When looking for camping near Niagara Falls, NY, the Niagara Falls North / Lewiston KOA might not be the obvious choice. It is smaller than the Grand Island KOA and a little bit further away. However, it is at least $20 less a night which prompted us to give it a try. And we are so glad we did!
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Camping near Niagara Falls NY – Comparing the Niagara Falls North and Grand Island KOA’s
When considering camping near Niagara Falls, NY, we were looking for pull-thru sites with 50/30 amp service, as well as water and electric. (Teardrop trailers are ridiculously hard to back in due to their short length, so we choose a pull-thru site whenever we can. Be sure to check out the rest of our teardrop camper tips while you are here.)
Niagara Falls North / Lewiston KOA -> $51.00 a night
Grand Island KOA -> $72.00 a night
Please notes that rates are subject to change and can vary depending on day of the week, time of the year, etc. So I encourage you to visit the websites for each Niagara Falls KOA campground and check out the rates for your dates of stay, amenities needed, etc. Overall, it appears that the Grand Island KOA is more expensive on any given night.
To take the bridge over the Niagara river onto Grand Island, you have to stop at a toll booth. There is a toll booth on both the north and south sides of I-190. So that means if you stay at the Grand Island KOA, you have to pay the toll to get to the campground in the first place. Then you have to stop at the toll booth each day as you are returning to the campground. The toll is only $1 each time for cars (more if you are pulling a camper – they charge by axle) but that could really add up, especially if you return to the campground for meals, like we do.
Distance/time/ease of travel to Niagara Falls
The whole point of finding Niagara falls camping sites is to easily be able to get to Niagara Falls, right?
Niagara Falls North / Lewiston KOA -> 11.6 miles. It took us about 15 minutes to get to the state park each day from our campground. The campground is within 2 milea of the Niagara Falls scenic parkway and you can follow the parkway all the way to the state park.
Grand Island KOA -> 7.6 miles. Google maps states it takes 15 minutes to travel to the falls via I-190 and the Niagara Falls Scenic Parkway. I-190 can be congested during busy times of the day.
In terms of distance, both campgrounds are within a short drive of the waterfalls. So when considering the options for Niagara Falls New York camping, there is no clear winner in terms of travel.
Niagara Falls North / Lewiston KOA -> pool, playground, rec room, giant chess set, volleyball, basketball, guided tours available (at a fee).
Grand Island KOA -> 2 pools, fishing ponds, playground, pet playground, canoe and paddle boats, jumping pillow, video arcade, horseshoes, banana bikes, guided tours available (at a fee).
The Grand Island KOA is the clear winner here. It is a much bigger campground and has a lot more recreational opportunities available.
If you are in need of Niagara Falls camping sites with lots of fun stuff to occupy your kids, then the Grand Island KOA might be the better option for you. However, we were only planning on being back at the campground in the evenings. So the only thing that really interested us was the pool.
Why we chose the Lewiston KOA for Niagara Falls New York camping:
Travel to the state park from both Grand Island and the Niagara Falls North KOA’s took about the same amount of time, so that was not a deciding factor. Although I do admit that a small part of me didn’t want to have to be continually nickeled and dimed at the toll bridge to get onto Grand Island.
The Niagara Falls North / Lewiston KOA is definitely smaller with less recreational opportunities at the campground itself. However, when making our decision about where to stay for Niagara Falls New York camping, campground amenities were not a huge deciding factor.
For this trip we didn’t have any kids along – our daughters were on a church retreat – so we really only wanted a campground with a pool, which both KOA’s have. We planned on spending all day over at Niagara Falls State Park, returning to the campsite only for meals. We took a quick swim each evening, but had no use for the playground or other rec areas.
When choosing a campground near Niagara Falls, NY, it ultimately came down to cost. Over the course of our stay, we saved $60 by staying at the Lewiston KOA, yet didn’t have to travel any further to visit the falls.
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Directions to the North Niagara Falls KOA campground:
Like most US visitors, we were approaching from the south on I-190. After you cross the Niagara River leaving Grand Island, take Exit 25B. Then take the Niagara Scenic Parkway north toward Ft Niagara to Pletcher Road. The KOA will be about 2 miles up Pletcher Road on your right.
Lewiston KOA Niagara Falls camping sites:
The Lewiston Niagara Falls KOA campground has pull-thru sites with full hookups, pull-thru sites with just water and electric, back-in sites, 1 or 2 room camping cabins, tent sites, and a travel trailer rental unit.
The RV sites are situated near the front of the campground with just a quick walk to the pool, camp store, and bathroom/shower. Most of the tent campers seemed to be at the back of the campground, beyond the cabins and the back bathhouse. However it wasn’t a long walk to reach any part of this campground, no matter what type of site you chose.
Click on the campground map to visit the Niagara Falls North / Lewiston KOA site for a larger, easier to read version.
