Finger Lakes National Forest – Hector, NY
I was beside myself to discover the only National Forest in New York State. It shows on very few maps, and no RV guides. Finger Lakes National Forest is a small patch of National Forest that sits between Seneca and Cayuga Lakes, just south of the Seneca Army Depot.
We had a great time. Blueberry Patch Campground in Finger Lakes National Fortest is a large clearing where wild blueberries grow in abundance. It’s the leftovers from the days when the area was heavily farmed in the late 1800’s.Too much agriculture effectively killed the region 150 years ago. New York State was stuck with the leftovers, and soon the National Parks Service took over the main areas. Over the decades to follow, the NPS has worked to revive the eco-system by controlled grazing, logging, and recreational use. The region became a National Forest in 1983.
This is a beautiful ridge in between two of the Finger Lakes. But leave the big rig home. Most camping is “primitive” sites with no ammenities. The only services are in two public camping areas which are both quite primitive.
The first area is reserved for horse owners only through the summer months. The Backbone Horse Campground features stalls, a fenced in area, and a pond to water Horses. There’s chemical toilets for people. It’s a nice, grassy, semi shaded area, and it’s free! (If you own a horse).
The second area is the Blueberry Patch Campground which is open to all for $10.00 per night. Ammenities are limited to chemical toilets. The camping area is very nice, but not suitable for larger rigs. Pop-ups, Truck Campers, and tents are the only equipment this place can handle. We were in heaven!
Wineries and golf courses fill the areas outside the Forest, so there’s plenty for adults to do. Leave the kids in the big rig in the garage!
There’s also several campsites scattered throughout the Forest that are free to first-come. No services are available but the landscape is great. The Finger Lakes Trail makes a brief appearance in the area with a lean-to available to Hearty Hikers.
If you’ve got a small rig, and expect nothing but Nature, this is a great place. If you need a generator to make your morning coffee, please go elsewhere.