Best Camping in Pennsylvania

By Nathan Swartz

Camping in Pennsylvania

The Keystone State is carpeted in rolling hills, wide-open fields, and lush 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 southwest, 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

New Alexandria, PA

Bush Recreation Area

Apr 15, 2024

"The Campground Is closed. "

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Currently under repair.

3 reviews
Schellsburg, PA

Shawnee State Park

Apr 15, 2024

"Very private in the off-season."

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We stayed here in November 2023 during Thanksgiving week and may have been the only site occupied for some of the nights. We could see the gatehouse from site #2, and rarely saw anyone coming and going. The sites are on some hilly terrain, so getting the camper level, was tricky, but we got it eventually. The electrical pedestal was in a...
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3 reviews
Lehighton, PA

Stonybrook RV Resort

Apr 10, 2024


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We thoroughly enjoyed our stay!! We camped early in the season so many of the amenities were closed, but the bath houses were BEAUTIFUL!! Our daughter uses a wheelchair to get around and she navigated the Standard RV Site just fine. Our site was clean and the staff was friendly and helpful. We will be back and would recommend Stonybrook to...
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1 review
Apr 10, 2024

"Close To I-80 With A Woodsy Feel"

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We needed a place to stay for the night on our way from Indiana to Rhode Island and saw good Yelp reviews for Rustic Acres, so we decided to try it out, over staying at the Love’s Travel center in Brookville. The staff was very nice and when we arrived guided us to our spot. The campground is about 15 minutes off Route 80, adjacent to a mobile...
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1 review
Apr 10, 2024

"Great campground near Lake Erie"

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We stayed at Sparrow Pond Family Campground for a special long-weekend to view the Total Solar Eclipse. Their normal season doesn’t open until later in April, but they opened for 5-days for people like us who wanted a good spot for the eclipse. Since the normal season hadn’t yet opened, not all amenities/facilities were open but they put on a...
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32 reviews