The Keystone State’s Campsites – 10 Best Camping Spots in Pennsylvania

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Venture beyond the familiar and immerse yourself in the transcendent natural beauty of Pennsylvania’s top camping destinations. From the majestic mountains of the Poconos to the serene shores of Presque Isle State Park, the Keystone State offers an array of unparalleled camping experiences for outdoor enthusiasts. Whether you’re a seasoned camper or a first-timer, these 10 handpicked campsites are sure to provide unforgettable adventures in the midst of Pennsylvania’s breathtaking landscapes.

Embark on a journey through some of the most picturesque and wildlife-rich camping grounds, each with its own distinctive charm and allure. Get ready to discover the most coveted and pristine camping spots that Pennsylvania has to offer, and prepare to make memories that will last a lifetime.

Contents

Key Takeaways:

  • Scenic Beauty: Pennsylvania offers some of the most stunning camping spots in the country, surrounded by picturesque landscapes and natural wonders.
  • Outdoor Activities: Campers can enjoy a variety of outdoor activities including hiking, fishing, kayaking, and wildlife watching while staying at Pennsylvania’s campsites.
  • Historical Sites: Many of the camping spots in Pennsylvania are located near historical landmarks and attractions, allowing campers to explore the rich history of the state.
  • Rustic Camping Experience: For those who enjoy traditional camping experiences, Pennsylvania’s campsites offer a rustic and secluded getaway from the hustle and bustle of city life.
  • Families and Pets Welcome: The camping spots in Pennsylvania are family and pet-friendly, making them ideal for a fun and memorable outdoor adventure for all.
  • Modern Amenities: While providing a rustic experience, many campsites in Pennsylvania also offer modern amenities such as showers, restrooms, and RV hook-ups for added convenience.
  • Seasonal Events and Festivals: Throughout the year, Pennsylvania’s campsites host a variety of seasonal events and festivals, adding even more entertainment and excitement to the camping experience.

Ricketts Glen State Park

Before we dive into the best camping spots in Pennsylvania, let’s take a look at Ricketts Glen State Park. This stunning park, located in the northeastern part of the state, is home to an incredible array of natural beauty and outdoor activities.

Waterfall Haven

Glen lovers will rejoice at Ricketts Glen State Park, as it is home to 22 mesmerizing waterfalls. The Falls Trail offers hikers the chance to experience these soaring cascades up close, making it a must-see for any nature enthusiast. The heavily wooded trail provides the perfect setting for a leisurely stroll, allowing visitors to take in the lush surroundings and cool mist of the waterfalls.

Forested Campsites

Campsites within Ricketts Glen State Park are nestled within the peaceful embrace of the forest. These secluded sites offer campers the chance to truly escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The serene atmosphere, combined with the nearby waterfalls and hiking trails, makes for an unforgettable outdoor experience.

State Parks in Pennsylvania, Ricketts Glen offers a range of amenities for campers, including picnic areas, restrooms, and even cabins for those who prefer a little more comfort during their stay. The well-maintained campsites provide the perfect base for exploring all that this natural wonderland has to offer.

Ohiopyle State Park

If you’re looking for a camping experience surrounded by natural beauty, then Ohiopyle State Park is the perfect destination. Located in the Laurel Highlands of southwestern Pennsylvania, this park offers a wide range of outdoor activities for nature enthusiasts. Whether you’re interested in camping, hiking, fishing, or simply soaking in the breathtaking scenery, Ohiopyle has something for everyone. For tips on the best camping spots in PA, check out What are some of your favorite camping spots in PA? on Reddit.

Youghiogheny River Access

One of the highlights of Ohiopyle State Park is the access to the Youghiogheny River, which provides ample opportunities for water-based recreation. Whether you want to go whitewater rafting, kayaking, or fishing, the river is the perfect place to enjoy some aquatic adventure. The Youghiogheny River is also a popular spot for experienced whitewater enthusiasts, so be sure to exercise caution and adhere to safety guidelines.

The park offers several access points to the river, making it easy to launch your watercraft and explore the scenic waterway. Keep in mind that the currents can be strong, so it’s important to be aware of the river’s conditions and any potential hazards before setting out on your adventure.

