Lancaster, Pennsylvania — in the area of Pennsylvania better known as “Dutch Country”— is a lush, rural landscape famous for its relaxed pace and quiet, historic communities. But there is more to this east coast vacation region than horse-drawn carriage rides and antique hunting. Campers should also carve out ample time for enjoying the Keystone State’s natural beauty.
Exploring Dutch Country is certainly a favorite summer pastime for locals and tourists alike, and the many campgrounds near Lancaster, PA offer even more reasons to visit this beautiful area.
11 Dutch Country Campgrounds Near Lancaster, PA
Planning a trip to go camping in Pennsylvania? Stop at these campgrounds near Lancaster, PA to dive into the local culture and history and relax by the natural beauty of the Susquehanna River.
These 11 campgrounds are all known for their quiet, family-friendly camping atmosphere — perfect for unwinding after a day of sightseeing.
Of all the campgrounds around Lancaster, PA, River Rock Adventures might get you the closest to nature—and its only 30 minutes from downtown Lancaster. The fee for three people is $90 ($150 for up to six, $200 for up to ten), but you’re renting the entire campground. That’s nearly two acres, with river access, all to yourself! Firewood and hammocks are included, but prepare for a primitive camping experience with no running water or hook ups. Book this campground directly through The Dyrt for quick access!
“There are some amenities that make staying here easy, like a camp kitchen area with food prep area separate from the picnic table and solar bag compatible camp shower area but it is a rustic experience overall.” —The Dyrt camper Megan S.
Up on a hill overlooking the Susquehanna River, Otter Creek Campground is a secluded campground only 30 minutes from Lancaster. In addition to wooded hikes, river swimming, boating, and other water sports, there is a riverside playground, boat ramp, and convenient campground amenities such as fee showers and a camp store.
Otter Creek is located in Airville, where you can visit Indian Steps Museum, a fascinating museum with artifacts from one of the largest Native American settlements east of the Mississippi.
“This campground is perfect for all kinds of people from family, campers, boaters, fishers, someone who is seeking rest and relaxation, peace and quiet, adventure seekers on the river, history enthusiasts, trail seekers, nature lovers and more!” —The Dyrt camper Jen R.
Little Buffalo State Park is a family favorite of campgrounds near Lancaster, PA, situated just under an hour’s drive from downtown. The campground itself is across the street from the state park, which has excellent lake swimming and miles of hiking trails. Campers can drive in, walk in, or boat in to this campground, which has full hook ups along with toilets and showers.
If you’re planning a trip to Little Buffalo State Park in the fall, aim for the third weekend in October, when the Old Fashioned Apple Festival takes place. Watch as apples are pressed by a century-old water powered press and sample fresh apple butter and cider, all among the beautiful fall foliage.
“The whole entire park is beautiful!!! Stayed here a few times and it’s always clean and well maintained, always something to do here…the lake is awesome to relax on, fishing, boating, swimming in the pool, tons of hiking trails, lots of history, never fails to be a great time!! Even though I am local, it’s definitely a close vacation spot!!!” —The Dyrt camper Lisa L.
There are many reasons to visit Lancaster, but the flea markets are one of the most popular. Shoppers can purchase quality, handcrafted goods and furniture made by residents of the local Amish community. Country Acres Family Campground is a good choice for campers hoping to hit up the local markets, because there’s one right down the road.
Aside from great shopping, Country Acres is a wonderful spot to retreat to at the end of the day. There are multiple options for camping, from communal RV sites and rustic cabin rentals to secluded tent sites that overlook quiet farmland. At just seven minutes from downtown, Country Acres is one of the best-located campgrounds near Lancaster, PA.
“This campground is probably the most well maintained campground we have ever stayed at. The grounds are beautiful, facilities above and beyond the expected.” —The Dyrt camper Stephanie S.
If Lancaster history is a drawcard for you, then camping at Millbridge certainly delivers: its grounds are home to the registered historic landmark of Herr’s Grist Mill. Campers can enjoy the Pequea River, quiet trails, and beautiful countryside.
The resort itself offers fantastic amenities, from cabin rentals, spacious tent and RV sites, laundry facilities, and canoe and kayak rentals. Drinking water, full hook ups, showers, and picnic tables are also available. All of this, and only six minutes from downtown Lancaster.
“Adorable little campground! Close to the tourist spots in Lancaster. Great views. Clean, friendly, and would definitely recommend! Clean bathrooms, laundry facilities, full hook-ups for RVs, lovely tent sites, great playground for kids.” —The Dyrt camper Beth M.
Consisting of four properties that make up the Susquehannock State Park complex, this 224-acre state park features year-round opportunities for stunning hikes, miles of biking trails, river swimming, and water sport activities. Day use visitors and overnight campers come for the horseback riding trails and, in winter, cross-country skiing.
