One thing you learn quickly as a full-timer is to make sure you’ve got a solid plan for each of the big summer holidays. Memorial Day kicks off the summer camping for many people, so it’s not the weekend to wing it. I’d reserved at Black Moshannon almost six months out because that’s about how fast campgrounds are filling up for the holiday weekends in 2021. And sure, enough, the campground was completely booked, except for one sweet spot. Which wasn’t where I landed when I arrived…
When I got to my reserved site, it turned out to be a bit shorter than advertised, meaning the picnic table and fire ring were behind the trailer. And about six feet from my neighbors (a family of five), which is closer than I like. I got online and found that one unreserved site and nabbed it for the last three nights of my stay. Lots more room and privacy, and also quieter. Sometimes it’s worth the cost of letting a site go to get a better one.
Black Moshannon has a nice beach area and lake, with a hiking loop around the shorter section of the lake (which is bisected by a road, if that makes sense). The above photo of the lake trail was the one day in four that it didn’t pour down buckets of rain.
I really liked the trails here, they are mostly well-marked and maintained. And all that rain was good for something. These pink flowers were all over the trails, and I loved seeing them in bloom.
They’re so pretty, I’m going to give them their own closeup…
Much to my disappointment, the wet weather meant no paddling on that lake for me. So I went hiking instead, finding trails where the thick forest turned the rain into a gentle mist. The ferns and I both like gentle mists.
The greens of Spring were still much in evidence, as was (sadly for my allergies) the tree pollen. It’s worth it most days, though, to see sights like this out my big front window.
To summarize, I’d definitely stay here again for 3-4 days to enjoy the hiking trails and try to get a paddle in on the lake. It’s quiet at night, the sites are mostly good, and it’s not that far to a town. And, big bonus for fulltimers, they have a little laundry room at the bath house. Score one for PA State Parks on that front.
BLACK MOSHANNON STATE PARK (PA STATE PARKS)
- One campground, three small loops, two with electric. I liked site 38, it was large and reasonably distanced from the neighbors. I’d avoid sites around the bath house near site 29, as they are smaller (and two of them are ADA priority as well). Reserve at Pennsylvania State Parks.
- Services: electric only, water is shared faucets around the campground so remember to fill up before you get to your site. . Each loop has a bath house with showers (the upper one is fully accessible) and trash dump with some recycling.
- Tiny bit of Verizon with hotspot. (Verizon phones were iffy). No ATT or T-Mobile.
- Groceries: 20 minutes to Weis Market in Philipsburg, which also has a Sheetz gas station.
The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.