pa state park maps
Pennsylvania State Parks

Making Plans to Visit PA State Parks

March 28, 2021

Looking Back

We first shared our adventures and advice about visiting PA state parks three years ago, and now we’re excited to be coming into our fifth weekend-RV season!

As of right now, we’ve stayed at 31 of the 51 PA state parks that offer overnight RV accommodations. Out of the total 121 PA state parks, the other 70 do not have campgrounds- and we’ve visited 20-25 of those parks, too.

In our Trip Reports, we typically give you a campground overview, bath/shower house review, hiking trail suggestions, and at least one interesting place to stop along the way – like this giant coffeepot in Bedford!

bedford coffee pot 1

We also toss in some dog-specific tidbits, wildlife encounters, and fungi pics for good measure!

cook forest state park stone with franklin

Who doesn’t love a good mushroom-in-the-wild?!

mushroom 1 in cook forest

If you’re planning to visit a Pennsylvania state park this year, please click the State Parks menu tab above or use the Search in upper right to see if we’ve done a Trip Report for that park. We hope we can make your time a little more enjoyable!

Now onto why YOU should go to a PA state park and where we’ll be Trip Reporting from next.

So Many Great Reasons to GO!

Why should you go to a state park this year? 

First of all- affordability.

Not only are all of the Pennsylvania state parks free for day-tripping, even the overnight camping and RV charges are just around $30 per night. Cabins, cottages, and yurts run a bit more, and any of these overnight options can be reserved up to 11 months in advance. 

rv awning

Second, you can take your four-legged friends along! Most PA state park campgrounds and trails are dog-friendly, and those that aren’t are clearly marked.

Be sure to read the pet rules, Pet Camping Fact Sheet, and the Dogs in Cabins Fact Sheet before you go. If you’re using the PA State Parks’ Reservations website, use the prompt under “Number of Occupants” to click “more options”.  That’s where you’ll find the “Pets allowed” checkbox so you can filter campgrounds that welcome pooches.  

franklin and hazel at clear creek state park

Finally, accessibility and organization!

We enjoy nicely laid out facilities and well-marked trails, and state parks deliver! They also provide knowledgeable rangers and staff, detailed maps to take along with you, and simple amenities so you aren’t roughing it too hard. 

clear creek state park trail map snippet

NEW Trip Reports Coming…

The weekend RV season planning has already begun, and here’s where you can expect Trip Reports from this year:

Laurel Hill State Park

Kicking off the season close to home in the Laurel Highlands!

Swallow Falls State Park

While this state park is in Maryland, we have been trying to visit it for two years now - once we got canceled for weather and another for COVID.
UPDATE: Third time was NOT a charm! Bad weather caused a cancelation AGAIN! See you next year, Swallow Falls!

Presque Isle and Chapman State Park

We'll be visiting Presque Isle State Park on Lake Erie during the day before weekending at Chapman State Park. We've heard great things - now we want to see them!

Codurus State Park

This park sits out by itself, closer to Philly than Pittsburgh. We haven't heard much about it, but we wanted to check it off our list!

Little Pine State Park

Little Pine is in one of my favorite parts of state for wildlife spotting, the Pennsylvania Wilds, in Tiadaghton Forest.

North Bend State Park

This West Virginia state park got on our list when we saw signs for it on a different trip and saw it had lots of hiking trails.

Greenbrier State Park

Another Maryland state park we'll take a chance on, since all the parks we've visited in Maryland have been gorgeous with great mushrooms.
UPDATE: We did not get the chance to visit, unfortunately!

Since this weekend RV season has passed, we’ve put in the links to the Trip Reports. We also ended up visiting: 

Hocking Hills State Park in Ohio

Jockey’s Ridge State Park in North Carolina

Keystone State Park in Pennsylvania 

GAP Trail from Pittsburgh to Layton

So what are you waiting for?

If you’d like help locating the nearest state park (and even park in general) to you, go to 

If you are looking to venture outside the Keystone State, we also have more Trip Reports from state parks in Maryland, Ohio, and West Virginia. 

Happy Travels!

Wondering what lessons we learned from four seasons of weekend RV travel? Turn our turmoil into your own tips.
Getting ready to pack up your RV?  Browse our Winter Gift List a season late for a few things you’ll wish you brought along.