Backbone Horse Campground is a small, semi-primitive campground designed for campers or picnickers that bring horses with them. The campground is open year round, and sites are available on a first come-first served basis. There is no fee for camping, but a free use permit must be completed upon entrance of the campground to ensure horse users only from Memorial Day weekend to Columbus Day weekend. There is a water pond for livestock available.
From the South, take State Route 17 (I-86 in some areas) to exit 52 (Watkins Glen exit/State Route 14 North). In Watkins Glen, turn right on State Route 414 North. At the Fourth St. intersection go approximately 9 miles north, past the Hector Ranger Station of the Finger Lakes National Forest on the right. Continue for ½ mile and turn onto County Route 2, which is the next asphalt road. Travel for 3.5 miles east. Backbone Campground is on the left, opposite the intersection with Burnt Hill Road.
From the North, take I-90 to exit 41 (414 south to Hector, NY) the second asphalt road on the left, ½ mile past the gas station is County Route 2, turn left and go 3.5 miles east. Backbone Campground is located on the left, opposite the intersection with Burnt Hill Road.
There are eleven sites available on a first come-first served basis. The sites are large enough for horse trailers. Each site has a tie post for horses. There is also a corral adjacent to the camping sites. The campground has three vault toilets and a main cooking grill, as well as several areas for cooking out. Picnic tables are scattered throughout the campground. Trash cans are provided from Memorial Day to Columbus Day. Horseback riding on the Forest trails is closed from March 15 to May 1 due to muddy trail conditions, and the resultant erosion and trail damage that would occur.