The Truth About Camping : Watkins Glen, NY

The Truth About Camping : Watkins Glen, NY

Am I an outdoorsy person? No, I’m not. Am I athletic? No, I am not. Do I like insects? No, I do not. 

Am I a person who likes camping? Oddly, yes I do. 

Statue Watkins Glen NY

We decided to go on a camping trip to Watkins Glen, NY. The drive up was about five and half hours from where I lived. I lived in New Hyde Park, so the part of Long Island that is right next to Queens. Once we got there, we set up the tents (Full disclosure by “we set up the tents,” I don’t mean me) and unloaded the camping chairs. We have a pop up tent which I highly recommend. It’s kind of a bitch to dissemble but you only have to worry about that at the end of your trip anyway; by then who cares? 

Camping Tents Watkins Glen NY

My main concern was what will this bathroom be like? Most campgrounds have bathrooms with showers. However, other campsite bathrooms sometimes, have the showers outside. If you answered, “no, “ to  any of the initial questions, you will not like outdoor showers on a campground. You will be surrounded by insects and arachnids just waiting to get their thrills by seeing how close they can get to your naked body. I was pleasantly surprised by the bathrooms/ INDOOR showers at Watkins Glen. There were a handful of bugs but they were very respectful of your space. 

After we were all set up, we started the obligatory fire and relaxed the rest of our first day. The next day, we went to Watkins Glen State Park. This was my favorite part of the camping trip. This is the most beautiful hike I have ever been on. Fair warning, there’s a lot of stairs. If you are not the most athletic/ in shape, take your time! I know, I did. There’s lots of landings to rest and take in the view. We even packed some sandwiches and snacks for a little break in between. It took us about 3 hours to do this hike. However, there were other trails we could’ve gone down, so we could’ve easily made it longer. I loved this hike because you are never bored. You are constantly surprised by the different rock formations, bridges and glens.  

Rock Formations Watkins Glen NY
Waterfall Watkins Glen NY

Following the hike, we went kayaking. If you decide to go kayaking, take a single kayak not a double and thank me later. Coordinating paddling with someone is the least fun you could have. We went back to our tents exhausted, showered and called it a night but not before you guessed it, another fire. 

The next day we hiked the Finger Lakes National Forest. This was my least favorite hike. It was such a bore to me like the same thing over and over. We get it, there’s trees in the forest. But don’t go by me, everyone else loved this hike. I only loved that we saw so many cutie salamanders. They were so tiny and angelic! 

If you decide to go to Watkins Glen, definitely stop on the side of the road for any of the fruit stands if you go for a drive. This being in wine country, the grapes were out of this world. They were like little Lychee grapes. I was addicted to them. If I were able to drink, I would’ve gone to the wineries in the area. Many offered lunch deals. 

Camp Fire Cooking Watkin Glen NY

For cooking, we had a propane grill and skillet. I would also recommend getting a gallon water jug, that releases the water like a faucet because it was much easier to clean dishes and you can control the water flow. For potatoes it’s easier to just throw them in the fire wrapped in aluminum because they take FOREVER to cook otherwise. I would also recommend if you go in September to check the weather for rain and buy that tarp! It will look ugly and most likely rain will still seep into the tent but just center your sleeping bags and it’ll be okay. And for the love of God, bring that extra blanket you don’t think you need!! 

If you decide to go, please tag us in any pictures and let me know if any of these tips come in handy! Happy Camping! Xoxo


Watkins Glen State Park

1009 N Franklin St, Watkins Glen, NY 14891

Lake Rocks Watkins Glen NY




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