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“Not a place at which I'll be camping.” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Lake Erie State Park

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Lake Erie State Park
North Tonawanda, New York
Level Contributor
438 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 306 helpful votes
“Not a place at which I'll be camping.”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 August 2014

Made a quick stop while driving between Buffalo and Erie to see if this would be a campground I'd like to bring my family to. The grounds seemed to be well-kept but the first thing I noticed at the entrance kiosk was the "No Swimming Allowed" sign which I knew (and had confirmed) meant water pollution. The view of the lake was pretty and the park seemed to have all the usual amenities. I drove around some of the campsites and found they were too open for my taste. I like a few more trees around for privacy and a "woodsy" feel. There was a group of 10 typical state park cabins. The restroom I visited was clean and well-lit. As I drove along I saw a building with doors for individual shower rooms. I did not notice if there was a store there.

  • Stayed August 2014, travelled solo
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
Helpful?
3 Thank Marcia B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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28 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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    3
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (8)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
East Bethany, New York
Level Contributor
45 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 August 2014

We just came back from our second week-long stay at this campground and will be taking another shortly.

About the sites...

Sites are large, open, flat, and plentiful. There is a HUGE variation in sites, so choose carefully! Sites in the lower digits are closer to the bluff overlooking the lake, shaded, and sometimes windy. Sites in middle digits are out in a field with very few trees, but tons of open space (you could play a pickup football game in the middle of the loop), even more windy, and near to the playground. Sites in the tent-only area are off in the woods and much more quiet. There are also cabins, which we did not stay in. All except the tent sites have electric hookup and shared, but centrally located, water spigots. All except the tent sites also have a crushed stone driveway to park your rig and it is flat. All sites have a picnic table and fire ring.

Comfort stations...

There are two of them - one situated near the cabins / upper digits / tenting area and one in the lower digit loop. Both are clean and well-kept, if not modern. Water pressure is FABULOUS and hot water is plentiful. We thoroughly enjoyed using the showers here. Each shower includes a small dressing area outside the shower, so plenty of space.

Amenities...

There are two nice playgrounds for the younger set, plus horseshoe pits and hiking trails. There is also a beach; while it is closed to swimming, it is pretty good for finding cool rocks, selecting driftwood, and making the occasional sand castle. That and the plentiful wildlife is pretty much it for amenities ... this seems to be largely a fisherman's campground, so activities are at a minimum.

The Staff...

We have been spoiled by the delightful camp hosts and park rangers in southern parks, where hospitality is King. However, the staff is extremely nice, knowledgeable, and will help you with information outside as well as inside the park. For a northeast park, that's very nice!

Nearby...

Dunkirk is 7 minutes up the road, which includes free access to Point Gratiot park (where there IS swimming), and a lovely marina to visit. Fredonia is a couple of minutes farther, with all kinds of activities throughout the year. Activities at Fredonia are why we have been staying here.

But really, this is a place to disconnect and relax. I brought books and crochet, and relaxed amid the wildlife.

A couple of notes...

The beach does NOT normally have an odor of fish or bacteria (or anything else, as some posters have claimed) but this can change for a couple of days after a storm or during a particularly hot spell. It's a lake ... there really is not much that can be done about those things. If you can't stand lake smells, take a site far away from the lake.

The beach is a distance from the main campsite area, so if you're packing up your stuff to go to the beach for the day, you might as well pack up and go to Point Gratiot, where you can actually swim.

The camp fills nearly to capacity every Friday & Saturday night, and campers seem to enjoy loud bonfires and parties. We have a trailer, so this didn't bother us, but we can see where it might bother tenters. Take your tent off to the tent loop, where it is somewhat quieter. The camp is very quiet during the week.

One other reviewer noted that they got into the nearby KOA instead. The KOA is ten miles south (farther from Dunkirk/Fredonia), off the lake, and twice the price. Again, it's about expectations. This is a simple place to park your trailer and relax in the sun at a reasonable price.

Room Tip: Sites in the single digits are tree-lined along the back and somewhat sheltered from the wind. Teens...
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
11 Thank EffieRover
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lapeer, Michigan, United States
Level Contributor
59 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 July 2014

If you like wide open spaces, loud neighbors, and polluted water, then this is the place for you to camp. The beach was closed due to pollution when I was there at the end of July 2014. I have no idea why they decided to cut down 95% of the trees when they built the campground, so there is not much shade or privacy. The bathrooms and showers were clean.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Rob K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Columbus, Ohio
Level Contributor
14 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 July 2013

Beautiful views of the sunset. However, in the loop we were at, which is close to the lake, the air stunk all day. A local from a nearby winery told us that this park DUMPS their sewage into the lake. That would definitely explain the smell.

