Satellite images of Lakeside State Park
Lakeside is quite a nice campground with almost all sites being level with a gravel base, with easy entry to the site pad. Compared to other State Parks in this guide, Lakeside does offers less amenities however so there will be other campgrounds which would be more suited as a destination spot for a longer campout. There is no beach or swimming despite being located on Lake Ontario. Biking and some hiking will be your main options. There are several playground areas, a recreation hall and play fields however. You could head to nearby Hamlin Beach State Park for their beach and swimming which is a 25 minute drive east of Lakeside. Check out the satellite image to see how Lakeside is oriented along a bluff above Lake Ontario. Personally I would choose Lakeside for a shorter stay.
Site A23 is typical of the great sites with views in A Loop.
Loop A (A1-A37) is fairly open with some trees and offers the best views overlooking the bluffs down to Lake Ontario. If you are looking for a view, this is the area to be in! The sites are quite large, but offer little privacy. Sites A4-A10 are in a more treed area however and do provide shade and some privacy.
Loop B (B1-B39) is more wooded with more shade than sun. The sites are large and quite level. The sites closer to the parkway (B1-B6 and B25-B39) are quite open however. Loop B is similar to Loop C.
Typical shady site in C Loop.
Loop C (C1-C40) is almost mostly wooded with lots of shade and decent privacy. C loop is quite similar to Loop B. The sites are not quite up to par with those in A Loop or D loop.
Site D16 is one of the few shady sites with a lake view.
Loop D (D1-D36) offers the best selection of large, wooded, level sites. It also has a few sites that offer at least a partial view through the trees overlooking Lake Ontario. If you are looking for a bit of a lake view, consider sites D19, D18, D16 or D15.
Loop E (E1-E41) is split between the first half of sites being total open with few trees. The higher numbers are in a treed area however with lots of shade. Lower numbers tend to be more level than the upper numbers.
Loop F (F1-F40) is well treed with lots of shady sites. Sites are still quite level, but this area is somewhat hilly.
Loop G is in an open field with very few trees.
My suggested choice would be to pick a site in A section between A11 and A23 which offer great views of Lake Ontario. For a more shaded site choose Loop D. For a shaded site with some view of Lake Ontario, select site D19, D18, D16 or D15. The other best (and most popular) sites would be those on the east side of D Loop D3-D14. These are still shady sites, however they are open on the backside to the huge field by the rec area. These would be great spots, especially if you have kids.
Unlike some other campgrounds, Lakeside does not seem to get overly booked. You could easily find a decent site without having to resorting to booking exactly 9 months out in advance. A11-A23 and D Loop would be the exception as those areas are booked up well in advance.
If you like Lakeside, you might also be interested in Hamlin Beach State Park, Golden Hill State Park, Four Mile Creek, Fairhaven Beach, Southwick Beach State Park, or Selkirk State Park, all of which are within a 25 min to 2.5 hours distance from Lakeside.