Updated: Feb 7
Pennsylvania is a beautiful state that offers plenty of opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts. From the Appalachian Mountains in the east to the Allegheny Plateau in the west, there are plenty of stunning camping spots to choose from. In this blog post, we will highlight 10 of our favorite campsites in Pennsylvania. Whether you're looking for a secluded spot by a river or a campground with all the amenities, we have you covered!
At Long Day camping Co. we have been family camping for years. We love the outdoors and doing anything outdoors with our families makes things even better. When looking for a campground we focus on outdoor activities with some amenities. We don't need the campsite portable jacuzzi, but we do like to have electricity. Here are a list of the 10 best campsites in Pennsylvania gorgeous sites to enjoy the outdoors.
Starting out here is one of our top picks that most people in Pennsylvania don't know about.
This state park is located in central Pennsylvania and offers beautiful views of the surrounding mountains. The campground has tons of amenities, including a playground, pavilion, and swimming beach. There are also plenty of hiking trails nearby if you want to explore the area. They have really nice wooded campsites with of space. They have recently added several full hook up sites to several of the loops which makes it great for the RV'ers with big rigs. We have been coming here for years started out tent camping and love the hiking and biking trails. There is a nice campground store for anything you may need and water access makes it easy to bring a Kayak or Paddle Board for water adventures.
There is a great little bike track for kids called humps and bumps. It will entertain your kids for hours just riding in a circle.
This is a great spot for families or groups. We have big get togethers all the time here and love the camping here.
Showers: 6 Clean and in good condition. There is a button you have to hit every 30 secs for hot water when showering
Sites: 9 Big and spacious on a wooded lot, Some of the best sites in PA
Campstore: 8 On weekends it has BBQ, always has ice-cream, pizza, standard campground essentials
Amenities: 6 No pool, but has a playground, volleyball court, beach, lake, hiking, and biking trails
Campground Website: https://www.dcnr.pa.gov/StateParks/FindAPark/PrinceGallitzinStatePark/Pages/default.aspx
If you are looking for a more secluded camping experience, check out Cook Forest State Park.
This state park is located in the northwestern corner of Pennsylvania and is known for its old-growth forest. The campground has over 100 sites to choose from, and many of them are secluded and private. There are also plenty of hiking, biking, kayaking, and floats on the river.
This is an amazing place to visit. It has everything a outdoorsman would want. First thought on driving into Cook Forest is how did they get all these amenities in the middle of nowhere. There are ice cream parlors, souvenirs, go carts, canoeing, and putt putt courses galore. The nice thing about it though is that the state park is secluded and has big wooded sites. So, if all the fun things to do is not your cup of tea just sit back and relax in this beautiful state park.
We spent a day kayaking the river and the next day we floated the same river. There are several outfitters with everything you need to have a great day on the river.
Cook Forest Campground Ratings:
Sites: 8 Private and secluded
Showers: 8 newer, clean and private
Amenities: 9 in the area it has too many to list, but everything you could want is here.
Campground Website: https://pennsylvaniastateparks.reserveamerica.com/camping/cook-forest-state-park/r/campgroundDetails.do?contractCode=PA&parkId=880202
This campground is located on the east side of Pennsylvania and offers a beautiful view of Lake Raystown. The campground has over 200 sites to choose from, and many of them are right on the water. There are also plenty of activities to keep you busy, including swimming, fishing, kayaking, and canoeing and my favorite thing to do Mt Biking.
Raystown lake is also a really nice boating lake. The lake is a natural beauty with so many coves and inlets for the biggest of boats to enjoy. They do have a camping resort on the other side of the lake which makes it nice for anyone looking for rustic cabins or cabin rentals.
There are 50 miles of single track mountain biking at this campground. They are some of the best flow trails on the East coast and are the # 1 trail system in Pennsylvania. This is still the best mountain biking trails I have found. I have been to Pisgah, the Smokies, New Mexico, Las Vegas, Stowe VT, Boston area, and Virginia riding and these are still my favorite. This is a family friendly campground and has so much to offer. There have volleyball nets, playgrounds, kayak and paddleboard rentals. The kids took a kayak over to an island and spent the afternoon cliff jumping with a 10 ft and 25 ft cliff to launch off of.
