Golden Hill State Park

State Park

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9691 Lower Lake Rd.
Barker, NY 14012
Official Website

GPS: 43.3732, -78.4882

Last Price Paid: $21
Number of Sites: 55
Pad Type: gravel
Reservations: Yes
Elevation: 262 ft
Tent Camping: Yes

2 people have reviewed this location.

Ratings Summary

Site Quality

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22 Arctic Fox
29 reviews
Nightly rate: $21
Days stayed: 3
Site Number: 17
“Nice campground but poor management of unruly campers”

Reviewed Jul 06, 2018

Overall Rating

Initially I was ready to give Golden Hill a 4-star rating but how a situation was handled with a belligerent camper lowered my rating to a 2-star.

Positives – Great location! Right on the shore of Lake Ontario with incredible lake views, the sunrises and sunsets were breathtaking, and a beautiful lighthouse & lighthouse keeper’s house that you can tour for only $1. Our tour guide was excellent. There is a building onsite that contains the history of the lighthouse as well as a small library for campers including games and kids books, very well done. Lake view sites cost more but do have nice views. The bathroom/shower house closest to the lighthouse is newer, spacious and is quite nice, 3 nice showers and a “unisex/handicapped” room with toilet, sink and shower (the outside could use a good cleaning though, coated in bugs and bird droppings) and has an added bonus of a laundry room with 2 washers and 2 dryers, $1.50 a load with the option for a heavy wash cycle for $1.75. Used them all and they worked A-OK! There is a 2nd bathroom/shower facility near the check in booth/office that was reasonably clean but older and of course, not as nice as the new building. The staff that checked us in was friendly. There is a dump station on-site and drinking water available throughout the park.
Note: sites 15, 16, 17, 18 appear on the campground map to be close enough to the shoreline to offer lake views (not considered premium sites) but they are sloped downward and you have to cross the road to see the lake.

Negatives – We weren’t told at check in that because of the unusually hot weather generator use would not be restricted to the usual 9 A.M. – 11 A.M. and 5 P.M. – 9 P.M. & generator hours are not posted, poor communication. We were wondering why the camper across the road was running their generator 24 hours a day.

Here’s the reason for the 2-star rating: A family/group moved into a yurt behind us, set up 3 tents (tents are not allowed on yurt sites) I counted at least 13 people ranging in age from small children to 2 to 4 adults (well beyond the site limit). They used extremely profane language throughout the day, spoke offensively to 2 young boys walking near their site, set off fireworks the night of July 3rd (fireworks are illegal in the park), continued to be loud and use profane language well beyond the 10 P.M. “quiet time” & I won’t bore you with the other issues, but the list is long.

The onsite volunteers spoke to them about the violations & shared with us that one/some of the adults were smoking marijuana at the time, the park ranger/warden was contacted to act on the violations and he never showed up, a law enforcement officer came and spoke to them but took no action. The morning of their departure (they were allowed to stay the entire 2 nights they reserved) they were extremely unruly, very loud before 6 A.M. and carried on in an offensive manner that disrupted the entire park. The lady in the yurt next door even came out & asked them if they were aware of the park’s quiet hours. To top it all off, they set off several bricks of firecrackers as they left the park, one in front of their neighbor who asked them to quiet down and the other in front of the volunteer’s site.

In my opinion the Park Manger should have nipped this in the bud because of the number of serious violations, and the repeated warnings given without their compliance and insisted that either a park official or local law enforcement remove these people immediately. Their decision to not remove these troublemakers certainly did not protect, nor respect, the peaceful environment other campers who follow the rules expect and pay for. Shame on them!

The volunteers told us nothing this extreme has ever happened before and they were extremely apologetic, so this is not likely the norm, but I feel paid park management, should be trained and prepared to act promptly and effectively when these types of serious disruptions arise.

Also, shame on the law enforcement officer that had the authority to pursue and resolve the matter but did nothing.

Lovely park, but it wasn’t worth the drama, we won’t be returning.

Site Quality

This review is the opinion of a Campendium member and not of

Nightly rate: $26
Days stayed: 4
Site Number: 5
“Camping on Lake Ontario - Spectacular sunsets and a light house!”

Reviewed Jun 22, 2016

Overall Rating

Golden Hills is a small New York State Park right on the shores of Lake Ontario. It is in the middle of nowhere, which adds to its charm. If you need a place to relax and unwind with a spectacular view, you can't beat this place.

I would recommend making reservations online (do the per-registration you are emailed after you make your payment) and trying to get on the loop closest to the lake. These sites are treed, pull through, have 50 amp electric and water. Once parked, you have only the loop road and a nice grassy area between you and the lake. You can sit and watch the water and passing freighters all day long if you wish!

There are other camping loops that don't quite have the full-on view of the water, but are still nice. They vary as to water and electric, you'll have to check the campground website. The public space right along the lake shore will still give you the view. There are also a number of primitive sites for tent camping. Most of the sites along the lake are fairly level, but we positioned our motor home to avoid hitting the trees with our awning, and found ourselves on a slope. So bring some extra pads for leveling just in case.

The park also boasts a very nice playground, some hiking trails, yurts, nice new bathrooms, a decent dump station, and a boat launch (about 1 mile east of the camping area). I didn't see any swim area. The Thirty Mile Point Lighthouse is right in the campground! You can tour the lighthouse for $1 per person. The attached museum is free.

If the conditions are right, you can see Toronto across the lake. In the area is the Niagara Wine Trail with wineries close by.

We didn't try OTA television, although someone mentioned getting Toronto stations in their RV. Verizon Cell Service was weak. My cell phone booster didn't boost the signal at all. I found if I put my phone (as a hot spot) in the window of the RV, I could pick up a weak 4G, 1 or 2 bar signal most of the time. That was enough for Internet. But if we wanted to talk on the phone, we typically drove to the entrance of the campground. The phone would only occasionally work in the RV for voice. Walking the 20 feet from the RV to the edge of the lake resulted in no service. Yes, it's that touchy!

This is one of those campgrounds you hesitate to review because you don't want to let the word get out. It was that nice and relaxing. We'll be back.

Site Quality
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Verizon 3G

This review is the opinion of a Campendium member and not of

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Wandering Around America One State at a Time – New York

State 29: Welcome to the next post in my series highlighting states we have visited throughout the years. I hope you will enjoy coming along for the ride! I will be featuring the states alp...

  • 50 Amp
  • 30 Amp
  • 20 Amp
  • water
  • dry camping
  • Partial Hookups
  • boat ramp
  • picnic area
  • playground
  • recreation trail
  • water access
Site Amenities:
  • big rig
  • fire ring
  • picnic table
  • pull thru
  • cabins
  • dump station
  • showers
  • trash
  • water available
  • pets


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