Some of Our Favorite Camping Spots Near Pittsburgh When the Leaves Change

There are many options within a 4-hour radius of the city, including quite a few quality camping spots just a short drive from  Downtown.
Bike Fall


Pittsburgh Metro Region

Raccoon Creek State Park, Keystone State Park and Moraine State Park all have cabins as well as sites for tents and RVs. Raccoon Creek’s 314-acre wildflower preserve is one of the most diverse stands of wildflowers in Western Pennsylvania, and the blooms peak in early September. Reservations can be made through the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources website ( Privately owned campgrounds such as Bear Run Campground in Portersville and Mountain Top Campground in Tarentum can be booked through

New River Gorge

New River Gorge National Park and Preserve

America’s newest national park is a pandemic baby — this well-loved recreation area, located just under 4 hours from Pittsburgh in West Virginia, officially became the 63rd national park in 2020. It’s known for rafting, climbing, biking and views. There are nine primitive tenting areas available on a first-come, first-serve basis. For those who want some more creature comforts, check out private camping resorts nearby. Adventures on the Gorge ( features multi-bedroom cottages with private hot tubs as well as smaller cabins and traditional campsites. With adventure packages available that include rafting and high-ropes courses, it’s a great choice for new campers to experience fall at the park. ACE Adventure Resort ( features rafting packages and cabins and even has tent and camping gear rental for those interested in giving tent camping a try. It’s also possible to walk on the catwalk under the New River Gorge bridge itself (harnessed, of course), which is the tallest bridge-walking experience in the world (

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Laurel Highlands

Known for Fallingwater, whitewater rafting and snowsports, this mountainous region southeast of Pittsburgh is a perfect spot for fall camping. The area is rife with campgrounds, state parks and cabins for rent — from rustic to luxe. Ohiopyle State Park is a popular choice for fall tent camping and leaf peeping, and the cabins and lodges at Laurel Hill State Park sleep anywhere from five to 14 guests. There’s no need to stay in just one spot while in the area, though. The Great Allegheny Passage bike trail ( runs through the Laurel Highlands, with accommodations and campsites situated at regular intervals along the trail. Go Laurel Highlands ( lists accommodations and events this fall — and turn to page 20 for more travel recommendations in the area.

Allegh National Forest

Allegheny National Forest

While Pennsylvania has no national parks within its borders, it does have more than two dozen sites managed by the National Park Service, as well as Allegheny National Forest, which is managed by the U.S. Forest Service ( This forest spans several counties along the Allegheny River and contains some of the oldest forest grounds in the state. There are tent sites, RV sites, cabins and even the historic Farnsworth Cabin, which was built in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps. Bookings for the national forest are done through There are also many private campgrounds and vacation home rentals available in the area through Airbnb, VRBO and Campspot.

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Lake Erie’s Shores

Just 2 hours north of Pittsburgh, Erie is a popular weekend getaway for locals. While the region is rife with hotels, it’s also a great location for fall camping. Presque Isle State Park does not have any campsites, but Sara’s Campground borders the state park and features camping on the beach ( Nearby Presque Isle Passage RV Park ( has campsites, yurts, cabins and recreational vehicles to rent, and can be booked through Check out Visit Erie ( for information on ongoing events as well as a fall harvest festival and wine festival.


Camping Events This Fall That Are Worth The Drive

How To Camp Like A Pro In the Fall

How to Best Enjoy Fall in The Forest

Categories: Travel