The Keystone State offers thousands of square miles of hills, forests, and rivers to pursue a variety of outdoor activities: hiking, bicycling, skiing, fishing, boating, and camping. In fact, Pennsylvania provides a spectacular backdrop for some of the most scenic campgrounds in the country. But how do you know which campgrounds offer the most privacy or the easiest access to Pennsylvania’s impressive backcountry? Which are best for first-time campers?
Matt Willen has traversed the entire state and compiled the most up-to-date research to steer you to the perfect spot! Here, he presents the 50 best places to pitch a tent and spend the night in private, state park, and state and national forest campgroundswithout the noise of loud portable stereos, large recreational vehicles, and crowds. Selections are organized into four distinct regions and are based on location, topography, size, and overall appeal, and each entry comes with ratings for beauty, privacy, spaciousness, safety and security, and cleanliness.
In addition to providing campers with essential information about each campground (including detailed maps, season, rates, facilities, and how to reserve a site), the guide identifies the best sites at the best campgrounds, offers information on exciting day trips, suggests hikes and activities accessible from the campgrounds, and describes the flora and fauna campers might encounter on a trip. Whether you seek a quiet campground near a fish-filled stream or a family campground with all the amenities, grab Best Tent Camping: Pennsylvania. This guide is a keeper.
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Asaph Run Picnic Area Campground
The campground provides you with access to some beautiful backcountry with several recreational opportunities available nearby.
Beauty: 5 stars
Privacy: 2 stars
Spaciousness: 3 stars
Quiet: 3 stars
Security: 3 stars
Cleanliness: 4 stars
ADDRESS: Westfield, PA 16950
OPERATED BY: Tioga State Forest
CONTACT: 570-724-2868, dcnr.state.pa.us/forestry/stateforests/tioga
SITE AMENITIES: Picnic table, fire ring
WHEELCHAIR ACCESS: None
ASSIGNMENT: First-come, first-served
REGISTRATION: Registration kiosk at entrance to campground
FACILITIES: Vault toilets
PARKING: 1 car/site
QUIET HOURS: None
FIRES: In fire rings only; see note on firewood on page 7
ALCOHOL: Not permitted
STAY LIMIT: 14-day stay limit
OTHER: Sites limited to 2 tents, 1 tent and 1 wheeled unit, or 1 wheeled unit
Because the Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania along Pine Creek attracts the attention of most visitors to the region west of Wellsboro, much of the other area in this neck of the woods tends to get overlooked. But in addition to Pine Creek, many other lovely and out-of-the-way natural and wild areas abound in this part of the state. One such place is the Asaph Run Park and Picnic Area, which has a small campground situated in the pines and hemlocks alongside of Asaph Run just downstream from the confluence of the stream’s right and left forks.
The campground has only 10 sites, which tend to fill on summer weekends as well as during the height of hunting and fishing seasons (you’d be hard-pressed to get a site for the first weekend of fishing season in April). But if you come during the week or on an off-weekend, you’re likely to be the only one here. The campground is open year-round, provided you can get there. Access is by 4 miles of dirt road, and winter maintenance is spotty.
Of the 10 campsites, 6 (sites 3, 5, 7, 9, and 10) are nestled among the hemlocks on the west bank of Asaph Run. All of these are nice sites, with some shade, some space, and a buffer of vegetation between you and your neighbor. Site 3, at the back of the loop, is the most private. Although it is right next to the kiosk at the campground entrance, site 10 is quite a nice place to pitch a tent. It is large and has quite a bit of creek frontage. Three of the other four sites are located inside of the loop. These tend to be a bit on the small side. Although larger, the site above the loop is going to attract campers with trailers or the occasional RV. No hookups are available at the campground, however, which tends to keep all but those campers interested in a rustic experience at bay.
