I can not say enough great things about this campground and State Park – I love it here. This trip was not the first and certainly won’t be the last time I will visit. The campsites are large with a picnic table, fire ring and room to park your car. There are flush toilets, warm showers and electric in the bath house.
I brought my friend Cathy with – this was her first camping trip and she LOVED it. We were driving up right after work so I called and told them we would most likely get there late. They told us that wouldn’t be a problem, just to set up when we got there and check in in the morning. We ended up arriving at 9:30 which meant unfortunately it was dark. Setting up the condo (as my tent is lovingly nicknamed) in the dark is a pain – actually setting up the condo in the day time is sort of a pain because it’s so huge and old. As we were putting it together we noticed one of the tent poles was missing the hollow metal end that fits into the peg attached to the tent – bummer! We couldn’t find it anywhere so we ended up rigging that side of the tent up with extra stakes and the ring attached to the tent that the stakes go through and trying to jam the pole in the hard ground – hey it worked – even if it was a bit lop sided!
The other issue I kept having was the pole that holds the vestibule area up kept falling down – probably because it was a bit lopsided from the other pole – see below.
I would highly suggest bringing a hammer or mallet with you because we had a heck of a time trying to get the stakes in the ground!!
The next day we set off to hike the Gorge Trail which is the most popular trail in the park – and it’s easy to see why. Click HERE to read about that hike. After the hike we drove into town and ate at the Wildflower Café – I highly recommend it – the food was excellent!! Then we went back to the campsite to hang out for a bit before exploring some other trails. We set off down the trail across from the bathrooms in the Onondaga campground – this is the only camp loop that has a trail that goes to the gorge. The trail brings you to some steps that lead you to the mile point of the Gorge Trail. There are several trails that you could turn into loops, although none of them really have views of the falls. We chose to follow the South Rim Trail the whole way down to the picnic area. There are some old remnants of a hotel that used to be on the property as well as a lily pond. Here you can cross a suspension bridge to the Indian Trail on the other side of the gorge or take the Finger Lakes Trail back up to the South Rim Trail and then the campsite.
After the hike we settled into our camp and relaxed by the fire until we got sleepy. We woke up to rain which started pounding on the tent – I was so worried that the way I rigged it wasn’t going to hold. The main pole held, but the pole over the door to the tent just kept collapsing no matter what we did – after an hour the rain stopped and we packed up the soggy tent and camp chairs (It wasn’t supposed to rain until the afternoon, but of course mother nature knew I was going camping so she had other plans). 🙂
I hope you get to check out Watkins Glen at some point – it is so worth it!!