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Buttermilk Falls State Park Camping for the Ages

We stuffed our van with camping gear and then loaded up all of our swim stuff. “Wohoo! We are going swimming and to see all the falls!” After a three hour straight through drive, we pulled into the park entrance and rounded a gorgeous stand of black eyed susans. Turning to our right we spied the majestic Buttermilk Falls… trickling over the rocks. Silence. “Okay, well let’s check in, unpack and go swimming!” We drove towards the park office with a large sign just outside, ‘Swimming Closed!’ Well…

I straightened up my shoulders and announced that we were going to have an excellent vacation. And for sure, we would find another place to swim. Sebastian renewed his enthusiasm and we pulled into the parking lot ready to vacate. :oD

Peeling ourselves off of the sticky leather seats, we jumped out of the van and scurried towards the park office. A small air conditioner was hanging out of the window. Cold air awaited. Swinging open the door, we stepped in and were greeted by a perky blond teenager with a perfectly dry forehead, standing in the sweltering hot, totally un-air conditioned office with not a single window open. Slackjawwed, I announced that we were there to check in to our cabin and when could we go swimming?

Swimming was only open on weekends at this particular park, she informed us, but Robert Treman State Park had weekday swimming. But, it was closed today and likely tomorrow due to the previous and forecasted rain. A tiny voice in my head screamed a vulgar word. I wiped the sweat from my face with my shirt and took our parking pass. We exited into the slightly less sweltering parking area.

All was not lost. We were on our way up a gorgeous hill to find a brand spanking new (albeit, nonelectric) cabin and we were going to have a damn great vacation if it killed me!

The drive up the hill was stunning. I pulled over to take photos of a gorge and small waterfall.

All was not lost. We continued up the hill, into the gorgeous and vibrant green trees. We drove around the loop until we found Cabin 13, our home for the next four days.

The cabin looked great from the outside and I was already impressed that we were not directly on top of our cabin neighbors. The hill had been terraced allowing distance and height between the cabins. In addition, small trees and bushes were being trained to grow between each site so that eventually there would be quite a bit of privacy from your neighbor. The parking space was also well situated allowing for two vehicles, with a safe and sturdy set of rock and wood framed stairs. Each cabin was equipped with an outdoor bench, broom, picnic table, and the best fire pit and grills I have seen at any campsite!

Let’s get inside! The cabin had a full (locking) screen door and a modern (locking) privacy plexi-glass door. We opened the door to find more space than I thought possible. The high sloping ceiling and large skylight helped to make the cabin look large and airy and bright! There were screened windows on every wall and the bed was queen size. Crazy! In addition, there was a three person bunk bed with full twin size mattresses. I would go so far as to say that the mattresses would easily accommodate two children or two small adults. I was impressed!

This was easily the nicest basic, nonelectric cabin we had ever seen. I was so relieved. We unloaded all of our gear (I way overpacked) and we settled in. We had arrived rather late and I was interested in building a fire and relaxing.

We did get to build a fire and started toasting some cheesy dogs, but mother nature wasn’t having it. It started to rain and we quickly moved inside for the evening. The kitchen area was perfect!

You may notice our battery operated fans. It was hot and humid, y’all! Sooo humid! Like hang up your sweaty clothes to dry overnight and they are still wet in the morning- humid! But, we still had so much fun. Honestly, I am not sure how I managed because I am extremely sensitive to heat and extremely whiney in humidity. This kid must be the reason I made it through!

cabin buttermilk falls state park ithaca ny

We had an excellent couple of days at this cabin. We were particularly far from the bathrooms and it was pouring the whole week so I am super excited that I bought a bucket potty seat on Amazon and a cheap bucket from the hardware store. It sounds gross but was super convenient and not too bad. We brought Poo-pouri to spray inside the bag, and changed the bag after each night. Easy peasy and so much better than schlepping to the bathroom every two hours for my teeny tiny bladder.

We had the opportunity to explore the park on our last day and the falls were really moving then! We took a few gorgeous shots and we made a wee little video for you. Do enjoy!

(Try to remember that I am a newbie at this video creation thing, so this one is a bit rough, but you get the idea. I am actually looking forward to improving these skills.)

So, Buttermilk Falls State Park is absolutely awesome! There are several tent camping areas, and some older cabins as well. If you are in the Finger Lakes area you should definitely stop by to visit the falls but I would suggest also staying here for a few days. The weekly cabin rentals are very very reasonably priced at somewhere around $250/week. And everything you could want is within minutes driving distance but the campground is at the top of a hill meaning perfect serenity while you are in the wild.

After our stay, we moved on to one night in a luxury hotel and had loads of food and waterfall exploring adventures.

Do you have a favorite state park campground? Please share below. We would love to put it on our ‘To Visit’ list!

Travel and lifestyle blogger, mommy, wife.


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