25 Best Campgrounds Within Two Hours of Philadelphia PA
Urban Philly has a lot to love … after all … it is the City of Brotherly Love. Yet as good as Philly Cheesesteak sandwiches are, sometimes you and your family just need a s’mores fix. When that craving takes over, it’s time to find yourself one of the 25 best campgrounds within two hours of Philadelphia.
Find a location on the map that tweaks your interest. Then check out the website. Call ahead, make your reservation, pack up the camping gear and get out of Dodge … or make that Philly.
Of course, this guide to the 25 best campgrounds within two hours of Philadelphia can also be as useful for heading in as it is for heading out. Don’t get it? Let us explain. The city of Philadelphia is a cradle of American history and liberty. It’s a city and a region of the country everyone should have the chance to explore, learn, and come to cherish. As far as the America we love – this is pretty much where it all started.
So it makes a whole bunch of sense that family campers would want to head to Philly to see and explore it, while at the same time enjoy their Number One pastime of camping.
Many of the destinations on this map make it entirely possible to pitch a tent or park a travel trailer, set up camp, and then easily venture back toward town for historic day trips. You can even centrally locate your campsite to take in the sights and attractions of Philadelphia, Gettysburg, Hershey, and Amish Country. How great would that be?
Looking for great campgrounds within two hours of Philadelphia, you need to think outside the box … meaning outside the state lines. There are great camping opportunities in New Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland, too. Many of these show up in this listing of 25 best campgrounds within two hours of Philadelphia. When you’re seeking solitude, New Jersey seldom springs to the front of mind, but the Wharton State Forest offers some terrific hike-canoe-or-horseback-in-only opportunities to get away from it all not too far from home.
PRO TIP: Keep all of your phones charged on the road with this 5 port USB charger that takes care of people in the front and back. It’s awesome.
Once an industrial complex for the fledgling United States of America, today French Creek State Park is an oasis for people and wildlife. Straddling the Schuylkill Highlands, the 7,730-acre park is the largest block of contiguous forest between Washington D.C. and New York City. The forests, lakes, wetlands, and fields are a destination for the people of southeast Pennsylvania and outsiders alike to hike, fish, camp, and bicycle. The campground has more than 200 wooded, modern sites within easy access to shower and flush toilet facilities. Camping cottages and yurts are also available by reservation.
Ricketts Glen harbors Glens Natural Area, a National Natural Landmark. Hike the Falls Trail System and explore the Glens, which boasts a series of wild, free-flowing waterfalls, each cascading through rock-strewn clefts in this ancient hillside. The 94-foot Ganoga Falls is the highest of 22 named waterfalls. Old-growth timber and diverse wildlife add to the beauty. Ricketts Glen State Park is one of the most scenic areas in Pennsylvania. This large park is comprised of 13,050 acres in Luzerne, Sullivan, and Columbia counties. The park offers 120 tent and trailer campsites plus deluxe camping cottages and modern cabins.
Hibernia County Park sits on the shores of Chambers Lake which is highly touted for its fishing and boating. Additionally, popular fishing locations include Brandywine Creek’s west branch and Birch Run. Plus, the park includes a special stocked children’s fishing pond. The park encompasses more than 900 acres of trails, woodlands, meadows, fields, play areas, pavilions, campsites, and picnic areas. Campsites in Fiddler’s Campground and Lake Campground include a picnic table and fire ring. Water hydrants for potable water and latrines are available. There are no showers or electric hookups. All sites will accommodate tents and Fiddler’s is recommended for small camping trailers and RVs. Sites are available first come first served.
Lancaster KAO is renowned as “the quiet one” because of its breathtaking 10-mile view of Amidst farmland and the lack of planned activities. The campground itself is relaxing and low-key … a great place to pop up your camper put out some lawn chairs and just kick back. Or you may choose to enjoy the many attractions and shopping opportunities close at hand. Sites range from tent pads with picnic tables through open and shaded pull-through sites that can handle big rigs. Free cable TV, 30/50 amp service, and WIFI are all available. LP, ice and firewood are for sale on site. There are clean, heated bathhouses with hot showers and laundry facilities, too.