The campground provides you with access to some beautiful backcountry with several recreational opportunities available nearby. A picnic area complete with pavilions and tables is located directly across the road from the campground entrance. It sits between the right and left forks of the Asaph Run. The main creek is popular with anglers, especially those who enjoy fishing small, rocky streams. From the campground, you can access a couple of multiuse trails. The Middle Ridge Trail, which leaves from the picnic area, heads northwest along the ridge between the two forks of Asaph Run and through the Asaph Wild Area. From the campground, you can take the Forks Trail to the south and make a loop back to the campground by linking up sections of the trail with Goodall Road, a mile or so south of the campground. A map of the Tioga State Forest is available at tinyurl.com/tiogasfmap.
The Pine Creek Rail-Trail is easily accessed from the town of Ansonia just a couple of miles west of Asaph. This 62-mile-long path runs from Wellsboro Junction in the north, along Marsh Creek to Pine Creek, and then through the Pine Creek Gorge south to Jersey Shore, Pennsylvania. It’s been rated by USA Today as “one of the 10 great places to take a bike tour.” This beautiful, hard-packed-dirt path is pleasant for walking as well as for biking. Information on the trail and a map are available at visittiogapa.com/railtrail.html.
Be sure to grab your supplies before you head for Asaph Run. The closest place to buy food and camping supplies is Wellsboro, about 10 miles east of the little hamlet of Asaph along US 6.
The park is located off a dirt road, which is typically in good condition during the spring, summer, and fall. The bigger challenge is getting to Asaph. Your best bet is to pick up County Road 3027 (Marsh Creek Road) from US 6 in Ansonia. It’s just west of the bridge over Marsh Creek. Follow CR 3027 and east 2 miles to Asaph Run Road. Turn left and follow Asaph Run Road north; it becomes dirt after about a mile. About 2 miles along, the road forksstay right, now on Asaph Road. Turn left at the next fork onto Left Asaph Road (about another mile and a half). The campground is on the left, just across the bridge over Asaph Run.
N41° 47.392' W77° 26.750'
Table of Contents
Pennsylvania Overview Map
Pennsylvania Map Key
1. Asaph Run Picnic Area Campground
2. Colton Point State Park Campground
3. Delaware State Forest: Snow Hill Campsites
4. Dingmans Campground
5. Frances Slocum State Park Campground
6. Lackawanna State Park Campground
7. Leonard Harrison State Park Campground
8. Promised Land State Park: Deerfield Campground
9. Promised Land State Park: Pines Campground
10. Ravensburg State Park Campground
11. Ricketts Glen State Park Campground
12. Salt Springs State Park Campground
13. Sylvania Country Lodging Campground
14. Tobyhanna State Park Campground
15. Worlds End State Park Campground
16. Breakneck Campground
17. Chapman State Park Campground
18. Dewdrop Recreation Area Campground
19. Hearts Content Recreation Area Campground
20. Loleta Recreation Area Campground
21. Minister Creek Recreation Area Campground
22. Sinnemahoning State Park Campground
23. Sizerville State Park Campground
24. Tracy Ridge Recreation Area Campground
25. Twin Lakes Recreation Area Campground
26. Willow Bay Recreation Area Campground
27. Bald Eagle State Park: Rustic Campground
28. Codorus State Park: Timberdoodle Roughin’ It Tenting Area
29. Colonel Denning State Park Campground
30. Fowlers Hollow State Park Campground
31. French Creek State Park Campground
32. Greenwood Furnace State Park Campground
33. Hibernia County Park Campground
34. Hickory Run State Park Campground
35. Lancaster County Central Park: Mill Creek Campground
36. Locust Lake State Park Campground
37. Michaux State Forest: District Road Area Campsites
38. Penn-Roosevelt State Park Campground
39. Pine Grove Furnace State Park: Charcoal Hearth Campground
40. Poe Paddy State Park Campground
41. Reeds Gap State Park Campground
42. Black Moshannon State Park Campground
43. Blue Knob State Park Campground
44. Forbes State Forest: Motorized Campsites
45. Keystone State Park Campground
46. Ohiopyle State Park: Kentuck Campground
47. Raccoon Creek State Park Campground
48. Raystown Lake: Susquehannock Campground
49. Trough Creek State Park Campground
50. Yough Lake Campground at Tub Run
Appendix A: Camping-Equipment Checklist
Appendix B: Sources of Information
Appendix C: Suggested Reading and Reference
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