The bathrooms are really not good, and there is no where to swim. You can't swim in lake erie because it is so polluted. We decided to stay at the nearby KOA the next night, and for THE SAME PRICE it was much better.

Avoid this place until they take care of their beach!!!!

Room Tip: Get the loop by the coast line, even though it costs more.
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  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Kiara K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 June 2013

My mother & I would go camping every year. The cabins were very nice & clean w/ cabinets & counter, sink w/ running water, 4 beds, a table, a closet, electric stove and fridge. We always felt safe there. After a long trip, a hot shower seemed welcoming. Their showers were amazing! The water pressure is so powerful I thought it would blow me right out of the shower stall! ha, ha. Great pressure than at home! The staff is helpful & friendly. If you need something they provide it for you.
Great views of the lake! Never a disappointing sunset! ;) The water sounds are wonderful to listen to at night. The air in the morning feel crisp and refreshing! This is the place you want to be at.

I know this sounds like a commercial but I love this camp ground so much that I wouldn't go anywhere else. Despite what others write, my review will be helpful. I'm usually a skeptic on things but you will love this place.

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank TheArestoGals
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
28 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 May 2013

Just back from here - spent three nights. This is a beautiful place, with nice amenities (electric with no appreciable voltage drop, hot showers, etc.) near a variety of small towns with attractions. The beach was as nice as any Great Lakes beach I know of, though it is not the fine white sand of say, Ludington, MI or even the beach at the town of Dunkirk seven miles away, where they obviously haul in beach sand. And the beach is technically "closed" due to the lack of a lifeguard. (Probably a budget issue?) But while I was there, I saw quite a few children in the water (closely supervised by parents, of course!), despite the "closure." The water was way too cold for my aging body at this time of year, but the children were having a screaming good time.

Maybe because of the time of year (before Memorial Day) or the bad publicity here, there were only six campsites occupied in the entire park, which is too bad ... there were sites right on the lake - with sunsets just like the one that someone else posted - that were unoccupied.

I'd go back here anytime, and probably will. A few additional notes: by using satellite photos, I picked and advance-reserved a site which has some trees around it for shade; many of the "middle" sites or those away from the lake are in full sun all day. that might be good if you want to use a solar charging system or work on a tan, not so good if you want lots of shade. For the most part, the area is pretty wide-open, without a lot of trees / shrubbery to provide privacy between sites. The upside is that there is a lot of grass, and the staff folks were mowing every day for at least part of the day. Due to lake effect breezes, the air temperature here was consistently five to seven degrees cooler than it was five miles inland. That's why in part, the local grapes do so well ... the moderating effect of the lake, both summer and winter.

Previous reviewers have complained about train noise - that was not any sort of issue for me. I was in a trailer, not a tent, but I slept right next to an open window on my trailer, and though I heard few trains every day (actually mostly during the day) and did hear train horns occasionally, they certainly never woke me up or kept me awake! The train tracks here are between .7 and .8 miles from the campsites ...

And as to the beach / shore, the Park has nearly a half mile of shoreline. Only once when I was walking it did I come across another person ... to walk on it, you do have to actually walk a hundred yards or so down from the little bluff where the campground sits - perhaps fifteen feet above the water level - and walk to the shore. And yes, there was the occasional fish skeleton ... this is on the shore of an actual lake, after all. But no bad "rotting fish" smell. The shore detritus might vary depending upon whether there was a recent storm with onshore winds, I suppose. Of course, this also would make for more interesting beachcombing. But overall, a very nice beach to walk, in my estimation. And lots of nice flat stones for skipping!

  • Stayed May 2013, travelled solo
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank AirsDream
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fredonia, New York, United States
1 review
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 April 2013

My husband and family have camped here for the past 12 years...it's where we go throughout the entire summer. I love the huge sites, clean firepits, and staff that keeps the grounds neat and safe. HOWEVER, the beach is such a disappointment. Here we are, along this gorgeous plot of land on a stunning lake, and the beach is terrible. WHAT A SHAME. I'd GLADLY pay a couple extra bucks per night to have a CLEAN beach with a life guard!! This beach has such potential, and certainly more people would come to this park if the beach was maintained. There's NO reason for it not to be!! The pictures on the nysparks.com website are a total farce...the beach looks nothing like this! BUT...this is still our favorite place to camp.

  • Stayed June 2012, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank JenM8470
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Lake Erie State Park

Property: Lake Erie State Park
Address: 5905 Route 5, Brocton, NY 14716-9705
Region: United States > New York > Chautauqua County > Brocton
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Speciality Lodging in Brocton
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 100
Also Known As:
Lake Erie State Park Hotel Brocton

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