4 Top Upstate New York Fall and Winter Camping and Cabin Spots

Cabin in the snow

Written by Jane Chertoff on

Jane Chertoff is a freelance lifestyle writer who enjoys traveling and exploring with her Chihuahua, Cesar. Follow her adventures on Instagram.

Cabin in the snow

The weather may be cooler, but you can still escape the city and get outdoors this fall or winter with winter camping in upstate New York.

Your window to escape your New York City apartment and head upstate for some socially distanced time in nature doesn’t close immediately after Labor Day. In fact, fall or early winter is the perfect time to get outdoors and see the abundance of red, orange, and gold foliage on picturesque cool days. When it snows, you can build a fire and retreat to your cozy cabin to stay warm.

Even though the weather is chillier this time of year, you can pack plenty of extra layers and cozy blankets in your duffel. Here are some of the top fall and early winter camping and cabin spots to head to this season.

1. Upper Esopus Creekside Camp, Big Indian, New York

Not all campsites are suitable for late-season trips in cooler weather, but you don’t have to worry about that at this well-equipped camp, situated in Catskill State Park. Upon arrival, you can pick up bundled firewood and even rent a tent and foam or air mattress, if you don’t have your own. If you’re new to camping, this is a good place to start, too, as the owners have everything available you need. There are solar showers and potable water available. Grab your daypack and spend your time hiking and enjoying the fall scenery around the national park, or go biking or trout fishing in the creek. (If any of your gear gets wet or dirty, just store it in a packing cube until you get home.)

2. Letchworth State Park Cabins and Campsite, Castile, New York

Located just south of Rochester, Letchworth State Park is full of gorges, waterfalls, and hiking trails that are particularly stunning come fall. Within the park itself, you can rent cabins that are equipped with a woodstove, screened-in porches, and private toilets. (Bring your own linens and plenty of warm blankets, though.) Outside the park, you can find nearby breweries, wine tasting, or apple picking, too.

3. Harriman State Park, Ramapo, New York

Don’t feel like driving too far out of the city, but still want to get away? Put “Harriman State Park” in your phone’s maps and in just an hour to an hour and a half (depending on traffic, of course) you will feel like you are worlds away. Book a cabin at Sebago Cabins or Beaver Park where you’ll have access to amenities while you explore the beautiful parkland around you. You’ll wake up directly on the lake, so fill your packing cubes for travel with clothing to build a fire and kickback, or spend your winter days canoeing, hiking, fishing, or biking, depending on the weather.

4. Van Hoevenberg Cabins, Lake Placid, New York

You probably think about the winter Olympics when you think about Lake Placid, but it’s actually an upstate New York outdoor paradise to visit year-round. The Van Hoevenberg cabins are heated, plus they have mini kitchens and private bathrooms. Nearby, you’ll be in the Adirondacks, where you can cross country ski, take part in one of the best winter hikes, go fly fishing, or just cozy up by the campfire and enjoy the views. In the winter, you are just minutes away from some of the area’s top ski resorts, too.

Before you pack the car for your upstate New York camping trip, learn pro tips on how to pack light for cold-weather getaways.

Related Links (from Eagle Creek blog):

How to Pack Light for a Cold Weather Trip

The Ultimate Packing List for Camping Beginners

A Beginner’s Guide to Hiking