Mississippi River Headwaters - Leech Lake, PENNSYLVANIA
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Most Recent Mississippi River Headwaters - Leech Lake Camping Reviews

Quiet, peaceful campground. Great place for the entire family.

Renamed to Waterside Campground

Absolutely beautiful if you are riverside. Staff was friendly and helpful. Typical overall, but clean and pretty. Stay on the waterside! Sites 48-53. Stayed at 49, it was absolutely perfection!

Upper campground: Rustic, remote, restful

The upper campground has a rustic feel, beautiful views and is a great location for wildlife encounters. While it has some amenities (electric on a few RV sites; scullery area near the pit toilets; showers available at lower campground), these grounds are away from the bustle of the outside world. We are tent campers, and without the need for hookup and never having been there, we reserved site 45--but do not recommend it for its challenging slope. When a loud, disrespectful family set up nearby that first night for a long weekend, we spoke with the camp host (helpful, amenable Jim), who suggested we ask about site 71, the most removed of all the sites. Went to the camp office and obtained it for the rest of our week-long stay--and it was perfect. (While it had a hookup that we didn't need/use, we did pay extra for it--but well worth the seclusion.) Super quiet back there and totally private. Some of the rustic tent sites looked lovely, too (did not note best site numbers; sorry), but we cannot recommend #71 enough. If you're an RV camper, however, the sites with the vista views overlooking the reservoir are amazing, if not somewhat close together. 

We wanted to encounter wildlife; went looking for it and found it! Everything seemed to be about an hour or more away on winding roads, but that was okay; love the meandering. We went to:  

  • Hyner View (gorgeous vistas -- and also came across a mama rattlesnake sunning on a back road and took photos from the safety of our car!); 
  • Pine Creek Gorge (Leonard Harrison State Park) more amazing views; 
  • Benezette to find elk (wild herd at dusk on Winslow Hill, complete with mama and baby--then three buck sauntering through town!); and 
  • lovely nearby Kettle Creek Vista. We also saw a few elk and lots of deer as we drove along the river's edge over the Leidy Bridge. 

Pennsylvania is gorgeous!

We also enjoyed meeting Julie at the Lock Haven Visitors' Center and had our only meal out at Deb's in Cross Fork. For ice cream treats (a weakness): Ice Shack near Lock Haven; Old Bull Cafe in Benezette; the kiosk at the top of Pine Creek Gorge. 

A very restful, quiet week in early June was just what we needed, and Kettle Creek State Park Upper Campground was wonderful.

Pretty Place

Been here quite a few times. Its cool to see the hang gliders jumo off and ride the wind. Nice picnic areas and some trails. Worth the drive.

Nifty Place

Camped here since I was a little kid. Great place for groups and kids. There is a park, water to swim in, fishing, biking and hiking trails. Electric hookups and firewood for sale. Always friendly folks here.


Love this place. Quiet, Dark, perfect place to see the milky way!

Great for stargazing

This a great place to stargaze, which is why we chose it. The sites are mostly open with the usual amenities. The bathrooms are just non flushing toilets-no running water there so that is something to consider. we always bring water with us though- so no bother. The field is right across the way with the observation telescopes. Don't forget your red lights for the night! :)

Lovely area for a weekend away

I think we had the best site w/electric hookup that was also dog-friendly: #48. We loved how it was nicely shaded by hemlocks, oaks, some maples, and with our camper it felt pretty private! We were set back from the road enough that the dogs were undisturbed by people walking past. There’s a great beach/picnic area across the state road (heavily trafficked) and ranger programs were held throughout the weekend. We went for a short walk/hike; I recommend taking a picture of the hiking map or being extra responsible & bringing a map…definitely a chance to get turned around. For being about an hour from Harrisburg, we plan on heading back again this fall for a weekend away.

Relaxing by the water

Most of the campsites are on a slight slope but they’re still bearable. Also a lot of them are waterfront sites which is convenient for swimming in the summer! Super fun campground and area. Great for kayaking or boating

Fantastic family campground

My husband and our three sons usually camp here at least two times a summer. We always get a site by the creek and have a great time. The sites are always clean and the staff is great. They have a nice general store, pool, and family friendly activities.

A Mostly Overlooked Gem

Many consider Patterson State Park an over flow Park for when the famous “Dark Skies” Cherry Springs State Park or the large Lyman Run State Park with its lake for swimming, boating and fishing gets full. Indeed, many who couldn’t get a reservation at either of these larger state parks have ended up at this first come, first serve rustic campground. This is how I discovered the often overlooked beauty of this little park. First the location of this park makes it easy to take advantage of the amenities of the two nearby parks and it’s only a hop skip and a jump from mini golf and a newly installed zip line in Sweden Valley, Pa. If Hiking is your thing, the STS trail system runs right through it. On one side of the road (they must allow horse back riding on that section of the trail as we saw trailers of horses pull in to trail ride). There are two pavilions, one with a fire place . There is one rustic toilet. This is rustic camping, no electric, a pump for water but it is also pet friendly and has cell service. One of the best features and why we will definitely be back is that at any given time you may have the whole park to yourself. If you are camping with children this can be a plus! They will have plenty of room to play, and it is a poke-stop. It has a take it with you waste management plan that really helped us all think differently about packaging and some of the choices we make. I give this little park 5 yes 5 gold stars. But don’t tell anybody… let’s keep this little gem a secret between us!

