NY-Evangola State Park

Discussion in 'New York' started by hugheslc, Aug 17, 2008.

  1. hugheslc

    hugheslc New Member

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    Evangola State Park, Irving, New York

    After our inaugural trip with our n2us camper, we were looking for somewhere a little more local, say less than 150 miles, with fun for our daughter and grandson. A friend called and said that he and his daughters were up for a “local” trip and so we began to look. Having never seen a Great Lake up close and personal except from the air, we thought a trip to the shore might be fun. Evangola State Park is located in Irving, NY (although some web info says its located in Brant NY), about 30 miles south of Buffalo, on the eastern end of Lake Erie.

    The park is easily accessible from I-90 West and should be easy to find using any standard GPS system. Entrance to the campground and check-in was pretty standard however parking at the entrance is limited for those towing pu’s. The campground has 80 sites and 1 cabin, in three loops – 3T, 1, 2. Electric service (15A) is available in loop 2 only. A dump station is available between loops 1 and 2.

    Amenities include a camp store (located at the check in office) with basic supplies, bath house with showers, dishwashing station and coin laundry. Sites are generally flat with gravel drive and the camp road is paved. Fire rings are located at each site and are not movable (more on that later). Several sites in each loop have water views. The campground sits along the water with a 20+ foot cliff/steep rock face down to the waterline. A ramshackle chain link fence runs along the edge of the water to prevent casual attempts to reach the water. A childrens playground is located opposite loop 1 and a recreation area (hoops and tennis) are available in loop 2. A lovely outbuilding for nature talks is located in loop 2 but is not used due to an infestation with bats; moneys are currently pending for renovation.

    A website devoted to the park says that the park was established in 1954 but it is unclear when the campground was established. Regardless of when it opened, one word to describe the facilities is “dated”. The bath house door banged incessantly during the night, the toilet stalls were covered with graffiti and the showers were tiled with interspersed worn concrete; one stall didn’t even have a shower head. Outside, the eaves were eaten through by wood bees, albeit dutifully painted over in numerous coats of brown paint. The dish washing station was workable but hardly new. The associated beach area is about a 1/4mile by car. Ample parking is available and there is a large bath house, lockers and picnic areas. Again the facility appears dated; the parking lot is cracked with weeds growing in it and the sidewalks are heaved. Functional but clearly have seen better days. The beach area is large and reasonably flat and sandy (ok I know!). There are lifeguards who keep watch over a very small swimming area. At first this was disappointing but the day after we were there wave heights were running at 4+ft and it suddenly made eminent sense.

    Our trip started on a Friday afternoon and we got a late start due to technical issues with lights on the trailer. I checked the weather with the NWS before we left as we had local forecasts for thunder and rain. The Irving weather called for unusual weather in the Lake Erie region, with mention of possible waterspouts on Friday and Saturday. We left anyway and arrived at the campground after 6. After check-in, we went to our site to find that aside from the gravel drive was about the only dry spot on the site. To either side, the ground was wet, covered with un-mown grass and with mud 4” deep. Our fire ring was located in the middle of the mud. An area at the end of our drive appeared to have been used for a fire so we attempted to move the ring – no luck as it was secured to the ground. We jockeyed the pup to get it as set as possible but that put our electric nearly out of reach (even with a 30ft cord on the pup+25 ft extension). We then helped our friend set up his tent in loop 1, had supper and went to bed. We spent Saturday afternoon at the beach and we had a blast, bright sun, mid 70’s temps and 1-3ft waves made the water a treat for the kids. However, off in the distance we could see large clouds, portents of coming rain. In the evening before dinner, we took the kids to see a nature talk on bats (where we learned of the outbuildings plight). During the talk, thunder began to rumble insistently. After about 10 minutes, large bolts were hitting too close for comfort and we beat feet back to the pup. This one passed us by (dodged that bullet) but another hit us squarely about a half hour later – with torrential rain, nickel sized hail, and lighting that hit so close that it knocked out the power to our site (had to reset the breaker on the box). The folks at the next site (not our friends) were flooded out and had to leave. Our friends fared just fine; they used my Cabela’s Outback lodge tent with a cover tarp and stayed high and dry.

    We finished out the rest of the weekend with showers and thunder and so ended up closing up wet and opening everything up when we got home.

    Overall, a nice park, a reasonable, if dated, campground with passable facilities and an ocean like experience on Lake Erie.

