Best Camping in Pennsylvania

By Nathan Swartz

Camping in Pennsylvania

The Keystone State is carpeted in rolling hills, wide-open fields, and lust forests ripe for camping. Hundreds of tent sites and RV sites await those eager to search its countryside, from the Pocono Mountains in the east to Cook Forest on the west side of the state.

See a map of all camping in Pennsylvania.

PA State Parks

With over 50 state locations equipped with campgrounds, Pennsylvania's state park system holds the largest number of hardwood shaded campsites, cold crisp creeks teeming with fish, hiking trails, and opportunities to spread your lunch out across a picnic table in Mother Nature's glory.

Dark skies make for the perfect tent camping experience as the Milky Way unfolds regularly over Cherry Springs State Park near the Pennsylvania Wilds. Closer to Philadelphia, French Creek State Park was once the site of young American industry but now boasts itself as a shining example of how wildlife and nature's splendor can replenish themselves in this, the largest uninterrupted forest in the Mid-Atlantic. Whether used as a pet-friendly basecamp for weekend hunting expeditions or the center of attention for a family vacation, places like Hickory Run State Park and Ricketts Glen State Park are but a few more of the many relaxing camping experiences in Pennsylvania.

Learn more about Pennsylvania State Parks.

National Parks in Pennsylvania

While PA isn't home to any large national parks like one might expect to find in less populated parts of the nation, it is home to a handful of smaller parks, such as Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, Gettysburg National Military Park, and Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site, all celebrating different aspects of America's history and landscape. Though these rarely have campgrounds directly within their boundaries, the state's private RV parks are so abundant you're bound to find a nearby KOA or other mom-and-pop campgrounds within a few minute's drive.

Free Camping in Pennsylvania

The majority of rent-free camping in the state will be found in state forests, where grassy knolls cozy up to hemlock and maple forests, perfect for both RV and tent campers alike seeking peace and quiet. Forbes State Forest, in the southeast, provides easy access to attractions like Seven Springs Ski Resort and Ohiopyle's white water playground. Moshannon State Forest holds an abundance of opportunities to explore the small towns and backroads of Northern Pennsylvania. Michaux State Forest positions one just outside of the vivid Civil War history and a vital turning point in America's past of Gettysburg. In the northeastern corner of PA, Delaware State Forest provides fishing and birdwatching opportunities galore just before crossing the border to points much more populated along the Atlantic Coast.

Learn more about free camping in Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania RV Parks

Whether you want a full hookup campsite or are looking to explore summertime hotspots like Lake Nockamixon, Pennsylvanians' proclivity to spending time in nature means you rarely need to look very far for a private RV park to plug into.

Some take the form of a camping resort in the romantic Pocono Mountains, others find themselves filled with swimming pool and basketball court antics of a family campground, and plenty offer camping cabins in case you want to invite the extended family for endless nights of enjoying everything under the stars that PA is so eager to offer up.

Learn more about Pennsylvania RV Parks.

Allegheny National Forest

The sole national forest in the state, Allegheny National Forest, comprises thousands of acres spread across Northwestern Pennsylvania and is home to designated campgrounds and free, dispersed camping alike. Those in search of a babbling brook from which to cast their camp chair's shadow need only seek a spot with an established fire ring and a view that suits their mood. While many of these spots are considered tent campsites, they are just as open to any RV that can fit within their bounds without doing further damage to the natural resources which bring campers here in the first place.

In short, from singletrack racers to big game chasers, the Keystone State was practically named for getting out into the woods and making your camping dreams come true.

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Recent Pennsylvania Campground Reviews

Airville, PA

Otter Creek Campground

Jul 01, 2022

"Delightful "

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Excellent campground. Wooded, peaceful. The nature trail to Otter Creek is spectacular. We’ll be back!

Lorraine
3 reviews
Jun 29, 2022

"Small but nice"

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We booked two nights in advance on Reserve America and then extended one more night through the Campground office. FYI, you don't have to reserve a site ahead of time. If you think there will be sites open you can just show up and find a site you like then pay at the office. When paying through the office we did not have to pay the $6.50...
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Larry P
16 reviews
Jun 29, 2022

"Quiet secluded mountain forest"

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Excellent place to boondock. Beautifully maintained forest, easy to get to. The northern part of the road (closest to Jake’s rocks) has a cell signal. Spent time at the local beach, hiking around Jake’s rocks, and visiting dam. It might get crowded on weekends, but even, then sites are well spread out. Only draw back is that my...
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BGehl
2 reviews
Jun 29, 2022

"Nice little campground"

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This campground is fairly small with tight, winding roads between sites. Might be tricky for large rigs, though sites near the entrance are probably just fine. Sites are not large, but the hilly, tiered layout of the campground makes it feel a little more spacious. The forest and small lake for swimming are beautiful. I stayed in late June and...
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nambot
1 review
Dunbar, PA

Ohiopyle State Park

Jun 27, 2022

"Convenient to trails and outdoor activities but facilities could do with an update."

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GPS took us a kind of rough way. Should have used Mill Run Rd (like if you were going to Falling Water). Check in was ok, site ok. Nicely spaced. Toilets and showers were a little disappointing. Good supply of wood.

Cecilia
2 reviews