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Raystown Lake, PENNSYLVANIA
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Campground halfway on the AT

We found this park while driving south to Georgia and decided to stay for a night. It was full of trails and it’s the halfway point on the Appalachian Trail so you can hike some of it too! Our campsite was #31 in the Horseshoe Loop (no elec/water) near the bath house that was very clean. There are water spigots located throughout the park though. Friendly campground hosts attend the firewood barn and are willing to help with suggestions for stores and and such. Check in and check out is both 3pm, which allowed us to spend the morning hiking. Cell service is pretty non existent but there is WiFi at the ice cream/general store.

Great park

Since I am from near the area, I camp here a lot, and I will say that it is a great campground. The sites are spacious and well taken care of, and if you camp on the upper loop, there is a lot of separation between sites, which is nice. The bathrooms are average, not the best I've seen, and certainly not the worst. The sites aren't all level, so If it rains, certain sites become ponds. Other than this, though, it is an awesome campground, and I highly recommend it!

Clean. Friendly.

Our first time at Dogwood Acres Campground. Was pleasantly surprised as this was just a weekend trip at the end of June to start the season. When booking the dates earlier in the year, I spoke to a woman in the office who was even willing to drive to a few sites and text me photos since we hadn’t been there before making our final selection. Went the extra mile to ensure we would be happy.

Was impressed upon driving into the place. Looked clean and tidy. Good signage. Flat all gravel sites. Clean pool. Pavilion was a nice meeting place. Big pond was pretty. Friendly staff.

Campground was a mix of seasonal and weekenders. Lots of trees. Some made pulling in/backing in a bit challenging.

I’m recommending this campground to our friends to come back together as a group.

Poorly Maintained

I was expecting a much nicer camping experience based on the reviews and price. We camped out on Poplar. Our site had a gravel pad. But the surrounding area was not level and you had to climb up a 2-3’ incline to get to the fire pit area. Gets very slick because it doesn’t dry out. Sites across the way were on the water. They had cement pads only as wide as your rv/tt but then the surrounding grass dropped off sharply. Very dangerous as you barely had enough room to walk around your unit.

We explored the “red carpet” row up on the hill. What a joke. Gravel pads skinnier in some instances then a TT is wide. One wrong step and you’d fall into the woods. Grass and weeds galore in the gravel areas. Sites barely large (long) enough and all back in’s up there. Trees had low branches which isn’t good for rigs. Not many people up in this area and I can see why.

The beach area really needed combing or raking once in a while. There was a water leak coming out of the road and a tree branch barely hanging on about to fall that staff just drove by like its normal.

When we checked in, there wasn’t much explained to us. This is a huge property and would have thought they’d want to give campers more direction about where things are etc. We went to the store to sign up for pump out service. ($10). I asked the girl a question because I hadn’t done that type of service prior and she doesn’t answer with information, just tells me to read the ticket. …..which didn’t have the answer. Felt like staff wasn’t overly friendly and didn’t want to take the time. So many good camp staff experiences to compare to from other campgrounds so this really stood out.

Water was nice. Rented a kayak. Spent some time on the beach. Boats zoomed back and forth but the noise wasn’t too bad. Jet skis could be a bit loud at times.

Also, almost forgot….we lost power twice. Once a meter overheated and melted. Took a few hours to get that replaced. The other time two workers walked along the tree line behind the campsites and hit the main to our area so they could fix an electrical issue up the row. No warning. No communication. Campers were to ones telling each other what was going on. Another example of staff just feeling very punching a clock.

Great Que

Great place for fishing kayaking Very family oriented

1/2 way point on the AT

Dogs allowed at the nice sized campsites. Beautiful trails with old growth forest. Steeple pole Trail has a great view.

