is rich with oxygen and the trees provide a welcome shade, meaning the entire length of the river is an ideal habitat for trout to live and hide.

Off-Season

Photography

If you want to challenge yourself as a photographer, you can attempt the capture the raw beauty of this part of the world with your lense. Head out of your rig during early mornings and late afternoons, when you can see the stunning light reflecting off the river and peaking through the dense trees at the bottom of Whiteface Mountain.

The waterfalls also create a unique location for photographers, where you can play with exposures to capture the rushing water and pristine trees around. If you have a good zoom lense, you might try your luck to capture the elusive and lightning fast peregrine falcons which nest on the steep cliff faces near the campground.

To try your luck with the birds, head to the area in late spring or early summer. The fall brings the changing leaves, cooler temperatures, and the ideal setting of contrasting rushing waters with the red and oranges of trees.

Nature Viewing

Probably the most astonishing thing about William Notch Campground is its proximity to waterfalls, the rushing river, and the beautiful Whiteface Mountain. Enjoy the power of the Adirondacks by sitting back and appreciating the beauty of the area.

The Auslan River carved out the William Notch from Lake Placid to Wilmington. You can see the evidence of this in the steep cliffs which rise far above the campground. If you are interested in geology, then this are is well worth a visit. This campground is located if you wish to travel to Lake Placid or any of the surrounding attractions.

Bird Watching

The exposed cliffs and river riparian area makes the William Notch Campground the perfect place to look out for birds of prey. If you look high up you can see peregrine falcons (which are the fastest birds in the world) perching high up on the cliff face. You will also have the opportunity to watch their incredible aerodynamics as they race in pursuit of prey.

Another common bird enjoying the high cliff faces is the impressive Osprey who builds enormous nests. The best season to spot these majestic birds is during spring and early summer, since this is their nesting season. The male birds return to the area in March to scout out nesting sites, with females arriving in the following weeks.

The forests surrounding the campsite will also have an abundance of smaller birds including the barred owl, black backed-woodpeckers, blue jays, and American gold finch. During the night you can enjoy the soft hooting of the owls in the darkness.

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