Home to the Corning Glass Works, Corning is an artistic city in southern New York, equidistant from Rochester and Syracuse. It is named for Erastus Corning, a railroad executive who played an influential role in developing the community, with the city of Corning officially incorporated in 1890.
By the late 19th century, Corning became known as the “Crystal City” due to its manufacture of fine glass, although its most important industry was lumber. Large mills were constructed in the area and at one point were said to be among the biggest in the world.
Today, Corning is the perfect place to rent an RV while exploring Steuben County. It’s within easy access to outdoor pursuits and cultural museums while being on the doorstep of family-friendly RV parks.
The Great Outdoors
Book an RV rental in Corning and make the short drive north to the Erwin Hollow State Forest, which borders the northern edge of Painted Post. This 531-acre reserve is crisscrossed by hiking trails, such as the Crystal Hills Branch that forms part of the 1,800-mile-long Great Eastern Trail. Keep your eyes peeled for black-throated blue warblers and white-tailed deer that are known to inhabit the Southern Tier, together with beavers and mink in the park’s wetlands.
Drive farther north, and you’ll arrive at the Sugar Hill State Forest, a 9,085-acre protected area that’s traversed by the Six Nations Trail System and the Finger Lakes Hiking Trail. Visit the historic Sugar Hill Fire Tower that was erected in 1941 and affords sweeping views from the top or explore along one of the designated horseback riding trails. The Sugar Hill State Forest is also a rewarding birdwatching destination, with northern harriers and state-endangered Henslow's sparrows among its resident species.
Traveling with your dog? The Spencer Crest Nature Center has a number of dog-friendly trails across its 250-acre tract, which forms part of the Corning Community College. The on-site nature center runs environmental, educational, and recreational activities, as well as housing a museum that details the region’s natural systems. If you’re visiting during the winter months, many of the trails can be used for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing, as well as sledding.
Pick up your travel trailer rental in Corning and pull into one of the RV sites at the MorningStar RV Park, a small and quiet campground on the outskirts of the city. You can select between their 20, 30, or 50-amp service sites and take advantage of the trout-filled stream.
Also nearby is the Ferenbaugh Campground, which sprawls across 274 open and wooded acres where you’ll find more than 100 RV sites. There are pull-throughs with 30 and 50 amp services, and big rigs are welcome, with a recreational hall and complimentary Wi-Fi among the amenities.
Drive in the other direction from Corning, and you’ll arrive at the Sunflower Acres Family Campground, which has pull throughs, full hookups, and primitive sites available. There’s a swimming pool, and also a volleyball court and children’s play equipment, as well as scenic tractor rides and pond fishing to keep you entertained.
Exploring the City
Park your RV rental near Corning and head to the Corning Museum of Glass, which was founded by the Corning Glass Works in 1951. It houses a staggering 50,000 glass objects that range from contemporary works to pieces that are more than 3,5000 years old, including Ancient Egyptian artifacts. Browse the Glass Collection Galleries that feature one of the most comprehensive and celebrated glass collections in the world, then experience one of the live glassmaking demonstrations to gain an insight into the art.
The Corning Museum of Glass is just a short stroll from the Heritage Village of the Southern Finger Lakes where you can learn about past life in the region. Be sure to join a guided tour of the Federal-style Benjamin Patterson Inn that dates to 1796 and is on the National Register of Historic Places. Explore its dining room, guest quarters, and the innkeepers quarters, then see costumed characters illustrating historic industries in the adjacent schoolhouse, log cabin, and 19th-century blacksmith shop.
If you’re particularly interested in the local history, make a point of visiting the Painted Post Station, a historic railway station in the adjacent village of Painted Post. Constructed in 1881 as a passenger and freight depot for the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad, it now functions as the Painted Post-Erwin Museum. Browse the artifacts, photographs, and audio records that detail the people and events that have shaped the region, then visit the Rockwell Museum that’s renowned for its collection of Western American painting and sculpture.
Corning is home to numerous supermarkets where you’ll find all the groceries you need, as well as restaurants and fast food eateries for dining out. There are also gas stations if you need to fill up your camper rental in Corning.
Whether you’re visiting Steuben County for its glassmaking history or hiking trails, book an RV in Corning and start exploring.