Pearl Hunting

What I like the best about exploring different State Parks is the hunt to find the pearl… that one thing that makes each park stand out from all the other parks I have visited. This pearl hunt is a completely individualistic process. For example the beautiful stream (Honey Creek) running through it might be the pearl for a fisherman ( It has native and stocked trout). Or the playground might be the pearl for a mom or dad. For me, the pearl is a super clean, eco-shower. Yep that’s right, the shower! Timed water, lights (solar?)etc. are spot on for me! A shower? That doesn’t seem very exciting, you might say…let me explain; My De-stress thing to do after a hard week at work is to go and have Dinner at the park. I first take a nice warm shower and let all the stress of the day go down that drain. Then I go find a deserted section and a picnic table and just sit down. Immediately I can feel every bit is stress or anxiety dissipate. My ears are filled with the sounds of crickets, birds and other insects. This is my meditation music. There are three pavilions and tables everywhere in the park. In this atmosphere, I chew slower, taste more and I swear, food tastes better out of doors…. better than any restaurant… try it sometime! Other favorite things about Reeds Gap - pet friendly … it is tents only, but I like that about it too… I like the rustic setting. There are 3 beautiful pavilions and tons of parking! I also like their waste management as they offer recycling for the campers. There is a trail head near the entrance of the park for hikers and a geocache showed up close to the trail on a road on my geocache tracker if you are into that. I have just shared what makes Reeds Gap special for me, but you will have to come explore this gem for yourself and find your own pearl and what makes this state park one of Pennsylvania’s treasures.

Closed

No longer open, bummer

Black Mo is a unique treasure

As far as camping goes, the loop area is a bit cramped for my taste, but if that doesn't bother you it's fine. Clean bathhouse and convenient outdoor sink for washing up after dinner. Overall one of the best PA parks and well maintained.

I really have to address some of these other reviews, though:

"Water was thick with weeds& lilies but ok nonetheless." Wow! Pitcher plants, sundews and water lilies are not "weeds." They are unique to bog environments and don't grow in other places. The vegetation in the lake is what makes Black Mo black, so picturesque and unlike other PA parks!

"The overall area has nothing to do. And I mean NOTHING. We drove 45 minutes to Altoona to see the famous Horseshoe Curve but there’s literally nothing else around for miles and miles. Not even an ice cream stand, or not one we could find. And, since there’s no cell service, we couldn’t figure out any options either." Like many state parks in this part of the world there is no cell service, so you need to bring a real map (Purple Lizard) and look a few things up on the internet ahead of time. Black Mo is literally ten minutes from Philipsburg where there is surely an ice cream stand, 25 minutes from State College, which has tons of touristy offerings…I could go on but really this is laughable.

Do not stay here.

By far, the worst place we have ever camped. The sites are so small that my truck was either parked over the firering or blocking our door. Our slideout is 3” from the neighbor site’s picnic table. There are MULTIPLE long term residents, complete with sheds & tarped covered belongings clogging the lots. The fuse on the (campsite) panel kept blowing every time we ran the air and microwave together.

Great place Wish I could give it five stars

This is a nice cg, don’t get me wrong. Sites are spacious, bathrooms clean and air fresh. Decent beach on the lake and plenty to do within the park for the nature lovers.

The bad? The water in the lake is way frigid - even midsummer and only the very bravest kids were swimming. The overall area has nothing to do. And I mean NOTHING. We drove 45 minutes to Altoona to see the famous Horseshoe Curve but there’s literally nothing else around for miles and miles. Not even an ice cream stand, or not one we could find. And, since there’s no cell service, we couldn’t figure out any options either.

Don’t think we’ll be back. Might be a nice place for kayaking or possibly fishing (but I didn’t see a lot of fishermen).

Beautiful and peaceful

The title says it all. Far enough away from cities that it's nice and quiet

Great place

This place is great

FREE, well-maintained, wooded, primitive sites.

Michaux State Forest campgrounds have vault toilets and the sites are well-maintained. I went in late fall and was the only camper at the area I stayed in. Unfortunately you cannot reserve sites online and it's a little tricky, but it's free… 

Camping is free in several areas throughout Michaux State Forest (as well as other PA State Forests), BUT you usually need to have a camping permit (also free) and you can only stay in designated campsites. To obtain a permit, find out where the designated sites are, and/or find out what designated campsites are available, you have to contact the State Forest District Office for the forest you would like to camp in. 

More info can be found here: 

https://www.dcnr.pa.gov/Recreation/WhatToDo/StayOvernight/BackpackingAndPrimitiveCamping/Pages/default.aspx

Great ficilities!

