Off on a mini holiday to one of our favorite areas in New York State, this time to Letchworth campground- near Castile.
Often referred to as the ” Grand Canyon of the East” because of its spectacular cliffs and lush forests.
The campground boasts lots of hiking trails which we love and you can also horseback ride. I think this may be expensive. When we have tried to go horseback riding at places like Alleghany we have been stunned at the high prices they charge.
The scenery is just gorgeous- you will not be disappointed.The bathrooms and amenities are not bad. In general I have found the facilities in American parks to be better than Ontario parks. Most Ontario parks have outhouses which I have never seen in American parks.
I am not sure about situation with bears this year. This is one reason my kids don’t like going to Alleghany- they get pretty freaked out by bear population and refuse to leave trailer after dark.
Will post pics when we return .
For my money we really enjoy The Pinery Provincial Park . Next is Algonquin at a close second.
At the Pinery you look out over Lake Huron at the breathtaking sunset and the blue water and look at the white powder sand and you could almost think you were in Acapulco. I am not kidding- it is THAT nice.
Most lake water looks grey or steel blue but these water are warm and blue- exceptional swimming.
I know National Geographic List lake Huron as and The Pinery /Grand Ben/Bayfield as having the worlds best sunsets.
The staff is excellent and knowledgeable with lots of trials- some wheelchair/stroller accessible. Lots of guided hikes. Bike trails and more. I winner in every way.
Down side is it is REALLY hard to get in.
Another very nice park if you can get into it is Killbear. You pretty much have to book in spring.
Sandbanks also good one but I have not been in a few years.
When to Book Your Campsite? Its NEVER Too Early!
Many camp sites fill up fast. Any of the popular Provincial parks in Ontario are impossible to book when you get into May/June. Forget about any weekend at The Pinery, KillBear and Algonquin- you wont; get in.
It is a drag but you have to any reservation fee AND total park fees at time of booking- but to avoid disappointment book your site now.
From about mid-June last year we were shocked that we could not take any kind of a an impromptu camping trip for a couple of days ANYWHERE every single park was full and we really don’t like private “RV” type campgrounds.
What are the best campsites and best loops at Fort Wilderness?
This is one of the most frequently asked questions and one people are MOST reluctant to answer- mostly out of fear that if they broadcast it- they won’t be able to get their favourite sites…
Without Question the most sought after loops that are considered the best in Fort Wilderness are Loops 100 and 400. Both are preferred loops- and preferred prices tag. They are private and have a “trail” that lead right to camp store and all the activity. If you are on these loops you will never have to take a bus anywhere. Another good loop is 900.
None of the sites at Fort Wilderness are awful but these are considered to be these best campsites and loops in Fort Wilderness-Disney World.
We have done some camping in Florida this year- and after staying at For Wilderness ( Disney Campground) it has been fun trying out other campgrounds.
One park that was particularly nice for camping was
Fort De Soto State Park in Pinallas, this was near Clearwater/St. Petersburg area. We had very nice time there. The park was lovely. Sites on the water could get VERY windy.
Weekends were always fully booked- mostly with local area families. Beach near by was gorgeous- though too cold for swimming in early February when we were there.
This was quite a little gem to find. I think because it a Hamilton, Ontario Conservation area- and the site is a mess to figure out- and not a Provincial Park many people don’t even know about it. It is just outside of Cambridge- about a half hour drive from Hamilton and an hour south west of Toronto. Nearby is the African Lion Safari and Westfield Pioneer Village.
The campground has an older an more established section and and newer one- the newer ones are Tamarack and
Map of Valens Campground/Campsites Avoid the Tamarack and Spruce Hollow sections/campsites like the plague! They are tiny tiny sites with zero privacy and full sun. Basically a quite open field.
The older parts of the park are nice. Roomy well treed sites with lots of shade. Most of the sites have electrical and water hook-up. The sites are 24.00 CAD for standard and 28.00 CAD with electrical and water.
The park features a really nice beach. Sandy and shallow water that is chlorinated.
The campgrounds are very family friendly- lots of kids. There is an alcohol ban at the park- I am not sure how well enforced this is.
Twice a month on Saturdays new release movies are shown on a giant inflatable screen outdoors.
Valens Conservation Area Website
We returned recently from New York’s Allegany State Park. There are two campgrounds in the park- Red House Area and Cain Hollow. We stayed at Cain Hollow campground- which is divided into several loops. The drive and the area is beautiful. The park itself is lovely. Our reservations were for Cain Hollow Loop A. It was AWFUL. Basically an open field – no shade, no privacy. Both my husband and I flipped when we saw it. The drive through the park was breath taking and I was sick with disappointment. It was pretty much the worst set of campsites I have ever seen; however- were were able to change our site-what a relief! every other site in Cain Hollow was nice. Good privacy, shady areas, etc.
We camped in a pop-up trailer, our new Fleetwood Sun Valley , and had electrical service. The parks web site said it was 30 amp service but it was only 20 amps. We don;t have an air conditioner or microwave so it didn’t matter that much to me.
The site was large and had some shade all the roads were paved. Comfort stations were nearby- with showers. There was no hot water in women’s shower for the entire time I was there.
The staff were friendly enough but most didn’t seem to know much about the park or its facilities. For example at registration we asked where the fill station and staff didn;t know what that was let alone where it was- *gulp*.
We did go to several of the programs. My kids liked the adventure camps held and the folk singer, Glen Wallace was particularly good. I have normally stayed at Canadian Provincial Parks and I was quite please with the “entertainment” at the park- but I was found the staff really didn;t have that much knowledge and couldn’t answer even basic questions- or worse a lot of misinformation.
The beach at Cain Hollow was very nice- it is on Quaker Lake. The beach was closed one day becasue of poor water quality- whch was a surprise to meas the water looked quite clean.
The ground were gorgeous- and nearby Bradford and Salamanca had ample shopping for groceries, etc. My kids had a blast and we would like to return some day. This park must be spectacular in the Fall.
also be warned- they are NOT kidding about the bears. They were everywhere. You MUST keep your food in trailer or car at all times.
We just got back from this park, We were there 4 days. Link to Oastler Lake. Our campsite was nice- lots of shade, large good privacy. The campground was well maintained- staff were friendly. Lots of amenities nearby in Parry Sound. Beach was okay- but just off the highway. They had a TINY beach in the campground were pets could swim off leash. Also lake filled with all kinds of fish- great for kids.
Downside- there is a train that goes through the campground. Not a small train but trains that run on night long that feel like they are on top of you. I didn;t get a wink of sleep. For this reason I could not recommend this campground or ever go back.
I have never been to nearby Killbear Provincial Park but if I have to back to the area- this is where it will be.
Our next trip is to Awenda Provincial Park- so stay tuned.