This is my favorite campground so far in PA.
For the most part, there isn’t a bad site (although we didn’t see any of the walk up sites, and I recommend not booking a site immediately next to the bathrooms since the ones without showers are more like “outhouse” toilets and can stink). The sites are private, flat, surrounded by trees, and have plenty of space. The ground is quite rocky though, so bring plenty of heavy duty tent steaks.
Highlights include: the reservoir (beautiful and clean! You can swim with your dog from the access points at the campground), quiet, friendly staff (a kind older gentleman helped us jump my car and refused to take any money as a thank you), updated/very clean showers, not buggy, reception is great (we have Verizon), plenty of room to social distance, and 2 trading posts about 1 mile away with milk, eggs, basic supplies, etc.
Cons: the bathrooms without showers aren’t flush toilets, and there is no campground office so you must see the hosts for any issues.
Things to do nearby (last 5 pictures): the Kinzua Skywalk Bridge free- an old train bridge that was partially destroyed by a tornado in the early 2000’s. The bridge is handicap/stroller accessible, pets are allowed. There is a small indoor museum & gift shop, and a hiking trail along the wreckage. If you hike, wear good sneakers, the path is rocky and VERY steep. The hiking path is not recommended for small children). Bathrooms on site.
The Kinzua Dam free - beautiful. Handicap/stroller accessible, pets permitted. Bathrooms were closed due to social distancing.
Rimmrock overlook free- just a small distance from the parking lot. NOT stroller/handicap accessible, and there are rock steps, however we saw numerous families with small children go through the path with no issues. Pets permitted. Bathrooms on site.
Nearby towns of Kane and Ridgway looked cute, but we didn’t spend time there due to our efforts to social distance.
If you’re looking for a place to camp in West Virginia, don’t even bother with this campground, head over to Audra State park instead.
We generally love most camping experiences and make it work, but this one was so bad we left 3 days early. When I kindly called to cancel, the nice Park ranger said he completely understood and would actually refund us for our entire trip (which we didn’t even mention or ask for).
The only good things about this campground were the friendly staff and the updated bathrooms.
Almost all sites are walk-ups, which is NOT noted on their site. Also, almost all sites are on a hill. The pictures do not accurately show this. We had site 33 (probably the worst site). The entire site was on a slant and covered in rocks, I tried to capture it in a picture, but it just doesn’t look as slanted as it feels when you are standing there. There was no flat spot for our 10 x 20 tent, so we had to sleep on an angle. (I felt like I was falling out of bed the whole night!) 33 should NOT be a site.
There is a HUGE raccoon problem here, even during the day. I wish we were warned ahead of time. Many people bring an extra tent to keep their food in. Our dog barked the entire night as the racoons kept coming up to our site and even our tent. At one point they even put holes in the outside of our $300 tent!! The next day we tried to make the best of our trip and decided to check out the lake. We had left our cooler and a couple small Rubbermaid bins of food on the table while we headed down for an hour. The car was far and incredibly hot during the day, and we didn’t want to give them any incentive to go after our tent again, so we had no other option. While we were gone the raccoons tore open our cooler, ate some of our food, and scattered the rest of our food and water in the woods. (This is probably why there is so much food that can been seen scattered near the campsites).
The lake was pretty but there was a ton trash all around it, such a shame. I had to pick up a bunch of pieces of glass on the shore of the campground so my dog wouldn’t get hurt. You technically aren’t allowed to swim in the non-beach/swimming area unless you are jumping off a boat, but people were doing it anyway. You cannot bring dogs in the designated swimming area.
While the bathrooms were nice they are a very far walk from any of the shaded/non-electric sites, and you are not permitted to drive up to them. There are only 2 showers. Both were kept clean but had 100’s of little green bugs and a ton of months and mosquitos on the. To get to the bathrooms you must park at the top of the hill and walk down (not a big deal for us, but may be for some).
The electric sites have no shade or privacy, and they are all on top of each other.
I cannot say enough wonderful things about this campground! We came here because we were looking for a place where we could swim with our dog. Dogs must be on a leash at all times!
Most sites are great (spacious, shady, trees between your site and the next, each have a picnic table, bench, and fire pit), the bathrooms were eh (the only reason this was 4 stars instead of 5), but fine, there are washer and dryers on site, it wasn’t buggy, the staff was very helpful, it was quiet in the morning and at night, and the sites were all close to the water even if they didn’t have water access.
You can swim/wade in the main area with the crowd, swim /wade at the campground via a river access point if you want to only see a couple people, or get a river access site if you want to be alone (aside from the occasionally person floating down the river in a tube). Most parts of the water are very shallow so you can wade or float. Make sure to bring water shoes!
There are many hiking trails nearby (we hiked one along the water and then jumped in with our dog to cool off).
There is no reception, however the park office does have free wifi. There is a small store nearby where you can buy milk, eggs, canned goods, ice cream, etc.