Laurel Hill State Park: The complete guide for camping

Laurel Hill Dam

Laurel Hill State Park Camping Guide

Laurel Hill State Park is about 4,062 acres overall and also is mostly comprised of a mountainous landscape. I can honestly say, this is one of my favorite PA state parks for camping.

There are many hiking trails to choose from, and some are very easy and flat. Additionally, the easier ones go right beside the lake and beach.

The lake is a decent size, at 63 acres, and has two boat launches. The parking lot for the lake and beach is absolutely massive, so I expect this place gets VERY busy in the summer.

Boat are able to be rented from the beach from Memorial Day to Labor day.

The campsites are some of the best, in my opinion, although the bathrooms leave more to be desired. On another note, if you’re in a certain loop of the campsite, you have easy access to a giant grass field, perfect for outdoor games!

Do yourself a favor, and visit this park in the fall! Our trip last weekend was so nice with all of the leaves changing.

Fall Leaves at Laurel Hill State Park

Maps

As always, here are the maps provided by the PA state parks website. You can find the campground map, lake depths, and recreational guide here.

Campsites

Tent Camping

The campsites on the outer edges peer into the forest. You get a lot of room between each campsite, a nice picnic table, and fire pit as well.

There are a couple walk-to sites, meaning you have to park and carry your tent and supplies back.

Before getting an RV we felt that was the most secluded camping experience and did that often, but even though this state park has 270 sites and is massive, there are only 4 walk-to sites available.

Additionally there are many non-electric sites to choose from, although the majority of the sites are 30 amp electric.

RV Camping

In most cases when camping in PA state parks, you can use most of the electric or non electric sites with your RV also. That is the case here as well. That being said, know that the only full hookup sites are in the Pet-Friendly section.

There are options for pull-through full hookup sites, and back in. The back in ones are slightly angled off of the road and are very easy to back into. The other campsites that are not full hookup are all back-in sites with different lengths. Be sure to check the campsite length when booking.

Cabins

This PA state park has 8 cottages that you can rent, as well as two lodges for large groups. When on the PA state parks booking website, just look for the cottages in the loop dropdown to see some images and rates.

Pets

There is a huge pet-friendly section! We stayed here so we could bring Astro.

On the snippet of the map below, the middle section between the full hookup RVs and bathrooms is a huge open field. This is great for playing with your pets or some outdoor games with friends and family.

Another nice part of the pet-friendly campsite is that full hookup RV sites are available. There are no full hookups outside of the pet-friendly campground.

Amenities

Wifi and Cell Service

We have Verizon and cell service was 2 bars. It was spotty, so we could only call, text, or load things on the web if we were standing in certain places.

Not sure about other providers, but as stated early on, this is a mountainous area. Just remember that it’s likely you’ll be without cell service.

There is also no wi-fi at the park office.

Water + Sewage

When entering the park, there is a lane to fill water tanks, and flush out sewage on the way out.

There are a couple sites in the pet campground that are full hookup as well.

Bathrooms and Showers

I will say, the bathrooms and showers here seem to be pretty old in comparison to other parks. This park is clearly popular and well established, so it is likely a matter of time until they get replaced. That being said, most sites have decent proximity to a bathroom.

The bathrooms actually have some sinks to wash dishes on the back of them, along with coin-operated laundry. The laundry is very unique, not many state park campgrounds offer that! Keep this in mind when looking for parks for longer stays.

Things to do in Laurel Hill State Park

Hiking

Laurel Hill has some great hiking for those of any ability level. There are many rough and steep trails, however, there are also some long level and maintained trails.

The copper kettle trail is super easy and level, and in my opinion, a must! This trail goes right beside the lake.

Laurel Hill State Park Hiking Copper Kettle Trail

Swimming

Laurel Hill has an amazing beach area, with 1200 feet of sand. There is a children’s playground, volleyball net, and boat launch area on this beach.

Volleyball Laurel Hill

You can also rent boats, paddleboards, and more from memorial day to labor day.

Laurel Hill State Park Beach

This is easily one of the most scenic areas of the park and a very popular destination. Another nice thing about the beach and lake is that

Kayaking & Paddle boarding

As with any PA state park, if there is a lake, there will be kayaking and paddleboarding.

Laurel Hill State Park Kayaking and Paddle Boarding

The lake is about 63 acres, so there is plenty of room!

Fishing

Laurel Hill has some of the most diversity as far as fish. Other PA state parks don’t usually have so many things to catch!

You can of course fish in the lake, but there are some streams in the park that are excellent for catching trout. The streams are the Laurel Hill Creek and Jones Mill Run.

Laurel Hill State Park Fishing

Some of the common things you can catch are:

  • Bass
  • Sunfish
  • Catfish
  • Crappie
  • Bluegill
  • Crappie
  • Sucker
  • Trout

Boating

You can rent paddleboats and rowboats at the beach, but you can also bring your own boat. Although there are a few guidelines for that.

Things to do outside Laurel Hill State Park

There are a couple of cool things to visit nearby if you have the time, and like checking out new places. You can press any link to start navigating.

Living Treasures Animal Park (16 min drive)

I wasn’t aware that there was an animal park so close to this campground, only 16 minutes away! We visited while we were there and got some of these cool photos.

Lilly, the tiger below, got pumpkins filled with meat for lunch.

Living Treasures Animal Park

Seven Springs (13 min drive)

Seven springs resort is super close by. During the summer months, you can go zip lining, or go for some outdoor adventures here.

Fallingwater (40 min drive)

Frank Llyod Wright’s iconic home is only a 40-minute drive away if you are willing to go that far. We have already visited in the past, but if we hadn’t we might have been tempted to!

Groceries near Laurel Hill State Park

Sometimes you forget something when camping, or prefer to get food in the area instead of bringing it. You can press the links below to start navigating to a store.

Highlands Market (13 min drive)

This store is only 13 minutes away, however, their selection is not that great, and it is very expensive.

Giant Eagle (11 min drive)

A bigger grocery selection if you need more than the basics.

Walmart (22 min drive)

If you need things other than grocery, such as batteries or bug spray.

Aldi (22 min drive)

If you go towards Somerset, you can get to a Giant Eagle, Walmart, or ALDI depending on your preference.

Summary

Laurel Hill State Park is one of our favorite state parks, ranking high up there with Cowans Gap.

There is a lot to do, with an animal park nearby, large campgrounds, and hiking. Hiking in this area can be great for those wanting a challenge, but there are also level paths for those who are looking for some casual walks.

The lake also provides an outlet for fishing, kayaking, boating, and paddleboarding.

We will definitely have to revisit this park next year with our friends!

If you’d like to find some other state parks in Pennsylvania, check out our category for camping.

Leave a comment below if you’ve visited this park and let us know your thoughts!

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