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Lake Erie State Park is located in the town of Portland in Chautauqua County, New York. Established in 1928, the park is spread along the southern shoreline of Lake Erie in New York’s Allegany region, less than ten miles from the cities of Dunkirk to the east and Westfield to the west.
Lake Erie is the shallowest of the Great Lakes and was one of the first to be uncovered when glacial ice dissolved thousands of years ago, and is the 12th largest lake in the world. Whether you plan to do some boating, hiking, or lounging by the water, book an RV in Chautauqua County to enjoy the magnificent scenery of Lake Erie State Park. In addition to the park campsites, recreational facilities, and rolling hills, one of its main attractions is its picturesque beach.
Whether you’re planning adventures on the water or land during your motorhome camping trip, the 355-acre park offers facilities for boating and trails for hiking. Access a looped trail in the north end of the park to marvel the vernal pools and shaded wetlands. During winter months, the trails are shared by cross-country skiers and snowmobilers. The offshore waters provide a habitat for an abundance of warm water fish, so anglers will find plenty of fishing opportunities here as well. When you’re searching for that ideal spot for a panoramic photo, head to the high bluffs overlooking Lake Erie to catch a breathtaking sunset and experience sweeping views of the park.
Lake Erie features a shoreline that borders the water at over three-quarters of a mile long and is surrounded by grassy lawns that are perfect for a picnic. You might want to explore the lake by kayak, or canoe, or spend a sunny day at the State Park’s beach relaxing on the sand or taking a refreshing dip in the water. Be aware there are scheduled days and times when swimming is allowed. The campground posts lifeguards at the swimming areas to keep you safe while you splash around.
Pack your binoculars in your Portland camper rental because Lake Erie State Park is recognized as being one of America's "Top Ten Bird Watching Spots." This an excellent place to catch a glimpse of rare migratory birds resting at the lake. If games are your thing, park your RV rental at Lake Erie State Park and play a round at its disc golf course, Shipwreck Bluff DGC. You can find discs and clothing related to the 18-hole course for sale at the park. The park also features volleyball courts, a basketball half-court, a baseball field, and horseshoe pits.
Lake Erie State Park is celebrated as one of the nation’s "Top 100 Family Campgrounds." This is a well-equipped setting to camp in an RV near Portland. The campground offers 81 electric sites ranging from 15 to 50 amps with plenty of amenities including showers, pavilions, and comfort, dump, and water fillup stations. There are also playgrounds for the kiddos and sheltered picnic areas with grills.
The campground is typically open from May through October, with the peak season running from the end of June to the end of August. When you’re ready to plan your Lake Erie State Park RV camping trip, keep in mind that sites must be booked at least one day ahead of your arrival and are able to be reserved up to nine months in advance. You’re welcome to bring pets here as long as you keep furry companions on a leash at the campground. Only two pets are permitted per site, and they are not allowed in many of the facilities and guarded beaches.
When you spend time camping at Lake Erie State Park, you’ll be conveniently located nearby other fantastic attractions. Outdoor enthusiasts will find no shortage of stunning nature to explore here. Along with Lake Erie, there are a number of other state parks in the Allegany region, including Evangola, Midway, and Long Point on Lake Chautauqua. Midway State Park has one of the oldest continually operating amusement parks in the nation, featuring a 1928 roundhouse encasing the 1946 Allen Herschell carousel, games, rides, go-karts, and picnic shelters.
Lake Erie State Park is in the middle of the Chautauqua Wine Trail, so as you cruise around the town of Portland you’ll be able to stop and sample local flavors at some of the many vineyards dotting the landscape. Close by is the world-renowned Chautauqua Institution, where you can experience a diverse mix of fine and performing arts, lectures, and recreational activities.
A great way to discover the area is by hiking or cycling on the Rails to Trails, a system of abandoned rail lines and safe off-road trails located throughout Chautauqua County. Learn about bygone days by browsing photos, antiques, and memorabilia from the 1800s and 1900s at the Portland Historic Museum, which is a refurbished 19th-century railroad depot. You’ll also be conveniently close to bigger cities like Dunkirk and Jamestown, where there are endless options for dining, shopping, and entertainment.