Echo Valley Campground Pennsylvania
Camp Pennsylvania: I’m talking with Judy this morning. She is the Owner of Echo Valley Campground in Pennsylvania. Judy, why don’t you get us started with giving us a little bit of history about Echo Valley Campground?
Judy: Okay. This was started as a Park back in 1902, and they had some picnic pavilions in the Park. They dammed the creek up to make a swimming hole. It was a sand bar. And the kids would walk from Tremont and Pine Grove to the facility. Later on, I think in the ’60s, they started adding some campsites to later become a campground, and it fully developed into a campground by the 1970s. I guess I should back up a little bit. We had a couple back in 1940 that bought the facility. They bought the camp and the Park, and they built a very large swimming pool and they built a boathouse that houses the changing rooms and the garages. But it’s a boathouse and they had that boathouse going toward the lighthouse. They built a kitchen with a big lighthouse on top of it, and it’s quite unique here in the mountains of Pennsylvania. And that restaurant served the campers. Later on, they added a full sit-down restaurant at the front of the building.
In recent years, the last couple of years, I changed that sit-down restaurant to a store, and I took the kitchen and made it into my office so that the lighthouse is up over at my office. Very nautical scene for the mountains, but she was a ocean person and she wanted that theme, and that’s what she did. We have an old stone bridge that you cross over to come into the campground. It’s quite beautiful. It was built in 1852. We have like 130 campsites here now, and we have a large pavilion area that we house for the weekends tenting and that sort of thing.
Judy: We have three total shower houses. We have a nice rec hall. We have a Laundromat. We have an outdoor theater.
Judy: We have quite a few things.
CP: You handle tent camping all the way up to RV.
Judy: Right. Yes, we have large pull-through sites for the RVs. We have 20amp, 30amp, and 50amp service.
CP: Okay. Now, is that original swimming hole still available that you talked about?
Judy: No, they actually built the pump house to accommodate the pool in that area.
CP: Okay. Now, I’m looking online at some photos here on your site. And for the people who can’t see it, the way that your pool is laid out is very unique and I think very appealing. It’s generally you have a pool that has concrete around the sides and it’s kind of all fenced in, but you guys have the pool sort of situated in the middle of a large field and grass runs almost right up to the edge of the pool so you have people laying around on towels in the grass and you have the water accessible right there, and it looks like a really nice way to setup a pool.
Judy: It is, yes.
CP: Now, what are the most popular activities for the guests there?
Judy: Well, the pool when it’s open of course in the summer is the biggest hit. And then we have local talent coming into entertain us. We have Chinese auctions. We occasionally make a movie and show it outdoors. We have a volleyball net setup. We have a very nice playground for the kids.
CP: Okay. And let’s say I was staying at Echo Valley for maybe an extended period of time and I wanted to venture outside of the Park for the afternoon. What are some of the favorite attractions in the area that you might recommend?
Judy: Okay. Adjacent to us there’s State Ganglands and lots of hiking trails. You can walk right from the campground and walk for 13 miles without going outside of the Ganglands. And there’s also Ying-Ling Brewery is the oldest brewery in the country. It’s only 13 miles north of us, and it has one of the top ten tours in the country.
Judy: Yeah, very nice. Knoebels is the largest amusement park with free admission in the country, and that’s 30 minutes away. Well, 30 to 35. And then we have Hershey Park, which is south of us about 35 minutes. We have Cabela’s, which is east of us about 35 minutes away.
CP: Those are always fun to walk through.
Judy: Yes, absolutely.
CP: Okay, so quite a bit of activities around. It sounds like just something for just about everybody. Just two more questions for you, Judy.
CP: If you were going to spend just one hour at Echo Valley Campground, how would you spend your time there?
Judy: Well, maybe sitting on the creek bank. I don’t know. I like to play Ping-Pong. We have a nice Ping-Pong table setup on the patio of the rec hall, so that’s always fun.
CP: Okay, and if you were going to spend just one night at Echo Valley Campground, which specific site would you stay at and why?
Judy: Well, I like the creek. I think it’s very tranquil, so one of the creek sites would be my choice.
CP: Okay, perfect. Well, thanks for that tip there and thanks for chatting with us about Echo Valley Campground in Pennsylvania, Judy. If I’m every down in the area, I will try to stop in and take you on in Ping-Pong.
Judy: Okay, sounds good.