Lake Raystown Resort is a full-service lakeside resort occupying three naturally beautiful and immaculately maintained peninsulas on the lake. They have accommodations of all kinds including cabins, houseboats, villas, bungalows, yurts, and a lodge. But most important to 50 Campfires fans are the outstanding campsites appropriate to any kind of camping rig. There’s terrific lake access for all kinds of watercraft. Campsites from basic to super sites include water, electric (30/50 amp service), wireless internet, and cable hook-ups, fire ring, and picnic table. Tents, trailers, and RVs are all welcome.
Peaceful Woodlands Family Campground: Blakeslee, PA
Peaceful Woodlands is a family-owned and operated campground. It was lovingly created by the Wieand family in the late 1970s and continues the long found traditions under a new family’s ownership today. Much of the natural design of the land has been retained in which most sites are surrounded by a small grove of trees. This 50 acres of beauty sits at the base of the Dixon Miller Recreation Area (elev. 2212 ft) which is one of the highest accessible points overlooking the Pocono Plateau. Relax and reconnect with nature while enjoying quality time with family and friends. This operation offers warm hospitality, whether you pitch a tent, bring your camper, or rent a cabin or camper on site.
Mauch Chunk Lake Park is located in the Boroughs of Jim Thorpe and Summit Hill and earned recognition as the National Watershed of the Year in 1978. The park began as a flood control project because of the mountainous terrain and confinement of the Mauch Chunk Creek that flows beneath the town of Jim Thorpe. County government officials viewed the project as an opportunity to also provide recreation and the Mauch Chunk Lake Park was later dedicated in August of 1974. Today, the park exceeds 150,000 visitors annually and has become a popular vacation destination for many families. The park has facilities for camping, swimming, picnicking, hiking, biking, fishing, and boating. There are 135 sites including lakefront tent, camping cottages, and organized group camps. A camp store sells firewood, supplies, snacks, and novelties. Admission to the beach and swimming area are included in camping fees.
Lehigh Gorge campground is situated along the banks of the Lehigh River and is nestled at the gateway of the Pocono Mountains. Whether you’re seeking a getaway to roam and explore wooded glens, tour the rewarding and inspiring attractions within easy driving distance or just kicking back to relax around a campfire, this is the kind of old fashioned camping resort your seeking. For onsite recreation, there is a 30×60 foot heated swimming pool, playground, fishing lake, sand volleyball court, horseshoes, fishing, hunting, sledding and skiing, hiking and sightseeing. Campsites range from full-service sites for RVs and trailers to primitive camping sites with a picnic table and fire ring.
Located in the heart of beautiful Lancaster County, White Oak Campground is at the center of Pennsylvania’s famed Amish Country. They are known for the campground’s peaceful and relaxing atmosphere amid acres of trees and wide-open grassy meadows. The site is conveniently located to all the attractions of the PA Dutch Country. Facilities include a new pool in 2015 and a laundromat on site. There are a picnic table and fire ring at each site, plus free wifi. A general store sells firewood, groceries, supplies, ice and gift/souvenir items. A non-denominational church service takes place each Sunday. Country auctions are held adjacent to the campground.
Camping in the Brandywine Valley is full of fun and adventures. The meandering river is perfect for canoeing, kayaking, tubing, and fishing. Bring your own canoes or kayak, rent our yellow canoes and take off from the KOA Canoe Landing or take a day trip with a local outfitter. Reconnect, recreate, rest, and relax by a campfire as you share stories, memories, and food with each other, family, and friends. With Lancaster to the west and Philadelphia to the east, go back in time on our tour of historic Philadelphia & Valley Forge or take your own CD guided tour through the Lancaster Amish Country. This KAO is full-equipped and ready to be your home away from home as you explore all the region has to offer.
