A few years ago, I spent a night at Laurel Hill and decided it was worth a longer stay at some point. When I had to do some last minute rearranging of my June schedule to deal with some truck work that needed to be done, Laurel Hill popped up on my AllStays search as being on the way from Lancaster to Columbus, my rough trajectory. Surprisingly, the park had a lot of availability so I booked myself in for five nights.
This is a big park, with more than 200 sites, but it didn’t feel crowded or noisy because it was half empty except on the weekend, when it was maybe 75% full. I got lucky this stay; the sites across from me and on one side were empty my whole stay, whee!
This small stream ran behind my campsite, making lovely bubbling water noises as a background to the bird songs. There are a fair amount of hiking trails here, with convenient parking spots if you want to explore farther away from the campground.
And let’s not forget the lake, with a service that offers kayak and paddleboard rentals (and also bike rentals). I had a nice paddle one day, skirting the shoreline and spotting dozens of yellow day lilies in bloom.
The town of Somerset is nearby, and I had a few adventures there. The Papercutting Museum was an amazing little find and the tracking down some covered bridges can be a fun way to spend the afternoon. For those who track national monuments and such, the Flight 93 National Memorial is about a half-hour drive from the campground.
LAUREL HILL STATE PARK (PA STATE PARKS)
- Two loops, one for pets, and one where no pets are allowed. Check carefully when making reservations if you’re traveling with pets. Sites 172-185 (non-pet loop) back up to the stream, Sites in the non-pet loop are decidely more shady than in the pet loop, which is more of an open field. Reserve at Pennsylvania State Parks. Open from mid-April to mid-October.
- Services: electric only, 30 amp, 30/50 amp, dry. Potable water only at the dump station or at water fountains at bath houses.. Each loop has a bath house with showers. The bath house in the pet loop has a washer and dryer (yay!).
- Weak ATT, no Verizon, no T-Mobile. ATT got better at the beach/boat launch parking nearest the campground (3 minute drive).
- Groceries: 15 minutes to a Giant Eagle grocery store; nearest Walmart is a half hour away.
You just have to live and life will give you pictures.