Located in upstate New York, the Finger Lakes National Forest is the second smallest National Forest in the United States. It makes up for its size with its stunning beauty. There are magnificent waterfalls and deep gorges, as well as an abundance of wildflowers in the spring. Visitors can enjoy hiking, fishing, biking, skiing, and geocaching. On winter nights, visitors can sometimes see the spectacular Northern Lights from the park.
Camping in Finger Lakes National Forest
With RVshare, you can find the perfect camper for your vacation in the Finger Lakes National Forest. Your family will appreciate the freedom and flexibility as well as the convenience that an RV gives while you enjoy this lovely part of upstate New York.
The Greendale Campground is a small site that is located along the banks of the Greendale Brook in Weston, VT. It provides a remote, wooded setting. There are 11 campsites, each with a picnic table, fire ring, and grill. Vault toilets are available. The trailhead for the 4.0 mile Greendale Loop trail is located here. It is open year-round, with a $10 nightly fee per site.
Blueberry Patch Campground
The Blueberry Patch Campground is located along Picnic Area Road (CR 2) next to the large blueberry patch that gives it its name. This makes the small, semi-private site popular in May when the berries are in season. Each of the nine campsites has a fire pit and a picnic table. There are handicap-accessible vault toilets and several trails nearby for hikers. Rates are $15 a night, and the campsite is open year-round.
Conesus Lake Campground
The Conesus Lake Campground offers 70 full hookup sites that include water, sewer, and electric as well as cable. Other amenities include free Wi-Fi, playgrounds, restrooms with hot showers, a laundromat, a recreation building and general store, a heated indoor pool, and boat docks. There are facilities for fishing and for gem mining. The campground is open from Memorial Day to Labor Day, and rates are $50-$60 a night.
Activities in Finger Lakes National Forest
The Finger Lakes National Forest lies on a ridge, or backbone, between Seneca and Cayuga Lakes in the Finger Lakes region of New York State. As such, there is a wide diversity of terrains within the boundaries of the park. The over 30 miles of trails traverse gorges, ravines, pastures, and woodlands. Here visitors will see many types of native grasses and shrubs as well as areas of old-growth forest. Among the animals that can be seen are white-tailed deer, beavers, bobcats, and red foxes. Other popular activities in the Finger Lakes National Forest include hiking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, horseback riding, and biking.
Birdwatchers will find a rich diversity of species to observe, including grassland birds such as the rare Henslow's sparrow, the grasshopper sparrow, the American kestrel, the northern harrier, and the bobolink. Shrubland birds include the yellow warbler, the Eastern towhee, the brown thrasher, the yellow-billed cuckoo, and the goldfinch. Among forest birds that might be seen are the Northern goshawk, ruffed grouse, American woodcock, and the beautiful scarlet tanager. There are also wood ducks and the Eastern wild turkey.
The Finger Lakes National Forest has many fishing opportunities. This region produces some of the best bass fishing in the state. These include both smallmouth and largemouth black bass. Other species that can be found in the rivers and lakes of the area include walleye, yellow perch, northern pike, chain pickerel, tiger muskies, and panfish.
The Finger Lakes region has many opportunities for geocachers. There are caches located not only in the Finger Lakes National Forest but also in nearby Seneca Lake State Park, Steuben, Seneca Falls, along Lake Ontario, and in the towns of Ithaca, Rochester, and Syracuse.
The Finger Lakes National Forest is also one of the best places for stargazing because there is very little light pollution in the area. In winter, it's possible to see the Northern Lights on clear nights.
How to get to Finger Lakes National Forest
Address: Hector Ranger Station at 5218 State Route 414, Hector, NY 14841
Fee: Entry fee $0
The Finger Lakes National Forest is a beautiful wilderness area that encompasses a wide variety of terrains. It is a great place for hiking, bird watching, biking, fishing, geocaching, and stargazing. RV camping is the best way to enjoy this beautiful park as you may see exciting spectacles such as the Northern Lights while close to your comfortably warm camper.
Frequently Asked Questions About Finger Lakes National Forest
What type of wildlife lives in Finger Lakes National Forest?
Wildlife living in the Finger Lakes National Forest includes white-tailed deer, bobcats, red foxes, and beavers. A variety of birds also lives in the area, along with other animals.
How many hiking trails does Finger Lakes National Forest have?
The Finger Lakes National Forest has more than 30 miles of trails that cross a variety of terrains. Hikers can walk by gorges, pastures, woodlands, and many other features in the forest.
What is the closest town to Finger Lakes National Forest?
Burdett is one of the closest towns to the Finger Lakes National Forest. Watkins Glen is also nearby, and is a beautiful little town to visit, grab a bite to eat, and just enjoy wandering through for a day.
Is Finger Lakes National Forest open all year round?
Yes, the Finger Lakes National Forest is open year-round. Parts of the forest may be inaccessible in winter, but it's a great spot for snowshoeing, snowmobiling, or birdwatching for winter fowl.
What is the best time to visit Finger Lakes National Forest?
Summer is the best time to visit the Finger Lakes National Forest. The weather is warm enough to enjoy hiking, paddling, or swimming in forest lakes. The forest is also the most accessible in summer, when all the snow has melted. Fall in the Finger Lakes National Forest is also a breathtaking time to visit.