Boasting gorgeous views, historical sites, rugged terrain, vast wildlife and some of the darkest skies on the eastern seaboard, Happy Travelers know Pennsylvania is the place to get lost in the great outdoors. Spending the night submerged in the quiet hills, valleys and gorges at sites across the state is the perfect way to pursue your happiness in a respite from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
Forbes State Forest - Laurel Highlands
The Forbes State Forest was named after General John Forbes, when he ordered the construction of a road from Bedford to Fort Pitt for the British Army's attack on Fort Duquesne. The forest spreads across 59,000 acres and features the highest point in PA – the 3,213-foot Mount Davis. Most of the land is open for primitive backpack camping, but there are six designated motorized campsites. When you stay at the Forbes State Forest, there are more than 250 miles of trails for horseback riding, hiking and mountain biking.
Farnsworth Cabin - The Pennsylvania Wilds
The secluded Farnsworth Cabin is hidden away in the northwest portion of the Allegheny National Forest and is a great location to reconnect with nature. The two-bedroom stone cabin may have been built in the 1930s, but it is fully equipped with modern amenities. However, you won’t want to spend much time indoors with all the wilderness of the Allegheny National Forest to experience! Hike or bike through beech and blackwood cherry trees, or sit in serenity and watch for some of the local wildlife. After you’ve built up an appetite from a day exploring, come back to your cabin to enjoy a meal cooked over the fire pit.
Keen Lake Camping & Cottage Resort - Pocono Mountains
Keen Lake Camping & Cottage Resort is located along a 90-acre, spring-fed mountain lake. The resort features more than 300 sites equipped with water, sewer, electric and cable hook-ups for your RV or camper. The seasonal cottages along the lakefront are the real highlight of the resort – the completely furnished units do most of the packing for you. All you have to do is bring yourself and seven friends for summer days full of fishing, swimming and boating.
Campbell Farm - Laurel Highlands
A stay in one of Campbell Farm’s “glamping” sites will feel like luxury in the outdoors. A tightly woven duck cloth tent holds a queen-sized bed equipped with organic cotton sheets. A well-equipped kitchen space will have you whipping up delicious meals to enjoy on the hickory rockers on the deck. After your meal, climb in for a hot bath in your open-air clawfoot tub, complete with stunning views of the mountainside.
Otter Lake - Upstate PA
Otter Lake is an all-season campground that 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 - The 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. Cherry Springs attained Gold Level International Dark Sky Association certification in 2008, making it the second park in the world to earn the honor. 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 Susquehannock 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, once a 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.
Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park™ Campground - Laurel Highlands
Join in the fun of Yogi Bear’s™ world at the family favorite Jellystone Campground™ at Mill Run. 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. After a day soaking up Gettysburg’s rich history, relax beside the campground’s brand new heated swimming pool!
Leonard Harrison & Colton Point State Parks - The 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.
Warwick County Park - Philadelphia and the Countryside
During the 18th and 19th centuries, the timber in these woodlands was used to make charcoal for the region’s iron furnaces and forges. Today, Warwick County Park offers visitors a relaxing and picturesque getaway – while still displaying remnants of the iron industry throughout the area. With an ADA-accessible fishing deck, various trails and meadows, play areas, a volleyball court and picnic tables, there is something for the whole family to enjoy at Warwick County Park.
Peaceful Woodlands Family Campground - Upstate PA
This family-owned and operated campground is a perfect destination for a tranquil vacation full of spectacular views and fun memories. Spike a volleyball, toss a horseshoe or swim a lap in the campground’s heated pool. Be sure to spend some time hiking through the various trails available, or play a game of miniature golf! At the end of the day, rest your head in your own tent or camper, or rent a cabin or camper from the campground. No matter what, Peaceful Woodlands Family Campground will provide your family a fun, comfortable and relaxing camping experience.