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

Spring Mills, PA

Seven Mountains Campground

Jun 23, 2021

"Great campground"

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We have stayed here 3 times over the past few years and it has always been great. Last time they were doing some upgrades to the sites but it was in April. Dog friendly and decent wifi. It is off a major highway that gets a lot of traffic which is good for access, but adds that road noise in the campground.

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Jeremiah Guinn
1 review
Dillsburg, PA

Walmar Manor Campground

Jun 23, 2021

"Served my purpose "

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Nice simple place. The camp host communicated via email in a timely fashion. Most there have been living there for a long time. My site was a level gravel pad with some grass and a very sturdy picnic table. There is also a fire ring. There is a medium sized swimming pool. I chose this campground to save some money as I was visiting Gettysburg....
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Tom Huffman
1 review
Somerset, PA

Laurel Hill State Park

Jun 23, 2021

"Beautiful Park"

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Beautiful park in an away from it all location. CELLULAR COVERAGE IS QUESTIONABLE. If you're near the creek, don't expect any coverage at all. One of our group was completely freaking out with coverage. It made for a less than optimal experience.

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Dolph Santorine
2 reviews
Jun 22, 2021

"Mostly permanent TT’s "

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Was charged 20 with Passport even though the Passport book and website said 17.50. Noticed that the campground is for sale. It rained hard so our site was pretty muddy in morning, surprised that they did not apply gravel to the few transient sites. Bathrooms looked like they were built in 1950 and never improved! Staying in State Park tonight so...
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Dave Williams
2 reviews
Penfield, PA

Parker Dam State Park

Jun 21, 2021

"Great family atmosphere."

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Super nice campground at a great state park. Full hookups, clean bathhouse. Be sure to bring your bike and fishing gear. Great hiking too.

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John Farr
3 reviews