This is our second visit to this park in the past two years, and we will undoubtedly return in a couple of years. This particular NY state park has one of the nicest beaches of any NY park, so there are lots of water activities including an excellent snack bar, boating, swimming, and fishing, etc. Watch out for all the children on bicycles (speed limit in the campground is 5 mph). There is only one loop which offers any hookups, and that is electricity so these sites go fast. There are also a dozen or so smaller sites located within 30 yards of the Ontario shoreline (but without electricity). About one third of all sites are nicely shaded and most are quite large for easy maneuvering -- but sometimes overrun with tents, canopies, boats, and bicycles. The park does have several limitations including poor cellular service, no wi-if, and no nearby supermarket for groceries. Park security pays little attention to loud radios blaring. Our motorhome should have been sound proofed.
Having now visited 25 New York state parks over the past 5 years, I can safely say that Hamlin Beach would easily rank in my top 5. But then I'm partial toward campgrounds that overlook large bodies of water and have sites that are fully shaded and quiet. I also have a soft spot in my heart for campgrounds that offer non-pet loops and Hamlin has four. Like most other NY parks, it only offers electric. hookups -- no water or sewer. With only 30 amp service, we had to refrain from using the electric water heater, microwave and A/C at the same time, during a record breaking heat wave. Restrooms, as well as the electrical circuits, need to be updated. Hot water is spotty and shower stalls are cramped, even dingy looking. Access paths to the restrooms are not well designed, tempting campers to take shortcuts through other camp sites. The staff seems very cordial, and the park store is quite nice. Overall, I think it's well worth a return visit.
Here lies a park with an attitude. As long as you don’t ask any favors or don’t mind being surrounded by barking dogs, this might be the park for you. As it turns out, all reservations for NY State Parks are made thru Reserve America, specifying a check-in time of 3:00 pm and a check-out time of 11:00 am, giving the park 4 hours to “groom” the site. But wait! Our only day to take the park guided canoe ride was on the morning of our scheduled departure, leaving at 9:30 and returning at 11:30. Wouldn’t you think that the park superintendent would allow us some flexibility, to check out by 2:00 pm rather than 11:00 am – still a full hour before the scheduled check-in time? “Can’t permit it,” he argued. He did finally agree to 12:00 noon, "but not a minute later" he stipulated, simply because there were other campers watching in disbelief. Yes, the park does offer full hookups, which most other NY state parks lack. And most of the sites can easily accommodate a full array of RV equipment – motorhome, tents, boat, and tow vehicle. My rating of 6.5 reflects some of the other nicer aspects, such as the canoe ride and boat rentals. We camped in a motorhome and will probably not return.