Watkins Glen State Park RV & Campground Guide
- State Parks
- New York
- Watkins Glen State Park
Tucked away into the central-state New York village of the same name, Watkins Glen State Park is a truly spellbinding stretch of woodlands, featuring steep cliffs, stunning rim views, and not one or ten but nineteen waterfalls that cascade into the babbling waters below. The park is also equipped with a variety of modern amenities that make it the perfect destination for recreational pursuits of all sorts, including an Olympic-sized pool, campgrounds with picnic areas and washhouses, organized educational tours, and more.
Visitors also enjoy the park for its hunting and fishing opportunities, including in the nearby Seneca Lake and Catherine Creek, each of which is renowned for its annual run of rainbow trout come springtime. Licensed hunters have been known to bag deer in the park, as well as smaller game animals. This section of New York state enjoys all four seasons, and the park is open year-round so you can explore in both in summer splendor and winter’s wonderland.
Spring 30 F - 70 F
Summer 56 F - 82 F
Fall 40 F - 75 F
Winter 18 F - 40 F
Elmira Corning, NY
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RV Resorts & Campsites in Watkins Glen State Park
Adventuring in a motorhome or travel trailer is the very best way to combine the freedom of the open road with the privacy and comfort of having your own place to stay. And if you don’t have a rig of your own yet, the RV of your dreams is likely waiting for you on the peer-to-peer market at RVshare. Our listings include RVs of every shape, size, and style, and since you’re renting directly from owners, you’ll save a bundle compared to what you’d pay at the big, nationwide franchises.
Watkins Glen State Park does offer on-site camping, and motorhomes and travel trailers are allowed. Sites cost between $18-$30 nightly depending on size, amenities, and season, and there’s an additional $5 per night surcharge for those who reside out of state. However, these limited campsites tend to fill up fast, so we’ve also listed some other great nearby options below for you to choose from!
Paradise Park Campground
With all sorts of extras, including ping pong, volleyball, badminton, an arcade, and even an archery range and Olympic-sized heated pool, Paradise Park Campground makes your campsite a destination in and of itself -- although given the beauty and diversity of the Finger Lakes district, you’re definitely going to want to get out and explore. Sites have full hook-ups and a convenient on-site campground store ensures you’re stocked and ready for anything.
Water hookup: yes
Electrical hookup: yes
Sewer hookup: yes
Other amenities: pool, mini-golf, snack bar, camping kitchen
Watkins Glen/Corning KOA
Yes, this classic nationwide camping franchise has an amenity-packed location in the Watkins Glen area. Open seasonally between April and October, the Watkins Glen/Corning KOA is a great home base from which to explore not only the namesake state park, but also the many other sightseeing attractions in the area.
Water hookup: yes
Electrical hookup: yes
Sewer hookup: yes
Other amenities: pool, outdoor recreation areas, sports courts
RV Rentals Near Watkins Glen State Park
Nearby RV Rentals
What to Do at
Watkins Glen State Park
Inside Watkins Glen State Park
Watkins Glen State Park may be little, but it packs a lot of splendor into its two mile stretch. The gorge offers a lovely stroll with scenic views of its many waterfalls as they tumble into the stream below.
The main way to access these vistas is to meander along the Gorge Trail, which follows the gorge, winding over and under waterfalls along the way. The park is also a great place to set up a picnic, or to learn more about the unique ecology and history of the Finger Lakes district during one of the scheduled tours or lectures.
Outside Watkins Glen State Park
As stunning as this state park is, it’s just the beginning of what there is to see and do in the Watkins Glen area. From doing some indoor exploring in shops and museums to sampling the carefully-crafted vinos along the Seneca Lake Wine Trail, here are some extracurricular activities to make time for on your Watkins State Park adventure.
You’ve gotta eat -- so you might as well eat good! Here are a few local favorites to choose from.
The Village Marina
The Village Marina, along with docking space, offers a full-service restaurant dishing up lunch and dinner seven days a week. Choose from favorites like cheddar bites, cobb salads, and burgers, as well as a range of fresh and delicious seafood.
Nickel’s Pit Barbecue
Nickel’s Pit Barbecue is the place to go if you’re ready to pig out -- literally. From brisket to ribs to wings and everything in between, it’s all there, and it’s all slathered in the company’s line of signature, homemade sauces. (Yes, you can purchase bottles to take home!)
