Robert H Treman State Park Ithaca NY
Robert H Treman State Park has been a go to camping location for my family for a few years now. We started out when my husband and I were first dating and we would stay in a cabin with his family. Shortly after we graduated to our own cabin with our kids and then came our pop up camper and now our travel trailer and we’ve used them all at Treman.
I will try my best to explain this park but there is a lot to cover including the camping, the hiking, the swimming (in a waterfall) and the other wonderful things surrounding this amazing place.
Let’s start with the camping since that is how I start all my trips there. As I mentioned there are cabins here and they are rustic buildings with basic amenities, beds, refrigerator, electricity, etc. My personal recommendation is to bring a big air mattress, push two of the beds together and put the air mattress on top, not a necessity but will certainly make things more comfortable. Most of the cabins are grouped together so if you are planning on camping with friends this is a good solution, they have 4 twin beds per cabin. The exception to this is cabin 14 which is a double cabin and is located near the playground and surrounded by standard electric camping sites. I’ve never been in this cabin so I can’t say a lot about it but it certainly is big.
You may have noticed that I said that cabin 14 is across from the playground. Not only is it across from the playground it is across from a very cool one. We were actually camping the year that this was installed and my kids were fortunate enough to be in the photo shoot for it. This is one of two playgrounds at this park, the other one is along the drive on the way into the main parking area, it is also nice but I don’t have any photos of it. I don’t have a lot of photos of this one either because, honestly, the weather was beautiful and I had more important things to do. 🙂 It is themed with a woodsy theme with little animals hidden all around. Because it is so close to the camping area we stay at my kids can go on there pretty much all day and we can watch them from our site. We give them a walki talkie so we don’t have to be the parents that constantly yell for the their kids and they have a ball. Pretty much when they’re not swimming or riding their bikes they’re on this playground. Next to the playground is a big open field, we play night frisbie here but people play tons of yard games in the field. On the other side of the playground is a big shelter and we just recently we realized there are horseshoe pits near there but you have to bring your own shoes.
We have always stayed in this ring and there is another ring to the right of where I took this picture, these (as far as I know) are all electric sites. There are more sites that are basically out in the open without any trees and they are closer to the showers (there is only one building with showers) but I’m not a thin girl, I need shade. 🙂 There are two buildings with bathrooms in this ring and they are very similar to the cabins and cleaned daily.
If you are able bodied I highly recommend you go for a hike while you are here. Also if you are camping here know where the hiking trails are because you will get asked by lost hikers a lot. There is one that starts in the cabin area that is called the Rim Trail, this is the one people are usually looking for and there is another one near the main parking lot called the Gorge Trail. No matter which one you take you’re looking at a lot of stairs so I personally recommend a good hiking stick or trekking poles, our whole family uses them and they do help a lot. If you don’t feel like hiking the whole thing you can always park a car at the top and one at the bottom and walk your way down but if you’re up for a challenge and over 500 steps for a 4 mile hike this is a great one. We always start on the Gorge side and walk our way up to the top where Lucifer falls is. Unfortunately on this particular trip it was almost 90 out so it was a rough hike but we all made it, including our 4 year old. We always take the rim trail down because it is more of a natural trail with less steps, but trust me there are still plenty of steps. You know when you are approaching the end of this trail because you will hear the diving board as the trail goes above the swimming area, you will go down some more steps and end right in the middle of the cabins. After you have completed your hike I highly recommend heading over to the swimming area. 🙂
Yes, the swimming area, I’ve saved the best for last and I don’t even like to swim. This is a short walk from the camping area just past the cabins. My family all loves the water (me not so much) so I am usually hanging out by the side of wherever they are swimming and I’m either knitting or reading (I know, exciting) but here is the one place that I could sit all day and do that. There is a grassy area to spread out a blanket or bring a couple of chairs and I can go over to the “kid” area with my son and sit on the huge stone steps and put my feet in. Meanwhile, I know that my daughter and my husband will be over on the diving board jumping into the deep end and climbing and sitting at the bottom of the waterfall. Yes, that’s right, you can actually swim under a waterfall and climb on it and hang out in it. It is truly beautiful. Even if you’re like me and don’t want to swim just to hear the sound of the waterfall in the background while you’re doing other things it truly relaxing. Please be warned though that the swimming will not always be open. This was one of the first camping trips that we have had in many years where the swimming was open the whole time. If it rains too much or not enough the swimming area will be closed. Typically if this happens there are other swimming areas close by that are still natural but not with a waterfall you can hang out on. Also be warned this is not warm water, the warmest it got while we were there (in July) was 74, my family has swam in it before when it was less than 60 degrees but they’re nuts and we had just finished hiking. 🙂
So that’s the basics. I could probably continue writing and tell you a million more things but this should give you a good idea of what to expect from Treman. I haven’t even scratched the surface of all the wonderful things to see and do in Ithaca while you are camping here but I suppose that might be best saved for another post. I can not recommend this place enough, our whole family loves it here.