We stopped here on a road trip for a quick night’s sleep before continuing on. It is a beautiful wooded park offering lots of trees for privacy. I wish I had more time to explore the park before moving on. The bathhouse could use a renovation. It felt old and kind of dirty. Other than that, I hope to come back and spend more time here.
Laurel Ridge State Park is the greenway that protects the legendary Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail from the busy world around it. It's a long, narrow strip of land running (in a patchy way) along the summit of Laurel Mountain for about 70 miles. Unlike most state parks in PA, it doesn't have much in the way of amenities, but it does have eight campgrounds and shelter sites for backpackers and anyone who wants a "pack-it-in-pack-it-out" camping experience. Check here for a map of the park with trailheads for people who just want to hike in as far as a campground without doing the whole trail. I highly recommend hiking in from the northern end of the trail near Johnstown to the first camping area along the trail. You have to reserve a rustic campsite beforehand; just follow this link. On the two occasions I camped in this park, it was only $12 per night. The camping areas are supposed to have firewood and water, but the wood is often punky, and the water needs to be treated. This trail is especially popular in October and on long weekends, so if you're coming to the woods for solitude or silence, avoid those times. This is a beautiful park with several dramatic overlooks out over valleys to the east. I've hear a barred owl at night both times I camped here.