Our site had a gravel pull through and a decent sized grassy area with a fire ring. There was plenty of room to set up our EZ-Up over the picnic table for our outdoor kitchen and dining area.
Overall impressions of the Lewiston KOA campground near Niagara Falls NY
We arrived at the Niagara Falls North KOA at about 4 pm and immediately stopped in the camp store to check in for our stay. The camp store is bright, clean, and quite large. They had a great selection of Niagara Falls souvenirs, in addition to any camping necessities you might need during your stay.
In the camp store, I found a cute little teardrop trailer salt and pepper shaker set, so of course I had to get it. I already had a teardrop camper soap dispenser that we use while camping, so I just had to get the salt and pepper shaker set for our galley! It will look so cute sitting on our picnic table for all our camp meals. But I digress… this is a campground review, not a dissertation on how much I love teardrop trailer knick knacks 🙂
Just across the entrance driveway was the pool. After we set up our campsite, we changed into swimsuits and wandered up to the pool for a bit to help us relax from our long day of travel. Clean and well maintained, the pool wasn’t super big, but it was adequate enough for the amount of campers using it.
The pool was circular in shape, with the deeper area in the center and the shallow depths along the outside ring. There were plenty of chairs and a couple of tables where you could hang out to get some sun and dry off after you were done swimming. My only complaint about the pool was that it closed at 8 pm. I am not sure if this is a KOA-wide policy or just the rule of this particular campground. However, it would have been nice to have been able to swim later since it was light out until 9 pm or so.
Adjacent to the fenced-in pool was the playground, basketball hoops, and a giant chess set. None of it was very large or elaborate, but it was a great place for kids to let off some steam at the end of a long day of sight-seeing.
Back in our home state, we mainly stay at state park campgrounds. In Ohio, none of the state park campgrounds have any dish washing stations. Which means waiting for a big pot of water to heat on the camp stove. So it was kind of exciting for us (well as exciting as dish washing can be LOL) to have a dish washing station so we didn’t have to bother with heating up water to wash our dishes after each meal.
The dish washing station at this Niagara Falls KOA campground was located on the side of the back shower house. It had a double sink and a long counter top. The sink had super hot water and we really appreciated how much quicker that made the whole dish washing process.
In my experience, bathrooms at campgrounds can really be hit or miss in terms of cleanliness. So I was super impressed with how clean the bathrooms were at this KOA. We mainly used the bathhouse up near the camp store. It had 2 toilets, 2 showers, and 3 sinks. All appeared to have been updated recently.
The shower was nice and roomy with a large changing area and plenty of hooks for clothes and towels. It was definitely nice to take a hot shower in a clean facility after a long day of hiking and exploring Niagara Falls and the gorge trails!
The back bathhouse was equally clean, but a little bit older. It had more bathrooms and shower stalls than the front bathhouse – so there were definitely plenty of facilities for all the campers there.
The only issue we had with this Niagara Falls KOA campground was the morning after a heavy rain. We got hammered with a huge storm the second night we were there. There was grass and debris 3 inches up the walls on tires of our teardrop and we found our shoe bins that we store under the camper about 20 feet away, if that tells you anything about how bad a storm it was!
The next morning, we woke up to discover a swamp in much of the grassy area of our campsite. (The gravel pad our camper was sitting on drained just fine.) Obviously the campground owners can’t control the rain, but as we walked through the campground that morning, so many sites had it much worse than we did with at least an inch or so of rain water covering their entire area.
Our site had drained of any standing water by the the time we got back that evening, but our neighbors weren’t so lucky, nor were several other sites in that middle row of RV’s. So I am guessing there is an underlying drainage issue with the middle row of RV sites. There was no drainage issue with the side 2 rows of RV sites – these were completely dry. So if you do decide on this particular KOA for camping near Niagara Falls NY, you might want to request one of the outer 2 rows of RV sites and avoid sites 39-46.
Overall though, we were pleased with choosing the Lewiston Niagara Falls KOA campground. We appreciated that the prices were reasonable, despite being in a tourist area.
We loved that it was only a short drive to the state park and waterfalls. Via the Niagara Scenic Parkway, it was only a 15 minute drive south to get to Niagara Falls and only about a 15 minute drive north to get to Fort Niagara and Lake Ontario.
The campground owners were super friendly and knowledgeable. The RV sites were a decent size, the facilities were well-maintained, and most importantly the bathroom and showers were clean. We would definitely stay there again for our next trip to Niagara Falls.
For more information or to book a stay at this campground near Niagara Falls, NY, visit the KOA Niagara Falls North / Lewiston website.
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Planning a visit to Niagara Falls, New York? Be sure to check out the rest of our posts about our Niagara Falls road trip.
Disclosure: No compensation was received for this review of the KOA Niagara Falls North. We paid for our stay entirely on our own and the campground owners had no idea we were writing this review. We wrote it to inform others about this option for camping near Niagara Falls, NY. All opinions are the author’s own.