Winter in New York allows outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy various activities--such as snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, downhill skiing, snow tubing and snowshoeing--due to the state's varied geography and bountiful winter snows. Maintained highways allow year-round access to campers who wish to take their RV or tent out for a winter weekend or even those who just grab a sleeping bag and gear to take advantage of a rustic camping cabin.
These parks are open year-round and are reserved online through Reserve America unless otherwise stated:
Allegany State Park
Allegany State Park, located near Salamanca, N.Y., in the southwestern portion of New York, is a 65,000-acre recreational area frequented by Northeasterners who enjoy snowmobiling, cross country skiing and snowshoeing. Situated just 45 miles southeast of Lake Erie, it benefits from plenty of snow, thanks to being often in the path of extended lake effect snow. Year-round rustic camping cabins are available in the Quaker and Red House areas of the park, and a modern campground with hook-ups and camp store is available year-round near Red House Lake.
Cross-country ski trails are kept groomed throughout the season in the Art Roscoe Ski Touring area, and downhill ski enthusiasts can find slopes and snow tubing in less than a 30-minute drive north on Highway 219 in Holiday Valley, N.Y. The Seneca Allegany Casino is located in nearby Salamanca, N.Y., for warming up at or grabbing a bite. Each cabin village and campground section in the park offers clean restroom and shower facilities, with plenty of forced heat for those who choose to rough it while playing in the southwestern New York winter.
Allegany State Park, Salamanca, New York 14779 (716) 354-9101
Wellesley Island State Park
For winter enthusiasts who want to rough it, but not in a tent during blustery upstate New York winter days, the rustic camping cabins at Wellesley Island State Park sit directly on the St. Lawrence Riverway between the U.S. and Canada, while looking across the Thousand Islands Region. These non-furnished camping cabins contain bunks, small kitchenettes and electricity with heat.
However, campers use normal camping utilities and facilities concerning water supply and centrally heated restrooms with showers, and they must bring their own necessities such as sleeping bags and kitchenware. Fire pits and grills are located outside of each cabin and ice fishing, winter hiking, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are available within the park. The Minna Anthony Common Nature Center is a popular draw with a museum and ranger-led nature programs during all seasons. Watertown, N.Y., is about 15-minute drive south for any gear or supplies that campers may need to pick up.
Wellesley Island State Park, Orleans, New York 13640 (315)-482- 2722
Taconic State ParkFor tent campers interested in an excellent late fall, early winter camping weekend within an easy drive from New York City, Taconic State Park offers rustic, wooded camping through mid-December each year at their Copake Falls camping area.
Platforms built approximately 1 1/2 feet off of the ground accommodate campers with tents in many of the treed sites helping to keep your tent area easily cleaned of any snow. There are no utilities at any of the sites, however, there are centrally located restroom and shower facilities with water stations, which are well kept and always warm. Campers can explore the old Copulate Iron Works and hike to Bash Bish Falls even in the early snows. Nearby skiing at Catamount in Massachusetts is less than 10 minutes away near the New York/Massachusetts border. The park staff is always helpful and knowledgeable. Fully furnished and utilized cottages with all the amenities are available for rent as well, if an unexpected storm brings a couple feet of snow--as happened in late October 2011.
Taconic State Park, Route 344, Copake Falls, New York 12517 (518) 329-3993