The best HIKE IN camping near
Van Buren , PENNSYLVANIA

48 Reviews10 Campgrounds

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Most Recent Van Buren Camping Reviews
Perfect Spot to Explore McConnell's Mill

Breakneck is a private campground on the edge of the McConnell’s Mill State Park. They offer RV sites, tent camping and cabins. The tent camping is either grassy, flat sites or on an elevated timber platform overlooking a gorge. They also offer walk-in tent sites down by the creek which are beautiful. 

We were lucky enough to be able to to camp down by the stream. There are designated fireplaces. It is quite a walk up the hill to the campground amenities, but worth it to feel secluded down by the creek. From our campsite we walked along the creek into McConnells Mill State Park and joined the covered bridge trail. Approx. 30min walk along the creek down into McConnells Mill State Park. 

The campground sells firewood and has great amenities. Note: there is no phone reception at the tent sites by the creek. They welcome fury friends!

Best Hike-In Camp in PA

Wolfkiel is one of two hike-in areas along the Gerard Hiking Trail, in the Oil Creek State Park. Wolfkiel is made up of six(6) Ariondack Shelters and a tent camping area. The Adirondack shelters are perfectly positioned to be private from one another, each looks out over the forest. They are a raised timber platform with a slanted roof and stone chimney with fireplace. There are two shelves and several hooks on the wall. Each shelter has a picnic table. The platform is large enough to sleep 4 people in sleeping bags or set up a two person tent. 

The tent section is cleared and grassy with communal firepit and picnic table. Lots of trees to enable hammock set up. There is a supply of firewood in a covered shed for a small donation and two(2) drop toilets. Water is available in the summer months. The shelters are approx. 15min walk to the creek& Miller Farm Bridge, which joins the Oil Creek State Park trail. It’s a stunning walk with lots of small swimming spots along the way. 

The shelters are approx. 10min drive from Titusville, PA. The walk-in from the carpark is approx. 15min– slight downhill on the way in.

Loads to do...!

This campground is deceptively big! The nightly RV sites are close to the park entrance and are relatively flat. The campground hosts themed events, game nights and arts& crafts. There is a swimming pool and playground for the kids. It also has a small café that sells baked goods and coffee. On Saturdays they sell amazing Armish Donuts! 

Further into the campground the sites turn to more permanent sites. Further up the hill are more cottages and camping. This campground is steep in parts and too large to walk efficiently. There is a fenced dog run area and a beautiful lake. All sites have fire rings. There is an onsite laundry, WIFI, onsite dump station and propane refill station. 

You can also buy ice and firewood. The campground is gated. Lots to do at the campground and lots to do in the surrounding area. They welcome all furry friends!

Fantastic place we love it.

Fantastic service, really kind people and very relaxing place also the campground is very family friendly.

Nice place but horrid visitors

I was here the Friday of Labor day weekend. The woman who took my reservation was great and the grounds were nice. They had several options including tent sites in a large open area, some areas that were a little more secluded, lean-to, RV parking and tent platforms which was where i landed.. The 2 stars is due to the fact i was surrounded by people who were beyond drunk,obnoxious and extremely loud which is fine its all a part of camping right? They were hanging out playing there music when i first arrived about 6 and i can appreciate some good fun and music! (but how much Johnny Cash can one handle?) They then moved onto some less appealing tunes which i do not have children but there were plenty riding their bikes by so I'm sure mom had to explain some words that evening. Nothing was done regardless of the vulger lyrics but i figured what do i know I'm not a parent! I had been traveling for days so i was exhausted and managed to fall asleep only to be woken around 11:00 by several people across the way having a blast laughing and yelling which went until 2am and a couple next to me screaming and arguing at each other until 3am.. Quiet time 10:00? At least tone it down! No one addressed the situation. So if you like to hang out and party it up this is a great place. If your looking for a family oriented camping experience maybe not so much..

What a gem!

What a special stat we had! So close to the McConnells Mill trails, gorgeous deck spot above the gorge and low key vibe to the campground overall. I cannot believe it took us this long to stay here!

Cute and quiet weeknight

My daughter and I came through here on our way from Michigan to Virginia. I think it was a Thursday night. It was quiet and beautiful. The host did seem to be expecting a crazy weekend, but we didn’t stay to find out. We camped in a lower loop with platforms overlooking the hill. There was a clean port a potty near our site. We didn’t explore much else but I believe the river would have only been a short walk/drive away. The overall vibe was clean, safe, and beautiful. They collected payment at night by visiting the sites. I did not see sites near water or a playground that are featured in other photos (but perhaps I did not look hard enough?).

Great Backpacking Camping

I'm not reviewing the campground at the Minister Creek trailhead. I'm reviewing the camping options available to backpackers along the North Loop of the Minister Creek Trail.

Here are my notes from our recent trip:

When we went there in August of 2020 and backpacked the North Loop of the Minister Creek Trail, we camped at the (unbridged) stream crossing just downtrail (if hiking the loop counterclockwise) of the first intersection with the North Country National Scenic Trail, which is sort-of at 2 o'clock on the loop. It was neither our first choice, ideal, nor terrible. There weren't many flat places for a tent. There was no fire ring. It was not a "durable" surface. But it was raining, it was getting late, and it's all we could find. 

There were tons of great pre-made campsites as the trail approached and crossed the stream from the northernmost point (what I would call 12 o'clock on the loop) and headed south until the trail leaves the stream and heads south-west. We also saw a few pre-made campsites as we started our trip (at about 4 o'clock on the loop). You could pretty easily hike in and make camp right away, then do most of the 6 mile hike on the second day.

Not Ideal Tent Camping

I've only camped in state parks before. We went to Bear Run during the pandemic, when the state parks weren't open yet.

We were tent car-camping. We felt as if Bear Run really catered to RVers.

The tent sites were small and crammed together. There was no bathroom (only a porta-potty). There was no place to wash dishes (the closest thing we could find was a hose that was FAR away). There were no grates on the fire-pits for cooking (as there are at DNCR facilities).

Now that said, you CAN drink alcohol there (which IS a plus).

And the staff was awesome … we could CALL them on our phone and they would bring us stuff (more fire wood, a grate for cooking). THAT was nice.

But without a closer bathroom and a place to wash dishes, we would just as soon go back to state parks.

No Camping

"Camping is prohibited in the park." (That is directly off the DCNR website.)

I am not reviewing Moraine State Park (which is awesome). I am reviewing the CAMPING options at Moraine State Park. Which brings me back to the DNCR website. It says "No Camping" and "Camping is prohibited in the park. Private campgrounds nearby offer camping."

It DOES list cabins, group tenting, and a backpacking shelter, which is available by reservation only.

But this park is not where somebody looking for CAMPING would want to be.