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!
I think the previous reviewer got a bit confused - Patterson State Park is a small campground in PA near Cherry Springs State Park. I kind of view it is overflowing camping for the campground there. In that way, it serves its purpose. It has around 8 small, open campsites around a small gravel loop. The sites are a bit too expensive for what you get: limited privacy, no feelings of really being in the woods. But there are bathrooms, water, and a pavilion! There's also a trail head that I believe connects with the STS at some point (We didn't actually start any hikes from this point.) There's a pay station and all sites are first-come first-serve.
We stopped here on our way home from Canada and it was not as impressive as we thought. Being Wisconsin's tallest waterfall the park itself was well manicured and very touristy setup. Most likely for people safety you couldn't get close to the waterfalls however being backpackers this really bummed us out. However we did invent air canoeing.