There are campgrounds located in upstate New York which are close enough to the highly populated GTA region that they are worth considering as a family camping destination. Compared to the Ontario Parks, they are less expensive and don’t fill up as quickly and reservations open nine months in advance. They are more built up and geared towards recreation and won’t have that natural outdoorsy feel. The times listed next to each campground are given are from the GTA.
Allegany State Park (3hrs)
Known for its two lakes and wonderful camping experiences. Allegany’s Quaker area offers swimming, fishing, canoeing and kayaking, as well as hiking. The Quaker area has a total of 189 campsites and 230 cabins, 30 of them winterized and one group camp for rental.
Allegany State Park – Red House Area
10191 Old Lake Shore Road
Irving, NY 14081 (716) 549-1760
Located on the shoreline of Lake Erie, the park includes 82 campsites, some of which are electric and one accessible cabin with an open porch to enjoy the views. For those who want to camp but don’t have the equipment, three furnished tent rental sites and yurts are available to reserve. There is a sandy beach for swimming and the park has picnic facilities, baseball and soccer fields, tennis and basketball courts.
Four Mile Creek State Park (1hr 35 min)
1055 Lake Road
Youngstown, NY 14174 (716) 745-3802
Visitors can camp with a tent, RV or neither at one of the 275 campsites at the park! 3 furnished tent rental sites are available; included is a large canvas tent, 2 single beds, bedding and much more. The park is located on Lake Ontario, where prime sites offer beautiful panoramic views. The park is situate near Niagara Falls with discount tickets to park attractions and there is beach access at Wilson Tuscarora State Park and a swimming pool at Fort Niagara State Park. Yurts are available for reservation.
Golden Hill State Park (2hr 5min)
9691 Lower Lake Road
Barker, NY 14012 (716) 795-3885
This waterfront park has 59 campsites to choose from, electric sites are available. Three furnished tent rental sites offer scenic views from the 30-Mile Lighthouse. The park is located on the scenic shore of Lake Ontario offering boating, fishing, hiking, and walking tours of the lighthouse. Yurts are available in the park. There is no swimming in the park.
Hamlin Beach State Park (2hr 35min)
1 Camp Road
Hamlin, NY 14464 (585) 964-2462
Set on the south shore of Lake Ontario, the park provides great lakefront views! There are 264 tent and RV sites, all with electric hook-up, a group camp area and a launch for car-top boats. It’s the perfect place for those who enjoy swimming, hiking, biking, or fishing for salmon and trout.
Letchworth State Park (2hr 45min)
1 Letchworth State Park
Castile, NY 14427 (585) 493-3600
Known as the “Grand Canyon of the East”, the park is a year round destination with 270 campsites, 82 cabins, some which are winterized making them perfect for a summer or winter getaway! All campsites offer electric hook-up and there is a designated area for group camping too.