Hiking Trails Nearby

Access to a variety of hiking trails is another draw for outdoor enthusiasts at Ohiopyle State Park. The park features a range of trails suitable for all levels of hikers, from easy, leisurely walks to challenging, rugged treks. The trails wind through the park’s diverse landscapes, including lush forests, picturesque meadows, and stunning overlooks. The park is also home to the renowned Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail, offering a more extensive backcountry hiking experience.

The area is known for its natural beauty and diverse flora and fauna, making it a prime location for wildlife viewing and nature photography. Be sure to pack plenty of water, snacks, and essential gear for your hike, and always stay on designated trails to minimize your impact on the environment.

The park’s hiking trails offer a chance to immerse yourself in the region’s natural beauty while exploring its diverse landscapes. The Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail is a must-see for serious hikers, offering a truly immersive backcountry experience. With its abundance of wildlife and scenic vistas, the park is a paradise for nature lovers looking to reconnect with the great outdoors.

Cherry Springs State Park

Not only is Cherry Springs State Park one of the best camping spots in Pennsylvania, but it is also renowned as one of the top stargazing locations on the East Coast. The park’s remote location and commitment to preserving its dark skies make it an ideal destination for astronomy enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.

Dark Sky Stargazing

Park visitors have the opportunity to experience some of the darkest skies on the East Coast, perfect for stargazing and viewing celestial phenomena such as meteor showers and the Milky Way. The park also hosts astronomy programs and events, providing educational opportunities for visitors of all ages.

Secluded Wooded Sites

Located amidst the scenic beauty of the Pennsylvania wilderness, Cherry Springs State Park offers secluded wooded sites for campers seeking a peaceful and immersive outdoor experience. The serenity of the wooded surroundings creates the perfect backdrop for a rejuvenating camping trip, far from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Sites at Cherry Springs State Park are designed to provide campers with privacy and a sense of seclusion, allowing for a truly immersive outdoor experience. The rustic charm of the wooded sites, paired with the park’s commitment to preserving its natural surroundings, make it an ideal destination for nature enthusiasts and outdoor adventurers.

World’s End State Park

After exploring the diverse landscapes of Pennsylvania, one cannot overlook the stunning World’s End State Park. This natural oasis is nestled in the Loyalsock Canyon and offers visitors an unforgettable camping experience. With its unique geological formations and picturesque views, this park is a must-visit for outdoor enthusiasts.

Scenic Loyalsock Canyon

World’s End State Park is renowned for its breathtaking views of the Loyalsock Creek Gorge, which cuts through the rugged landscape, creating a scenic canyon. Visitors can explore the canyon by hiking along the many trails that wind through the park, providing opportunities to witness the park’s diverse flora and fauna. The Loyalsock Canyon is particularly stunning during the fall, when the foliage transforms the landscape into a vibrant tapestry of colors.

Rustic Tent Camping

The park offers rustic tent camping options for those seeking a more traditional outdoor experience. These primitive campsites provide a true escape from modern life, allowing campers to immerse themselves in the natural surroundings of the park. Each campsite is equipped with a picnic table and fire ring, providing the perfect setting for a peaceful evening under the stars.

A visit to the World’s End State Park is an opportunity to reconnect with nature and experience the beauty of Pennsylvania’s wilderness. The rustic tent camping area provides a serene and secluded atmosphere, allowing campers to fully unwind and appreciate the pristine natural surroundings. This is the perfect spot for outdoor enthusiasts looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life and enjoy a back-to-basics camping experience.

Promised Land State Park

Keep your camping experience natural and refreshing by visiting the Promised Land State Park. This park is a gem tucked away in the Pocono Mountains, offering a serene and picturesque setting for campers. With a range of recreational activities and beautiful landscapes, it’s no wonder why this park is a favorite among outdoor enthusiasts.

Pine Forest Setting

The Promised Land State Park is known for its lush pine forest setting that creates a tranquil and serene camping environment. Campers can immerse themselves in the beauty of nature while being surrounded by towering trees and the peaceful sounds of the forest. Whether you’re seeking solitude or a place to reconnect with family and friends, the pine forest setting at this park is sure to provide a rejuvenating experience.