Campers can expect drinking water, electric hookups, toilets, fire rings, and picnic tables. There are four rustic group camping sites in the park, which can be reserved in advance. Susquehannock State Park is roughly 30 minutes from downtown Lancaster.
“The camping area is small but worth it. A short walk from the scenic overlooks and other hiking trails.” —The Dyrt camper Chuck C.
Looking for campgrounds near Lancaster, PA with lake access? Go no further than Codorus State Park, a park with large, shaded sites, a family-friendly water park (reduced fees for campers), and hiking, biking, and walking trails. Water lovers can also go fishing, kayaking, and boating in the lake.
RV and tent sites are available, or campers can rent cottages, yurts and cabins. The campground has a dump station, flushing toilets, and some sites with electric hook ups. If you want to escape the more crowded campground, there are primitive options as well.
“This park has primitive camping which is nowhere near the buzz of RV sites. You have access to probably some of the nicest bathrooms I’ve ever experienced while camping. The sites are secluded, you can keep a car [with you] . . . Access to boating and trails. Love this place!” —The Dyrt camper Lorie O.
Some of the best sites at Ferryboat Campsites are tucked into the verdant vegetation along the banks of the Susquehanna River, offering privacy and beautiful scenery. Kayaking, tubing, swimming, and fishing are all popular daytime activities, and a ride on the historical Millersburg Ferries is a must!
There are 285 wooded and semi-wooded campsites as well as cabins for rent, free 18-hole mini golf, kayak rentals, a game room, camp store, and hot showers. Each site also has a table and firepit.
Many families opt to stay at campgrounds near Lancaster, PA for easy access to attractions like Hershey Park, the chocolate-themed amusement park. Ferryboat Campsites is a 45-minute drive from Hershey Park and about an hour from downtown Lancaster.
“If I could I would live there. I never wanted to leave. It was the nicest place I ever visited. Rode on the ferry every time I could. The campground is very nicely run and the camp store is great.” —The Dyrt camper Dorothy P.
Rolling green fields and wooded hillsides make up this 2,338-acre park, but Gifford Pinchot State Park’s main attraction is Pinchot Lake. Less than an hour from downtown Lancaster, PA, folks can go kayaking, swimming, fishing, SUPping, and even take an interpretive pontoon boat ride. Had your fill of lake fun? Hit the top-notch hiking and biking trails.
Choose from dispersed, electric, and full hook up sites, as well as yurt and cabin rentals. Young campers can participate in a wealth of fun, educational activities with park rangers or at the park’s Environmental Learning Center, open every weekend throughout the summer. Topics include seasonal habitats, insects, forest ecosystems, and more.
“The state park itself has a lot to offer, especially in the two main day use areas: the Conewago Day Use Area on the south side of the lake and the Quaker Race Day Use Area on the north side of the lake. Both areas have great access for fishing…and we caught a handful of bass and an absurd amount of bluegill from shore. Both areas also have their own 18 hole disc golf course.” —The Dyrt camper Danielle V.
If you’re looking for a camping experience that’s fun for adults and kids, Lake-in-Wood Campground in Narvon, PA is it. This resort-style campground is 40 minutes from downtown Lancaster and has multiple pavilions, a gnome cafe, and an indoor/outdoor pool complex.
Be warned that this isn’t one of the quietest campgrounds near Lancaster, PA; the nearby quarry can be noisy. However, if you want a resort-style camping experience and don’t mind the extra noise, this was not a dealbreaker amongst campers here.
“We had a great time at this campground…Huge pond for fishing, miniature golf, nice indoor and outdoor pool and a kiddie pool. Goats to pet and watch. There are a lot of really neat and different rentals here like a tree house, double decker bus, among others. Nice playground for the kids and a small arcade. We had a great time and will definitely go back.” —The Dyrt camper Jen R.
The 7,730-acre French Creek State Park is the largest block of contiguous forest between Washington D.C. and New York City. This serene state park an hour from Lancaster, PA, is a popular destination for hiking, fishing, camping, and biking. It was designated by the National Audubon Society as an Important Bird Area, and by the Pennsylvania Game Commission as an Important Mammal Area; visitors can spot numerous birds, deer, squirrels, raccoons, and migratory species.
The campground has 201 modern RV and tent sites, ten cabins, and two group cabins—one of the largest campgrounds near Lancaster, PA. There is a central shower and toilet block, and access to fresh water. Pets and fires are allowed.
“The trails are super easy to get to from the campground and some pretty awesome mountain biking! You should definitely check this place out if you like camping and mountain biking. They have trails for all levels.” —The Dyrt camper Mystica M.