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This is a great but very crowded camping area. Clearly a favorite of many DC area campers. We arrived on a Friday around 6 and found every campsite full. We ended up at an overflow site. Get there early if at all possible! And if it’s mostly full, look for breaks in the brush where other cats have pulled off. There are usually fire pits to be found near them. Campsites are well-distanced from each other. We did not hear others while we were there.
Additionally, this is not a great campground for cars that are low to the ground— the roads are gravelly, potholed, and very slow to navigate in a passenger vehicle with low clearance.
The area is gorgeous! Beautiful mountains and nature. Lots of critters and plants to check out.
Bring your own water— none available as far as I could tell. There was a creek a few hundred feet from our site, but it was too steep to get to for bathing or washing dishes (we tried).
Sites vary in distance from the road. Our overflow site was far enough that we could see the cars but not so close that them going by woke us. We could also hear nose from the interstate, but it fades into the background after a couple hours. We estimated we were 1/4 mile from the interstate as the crow flies.
There are fun activities nearby as well. We saw the tunnel at Paw Paw and went to Cumberland. You can apparently rent kayaks from a man nearby, but he prefers to take groups. Drop by his store the day before to see if you can get in on the action.
The forest is beautiful & every site is very nicely set up & well distanced from each other. I say this just from what we saw driving by. We drove around for at least 2 hours looking for a spot, finally gave up & made our own. The system definitely needs major improvements. Just incredibly & unnecessarily frustrating.
My boyfriend and I planned a roadtrip on a whim & we happened upon Green Ridge State Forest. We were not sure what to expect and if we would even find a solid spot, but clearly our last minute planning served us well. The best spots are found at the end of the long road (I recommend traveling 4x4) and offer complete seclusion in nature. This site not only boasts a large space, but a picnic table and fire pit!
We stayed here a few years back and although the campground itself was quite nice and large all night long we could hear trucks going down the PA Turnpike which at the time made it hard to enjoy the weekend while in a tent at night.
The lake is nice for kayaking and paddleboarding in addition to some small motors but unfortunately we never did return after our trip so not sure if you can still hear the turnpike at night or not.
Every campsite at Green Ridge SF is worth getting. Some are more hallowed than others, but I’m getting ahead of myself. Green Ridge lies to the western most area of Allegany County. The woods here are teaming with deer, bear, turkey, and hunters (in season of course.) There are no amenities unless you bring it yourself. None of the sites are appropriate for RV’s . Maybe a small camper, but one must remember a good portion of the campsites are reached by notoriously thin and rough roads. For solitude and the price(very cheap) it’s worth bringing a bucket to do your business in, the sites along 15mile creek are the ones that usually go first. There is a small camping loop at the end of Kasekamp road that just reopened due to road washout in 2018. There are a few gem sites that offer nearly complete solitude- your nearest neighbor is at least two miles away. There are no markets nearby and only a couple of small diners- all in the Little Orleans/ Artemas regions. Remember this is bear country and they are around this year in force.
Went back for a second weekend in a row because we just love this place so much! A little bit crazy trying to find a spot with the first come first serve way they're set up and the ranger station is closed because of Covid, but it all worked out!
We stayed at Shawnee for 2 nights Memorial Day weekend just after Covid19 restrictions had been partially lifted. Site 258 on loop D is quiet, but may have been noisy if the yurt and 2 cabins had been rented out. There is a 20 amp plug and 30 amp service at this site. The fire ring is at an angle so cooking on it proved to be a challenge (we bring a grill grate with us just in case, and had to use it). Bathroom and showers were clean, bright, and there is a dish washing sink outside. Showers were push button but pressure was great and the water was hot (make sure you push the button once before you get in so its warm if no one else is showering at that time). Bring shower shoes. We were able to hear a small bit of traffic from the highway, but nothing that disturbed us. There are several stores within a 20 minute drive (Walmart, etc) and a mall an hour away. Camp wood at the entrance is $5 and is tiny; our biggest piece was a foot long, 4 inches wide and 2 inches thick! It was okay to start a fire, but we went into the woods and picked up dead wood that we cut into manageable logs. There weren't any roadside stacks of seasoned wood, so be prepared if it rains. The picnic table was saturated and too heavy to move, so we ate sitting in camp chairs. We would stay again.