Clean campgrounds with the best shower/bathroom ficilities I have seen. We've been on the road for a week, and this was easily the most impressive. They also have a pool, which we didn't use, and was pretty close to some restaurants, if you aren't cooking on site. I highly recommend this place!

Mid week stay

Nice fairly private tent sites, clean showers and pet friendly.

Absolutely amazing camp grounds

Clean and amazing fishing. Highly recommend. Note; the sites our family were at did NOT have sewage hook ups. I do not know if this applies to all sites.

All in one!

Great little campground nestled in Penns woods! Camp store for the forgetful, beach, kayaking rentals, hiking trails and between 12 & 15 miles of mountain biking trails all right from the campground. Sites are spacious with enough privacy. Two modern bathhouses trimmed out in tile.

A treasure to remember, after a long, rough day...

I had made plans to stay at SSP-PA as my first stopover spot, post leaving my beach friends on the East Coast. The morning drive started early, had several stops and starts, and I was once again glad that my big dog was along for the ride. Shawnee is a lovely state park and I was really pleased with my brief stay. 'Though we were only sleeping the one night, I found the staff to be pleasant and the site spacious. It might have helped that the doggo and I were about the only ones in our campground loop, aside from the campground hosts but the area felt well-maintained and well-proportioned. We had a good night's rest, after enjoying a post-dinner campfire and getting to breathe in the fresh, woodsy air. While sitting fireside, I got to enjoy the local wildlife, from birds to young deer, around the edges of my campsite. The campground restroom was clean and a fair size. I would definitely recommend it and I will certainly look into another reservation, the next time I roadtrip through Pennsylvania.

Halfway point on Appalachian

Nice wooded state park close to a nice lake

Enjoyable family campground

Quemahoning Family Recreation Area offers great fishing, some nice trails and generally wonderful weather during the summer season.  The campground offers some sites with electrical and others with varying primitive services.  The campground has a bathroom with showers (2 for men, 2 for women).  The result is there are sometimes lines waiting for a shower to be available.  There is a camp store where wood, ice and fishing supplies are available.  There is no trash service;  campers are expected to carry out their trash.  Campsites do have fire rings, a picnic table and parking available.  The campgrounds are pet friendly.  Boats are available to rent.  If you bring your own power needs to be electric only.

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!

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

Quiet, spacious campsites

The campground was close to raystown lake and within walking distance of the welcome center. Each site had tons of space and with electric hookup and a dump station by the entrance. Tree covered and close to mountain biking trails

Extremely peaceful and in the middle of no where

This is a very nice cabin with three bedrooms, a loft area and 1.5 bathrooms, LR, kitchen and small dining area. There is a large deck with a few chairs and a picnic table. You travel down a non-paved road and into the middle of absolute peacefulness. I sat on the porch for about an hour trying to hear something other than acorns falling, birds chirping and airplanes to no avail. There is a fire pit area however due to the rain we had all of the wood was wet and we were not able to get one started. The sofa in the LR was broken. It almost looked like someone jumped off of the balcony onto it. There was a bachelor party in there just before us so it looks like that had a good time. Also, all of the beds were absolutely not comfortable AT ALL. My back hurt so badly I almost slept on the floor. There is a TV there but no cable however there is internet so they have Hulu, Netflix, ROKU, Amazon Video and a lot of other ways to watch shows if you want. There is a washer and dryer, air conditioning and a wood stove for heat. They also have a crib for infants and a high chair which was very nice as we had a 1 year old at the time. The kitchen was also stocked with appliances, dishes, cups, cooking items, silverware and amenities so we didn't have to drag everything plus the kitchen sink along. Pets are allowed however there is no smoking. You have to be at least 25 years old to rent the cabin. Raystown Lake is very close by and so is Trough Creek State Park. There is a suspension bridge at the park, Balanced Rock and Rainbow Falls. We had a fantastic time and look forward to heading back to the area again someday soon. Everything was stocked very well and we definitely enjoyed our stay.

Love this place

I was invited by a few friends to stay here with then and I absolutely enjoyed myself. They are one of the first parks I have visited (there haven't been many) that has had electric car charging stations! Easy way to stay charged and "unplug" from the daily bustle of life.

Beautiful park

This is a beautiful camping area and around Halloween they have a costume parade and a trick or treat at the campsites. Check with park services for dates.

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.