LivingTravelCamping in western Pennsylvania

Camping in western Pennsylvania

From rustic to resort style, campgrounds in western Pennsylvania come in many sizes and personalities. However, what they all have in common is the opportunity to break away from the hectic pace of everyday life. Often located near popular tourist attractions and historic sites, campgrounds provide inexpensive vacation opportunities and the opportunity to get out and enjoy the beautiful scenery of western Pennsylvania.

What type of camping do you prefer?

Two state parks in western Pennsylvania offer backpack camping, several campgrounds offer only tent camps, and dozens of state parks and private campgrounds offer camping for most camping equipment. Most Pennsylvania campgrounds have electrical hookups and showers, while some are rustic. Some campgrounds even have access sites for those who like things a little more private. If you like your creature comforts, many Pennsylvania state park campgrounds offer modern cabins for year-round camping, available through a reservation lottery system.

Rural camping is available for the more adventurous in most sections of the Allegheny National Forest.

What do you like to do when you camp?

In addition to the activities traditionally considered part of a camping trip (hiking, biking, swimming, boating, fishing, and nature studies), many of Pennsylvania’s private campgrounds offer additional options, including planned activities, pools, recreation centers and games. , nightly entertainment, bars and a camp store. There are water, electric, and sewer hookups for RVs in most western Pennsylvania campgrounds, and many private campgrounds even offer cable TV and telephone hookups.

A few Pennsylvania campgrounds, including a handful of state park campgrounds, also allow campers to bring their pets to enjoy the outdoors.

Planning your camping trip

Most state parks and public campgrounds in Pennsylvania open on the second Friday in April (the day before the first day of trout season) and close on the third Sunday in October. Several Pennsylvania campgrounds are open through mid-December (the day after the last day of deer season), and some remain open year-round. However, showers at these campgrounds may not be available during the winter months of October to April. Memorial Day through Labor Day is the busiest time for most Pennsylvania campgrounds and coincides with the operation of most swimming areas and seasonal educational programs.

Camp reservations in Pennsylvania

Most Pennsylvania campsites are available through advance reservations. Although not required, reservations are recommended for most public and private camps. Some more rustic state park campgrounds do not accept reservations, operating on a first-come, first-served basis.

  • Campgrounds in Pennsylvania State Parks can be reserved online or by calling 888-PA-PARKS.
  • ReserveUSA allows you to make advance reservations online at more than a dozen federally run camps in western Pennsylvania, including the USDA Forest Service and Army Corps of Engineers camps. Campgrounds at these campgrounds can also be reserved by phone through the National Recreation Reservation Service at 877-444-6777.
  • Private camping sites can be reserved by contacting the individual camp directly.


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