Originally Posted by gallowaystx
I've really been enjoying your RR. I live in Philadelphia and went to school up in state college so I am pretty familiar with your stomping ground.
I have a quick question though that hopefully you will be able to answer for me. Myself and a couple of friends are considering playing hooky on friday and riding out for an overnight camping trip. We are looking in every direction from philadelphia - but after reading your thread I am now leaning west.
Can you recommend any good quiet (ideally scenic) campgrounds in that area? Perhaps even slightly east of Harrisburg? State parks are not interesting because (while we are all adults) there will be some beers consumed around the campfire.
Any recommendations would be appreciated. On a final note - you have some beautiful bikes.
Hey thanks for your comments!
Just a few notes on camping:
I've always camped either in PA's state parks, or in state forests on known turf- like along a creek near somebody's cabin, or someplace where I knew others had camped- so there was a fire ring at least.
In state parks, I've heard
(unless it's incredibly crowded) it's easy to get away with a few beers- Keep the bottles/cans out of sight, and pour your beverage of choice into a coffee mug or any type of container in which it'll be impossible to identify from looking- unless you walk right up on it. If you're not drawing undue attention, it should be fine. It's easy to get a rough camping permit in state forests, but you gotta get to an office in working hours to sign up and pay the nominal fee. You could MAYBE do it online, now that it's the 21st Century?
Of course, you don't get any infrastructure at all- things like fire pits, grills, bathrooms... etc.
BUT, with a dual sport bike, you could get off a fire road, onto a two-track trail, and go far enough out of the public view, to do whatever you wanted, with no hassle other than
bears, snake bites, and ticks.
Pick a state forest nearby, download a map, and choose your spot- most dirt fire roads, bigger 2 track trails (some of which could be gated for legal seasonal usages), and foot trails should be pretty well marked on any DCNR map of the particular forest area.
One area with beautiful state park campgrounds I like is up near Wellsboro- at the PA "Grand Canyon". Colton Point, to the west, is the better of the two state park campgrounds out here. More rustic, with hike-in camp sites, no visitors center, and FAR fewer RVs, in my experience. Day hikes along the edge of the "canyon", more trails all around. Very quiet and mellow every time I was there. ALSO: Pine Creek outfitters is close by, if you wanted to book a day of canoeing Pine Creek, down thru the canyon. Pretty sweet if there's still plenty of water. I would advise against it during summer unless there's been a flood, hurricane, or plenty of rain.
The Endless Mountains region has a couple sweet parks, too.
Of course up that way, there are all kinds of private campgrounds- but none with such close proximity to the "canyon" - really just a deep, wooded gorge with Pine Creek running thru it.
Up around State College, in Penn's Valley (off PA route 45), there's Woodward Cave campgrounds... and plenty of state forest ground. The possibilities for rough camping in the woods are kind of endless, but unless you know someone with a cabin or lease, or know of a specific place to camp it's pretty much a needle/haystack deal.
That's why I've always utilized the awesome State Park system. Loads of campgrounds with plenty of infrastructure. AND it's cheap, with options out the yingyang, in all directions. Some even have cabins- rustic cabins or sometimes nicer ones with electricity, and some campgrounds have yurts.
Hope this is helpful.