Time to relax!

Very nice quiet campground.   Level spots.   Large lake to boat and kayak.   Beautiful scenery.  Full hook up spot

In the heart of central PA

I'm a team member at The Dyrt kicking off the review section with some info from the campground's website.

Gray Squirrel Campsites sits on 129 beautiful acres in the heart of central PA. They are located between the two sections of Eagle State Park and are within minutes of many others. 

The Activities center is a central hub at the camp - equipped with a piano and an indoor shuffle board court!

Hidden Gem

This was a surprise. We met the owner (Tina). The check-in has a separate room, which is attached to a restaurant / lounge. Check-in was effortless and efficient. We had campsite 19 - pull through with full hookups (50amp, cable, water, sewer). The site was nice and long. Even though they have had a lot of rain in this area, our jacks did not sink into the ground and the site was pretty level. After setting up, we went to the lounge. Missy was the bartender. Superb service - very friendly. We ordered dinner. Both were good.

Although we are only staying one day, I will certainly make this a stop the next time I am in the area.

FYI: RV Parky review only gives this location a 3 star with 3 reviews. These are new owners as of 2018. I recommend new reviews be given priority over the old ones. They offer a lot of entertainment (live music until 10PM on Friday and Saturday) and daily specials during the week. The locals were friendly… Give it a try…

A Hidden Gem In Central PA

The campground has approximately 35 sites, most with water and electric, which is rare for many PA state parks. The sites are mostly level, gravel, and good sized for averaged sized RV’s. Larger rigs may have some issues with site length on a few sites, so check ahead of time, but there are a couple pull through sites. Fire rings and picnic tables are at each site, but no wifi in the campground area. We did have cell phone service at our campsite.

The sites along the outer side of the look are more wooded than the inner sites.  The bathhouse is modern, very clean and well maintained. A playground is near bathhouse in the campground, along with several hiking trails. The dump station is easily accessible. Firewood is also available for purchase at the campground.

The campground is located across the road from the actual state park, which is beautiful and well maintained. A large lake is the centerpiece surrounded by multiple hiking trails, picnic areas, and a large swimming pool/aquatics area (in season). The road going to the park and campground is well maintained, with very wide shoulders for easy access, biking, and running. Fishing and boat rental are available on the lake.

We had a wonderful weekend at LBSP and plan to include it on our “Go-To” places to visit and camp.

Use caution

Let me start by saying that I assume the campground was not even fully open for the season yet so perhaps some of these problems occurred over the winter and they just hadn't had time to get everything in order yet. That being said, when we arrived the office was locked and we walked around for awhile before a woman (owner?) came by on a golf cart and told us to wait a few more minutes for her. Then, when we finally got checked in, she took my husband to show him where the site was. It was WAY too small and they should have known that ahead of time since they knew our trailer length. We literally would have been hanging over a hill. She took us to what she said was the only other available site. Looked like it had been a back in at one time, but she made us pull in meaning our truck was directly behind the trailer ahead of us with no way for us to drive off the site. We were with friends who were doing the driving that weekend, but if we had been on our own we would not have been able to drive anywhere- especially if the sites on either side of is were occupied. There was a burned out electrical box in front of our door and the water pipe was busted open. She told us we had to use the site down the hill from us for water, but our hose wasnt long enough. We talked about just using the bathroom there and not hooking up to water, but the womens room was locked with an out of order sign. After my daughter and I had to use the mens room, we went to walmart to buy a longer hose. That pipe was leaking and when we unhooked to leave it started gushing water and we couldn't turn it off. Had to go back down to the office to get someone (they were still sitting there watching the water when we left 20 min later).Bench and picnic table at the site were falling apart. There were farm animals there that did not look well cared for- though I'm certainly not an expert. Looks like it was a nice campground 20 years ago, but doesnt seem to have been maintained. To top it off, because it was considered a football weekend, they made us pay for 2 nights instead of just the 1 that we stayed. Total rip off considering the accomadations. We will not be back, but again, if they do some repairs and work on their customer service it could be a really nice place.

Rained out but still fun!

