The Adirondack Mountains in Upstate NY are the home to the largest protected natural area in the lower 48 states with around 6.1 million acres of land. You will be able to enjoy mountain climbing, hiking, hunting, fishing, boating, and of course, camping in the Adirondacks.
Camping in the Adirondacks
Camping means different things to different people. Whether your ideal camping trip is loading up the family and heading out in your camper or RV, loading everything you need in your backpack and hiking into the backcountry, or if it’s somewhere in between, the common piece of this is getting outdoors, and away from where you normally call home. And whatever your definition of camping is, you will find a spot to do it in the Adirondack Mountains. Here are a few places you can enjoy your Adirondack camping trip.
Old Forge, NY
Situated in the southern Adirondacks, Old Forge is a charming town known for its proximity to the Fulton Chain of Lakes. It offers camping, kayaking, fishing, and scenic hiking trails, including the popular Bald Mountain Trail.
Camping in Old Forge
One of the more popular camping locations here is the Old Forge Camping Resort. Located next to the Water Safari water park, the Old Forge Camping Resort provides a comfortable family camping experience. Old Forge Camping Resort has a full range of camping options, from cottages and cabins, to RV sites, and tent sites. They even have a vacation house that will accommodate 12 people. And the facility is open year round for winter fun if you are looking for a place to stay for your snowmobiling weekend!
Other must-see attractions in Old Forge include the Enchanted Forest Water Safari (watersafari.com) theme park for the young (and young at heart) to enjoy during the summer months. I always like to visit the Old Forge Hardware Store when I’m in town. That store has everything from tools and camping supplies, and Adirondack souvenirs, to cast iron cookware.
And of course this is all about camping, so where can you camp on these lakes? Alger Island Campground is one option. Alger Island campground is a primitive camping area on Fourth Lake. You can only access the campground by boat, which is part of the beauty of the campground. And it only has 15 sites, so you will want to reserve a site ahead of time if you can.
A fairly short hike to enjoy with the kids can be found just outside of town at Bald Mountain (www.cnyhiking.com/BaldMountain.htm). It’s an up and back trail, just under a mile each way, with around a 500 foot ascent. At the top is the Rondaxe Fire Tower. You can enjoy some spectacular views from the peak, and especially from the tower, along with other lookout points along the hike.
And if you want to get away from the campsite, head to Slickers Tavern! At Slickers you will find great food, drinks, and a fun atmosphere. This is my go-to spot for a meal when I’m in Old Forge.
The Fulton Chain of Lakes/Inlet
The Fulton Chain of Lakes is a chain of 8 mostly interconnected lakes in the central Adirondacks. Extending from Old Forge, Northeast to Inlet on Fourth Lake, on up to Eighth Lake which is around 15 miles from Old Forge. There is a portage required between Fifth and Sixth lakes, as well as between Seventh and Eighth lakes. You can canoe, and camp along the lakes, as well as catch a tour boat out of Old Forge. Being on the water on these lakes, in the heart of the Adirondacks, is a great way to experience the breathtaking scenery of the region.
Eighth Lake Campground can be found in Inlet NY, sitting between Seventh and Eighth Lakes. This option has over 100 campsites, and is accessible from NY State Route 28.
The Speculator NY area is another great destination in the heart of the Adirondacks. Other nearby activities include boat tours of Raquette Lake, The Campstore in Lake Pleasant, Rail Biking in North Creek, and some Adirondack Museums. More information can be found at the Speculator Region’s Chamber of Commerce website.
Camping near Speculator, NY
Located on the scenic shores of Sacandaga Lake, Moffitt Beach Campground is a popular camping destination in Speculator. It offers a range of camping options, including tent sites, RV sites, and cabins. The campground provides amenities such as hot showers, picnic areas, a swimming beach, and a boat launch. Visitors can enjoy activities like fishing, boating, hiking, and wildlife watching in the surrounding Adirondack wilderness. Numerous campgrounds are located in Speculator and the nearby communities.
Lewey Lake Campground offers a peaceful and secluded camping experience. The campground features tent and RV sites, as well as cabins for rent. Campers can take advantage of amenities like a sandy beach, boat rentals, fishing opportunities, and nature trails. Lewey Lake is known for its serene atmosphere and picturesque beauty, making it an ideal spot for relaxation and outdoor recreation.
Both Moffitt Beach Campground and Lewey Lake Campground provide convenient access to the natural wonders and outdoor activities that Speculator, NY, and the surrounding region have to offer.
Keene Valley and Lake Champlain
Nestled amidst the majestic High Peaks of the Adirondack Mountains, Keene Valley, NY, is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts seeking a memorable camping experience. Keene Valley is also close to Lake Champlain providing even more opportunities for outdoor recreation.
