Where should we go camping within 2 hours of Binghamton, NY?
July 6, 2012 4:27 AM   Subscribe

Where should we go camping within 2 hours of Binghamton, NY?

My friends and I are looking for a place to go camping for a weekend this summer, but we can't go too far. Last year we went to Robert H. Treman State Park near Ithaca, and we liked the campground and hiking trails, but found the water too cold to really enjoy a swim.

We're looking for a place where we can swim and go on a (not-too-difficult) hike. Even better if it's located near a town where we can stock up on supplies partway through the weekend. Any thoughts?
posted by ecatm to Travel & Transportation (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
The area around Ithaca has more places to swim. I'm actually heading to Treman next month and there's so much to do around there I'm wondering why the cold water would keep you away? Yes, that swimming hole is FRIGID, good god it's like glacier run off, but there's that giant pool over in Watkins Glenn if you really want to swim. You could also swim in the lake(s).
posted by Blake at 5:16 AM on July 6, 2012

Have you ever visited Long Lake, NY? It's really lovely but the water is quite chilly. You'd get used to the temperature. It's really beautiful! Lots of hiking and you may encounter people who hike down from Lake Placid!
posted by Yellow at 5:46 AM on July 6, 2012

Yeah, you can swim in the lake at Taughannock State Park. Also, the water in the one local swimming hole in Ithaca that I've been to this year (first dam, I think it's called) isn't cold. Hot summer and all that. So Treman may not be as bad as before.
posted by kestrel251 at 5:46 AM on July 6, 2012

The water is really warm right now at most of the swimming places all around Ithaca, even Cayuga Lake. There are cabins & swimming available at Treman, Buttermilk Falls, Taughahannock, and Myers Point, though these often book up early (Taugahannock will definitely be 100% booked during Grassroots). Of those options, I like Buttermilk best -- there's a legal swimming area at the bottom of the falls, and lots of illegal but (I am told) lovely swimming in holes all up and down the creek. Ask somebody when you get there.

Another option is camp overnight somewhere on the Finger Lakes Trail. Best thing to do in that case is get the Hiking Guide (be sure to get the maps along with it) and find yourself a pleasant loop with some swimming holes. As I recall, there's a really nice loop right near Watkins Glen.

And, finally, I'm just gonna drop this here: Swimming Holes NY.
posted by ourobouros at 6:16 AM on July 6, 2012

Park Station Recreation Center in Erin, NY is a good choice. My family used to go here every summer when I was a kid. There is a wonderful lake with a sandy beach for swimming and great hiking trails in the woods surrounding the lake.
posted by LightMayo at 6:23 AM on July 6, 2012

Part of the appeal of Treman was that there was swimming on-site. Taughahannock is appealing, I think a lake will be warmer than the glacial falls at Treman. Beautiful place to swim, but I only lasted about 10 minutes in the water! Good to know that Cayuga Lake is warm right now. Buttermilk Falls seems great, too. I've heard good things about the hiking there.

Long Lake looks lovely, but is too far for this trip. We're talking about a longer trip next summer, and if I have my way, we'll be headed to the Adirondacks then.

We'll look into Park Station. I like the idea of a lake-front campsite!

Many thanks for the help, everyone. At least now I have some ideas!
posted by ecatm at 6:39 AM on July 6, 2012

Just FYI, a NYS park pass is valid at any state park, so you go back to Ithaca you can camp at Treman and get into Buttermilk and Taughahannock with the same pass.

Other options: I concur that Watkins Glen State park has lovely gorge trails and is right on the lake too; another one you might like is Glimmerglass, which is near Cooperstown (lots to do, including the Ommegang Brewery & Baseball Hall of Fame)
posted by susanvance at 7:02 AM on July 6, 2012 [1 favorite]

Swimming in the lake from Taughannock is really really nice. The algae and plants do get in the way somewhat around August though. And be aware of the triathlon taking place there on Aug 5. Taughannock also has weekend concerts that are well-attended. Also multiple wineries within a few miles.

Both Robert Treman and Buttermilk connect to the Finger Lakes Trail (Buttermilk via a branch trail), so that's an option for more hiking beyond the parks themselves.

Watkins has a really nice pool, if you're not set on more natural types of swimming areas.
posted by bread-eater at 10:08 AM on July 6, 2012

I came here to nth Taughannock as a great option, but also simply to squee a little bit at 1) upstate NY folks on MF, and 2) a question centered around my hometown!

Just for future reference, you end up going to Taughannock and happen to decide to walk the falls, it's best with some form of traction on the foot vs. doing it barefoot - it can get very slippery w/ the algae. Definitely cracked my head at least twice when I was there as a kid.
posted by catch as catch can at 12:58 PM on July 6, 2012

We have tentatively decided on Taughannock! Thanks to everyone for the help and input. Gilmmerglass is on the list for next year.
posted by ecatm at 8:56 PM on July 6, 2012

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