We unfortunately got stuck in infamous Northeast PA weather but we made the best of it. There were thunderstorms and campsite was a little flooded but we were still able to camp. This place is a cute little campground that allows dogs and has a bar right on the property. We enjoyed beers and live music and the next day turned out decent and we were able to enjoy the riverside camping ⛺️

excellent super friendly family campground

we stayed at buttonwood for the first time the end of August. probably the friendliest campground I’ve stayed out. when you arrive you are met by a staff member on a golf cart that takes you to your campsite. he helped us back in and get level and offered to bring us ice or wood if we needed it. from there it was “take your time and head down to the office when you are ready to check in”. there is tons to do for the kids. ours really enjoyed the bounce pillow, laser tag and peddle cars the most. there is also a small pool and nice canopies around the pool to sit under. my wife’s favorite part was the wine bar on site with local made wine and wine slushees!

the campground is divided by a local road and has 2 different feels. the lower section is right by the river with several riverfront sites and many river view sites. the upper side has the playground and kids activities and feels more set out in the country.

only downsides I can say about this campground are the sites are small. we where on the upper side and it felt more like tailgating than camping but everyone was super friendly. also plan on spending $20 per person for an activity wristband that includes all the extras including mini golf and tubing shuttle.

Great campground!

We loved it here!! First time here. Very spacious site with full hook up. #76 Next to camp host who were terrific. Deer came up to campsite every morning. Came to do some elk viewing. About 30 -40 min drive to Benezette. Already booked for next year!!

Very nice!

We camped here over Columbus Day weekend. We wanted a quiet escape. We had one of the few full hook up sites. Very quiet and peaceful. Lots to do at the lake if you want or quiet enough to just kick back. Bath houses were very clean. Staff was pleasant.

Great place!

Wonderful state park. Spacious sites! Beautiful scenery. Nice hikes for various hiking levels. Quiet and relaxing. Clean shower houses.

"Modern" Campground

We stayed at site 78 on the Sycamore loop at the end of April in a tent, which isn't the best equipment for this campground. Our site had a blacktop driveway, a very small amount of gravel, and a ton of mud. There was standing water toward the back of our site, and no really solid place to pitch our tent.

It was very windy the night we stayed and the following morning was as well. Because our tent stakes were anchored in mud, our tent blew over and collapsed. Our neighbor's tent did as well.

With the exception of our neighbors, we were the only tents in the loop (the other sites had RVs, and there are 2 cabins and 2 yurts on the loop as well). Firewood is for sale at the camp host site.

The sites are flat and open. There is a lack of trees, so no real wind break. Each site has a fire ring and a hook to hang food from small animals.

If the primitive sites weren't all booked out (it was the first day of turkey season) we would've stayed there. I'd give this place another chance, but only if we can snag a site at the primitive campground.

Full of adventure!

thankful to have raystown family campground so close to home. Can paddle and hike year round and camp in the spring, summer and fall. Amazing camp sites and several have beautiful lookouts over the lake

Great Family Fun!

Great campground! Lots of fishing, swimming and you can rent kayaks or paddle boats. Beach had a concession stand and camping was very shaded and secluded! No cell service but you won't even miss it.

Perfect place to see the stars

Cherry Springs had a great campground with decent space between campsites. Each campsite had a fire pit and a picnic table and most had trees behind them. We stayed in a drive up site that was close to the restrooms and had a clear field near us to look up and stargaze.

Very well manicured

This Park is clean, well maintained, and well manicured. I enjoyed the Nature Inn and surrounding area more than the campsites. The camp hosts were strange and were not helpful. I had to go find my own site, see if the electric worked because they were having issues, then check myself in, and still had to pay a booking fee when I did all the work! A very family oriented campground, nothing wrong with that, except everyone stared at me and made me uncomfortable because I was camping alone. I would greet people and get no response so I gave up. The next morning on my quest to find coffee, I found the Nature Inn and it, the staff, and the view were awesome. I spent quite awhile there, relaxing, enjoying my coffee, the lake view, the birds, and taking lots of photos. I do plan to visit the Inn again but not the campground.

Perfect for Stargazing

We mainly came to this camp ground for stargazing and it was awesome! We brought our own telescope and set it up but there were a lot of people with telescopes willing to share with people who didn't have one.

We LOVED Camping here

We had a lot of fun camping here. There are some great hikes in the area. The campsites are pretty close to each other but we ended up making friends. Make sure to bring your telescope!

Won't go again!

Over priced, no privacy, behind some sort of industrial factory. Not worth the money. Unless you like having your neighbors on top of ya and pay almost $200 for 5 days for it. No natural wood to burn they have taken out all the grass and made their campsites gravel. No trees to provide natural shade. And firewood is $11 a bundle. There prices that are on the website arent accurate. Only positive is there pool my kids had a good time. The staff is friendly. I'm a camper and this wasn't camping in my opinion.

Primitive camping on a lake

Camping at Lake Raystown…it's a primitive campground with no electricity. Get your water at a hand pump and they have pit toilets. Nice place to camp along the lake. Water sites are available.