Camping near Keene Valley, NY and Lake Champlain
You may notice that many of the campgrounds in this article, with a couple exceptions, are NY State Campgrounds. I have stayed in a number of these facilities around the state, and I am not usually disappointed. In the Adirondacks and the rest of northern NY, there are numerous state campgrounds with some really cool attractions nearby.
One of these is the Ausable Point Campground, which is located near Ausable Chasm. First, a little about the campground. Located in Peru NY in the Eastern Adirondacks, the campground is situated on the shoreline of Lake Champlain. Amenities include 123 campsites, hot showers, and flush toilets. There is a car top boat launch for your canoe or kayak. There is a swimming beach with a bathhouse.
And the main attraction nearby is one of my favorite sites in the Adirondacks, Ausable Chasm. www.ausablechasm.com This facility has a variety of adventures to enjoy. Tubing, rafting, rock climbing, and hiking are among the top activities. And if you want a less rustic camping experience than the State Park, Ausable Chasm has a camping area as well with cabin rentals, and RV sites with full hookups, as well as tent sites.
Located on the shore of Lake Champlain is Bridgeview Harbour Marina. You can boat in or drive in, and get a slip or a campsite.
Another popular choice is the Ausable River Campground, located just a short distance from Keene Valley. Nestled along the banks of the Ausable River, this campground offers riverside campsites, swimming areas, and opportunities for fishing and tubing. With its proximity to stunning mountain vistas and outdoor recreational activities, Keene Valley is an ideal destination for camping enthusiasts seeking a blend of natural serenity and adventure.
Saranac Lake is located in the northern part of the Adirondack Park, and has sometimes been called the “Capital of the Adirondacks.” Saranac Lake boasts a rich history and stunning natural beauty. It’s surrounded by numerous lakes and mountains, providing opportunities for canoeing, kayaking, and hiking. And there are many choices here for your camping trip.
Camping near Saranac Lake
The Saranac Islands State Campground provides primitive camping at its best. There are 87 campsites, which are only accessible by boat.
Fish Creek Pond Campground has 355 campsites allowing tents and RV’s. They have a beach, picnic area, hot showers, flush toilets, as well as a boat launch. Most of the stuff you expect from a State Campground.
Another State Campground, located halfway between Saranac Lake, and Lake Placid, is the Meadowbrook Campground. This is another State park with 62 sites, and the usual State Park Amenities.
Famous for hosting the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics, Lake Placid offers a range of outdoor adventures like hiking, fishing, boating, and skiing. It’s also home to the scenic Mirror Lake and the high peaks of the Adirondacks.
Camping near Lake Placid
One highly regarded camping destination in the area is the scenic Wilmington Notch Campground. Located just a short drive from Lake Placid, this campground offers a tranquil setting surrounded by majestic peaks and serene forests. Campers can choose from spacious tent sites or RV sites equipped with modern amenities. The nearby Ausable River offers excellent opportunities for fishing and kayaking.
Another popular option is the Lake Placid/Whiteface Mountain KOA Holiday, a family-friendly campground that provides a range of amenities and activities. Situated at the base of Whiteface Mountain, this campground offers stunning views, spacious campsites, and a host of recreational facilities, including a swimming pool, hiking trails, and a game room.
With its proximity to outdoor adventures and comfortable camping options, Lake Placid offers an unforgettable camping experience for nature enthusiasts of all ages.
Nestled between lakes and mountains, Tupper Lake is an ideal destination for outdoor enthusiasts. The Wild Center, an interactive natural history museum, is a popular attraction here. Camping, fishing, boating, and hiking are among the activities you can enjoy.
Camping near Tupper Lake
One of the most sought-after camping destinations in the area is the picturesque Little Wolf Campground. Nestled on the shores of Tupper Lake, this campground provides breathtaking lake views and easy access to a variety of water activities, including fishing, boating, and swimming. With its well-maintained campsites, modern amenities, and tranquil ambiance, Little Wolf Campground offers the perfect blend of comfort and wilderness immersion.
Another popular choice is the Lake Durant Campground, located just a short drive from Tupper Lake. Set amidst towering pines and nestled on the serene shores of Lake Durant, this campground offers spacious sites, pristine nature trails, and a peaceful atmosphere.
Whether you prefer a cozy tent or an RV hookup, these campgrounds near Tupper Lake provide an idyllic setting for camping enthusiasts to unwind, explore nature, and create lasting memories.
These towns provide excellent access to the natural beauty and outdoor recreational opportunities that make the Adirondack Mountains a beloved destination for camping and outdoor activities.