The sites here are some of the nicest we have ever seen. They are all big and private with stunning views of Raystown Lake. There are steps down from your camper to a pad with a fire pit and area for a tent. You are literally 10 feet away from the water as you enjoy a sunset while sitting around the fire. The lake is a great place to kayak, paddleboard, or just relax and enjoy the view. We love coming here and spending our weekends on the lake. All tent sites are equipped with picnic tables and most sites are electric.
Sites: 9 Perfect, big and private with a lake view WE love senoia and the point loops, but can be hard to get a lake front site with all the boaters coveting those sites.
Showers: 6 A nice hot shower after riding, but not always the cleanest
Campstore: 5 Offsite just the essentials with live bait for fishing the lake
Amenities: 10 Mt bike trails, hiking, boating, playgrounds, volleyball nets, kayak rentals. So many things to do here for the family.
Campground Website: https://www.recreation.gov/camping/campgrounds/233626
This state park is located in the northwest corner of Pennsylvania and offers a beautiful view of Pymatuning Lake. The campground has over 200 sites to choose from, and many of them are right on the water. There are also plenty of activities to keep you busy, including swimming, boating, fishing, and hiking.
We spent a day on the lake and the boat rentals were ridiculously cheap. We have rented a pontoon boat before, but this was only $100 for the day. Yes for the day it was a really nice surprise. We had a blast motoring around this huge lake which shares some of its borders with Ohio.
There is a spot to feed the carp which is what this place is known for. Its kinda gross, but the kids love feeding those huge carp.
This is a great spot for anyones outdoor adventure. There are several golf courses close and another lake with jet ski rentals that can make for an epic weekend trip. Camping in Pennsylvania can be some of the best in the camping in the nation. Oh, and a sweet little bakery close called Twin Pies. All pies are top notch.
Sites: 7 private and secluded there are a few back to back sites to avoid
Showers: 7newer, clean and private
Campstore: 6 Close and by the marina
Amenities: 6 Hiking, fishing, kayaking, canoeing, swimming, and boating.
Pymatuning State Park is a great spot for anyone wanting a quick outdoor adventure.
If you like waterfalls this is a must visit campground for you. Ricketts Glenn offers 22 named waterfalls, the tallest being Kitchen Falls at 94 feet. The falls are all located within Ricketts Glen State Park and you can hike to them all via the Falls Trail which is a beautiful and relatively easy hike. The best time to visit the falls is after a rain when they are really flowing, but they are still beautiful anytime of the year.
The Ricketts Glen state park campground is a primitive campground. There are no electric hookups and
I would be remiss to mention there is one of the greatest meals I have ever had in my life close to this campground. Old Tioga Farms is a must do in this area. Its a bit pricey, but exquisite fine cuisine.
Sites: 7 They have just added some electric and full hook ups recently
Showers: 6 Average shower facilities for a state campground
Campstore: 6 onsite with food and camping needs
Amenities: 9 Hiking, fishing, kayaking, canoeing, swimming, and boating.
Campground website: https://www.dcnr.pa.gov/StateParks/FindAPark/RickettsGlenStatePark/Pages/default.aspx
Ohiopyle is located in the southwestern corner of Pennsylvania and is one of the most popular camping destinations in the state. Ohiopyle offers something for everyone, with beautiful scenery, hiking trails, waterfalls, and whitewater rafting.
This state park campground has a little bit of everything and is hiking distance away from the river and downtown area. We love camping here with so many options for our daytime adventures. Tent camping sites are perfect due to the abundant forest around each site.
My son and I thought it might be fun to try kayaking on stage 3 rapids without any guide or lessons. I mean really how hard can it be its just some rapids. Well let me tell you it was way more intense than I thought it would be. We both bailed out after the 3rd rapid and had to walk our kayaks back up to where we started. I should have at least watched a youtube video before we went.
Along with the kayaking an easier and more family friendly activity would be whitewater rafting. There are also natural waterslides and great hiking trails. The downtown area is perfect for food, souvenirs, or grabbing a beer at one of the many bars.
The "Bike the Great Allegheny Passage" runs right through this town. So if kayaking down stage 5 rapids aren't your thing this has over 100 miles of rails to trails style biking along the river.
Sites: 9 Are big and secluded
Showers: 8 Nice shower facilities
Campstore: 8 onsite with food and camping needs
Amenities: 9 Hiking, fishing, kayaking, whitewater rafting, fly fishing , canoeing, mountain biking, swimming.
