Escape The City: Camping In Western Pennsylvania


Sometimes we need an escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. But when you live in Pittsburgh, is there anywhere you can really escape to? Yes. The answer is a resounding yes.
We’ve found some of the best camper friendly parks perfect for a weekend getaway from the 412.

Photo of Cook Forest State Park courtesy of

Cook Forest 

94 Miles Northeast Of Pittsburgh

Scenic and lively, visitors can engage in biking, horseback riding, hiking, and hunting. The connecting Clarion River offers canoeing and fishing. Wildlife such as the native Black Bear are often spotted for wildlife lovers. Clear Creek State Park is just 11 miles down the road and provides year-round activities such as winter snowshoeing, sledding, and ice skating. Cook Forest State Park offers world-class views in your very own Western Pennsylvania.

Raccoon Creek 

30 Miles East Of Pittsburgh

This stocked lake is perfect for kayaking, canoeing, and motor boating. A short drive from Pittsburgh, Raccoon Creek State Park features miles of trails for hiking, biking, and horseback riding. Raccoon Lake is stocked with a variety of fish, and hunting is available during designated seasons. Six miles away is Hillman State Park and a model airplane field. Lovers of the outdoors will find solace in this Beaver County haven.

Photo of Presque Isle State Park courtesy of

Presque Isle

131 Miles North Of Pittsburgh

This gorgeous park on Lake Erie features miles of hiking trails, as well as paved biking trails with bay views. Campers have access to beautiful beaches with sand courts, sailing, and swimming. Enjoy fishing and boating on one of the country’s Great Lakes. Only a few hours from Pittsburgh, Presque Isle State Park is a fun weekend getaway for city dwellers.


88 Miles Northwest Of Pittsburgh

While famous for the Linesville Spillway and fish hatchery, Pymatuning State Park has much more to offer. For those who love to bird watch, the area is a popular spot for Bald Eagle nesting. A variety of trails are available for different levels of hiking experience while the Shenango River offers a water trail for kayakers. Just ten miles from Conneaut Lake, you’ll find a vasy array of sights and activities near this Ohio-bordered park.

Photo of Ohiopyle State Park courtesy of


72 Miles Southwest of Pittsburgh

Rock-climbing, mountain biking, horseback riding, and zip lining are all popular at this Fayette County park, but what sets it apart is its natural waterslides in Meadow Run. Winter activities include sledding, cross-country skiing, and snowmobiling. Enjoy hiking on the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail. This is a wonderful destination for whitewater boating and fishing on the Youghiogheny River. Ohiopyle State Park has must-see waterfalls, just a short trip away from the Three Rivers.


41 Miles North Of Pittsburgh

Enjoy swimming, sailing, fishing, boating, and windsurfing on Lake Arthur. This park features both bike trails and mountain trails. This year-round destination has sledding, cross-country skiing, ice fishing, ice-skating, and snowmobiling. Just ten miles away is McConnells Mill State Park, filled with waterfalls, white water rapids, rappelling and rock climbing capability, and more. Moraine State Park is a short trip from the city but feels like worlds away.