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“decent place to spend the day”

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Fair Haven State Park Campground
Reviewed 16 October 2013

I want to start off by saying that WE DID NOT CAMP HERE! I know a lot of other people do, but we did not. We did however, spend a few hours here to picnic, take in the view, and walk by the water. This place has potential to recieve a 'very good' review, but unfortunately its the clientele that caused me to give it just an 'average' rating. The view is nice.....the playground is also nice....BUT, people that use no common sense ruin places like this. Litter, no one watching their kids, dirty diapers near the playground, and there were literally people ALLOWING their children to play with fire. If it wasnt for the people with no common sense, this place has potential.

  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled with family
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2  Thank lisa0208
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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12 - 18 of 19 reviews

Reviewed 28 August 2013

We stayed on site 332. If you are tent camping be advised that there is NO grass on this site as of 8/27/13. I had booked this site online a few weeks ahead not knowing this. When we arrived the place had no vacancies so we were stuck. The site is very small, encircled by trees and the ground is dirt. It looked like most of the sites on the side I was on had very little grass. On the other side of the street grass was abundant, but the sites were very open. The bathrooms were pretty nice and Lake Ontario was beautiful. We rented a rowboat one day and rowed around the large pond that is near the lake. The park rents canoes, row boats, kayaks and paddle boats for $5 and hour or $20 a day. The staff was very nice. I am giving it average marks because of the small, dirt campsite. Also be warned that the wood sold by the store across the street does not burn very well, if at all. They charge $10 a wheelbarrow full, but what's the point if it doesn't burn. The park sells small bundles for $5, but we didn't try theirs.

Room Tip: Go for the Lakeview sites!
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  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
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2  Thank zeezar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 August 2013

I give this park 4 out 5 points. I would have given five - but will explain why I can't.

The park property covers quite a few acres along Lake Ontario South shores - and the size of it has its own attractiveness. One of the features is a pond, which is a small lake adjacent to the main one. One can walk or bike around the property. There is few dedicated trails, one is a Lakeview Trail. It takes you through the woods, then along the pebble beach, in the woods again, and on and on. We tried to ride mountain bikes there - but could not get to the end of the trail on bikes.

We stayed in a Basic Cabin with four beds and a refrigerator inside, a picnic table and a fire pit outside on the front lawn. We toured the property checking other cabins and discovered that they differ significantly in terms of size and features. Some are very comfortable cottages, which must be reflected in the price though. The cabins are spread over property, so although you can really see your neighbours, it does not make you feel crowded. Most of the cabins are located by the pond with marshes for the shores. Reeds and long weeds make for nice view, but they also house mosquitoes coming out in the dark. Surprisingly, there is no mosquitoes during day hours.

Facilities in the cabin compound are communal, but within short distance. New York State parks are notoriously clean, and this park is no exception. Maintenance crews show up few times a day to make sure everything is clean and the toilet paper is in abundance. Good job!

The park has its own marine with two boat size launch and a peer. There are few picnic areas in the park with tables, fresh water fountains and wash-rooms. I have seen signs limiting table usage to 8 people, but it is hard to imagine more than 8 average people sitting at the standard picnic table at once anyway.

The park has its own wildlife - chipmunks, geese, squirrels, birds - I take it a sign of healthy environment.

Now to the CONS - the beach. The park maintains two guarded sand beaches. Both beaches have sufficient parking lots, clean shower and toilet facilities and life guards. The problem is that swimming is restricted to the shallow area full of little children between 11AM and 7PM only. And only one beach is open weekdays, the second beach is open weekends to allow for more people. Swimming outside of guarded areas as well as before and after dedicated hours is VERBOTEN. We asked park officer if there is any SWIMMING AT OWN RISK area within park property. He suggested we should to the Sandbanks across the lake on Canadian side. In the Fair Haven Park though one may swim at their own risk of being fined $250 by Park Police. It is very surprising to see how little room is allocated for swimming in one of the world largest bodies of fresh water. In my opinion it would be advisable to keep one beach unguarded for those willing to take risks. The problem is mitigated in part by the pebble beach on the Lakeview Trail, it takes a little bit of walking or biking there.
I can't say much about tent and motor home sites. There are few - some in the woods, some by the lake. All seemed nice from aside.
Please see more photos from our trip to Fair Haven Park here: http://www.ottawastockimages.com/index.php?/category/74

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with family
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5  Thank Andrei F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 August 2013

There are 2 beaches here. Only 1 was open during our stay and it was packed. I can not understand why the other beach which was larger was not open. The area for swimming was roped off and only about 3 feet deep. The person who checked us in was very rude. Our site was nice and the campground is patrolled at night and was very quiet.

Room Tip: We talked to the locals and found a beach a short drive away where we could take our dog.
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  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank JulieCInveraryOn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 July 2013 via mobile

We spent four nights here in the beginning of July. As usual with campgrounds, you never know who your neighbors will be, and we weren't lucky in this instance. Across from us for the first night were a family with a dog that did a lot of barking. The other three nights we dealt with a partying congregation of about 15 people and about three vehicles...obviously the park staff weren't checking the two-vehicle, 8 person limit...
When we checked in, the young lady couldn't help us with any of our questions, saying "I don't usually work here." Nice.

We were in the bluff area, but if you want a lake view, you'll have to be on the strip of sites beside the lake; very nice view and more quiet due to less neighbors.

The playground is very nice. You have to drive to the beach or take a long walk, about 2 km from our site. The beach itself is nice, but the roped-off area is too small and too shallow. The lifeguards were a bit too vigilant if that's possible...they used a bullhorn to say "no masks underwater!". Talk about paranoia!!! You can basically wade in the "swimming" area and there's no swimming outside of that area. If you want to swim "without supervision" you'll have to go to a neighboring county beach or even Sandbanks National Park in Ontario which has amazing beaches.

This park is nice, especially if you have very young children. But like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna get insofar as neighbors are concerned...I didn't notice any park staff patrolling the grounds to ensure that camp rules are respected. That's really a shame since so many parks have great rules but so many don't enforce them.

  • Stayed: July 2013
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1  Thank ScubaZone
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 August 2012

Spent 2 nights at lake view site. Was clean and quiet. Had to walk to the showers but not a big deal. The water was very hot, though. Bathrooms were always clean with ample supplies. Beach was clean as were the bath houses in that location. Ice cream stand had good food and value for the dollar. There was alot of poison ivy noted, though.

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Laura6446
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 August 2012

Been there to camp in a popup. This time we went to the cabins. Had a nice cabin in an isolated area on the bluff. There are only two cabins on the bluff, rest are normal sites. The rest of the cabin colony is down by the pond and most there have to share a bath house. Ours (# 35 and also # 34) have water and kitchen areas. I attached pix of the two cabins on the bluff. Ours had 3 bedrooms and the other had 2. Lots of hiking, trails, boat rental, beaches, bluffs and long break wall to walk on. Diving area in the channel also. Concession stands and camp store on site. 1 - 2 miles from village of Fair Haven if you get bored or forgot something.

  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled with family
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9  Thank deckboy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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Additional Information about Fair Haven State Park Campground

Address: 14985 State Park Road, Fair Haven, NY 13064
Region: United States > New York > Finger Lakes > Fair Haven
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Speciality Lodging in Fair Haven
Number of rooms: 217
Also Known As:
Fair Haven State Park Campground Hotel Fair Haven

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