Campground website: https://www.dcnr.pa.gov/StateParks/FindAPark/OhiopyleStatePark/Pages/Stay.aspx
Little Pine State Park ground at Little Pine State Park is located in a beautiful forest and offers secluded tent sites as well as sites with electric hookups. There are also cabins available for rent if you're not into camping.
The highlight of this state park is definitely the fishing. The lake is stocked with trout and there are also streams nearby that are great spots for fly fishing for the avid fisherman. Camping in pennsylvania allows you to have some of the best fishing streams in the nation. I was recently talking to someone from out of state who travels into Pennsylvania to go fishing 20 minutes from where I live. So be thankful on how great our outdoor lovely park systems are. The RV sites that are right on the river are perfect for the fisherman in the family.
Also while visiting Little Pine state park there is a really nice biking trail system that runs along the Little Pine river which is great to get in some miles. In the winter there are some really nice cross country skiing to do at this area.
There are endless hiking trails that will keep even the most in shape person breathing heavy by the end of the day. This is a nature lover's paradise with so much to do this is a must visit spot.
Sites: 8 Are spaced out and private
Showers: 8 Some of the best we have seen at state parks
Campstore: n/a offsite, but at walking distance away
Amenities: 7 Hiking, fishing, kayaking, fly fishing, canoeing, swimming.
Campground website: Little Pine State Park
A park that has yet to lose its soul. This state park campground is one of the best on the Eastern side of PA. We were able to spend a wonderful day in this stunning natural reserve. Excellent parking lot, clean restrooms, and plenty of picnic tables and activity areas around. There are 226 sites to pick from so there is a site suited for everyone.
French creek state park camping areas are well kept and peaceful. Hiking down to one of the lakes and fishing was especially fun when we caught a brown trout! There appears to be much more to do here than can be accomplished in a single weekend
Sites: 7 Spacious
Showers: 8 Very Clean and well kept
Amenities: 7 Hiking, fishing, kayaking, fly fishing , canoeing, swimming, boating, fire rings, swimming pool
Now as you can see at Long day camping co we love our state parks here are two options for camping in pennsylvania with a little more onsite amenities.
Campground website: French Creek State Park
Jellystone Park at Mill Run is a great campground for kids. The whole place is themed like Yogi Bear and the kids will have a blast. They offer activities like hayrides, fishing, swimming, and crafts. If you have kids and love to camp and have not tried a Yogi Bear campground this is a must do!!!!
The sites here are really close together and there isn't much privacy. This didn't bother us too much because there is so much to do. From relaxing by the swimming pool to flying down the water slides this place is fun.
This campground has an amazing waterpark which pays for itself. You do need to watch when you go to make sure it will be open, but in the middle of summer with all the heat this is a great weekend getaway. Yes the sites cost alot more than a state park rate, but it is well worth it. They have mini golf included, movies, games, bounce pillows, go carts, and so much more. My kids can play 10 rounds of mini golf in a weekend and love it.
The camping cottages are roomy and nice and has a bit of a camping resort feel to them. There are rustic cabins for rent and a really nice game room on site for the kids as well.
The cabin rentals can be on the pricey side, but you need to look at everything you get with this campground. Trust me your kids will thank you and love every minute of this place.
Sites: 7 Tight and close
Showers: 10 Nicer than most homes (really nice bath houses)
Campstore: 10 They have everything here it is a fun store.
Amenities: 10 Too many to list check out there website at: www.jellystonemillrun.com
This is a great little privately owned campground. They are located right on the Susquehanna river which is perfect for fishing and kayaking. The sites here are very spacious and they have full hookups. This place also has a really nice playground for the kids as well as clean bathrooms which are all updated in the newer section.
There are some really nice sites right on the water and some tent sites even closer to the water. What we loved about this campground is that you can tube or kayak as many miles as you want and end up right back at your campground. Take a truck with some kids drop them off 2-3 miles up stream and they end up back at your site in a few hours depending on the speed of the river.
They also offer a shuttle service that will take you up to a bunch of tubes all ready for a float which was a nice option also.
This is perfect for the entire family to have a great time at a camping resort. They have a on site winery with ready made wine slushies which was the perfect afternoon cocktail in the heat.
Buttonwood as all the modern amenities for a great campground. RV campsites are all well maintained and the camp store is full of great camping gear and things you may have forgotten. Miniature golf is free and included with your stay and the kids loved the laser tag also.