Hickory Run Campground is located on 80 acres with campsites varying from primitive tenting to pull-throughs with hookups. Wooded and open sites are available to accommodate each family’s preferences. Primitive and full-service log cabins are also available for rent. The location is within easy driving distance of Lancaster, Reading, Hershey, Gettysburg and Valley Forge. Nature lovers and hikers can enjoy hiking the Horseshoe Trail (which begins at Valley Forge and continues to the Appalachian Trail) and is located immediately behind the campground. Middle Creek Wildlife Preserve is a five-minute drive away. This 5,000-acre preserve abounds in wildlife, hiking, and fishing. You’ll find bicycle riding popular throughout the area.
Ridley Creek State Park encompasses more than 2,606 acres of Delaware County woodlands and meadows. The gently rolling terrain of the park, transected by Ridley Creek, is just 16 short miles from the city center of Philadelphia. It’s a true oasis of open space in a rapidly growing and congesting urban metropolitan area. Unfortunately, the camping available at this close-to-the-city location is only open to organized groups. Qualified organizations can use the 120-person camping area from April to October. A restroom with flush toilets, but no showers, are available. Activities in the park include fishing, hunting, hiking, biking and jogging, horseback riding, gardens, and landscaping. Winter activities include cross-country skiing and sledding.
Brendan T. Byrne State Forest Campground: New Lisbon, NJ
Formerly known as Lebanon State Forest, the Brendan T. Byrne State Forest campground greets its visitors with the fresh scent of pines. Today’s forested acres there are in stark contrast to the barren, clear cut land that existed in the 1800s. The Lebanon Glass Works was established in 1851 and was successful until 1867 when it shut down after depleting the supply of wood for its furnaces. Today hikers can follow the sandy trails that crisscross the forest, sometimes passing near the remains of stone or brick structures or where large depressions reveal the location of what was once a bustling town. Pure, iron-rich streams flow through the swampy lands covered with dense stands of Atlantic white cedar. Activities in the forest include hiking, fishing, hunting, picnicking, playgrounds, cross country skiing, and bird watching. The campground has 82 tent and trailer sites plus group campsites, cabins, and yurts for rent.
At Wading Pines Resort, your family will be treated to many choices in both first-class recreation and quality accommodations. The wooded campsites accommodate every style of camping from tent sites to spacious pull-throughs with hookups including everything from 50-amp electrical service through free cable TV. If your new to camping or just want a completely hassle-free getaway, Wading Pines Resort offers 16 rental cabins, many with waterfront locations. Located on the banks of the Wading River, they are at the true heart of the New Jersey Pinelands. You may decide to rent a canoe or kayak and venture deep into the woods or stay closer to home and enjoy picnicking on the resort’s private island in the river. There is also a spacious saltwater pool and a stocked fishing pond. Tennis, horseshoes, basketball, and volleyball are also options for recreation.
Timberlane Campground lays justifiable claim as being the closest campground to downtown Philadelphia. It’s just 12 miles away. It’s a private, family-owned enterprise with a kind, courteous staff. The campground is sited on 20 acres offering both open and wooded campsites. They have a catch-and-release fishing pond, and both white-tailed deer and wild turkey are frequent guests on the grounds. Catering to family campers, Timberlane offers a game room, playground, and swimming pools. The bathrooms are modern and clean with hot showers and are handicapped accessible. There are also laundry facilities and LP gas on the grounds. Options range from primitive tent sites through full hook-up sites to even a camping cabin available for rent.
Atsion Family Campground: Wharton State Forest, NJ
Atsion Family Campground is one of the most easily accessible state campgrounds in the Wharton State Forest. It offers 50 tent and trailer sites with picnic tables, fire rings, and access to flush toilets and shower facilities. The facility is open from April 1 through October 31. It lies on Atsion Lake directly across from the recreation area. Travel trailer length is limited to 22 feet in this campground. Swimming is not allowed from the lakeshore within the campground. The campsites and trailer sanitation station are open April 1 through October 31.
Godfrey Bridge Campground: Wharton State Forest, NJ
Godfrey Bridge Campground has 34 primitive tent and trailer campsites with fire rings, access to potable drinking water, and pit toilets. Travel trailers are restricted to 21 feet or less at this location. It’s located on the banks of the Wading River and can be a popular canoe-access camping location. The campsites here are available all year round.
