With gorgeous views, historical sites, rugged terrain, vast wildlife and some of the darkest skies on the eastern seaboard, it’s no wonder visitors love to get lost in the great outdoors of Pennsylvania. Spending the night next to the quiet of hills, valleys, gorges and waterfalls at sites throughout the commonwealth is a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
Otter Lake - Pocono Mountains
This all-season campground offers guests a getaway guaranteed to be both fun and relaxing. Those looking for an adventure can participate in activities like kayaking, pedal boating and fishing in the summer and skiing, sledding and snowmobiling in the winter. Splash around in one of the three swimming locations, including the outdoor pool, children’s splash park, or heated indoor pool, sauna and whirlpool. Looking for a more relaxing vacation? Take in the serene surroundings by the 60-acre lake or enjoy a quiet night by the campfire. Otter Lake has both camper parking and traditional tent sites available to campers.
Raccoon Creek State Park - Pittsburgh and its Countryside
Raccoon Creek State Park offers a variety of camping facilities, including traditional tent sites, five Adirondack shelters for backpackers and 10 modern cabins. Must-see attractions near the park include the 314-acre Wildflower Reserve, where more than 700 species of plants have been identified, and Frankfort Mineral Springs, a famous resort complex established in the 1800s that attracted visitors who believed in the healing qualities of the mineral water.
Cherry Springs State Park - Pennsylvania Wilds
Named for the large black cherry trees in the park, Cherry Springs State Park is considered to be the best place in the northeastern United States for amateur stargazing. The park boats a 300 by 600 foot observation field with a 360-degree view of the sky set atop a mountain. Visitors can stay at one of the 30 cabins situated nearby. For added adventure, the neighboring Susquehanna Trail offers 85 miles of backpacking and hiking.
Greenwood Furnace State Park - The Alleghenies
Nestled in the Seven Mountains region of Central Pennsylvania, this state park is home to many historical buildings. Greenwood Furnace, a once thriving iron-making village, now offers a unique recreational experience. The park covers 423 acres, including a six-acre lake, and is surrounded by an 80,000-acre block of Rothrock State Forest. Visitors can stay overnight on one of the 49 tent and trailer campsites after enjoying guided tours, swimming, fishing, boating and hiking.
Knoebels - Valleys of the Susquehanna
The fun doesn’t end after a long day of thrilling rides at Knoebels Amusement Park. Visitors can stay on the grounds throughout the night at one of the two Knoebels campgrounds. From cottages and cabins to rustic campsites and camper parking, guests can turn a simple day at the amusement park into a fun family vacation.
Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Campground - Laurel Highlands
Join in the fun of Yogi Bear’s™ world at the family favorite Jellystone Campground. Visitors can stay in themed cabins like Yogi’s Bunk House and Boo Boo’s Bungalow after a day full of adventure. The park offers everything from playgrounds and paintball to mini golf and a game room. Need to cool off from the heat? Swim at Yogi Bear's™ Wetlands, relax by the lower pool or take an exciting ride down the Water Slide. Whether old or young, families are sure to have a blast at this award-winning campground in southwestern Pennsylvania.
Artillery Ridge - Dutch Country Roads
History buffs looking for the full Civil War-era experience should jump at the chance to stay at Artillery Ridge. The site is the closest campground to the famous Gettysburg battlefields and provides guests with the opportunity to explore the grounds the same way many of the soldiers did: by horseback. In addition to the guided tours, visitors can view a model battlefield diorama and explore the Gettysburg Ghost Lab.
Virginia’s Beach - Pennsylvania’s Great Lakes Region
Take a plunge into the great outdoors at Virginia’s Beach campground located on the beautiful shores of Lake Erie. Relax and enjoy the unique, lakefront atmosphere situated on 45 acres, with 1,100 feet of easy-access beach while staying at the campground. Visitors can stay at a classic campsite with a tent or take a modern approach and stay in one of the site’s newly improved lakefront cottages or cabins. Because of its proximity to the lake, Virginia’s Beach is a great place for swimming, jet skiing, fishing and boating. New in 2015 are larger and improved lakefront cottage sites, and picnic and campfires sites on the beach!
Leonard Harrison & Colton Point State Parks - Pennsylvania Wilds
On the east rim of the Pine Creek Gorge, the 585-acre Leonard Harrison State Park offers spectacular vistas and scenic views of Pennsylvania’s natural beauty. After a night at one of the park’s traditional camping facilities, hike the surrounding rugged terrain where the opportunities for sightseeing are endless. Hikers can view dramatic rock outcrops, waterfalls and wildlife while exploring the trails. Visitors can also enjoy beautiful scenery at Colton Point State Park along the west rim of Pine Creek Gorge. The 368-acre park resonates with the rustic charm of the Civilian Conservation Corps era of the 1930s.