We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Beautiful Nature/Hike; Terrible For Adult Campers”

Fillmore Glen State Park
Ranked #1 of 3 things to do in Moravia
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: This region of cool, dense woods nestled into a long, narrow gorge, offers hiking trails with spectacular views, unique geological formations and five waterfalls.
Reviewed July 26, 2012

We camped for the weekend with friends and stayed on the grounds except for a brief trip out for ice cream. Our unfortunate review: 4 stars for the nature / park and hike, but 2.5 stars for the camping. I'll discuss both separately:

PARK: Fillmore Glen had a fantastic balance that made it just right for us. We love nature and hiking, but don't like it when crowding of people overruns and spoils the experience - Fillmore Glen has really gorgeous trails and truly wonderful hikes, but is just visited enough to allow a pleasant and comfortable experience without overcrowding. The shelters, park, picnic areas were all well maintained and comfortable, and although we had no children in our party, we found the playground impressive (and a few of our "young at heart" adults could not resist playing themselves!). We walked two trails, taking the Southern Rim trail out, and the Gorge Trail back. The South Rim Trail is a moderately strenuous hike, particularly in the beginning up some steep inclines; the physically fit amongst us had no trouble, but the less in shape amongst us (me!) found it a challenge and exhausting, but rewarding and worth it. A few nice views, although undamaged arbor blocks the view in most places - for the best chance at a view, continue all the way to the end of the South Rim Trail, where an outlook provides some views through the trees. The Gorge Trail, following the river through the base of the gorge, was really fantastic, with great views and a pleasant hike all around, and one that is also very accessible - aside from the initial 40ish steps to get there, it was an easy walk, with just a few steps at times up and down. Closer in to the parking area is the "cowsheds", a natural waterfall that is only a short walk away and very picturesque. Very near the parking area, a small quasi-natural pool allows swimming when a lifeguard is on duty. Overall, we are likely to strongly encourage others to visit, and are likely to return for the park alone ourselves.

CAMP: Clean bathrooms and well maintained grounds greeted us, as well as friendly and helpful park entry staff. There was NOT electric available at our sites although the online reservation system did not warn this (it usually does clearly with "NO ELECTRIC" in these cases); this was an inconvenience, but we're not picky... it's camping after all! However, all this aside, the sad truth is that it often takes only one idiosyncratic element to spoil an experience, and this was such a case. In pretty much all NY state campgrounds we have visited (and we have visited many), quiet hours begin around 10 PM and last until around 7 AM; in all cases, we have found that this generally means keep noise down to low voices. Now, I consider three things to be the most important parts of my summer camping with friends experiences: (1) cookout, (2) hikes, and (3) visiting around a campfire. The campfire might even be the most important to me. With the darkness not really moving in until 9 or shortly thereafter in the summers around here, campfire time, for the right ambiance, by necessity, needs to be a post-9 PM thing. Well, on both of the weekend evenings we stayed, we had a big problem: a crabby park ranger comes by very soon after 10, regardless of what noise you are making or not making, and tells you to keep it down. We were surprised by this on the first night, and listened as we noted that we could hear not a single sound from any other campsite EXCEPT the obnoxious park ranger from all over the park on these rounds. We are NOT a loud bunch, and figured maybe she mistook us for someone else, or they have a strange policy to treat everyone in the grounds to the same "scolding" if not in bed and out of sight by 10... at any rate, we were tired anyway, and pledged to just stay up to enjoy our campfire on the second night instead... but on the second night, we observed the same phenomenon, particularly noting that the Crabby Park Ranger Patrol rounds began when there was no other sound already because everyone in the park was being quiet enough not to disturb others, and indeed she came to us as well. We shrugged it off, and continued our visiting around the campfire at a whisper... until she came back 20 minutes later to harass us AGAIN. It was clear at this point what was going on: a quick walk around the areas nearby revealed that everyone else had given up and gone to their tents after their first Crabby Park Ranger Patrol harassment, and when we didn't follow suit, the Crabby Park Ranger knew she had to bother us some more even though we were making no noise, were whispering at most, and had a site isolated on three sides from anyone else. Our guess: a lazy park ranger who knows she can go relax for the night once she knows everyone is in bed, so she makes it a point to be a nuisance enough to get everyone to give up on their campfires early. Our friends were so frustrated that they all gave up and turned in early, leaving my wife and I to sadly extinguish our campfire at barely 11:30 alone, also leaving to waste the $20 worth of remaining wood.

We stopped in to discuss this on the way out with the park staff, who were surprised and frustrated, and confirmed to us that the rules about "quiet hours" are *supposed* to just mean that noise is kept low enough not to disturb the nearest "neighbor" campers, such that there is no way the harassments were warranted. They apologized and promised to look into it, and also took our names and phone numbers to follow up with us once they did... we never heard back.

We will absolutely NOT be camping at this grounds again, because you are treated like children being told to "go to bed" at 10 PM, aggressively, no matter how quiet you are, spoiling any hope of a campfire. Perhaps that makes this a good place for people with young children they want to force to bed early anyway and don't mind following suit, or people who don't care about an evening campfire. But not for us - big disappointment, and since I only get the chance to do such a thing twice a year or so, a real waste of our valuable vacation time.

9  Thank GregJHipius
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review
Reviews (88)
There are newer reviews for Fillmore Glen State Park
See the most recent reviews
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year

76 - 80 of 88 reviews

Reviewed July 14, 2012

This park is special. The walk is steep in places, but worth the energy spent. Dippers and thrushes will fill your senses (bobbing and reeding trills)... its a delightful hiking place that we take at least once a year. Especially lovely in the spring, with the rush of water, but is cool in the late summer too.

Thank Janet S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 6, 2012

The gorge's are unreal. Good for campers. We stayed there with our children and grandkids and they had a great time. The natural formations are great for photography. I took a lot of pictures. Great backdrops with the kids.

Thank Liz M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 2, 2012

Hate to admit it but I would choose to go to Fillmore Glen State Park any day over Darien Lake. Think of all of the advantages you can get from just sitting there and relaxaing. I mean, no loud rollercoaster rides and screams keeping you up all night, no worries about your child getting lost in big crowds, geting away from all of those electronic machines and moving to a more relaxing quiet place where nature surrouunds you every where.
The year of 2011 my family and i thought it would be a great time to get out of the house and enjoy some of that fresh air that we never really got even on any other camping trip. It was a hard time choosing where we want to place our things. So we went to campsiteto, campsite to, campsite until we got the perfect site. It was big enough to hold 5 and we also had so extra room. It was the perfect spot for mine and my sisters ages because we had the perfect veiw of the playground. I was only 11 thn and my 'yonger sister was only 9. We enjoyed spending some time on there and we also met some new friends there.
What mostly made my time was the hiking that my family and I particepated in. The veiws were extrodenary, it was a great source of exercise too. My dad and I did most of the hiking, it was fun, everyone enjoyed it.
We played ladder ball, roasted marshmellows, swam, hiked, and enjoyed the peice and quiet. this is a must camping trip to all.

Thank alexandria t
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 24, 2012

They need to fix the trails that got damaged from the previous year, other than that nice park.

Thank JoAnn J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Fillmore Glen State Park also viewed

Skaneateles, Finger Lakes

Been to Fillmore Glen State Park? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing