Everyone told us to stay on the Canadian side to visit Niagara, but we were very pleased that we chose this park for more than just its close proximity to Niagara. A pleasant surprise for us upon arrival was the fact that staying at one New York state park allows you to visit any of the others for free while your pass is current. In other words, our two visits to Niagara should have cost us $20 extra, but our camp parking pass covered this expense. All of the sites were on the grass, and they were quite wide and level. There was ample space behind the campsite which allowed the kids to play safely. Also, the kids loved having a great playground to use and playing on the shore of Lake Ontario. The park also had some activities which were fun for the kids, and this greatly helped out on our down days from visiting the area. As cleanliness is always a big deal for our family, the park truly exceeded our expectations from a public campground. There are at least three bathhouses that we saw. Two look like they were constructed when the park opened, and the other must have built within the past year. They were regularly cleaned during our stay. Even the dump station was spotless and well taken care of. The camp store was also a very good experience as it was decently priced and sold the basics that most people use while camping. If you have to go to a store for forgotten items, there are a couple that are less than ten miles away, an IGA and a drugstore. The drugstore, which was a little further out, seemed to be the most beneficial and the cheapest of the two. There are also bigger chain stores a little further out, but we only had to go there once during our six night stay. The only downside was the lack of a water hookup at the campsite, but we filled our camper with a hose at one of the water stations located close to the entry. There a few of these around we later learned, so don't feel as if you only have the one to use. If you don't have a freshwater holding tank or if it is on the small side, be prepared to bring water containers. Clean, beautifully set, and fun for the kids, I would definitely go to this site again without any hesitation. And yes, the sunsets are as beautiful as people claim.
Full Service Loop Area, Some Positives: 1. The campground is extremely clean. 2. The Wi-Fi on the full service loop worked very well, and it was not necessary to be close to the store or camp host for good speeds. 3. Almost all sites are in the shade, and this worked really well during our summer stay. 4. Trash collection is at your site and is done many times during the day. 5. The store prices were reasonable, and we purchased all of our shirts and trinkets here at a greatly reduced rate. 6. Because you are staying on a Hershey property, you get a two hour trial visit for one night in the park with the purchase of your tickets. 7. The bus tram to and from the park is also included in your stay and runs regularly. 8. And, you get in early to the park because of staying on the company property. (Note: Make sure you get an extra slip for this from the store when you purchase your tickets. If you don't have this slip of paper, you will be turned away from early admission into the park.) A Few Negatives: 1. The sites are as tight as they come. 2. The fire rings are close to neighboring sites and the smoke as well as the conversations around the fire will creep into your camper. 3. Those trees that provide so much shade, covered everything with sap when we were there. If you just purchased your camper or are very picky about your paint job, this will be a real agitation. Most of this came off with a good shower on the way home though. This was the most expensive place that we stayed during a four week trip, but we have already planned on going back in the near future.
My experience here was greatly affected because of the campsite we reserved. I was going to give this park a 5 or 6 rating, but my wife said that the womens' restroom pushed it below this score. Upon arrival to the campground, we were instructed to ignore the "do not enter" sign to get to our campsite. According to the camp host, we had to enter in this fashion to enable our slide to extend and so that our door wouldn't open directly into oncoming traffic. The pull through site should have been labeled differently. Sites 56, 58, 61, 63, 64, and 65 are not true pull through sites. They are more like pull off the side of the road. If you reserve one of these sites, it is possible that you could be parallel parking your camper if the site in front of you and behind you are occupied. And because of the less than two or three feet of clearance from the road, you will get much of the campground vehicles running by your bed at night and in the morning. Sleeping in is almost an impossibility. The traffic on this loop was heavy, and it wasn't a place where I felt it was comfortable to let my child use his scooter or to play ball. To make matters more irritating, the weekend crowd was loud, and the music started at 7am during three of the days. At least two tenters had generators with them, and they cranked up very early in the morning as well. Also, this campground is heavily used by people who boat. hose who anchor their boats on the shore often track mud into the bathrooms and showers. This wasn't too big of a deal for me, but my wife said that beyond the mud factor, the ladies' room didn't look like it had been cleaned at all during our 4 night stay. This park was the first of six that we visited on a four week expedition, and it was rated the lowest by the entire family. On the positive side, there is a playground, a nightly kids' movie most evenings, and very picturesque views of the lake if you have the correct site. The lake is full of fish, and if you like to bring a boat along for your trips, this could be a park for you. But the "camping" aspect of this stop way below the parks which have visited and wish that I could have stayed at the local state park which is much smaller with less traffic.
This was my absolute first time camping with the family, and we chose this park because of its proximity to some historical sites, the SAM Shortline Railroad, and because of its easy access to Albany which has a few things to do for the kids. The sites are very flat and are made of gravel. The sites close to the lake are really nice and have a bathroom close by as well as the playground. The back sites are equally as nice but offer more shade and less motorboat traffic. In the back where we stayed, the bathroom sits in the middle of the circle and is pretty easy to get to in the middle of the night if needed. I fully expected to take a cold shower in the morning because of its heavy usage, but the camp water heaters handled it well. Noise is what brought my experience at this park way down. In order to make/save money, Georgia has leased out the cabins and lodge to a private company that has a "club" running on most nights with live bands or disk jockeys. On Friday night, the music didn't shut down until 1 a.m. and on Saturday I woke up to the last call being announced around 2. Although the bar shut down a bit earlier, the parking lot of screaming people and bass speakers didn't go quiet until about 3. My only quiet night was Sunday, and we decided to leave on Monday morning. It just wasn't what I expected when going camping. I joked that we could have camped in downtown Atlanta in the parking lot of a nightclub and had a more peaceful evening. There is easy boating access, a huge field for playing ball or flying kites, and enough paved area for riding bikes made the park worthwhile, but sleeping helps make those experiences better. If you need wood or bait for fishing, there are two stores directly in front of the park that are pretty reasonable, but Sunday hours might be tricky.