Lakefront Camping

With lakefront camping available at the Promised Land State Park, campers can enjoy the ultimate outdoor retreat. The park features two pristine lakes, where campers can indulge in a variety of water-based activities such as swimming, boating, and fishing. The serene lakefront setting offers a unique and picturesque backdrop, making it an ideal destination for those seeking a tranquil and relaxing camping experience.

Setting up camp by the lakefront allows for breathtaking views and convenient access to the water, enhancing the overall camping experience. Whether you’re lounging by the shoreline or taking a dip in the refreshing waters, the lakefront setting at Promised Land State Park is sure to provide a memorable outdoor adventure.

Hershey Park Camping Resort

Your next camping adventure awaits at Hershey Park Camping Resort, located just a stone’s throw away from the famous Hersheypark. This family-friendly campground offers a convenient and comfortable way to experience all the excitement and charm of Hershey, Pennsylvania. Whether you’re looking for a weekend getaway or a longer stay, Hershey Park Camping Resort has everything you need for an unforgettable outdoor experience.

Chocolate-Themed Attractions

For those with a sweet tooth, Hershey Park Camping Resort is the perfect destination. Immerse yourself in the world of chocolate with a visit to Hershey’s Chocolate World, where you can take a deliciously interactive tour and create your own candy bar. Don’t forget to explore the Hershey Story Museum to learn about the fascinating history of Milton S. Hershey and his chocolate empire.

Family-Friendly Amenities

Attractions at Hershey Park Camping Resort extend beyond chocolate-themed experiences. The campground offers a wide range of family-friendly amenities, including a swimming pool, playground, and organized activities for kids. You can also take advantage of the on-site convenience store and laundry facilities to make your stay even more comfortable.

Any camping enthusiast is sure to appreciate the well-maintained grounds and modern facilities, including clean restrooms and shower areas. With options for RV and tent camping, as well as cabin rentals, there’s something for every type of camper at Hershey Park Camping Resort.

Pine Grove Furnace State Park

Despite its relatively small size, Pine Grove Furnace State Park is one of the Keystone State’s most popular camping spots. Located in Cumberland County, this state park offers a wide range of outdoor recreational activities, making it a perfect destination for nature enthusiasts.

Appalachian Trail Stop

The Pine Grove Furnace State Park is a popular stopping point for hikers on the Appalachian Trail, which runs right through the park. The park also features the renowned ‘Halfway Point’ of the Appalachian Trail, making it a must-visit for avid hikers.

Historic Iron Furnace

On the grounds of the park, visitors can explore the remnants of an historic iron furnace, which played a key role in the area’s industrial past. Exploring the historic iron furnace provides a fascinating glimpse into the region’s history.

Furnace enthusiasts and history buffs will appreciate the well-preserved remains of this once-thriving industrial site, which now serves as a testament to the area’s rich heritage.

Cook Forest State Park

For outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers, Cook Forest State Park is a must-visit camping destination in Pennsylvania. Located in the heart of the state, this park offers a serene and picturesque setting for camping, hiking, and enjoying the great outdoors.

Old Growth Forest

Cook Forest State Park is home to one of the largest stands of old-growth white pine and hemlock trees in the eastern United States. These towering trees, some of which are over 300 years old, create a magical and surreal atmosphere that will transport you back in time. Walking through this ancient forest is a truly awe-inspiring experience that shouldn’t be missed during your visit to the park.

Clarion River Access

Anywhere in the park, you are never far from the beautiful Clarion River, which offers a range of recreational activities such as fishing, kayaking, and canoeing. The river’s clear, clean waters provide the perfect backdrop for a relaxing day by the water, or a thrilling adventure on the rapids.

With over 40 miles of scenic river to explore, there are plenty of opportunities for outdoor adventure enthusiasts to immerse themselves in the natural beauty of the area and experience the unique ecosystem along the banks of the Clarion River. Whether you’re seeking a peaceful nature retreat or an exciting water-based activity, the Clarion River is a highlight of Cook Forest State Park.

Bald Eagle State Park

Keep your eyes peeled for an unforgettable camping experience at Bald Eagle State Park. Situated in the heart of the Keystone State, this park offers a range of outdoor activities for nature enthusiasts. With its lush greenery, serene lake, and diverse wildlife, it’s the perfect destination for a camping getaway.

