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“A Long Weekend in Watkins Glen”

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Watkins Glen-Corning KOA Camping Resort
Reviewed 5 July 2017

I have mixed feelings about this campground. We just got home from our trip there yesterday. We spent the long July 4th weekend there with family and friends. We had a total of 3 sites (2 right next to each other) and 10 people. We rented a premium patio site in the A section.

I love the location - right in between Corning and Watkins Glen. I also liked our patio site. We did have an issue with the afternoon sun. Because we were directly facing it, even our awning didn't provide any shade. We tried putting up a pop up canopy tent to help, but the sun angle just couldn't be beaten. A couple of nights we carried our chairs and food next door to our family members who had a patio on the other side of their trailer and squeezing into their shade until the sun was low enough to cart everything back to our larger patio. Not much they can do about this, I'm sure, but a little notice when booking the site would have helped. The premium site behind us didn't seem to have this problem because they were shaded by tall trees on the edge of the section above us.

Because we had 6 people staying in our camper, we were happy to be near the bath house. But, I didn't think they were particularly clean, especially in the morning during the busiest time. The showers were set apart from the toilets, so that was nice, but the toilet area still had a wet floor most of the time. A couple of our group members opted for a bathhouse shower later in the afternoon on one of the days and they had no hot water! We were shocked. There weren't any other bathers to use up all of the water, so how could there not be any. For the price we paid for the sites, having hot water should not be a question.

We were especially glad to have such a large patio on the days that it rained. Our patio dried out very quickly and we were able to go back outside and put our chairs back out once the rain ended. Others with out patios were not as lucky. As I walked the dog, I notice lots of sites with deep standing water. Part of our group was staying in this area and while they didn't have much water, they helped out a neighbor who did and who could not get help getting it drained by the staff. We were told that when they asked to have someone come and pump out the water that they didn't have a pump and that they couldn't move because the park was full. They were, however, told that they could leave if they were unhappy. Really, this response, if true, makes me very angry. Telling someone who has driven several hours on a holiday weekend that they can leave is just rude - where would they go? How about instead recognizing you don't have proper drainage in these sites, fixing it, and providing good customer service. KOAs are not inexpensive and I would have expected a much more customer focused response.

The campground does have a lot of activities, however, they charge extra for most. For the price of these sites, you would think that the waterslide and bumper boats would be included, and maybe even the army truck ride. But they aren't, and they aren't inexpensive. $5 per slide is a bit much, in my opinion. I can understand charging for the zip line, and at $8 per ride, that is pretty reasonable. I can also understand charging for the rock wall, but the others should be included. They do include mini golf in the price, and it is a good thing. If we'd had to pay for the game we played we would have requested a refund - not level and the blue carpet looks ancient and dirty.

I found the staff to be very friendly and the check in process easy and quick. One of our group had a problem with their gate card and the office simply replaced it with no fuss. The staff at the zip line was great and the people we talked to when we booked and when I called to pay our balance were kind and easy to work with. Be prepared for no phone service and spotty wifi. This was tough for me, as I'm teaching an online course and really needed to get online. I found that early morning was the best time to connect.

Be sure to visit the Corning Museum of Glass and walk the gorge at Watkins Glen state park. Both were wonderful, family friendly activities. Be prepared for Watkins Glen to be very wet and wear shoes that won't slip on the rocks. Also be prepared for the 832 steps. It is a steep hike, but well worth it. Go into town and down to the harbor area to walk around. Seneca Lake is beautiful and I want to go back to see Hector Falls, which you can see if you do one of the boat rides on the lake - it literally falls into the lake and is amazing. Our friends went over to Ithaca to see Teaghannock Falls (I'm sure I've misspelled this) and Buttermilk Falls. We didn't, but will plan another trip back to see those. I'm not sure we'll stay at this campground, however, as I'm not sure we got the value for our money that we feel we should have.

  • Stayed: July 2017, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Stacey D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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20 - 24 of 194 reviews

Reviewed 29 June 2017 via mobile

Our family of four stayed in a super lodge cabin for three days recently. The cabin itself was perfect: spacious, clean and had all the comforts of home. My only complaint about the cabin is how close you are to other cabins. You're basically on top of each other, and it takes away from the camping, outdoorsy feel.
The grounds offer a ton of things for the kids to do, but at a price. Laser tag, a giant water slide, rock climbing and bumper boats can be done unlimited with an $18 pass (($10 for subsequent days). Zip lining is not included and has its own cost. My kids enjoyed all of these.
A giant jumping pad and jumping pillow are free and my kids loved them, too.
The camp also has a staff of teens who lead kids in games, and it was super cute. A nice plus!
The great thing is there are a ton of kids and my social 6 and 8 year old sons made friends quickly and had a ball.

The downsides: the pool and pool house were disgusting. At one point, my son dived down for a toy and the water was so murky, I couldn't see him.
The smell when you enter the pool building is indescribable. It's like you're trapped in a dirty, sweaty man's armpit and can't escape. There's funky mold in the corners, and the rug on the stairs is likely the culprit.

Also, I read about the train horns in the middle of the night and thought people were being dramatic. No. It is loud. And I was in a cabin with closed windows.

Overall, my kids had a blast, which makes me happy, but there are things that could be better.

Stayed: June 2017, travelled with family
1  Thank Marie Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 June 2017

All was good, except, don't ever pick site C16 especially when there is rain in the midst. The pad was a flooded muddy mess. I had called for maintenance and recommendedges that they should cut the grass edges away from the pad so that the water could drain, the gentleman said he would pass that along. Also told him they needed to put more gravel down where you park the camper, that was all muddy.
Another bad incident that happened is, the food truck that is there made a good burger the first night, the second night burnt them to a crisp. My husband wanted me to return them, but I didn't. Otherwise a nice place.

Room Tip: Don't pick site C16
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  • Stayed: June 2017, travelled with family
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank edb14898
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 June 2017

Clean Friendly campsite with lots to do.
Our second time to this campsite. We were just there is October, and we were really looking forward to our return trip.
Lots to do, with the great playgrounds, indoor pools, bouncing pillows, and mini golf.
Lots of activities planned for the weekend.
Keep up the great work.

  • Stayed: May 2017, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Emily W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed 28 May 2017 via mobile

This campground has a lot of crazy prices, but the new staff is very caring and sweet! Unless you cause trouble, which, then that's on you. Almost all will do anything in their power to make sure your stay is safe, fun, and happy. Some have bad experiences. And I think you should give it more than one try before you completely judge it. Someone said the bathrooms weren't clean.. They've been spotless since my family's stay. And then for their recreational park, it was completely worth every cent! The smiles and talks on the way back home from my kids, I knew it was the right choice for a trip! My son's favorite was the zipline they have! And the two workers on the zipline were so quick at their job for there only being two for about 10 people every half hour. And when my son came down the zip, they made sure he was safe and even pep talked him when he was almost too scared to go down.

As I said, the staff here is amazing. The facilities were in excellent condition during my stay. I would highly recommend all my friends and future review-lookers to this campground. And be sure to try the zipline with the polite guys that run it!

My kids had a blast,
Which means I had a blast!
Thank you KOA!

Stayed: May 2017, travelled with family
4  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Watkins Glen-Corning KOA Camping Resort

Address: 1710 State Route 414, PO Box 228, Watkins Glen, NY 14891-9526
Region: United States > New York > Finger Lakes > Watkins Glen
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 7 Speciality Lodging in Watkins Glen
Number of rooms: 152
Also Known As:
Watkins Glen-Corning Koa Camping Hotel Watkins Glen

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