Gilbert Lake State Park – Camping Recap

After passing the camping section in Costco one time too many, we decided to embark on a camping trip. We reached out to a few friends and a few hours later, we had booked a campsite for the Fourth of July. 

We had a few requirements for said campsite. It had to have:
easy access to showers & toilets
secluded campsite that was not on top of the campsites next door
partially shaded (we did not want to be roasting the entire time)
access to trails and hikes
a water feature (lake or stream)
within a three hour drive of Rochester, NY, Goshen, NY, and Norwood, NJ

gilbert lake state park

One night for dinner, we made walking tacos – tacos in a snack-sized bag of chips. One word: fantastic. 


We came across the site, Reserve America, which was a lifesaver. On the Reserve America site, you can narrow down campsites based on your preferences. You can select where you are, what type of site you are looking for (RV, tent, or cabin rental), dates, how many people, and many other options. The best feature for us was the option for dog friendly sites. Having all of this under one website made it so much easier to find available campsites. When looking at specific campsites on Reserve America, it also provides images of each site. This is helpful in getting a visual of each campsite prior to booking. 


After browsing through way too many State Parks, we decided on Gilbert Lake State Park in New York which is situated between Cooperstown and Oneonta, NY. We ventured out one day to stock up on wood and we came across the most adorable, quaint house with wood for sale. They were working on the honor system as far as payments and was just picturesque. 


Getting to Gilbert Lake Park was a VERY scenic and VERY windy drive. It was a gorgeous ride up and down through small towns, farms, and a lot of open land.

gilbert lake state park site #104

We stayed in campsite #104 in the Deer Run section of GIlbert Lake State Park. We learned from reading reviews that the campsites in the HIlltop section are very open and on top of one another. We targeted the Deer Run section and choose #104 based on the images provided on Reserve America. Campsite #104 turned out to be perfect! The area was gigantic for a campsite. We had plenty of space for three tents, three cars, and two dogs. 


Camping Essentials:
Hobo Pie Maker – This was my first time making a Hobo Pie and I was instantly hooked. My favorites were grilled cheeses and nutella-strawberry. 
Travel Hammock – We set this up on day 1 and used it every single day. If I could find a way to position my tent around the hammock, I would totally sleep in it at night.
Comfy Chairs – We splurged and bought chairs from Costco that were a bit more than standard camping chairs but it was worth the extra money. They had a little table attached that was perfect for your drink and other odds and ends.
Tons of Games – We had a wide selection of games from lawn games to party games and everything in between. Our favorites were Blokus, Cards Against Humanity, Adult Loaded Questions, Kan Jam, and Washers.


What are some of your camping essentials or camping tips?

  • Jen

    It looks like you had a lot of fun! I absolutely love camping!

    • Kim Bianco

      We had an incredible weekend, camping is now one of my favorites as well!

      Do you have any areas where you love to go camping?

  • Bri

    I haven’t been camping in so long! I miss it! Looks like a great time. I love hobo pies.

    • Kim Bianco

      I’m already planning our next camping trip. Its either going to be in Canada or Vermont. I can’t wait!