Wildlife Observation

For wildlife enthusiasts, Bald Eagle State Park provides the perfect opportunity to observe a variety of species in their natural habitat. Whether you’re a birdwatcher or a wildlife photographer, the park’s rich biodiversity, including white-tailed deer, black bears, and bald eagles, offers an unmatched experience. Keep your camera ready for the chance to capture these incredible creatures in their natural environment.

Lakeview Campsites

Bald Eagle State Park boasts picturesque Lakeview Campsites, where campers can enjoy stunning views of the lake and surrounding landscapes. The campsites offer scenic beauty and a peaceful atmosphere, making it an ideal location for outdoor enthusiasts seeking a tranquil camping experience. Bald Eagle State Park’s Lakeview Campsites provide the perfect backdrop for a relaxing and memorable outdoor adventure.

Campsites at Bald Eagle State Park’s Lakeview area offer amenities such as picnic tables, fire pits, and access to clean restroom facilities. Campers can also take advantage of nearby hiking trails and recreational activities, ensuring an unforgettable outdoor experience in the beautiful Pennsylvania wilderness.

Pymatuning State Park

Not many camping spots in Pennsylvania can compare to the beauty and recreational opportunities offered at Pymatuning State Park. Located in the northwest corner of the state, this park is a prime destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.

Spillway Fishing Area

The Spillway Fishing Area at Pymatuning State Park is a hotspot for anglers looking to reel in a big catch. The unique attraction of this area is the hundreds of carp and other fish that gather near the spillway. Visitors can spend hours casting their lines and enjoying the thrill of the catch.

Lake Activities Galore

Any visitor to Pymatuning State Park will find themselves drawn to the abundance of lake activities available. From boating and swimming to picnicking and wildlife viewing, there is something for everyone to enjoy along the shores of the picturesque Pymatuning Lake.

Lake Pymatuning is also a haven for birdwatchers, with the park being home to a wide variety of bird species, including bald eagles, herons, and waterfowl.

Conclusion

So there you have it, the 10 best camping spots in Pennsylvania that offer a diverse range of experiences for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. Whether you prefer the serene beauty of the Pocono Mountains or the rugged landscapes of the Allegheny National Forest, there is a perfect campground waiting for you. With a variety of amenities, stunning natural scenery, and countless recreational activities, these campsites truly offer something for everyone.

So pack your bags, grab your camera, and prepare to make unforgettable memories at one of Pennsylvania’s top camping destinations. Whichever spot you choose, you can rest assured that you’ll be surrounded by the pristine beauty of the Keystone State, making for a truly memorable and refreshing outdoor adventure.

FAQ

Q: What are the best camping spots in Pennsylvania?

A: The Keystone State offers a wide range of camping spots, but some of the best include Ohiopyle State Park, Ricketts Glen State Park, and Worlds End State Park.

Q: What are the amenities typically available at Pennsylvania campsites?

A: Most campsites in Pennsylvania offer amenities such as picnic tables, fire rings, restrooms, and showers. Some may also have electric hookups and even Wi-Fi.

Q: How can I make a reservation for a campsite in Pennsylvania?

A: Reservations can be made online through the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources’ website, or by calling the park directly. It’s recommended to make reservations well in advance, especially during peak camping season.

Q: Are pets allowed at Pennsylvania campsites?

A: Many campsites in Pennsylvania allow pets, but there may be specific rules and restrictions. It’s important to check the individual campsite’s regulations regarding pets before bringing them along.

Q: What activities can I expect to find at Pennsylvania campsites?

A: Pennsylvania campsites offer a variety of outdoor activities including hiking, fishing, boating, and wildlife viewing. Some may also have organized events and educational programs for campers of all ages.

Q: Can I have a campfire at Pennsylvania campsites?

A: Campfires are generally allowed at Pennsylvania campsites, but there may be certain restrictions during dry or windy conditions. It’s important to follow all posted guidelines and regulations regarding campfires.

Q: What should I pack for a camping trip in Pennsylvania?

A: When packing for a camping trip in Pennsylvania, it’s important to bring essentials such as a tent, sleeping bags, cooking equipment, and appropriate clothing for the current weather conditions. Don’t forget to bring insect repellent, sunscreen, and a first aid kit as well.

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