Hawkins Bridge Campground: Wharton State Forest, NJ
Hawkins Bridge Campground in New Jersey’s Wharton State Forest offers nine individual campsites and four group campsites. Some of the individual sites and all of the group sites are walk-in only from group parking areas. Individual site occupancy is limited to six people, two tents and two vehicles each. The group campsites have a 25-person, 10-vehicle maximum occupancy. All sites are pet-friendly, but pets must be registered ahead of time. This campground is on the banks of the Wading River about three miles south of Friendship.
Batona Campground has 12 primitive campsites limited to six people, two tents, and two vehicles per site. There’s also a group campsite with a limit of 15 people and five vehicles which must be reserved with proper authorization ahead of time. It is a pet-friendly campground, but pets must be registered ahead of time. Hand pumps are available for water and pit toilets.
The Bodine Field Camp Area has 22 tent and trailer campsites. Length limit on trailers is 22 feet. The camp area is also accessible by canoe, but permits are still required. There are also eight group campsites at the location ranging in occupancy from a maximum of 15 to 50 people. Potable water can be obtained from hand pumps on site. There are pit toilet facilities available.
Buttonwood Campground is a tiny, secluded camping location in New Jersey’s Wharton State Forest. It has only five primitive campsites suitable for tent camping. The maximum occupancy of each is six people, two tents, and two vehicles per site. Facilities include pit toilets, but there is no potable drinking water available in the campgrounds. Water is available seasonally at Crowley’s Landing Boat Launch about one-quarter mile away. This tiny little cove of a campground is truly a place to get away from it all if you’re willing to rough it a bit.
Wharton State Forest’s Lower Forge Camp area is a remote campground accessible only by hiking, canoeing, or horseback. Whichever mode of transportation you choose to get here, you’re sure to enjoy a close-to-home wilderness adventure. Permits are required for camping in any of the nine sites. The maximum occupancy is six people and two tents per site. There is no potable water available in this campground, so you’ll have to bring your own. It is a pet-friendly campground, but pets must be pre-registered. Motorized vehicles are not permitted. There are pit toilets on-premises. The location is about five miles downstream of the Hampton Furnace and 1.9 miles upstream of the Quaker Bridge. It’s a half-mile hike from the Batona Trail.
Mullica River Campground: Wharton State Forest, NJ
Wharton State Forest’s Mullica River Campground is a remote site accessible only by hiking, canoeing, or horseback. Whichever mode of transportation you choose to get here, you’re sure to enjoy a close-to-home wilderness adventure. Permits are required for camping in any of the 10 sites. Maximum occupancy per site ranges from 6-12 people and 2-6 tents per site. Potable water is available at a hand pump here. Motorized vehicles are not permitted. There are pit toilet facilities on-premises. The location is about five miles downstream of the Atsion on the Mullica River and 5 ½ miles by the yellow trail.
Cape Henlopen offers terrific beach activities including swimming and surf fishing. Additionally, there are year-round hiking and biking opportunities. The park is known for its scenery and ever-changing landscape. Following the 3-mile, paved oval trail that loops the park provides an outstanding history lesson on the area. Be sure to take a trail break and climb to the top of the World War II Observation Tower where 360-degree views are spectacular. Or take a short climb to the top of the former military bunker to view the dynamic action along the Atlantic coastline. Explore the coastal environment along the Seaside or Pinelands Nature Trails or just stroll the six miles of beach to listen to the relaxing surf and feel the sand between your toes. Campsites are available to accommodate everything from a tent to full-sized RVs and there are also camper cabins available for reservation.
On the scenic shores of Chesapeake Bay, Bay Shore Campground is a perfect home base for all the activities of the region. You may choose to try bird watching, crabbing, fishing, swimming, kayaking, boating, hunting, sailing, fishing charters, shopping, dining, hiking, and more. Bay Shore Campground offers sites for luxury RVs to the most basic tent camping. The site is pet-friendly and offers two bathhouses, including full showers and hookups. In addition, a game room, boat ramp, sea glass, basketball, volleyball and more are available.
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