Tobey’s Donut Shop
Tobey’s Donut Shop is the perfect place to swing by for a sweet and uplifting breakfast before you head into the park. And if you’re looking for something a little more substantial, don’t worry: they serve traditional breakfast plates like eggs and homefries along with their from-scratch sugary treats.
Sometimes, you just want to take home a little piece of your vacation to remember forever. Here are a few area shops to check out, whether you’re gifting yourself or a loved one waiting at home.
The Franklin Street Gallery and Gift Shop
The Franklin Street Gallery and Gift Shop goes above and beyond your normal nicknacks and tchotchkes. This place is a gallery in the truest sense of the word, hosting artist receptions complete with treats from local makers. Shop paintings as well as ceramics, photography, sculptures, and jewelry.
Itzybitzy Children’s Shop
Itzybitzy Children’s Shop is the perfect place to pop in if you’re looking for a gift or gadget for a little one -- whether that little one is with you on the trip or waiting patiently at home, wondering what goodies you’re going to bring. Make ‘em good ones by shopping here!
Once you’re wide-eyed from wandering amongst water falls, see if you’ve saved enough energy for these other area must-sees.
Corning Glass Museum
The Corning Glass Museum provides an insider look into the wacky and wonderful world of glassmaking, and also displays the works of artists both ancient and contemporary. You can even try it for yourself with the 40-minute Make Your Own Glass experience, which is offered to visitors each and every day that the museum is open and operational.
International Motor Racing Research Center
Move over, Daytona: did you know that Schuyler county is the birthplace of American road racing? Well, it is, and you’ll learn all about its surprising origin story (and so much more) at the International Motor Racing Research Center, located right in the heart of Watkins Glen.
Seneca Lake Wine Trail
Traversing the Seneca Lake Wine Trail is a great way to spoil yourself -- and get acquainted with the delicious and diverse wines the Finger Lakes district is so famous for. With well over two dozen area wineries participating and a rotating schedule of fun and informative events, there’s no shortage of opportunities for sipping at Seneca Lake… but be sure you’ve got a designated driver!
How to Get to
Watkins Glen State Park
Watkins Glen State Park is located at the south end of Seneca Lake along New York Route 14, and is accessible via U.S. Route 20 as well as I-90 from Rochester and Syracuse. The park itself is directly adjacent to the small city of Watkins Glen, so if you navigate to the town, finding the park is a breeze.
Entering Watkins Glen State Park
There is a $8 vehicle fee to enter Watkins Glen State Park, though visitors can also use an Empire Pass, which gets you unlimited access to all of New York State’s Parks for a full year for just $80. Additional amenities, like campsites and shuttle service, come at an additional fee, and entry costs are higher for commercial vehicles and buses.
Watkins Glen State Park Vehicle Entrace Fee : $8.0
Whether you find yourself in wonder at Watkins Glen or exploring some other amazing American landscape in your RV rental, we can’t wait to hear all about your adventures! Tag us in your social media posts, or dish the details to us directly at [email protected]. We’ll be spreading the wealth by reposting certain user stories and photos on our own blog and social media channels!
Frequently Asked Questions About Watkins Glen State Park
In Watkins Glen State Park, May and June have more rainfall and temperatures in the mid-50s to low 70s. July and August are more humid with temperatures in the high 70s to mid-80s. September and October have a cooler climate with temperatures in the 50s to mid-60s.
Roaming the forest trails in Watkins Glen State Park are turkeys, bobcats, foxes, and white-tail deer. Native bird species include the red-tailed hawk, woodcocks, northern harrier, sparrows, kestrels, downy woodpecker, tanagers, goshawk, thrashers, cuckoos, warblers, goldfinches, towhees, and the eastern wood-pewee.
There are a limited number of full-hookup RV camping spots with sewer, water, and 30- to 50-amp electricity at Watkins Glen State Park. The park offers hot showers, public restrooms, and dumping stations for all other RV sites.
Reservations are required, up to nine months in advance. Same-day reservations are available until 3:00 pm. There is a $7.25 non-refundable booking fee, a base rate of $15, and an additional $13 to $15 for full-hookup camping sites. Non-resident campers pay an additional $5.
Watkins Glen State Park permits a maximum of two pets in campsites and other designated areas (service animals are excluded from this provision). Pets must be leashed or crated and supervised at all times. Proof of current rabies vaccination is due upon check-in.