    Will post pics to webshots as soon as DW lets me at the camera!

    LC Hughes ;)

    L.C. Hughes
     
  2. abrigg

    abrigg New Member

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    Thanks for the nice review. If you feel like traveling a little further north, 4 Mile park is absolutely fantastic. We were able to secure a spot right on Lake Ontario. It is also just 15mins from Niagra Falls and if you go be sure to ask at the gatehouse for a pass to get into the falls for free.

    Anita
     
  3. redfragglerocker

    redfragglerocker Jen & Mike, Andrew (8) and Justin (5)

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    Clarence, NY
    We're about to book a weekend at 4 mile. Is it too cold on the lake around June 6th?? I think it might be freezing. WE're booked for Allegany July 4th! Can't wait!
     
  4. cruising usa

    cruising usa New Member

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    Nice review of the park. Your description of the facilities describes most of the older state parks.
    June in western NY is nice. There is plenty to see in nearby Niagara Fall. Bring a jacket just in case.
    Ken
    Let god Camping

    Me '48, DW ,
    <s> 97</s> '04 Ranger Towing Cruising the
    04 Starcraft 2409
     
  5. 4MCampers

    4MCampers New Member

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    I just got finished reading the review. Despite living near Evangola it's been a long time since I've visited the park. When I get a chance I'll stop by the campgrounds to see if there have been any updates or changes to the facilities. I'll grab some pics and keep everyone posted.
     
  6. 4MCampers

    4MCampers New Member

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    Got a chance to get to Evangola today and look around. Grabbed a bunch of photos & looked around. Will post the results very soon.
     
  7. CampRat

    CampRat New Member

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    First trip there was in a tent and a really bad thunderstorm lightning bolts all around. Dated park but was a fun trip overall. I just wish the state of NY would spend the money and fix some of its older parks. 4 mile Creek is an awesome park as well as Goleden Hill,Lakeside Beach and Hamlin Beach
     
  8. 4MCampers

    4MCampers New Member

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    Yesterday the family & I took a walk/scouted out the campground at Evangola. The good news is that it appears NYS has done some work to the campgrounds. Bad news is that space (particularly parking) and privacy are going to be at a limited premium, especially during peak times such as summer weekends.

    Upon our arrival we visited the park office and store. Despite the building being closed the large windows allowed us a chance to take a peek. While the building appears well maintained (including fresh paint) the size and amenities are small.
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    However despite being closed it was convenient that a list of reserved sites is posted at the office so that those who just "drop in" to camp know which sites are available and which sites have 30 amp or 50 amp service.
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    Additionally, there is a sign that lists the rates (including NY State's nickel and diming procedures) posted.
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    (I apologize for the sideways pics, despite editing, they keep posting sideways)

    Each site is only allowed to have one vehicle at the actual site, which in actuality is all the room each site can realistically accommodate.
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    Fortunately there is an annex lot for additional vehicles to park.
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    Each camper site consists of a standardized setup including a gravel driveway, electric hookup (50 amp, 30 amp or 15 amp), a picnic table and fire ring. The driveways are straight but narrow with a pole that marks/protects the electrical connection. As mentioned before the sites are close to each other so hopefully your neighbors are pleasant.
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    As for facilities, there is a sewer dump site and dumpsters (but didn't notice any recycling bins) along the access road.
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    The bath house building appears to be in good and clean shape, but is rather cramped. The men's side has 2 stalls (1 handicapped), a urinal, 2 showers, 3 sinks and an electric hand dryer. DW reports similar setup on women's side with the exception of there being 4 stalls.
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    On the outside of the building there's a sink dedicated to dish washing and a small laundromat. Make sure to bring change as I did not see a bill changer at the facility.
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    While the park, disc golf and beach are about a quarter mile away, there are some recreational facilities within the campground area. There's a large building for gatherings at the end of loop 2. Upon looking inside it appears in good shape, is spacious, has a fireplace and a shuffleboard table. I didn't see any tables or chairs so anyone interested in using the building should speak with the staff regarding if they're available.
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    There's also a basketball & tennis court which has seen better days.[​IMG]

    Foe the little ones there's a playground that appears to be relatively new, clean and in great shape.
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    Hopefully this helps provide a little better insight into the conditions at Evangola State Park. Generally speaking the facility is in good shape and being maintained. However the challenges to camping here would be the small, cramped (during peak times) and somewhat limited resources and facilities available.
     

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