Date of Stay: September, 2009
This is a beautiful, wonderfully maintained, secluded park - with an amazing hiking trail showcasing 22 waterfalls between 15' and 94' tall. The sites are quite large, with ample room for a vehicle and two large tents. Each site has a large (about 36") fire ring, and most have new-ish 15' picnic tables. Sites are very shaded with very tall trees. Just about every site has a 30-foot wide raised mound of fine crushed gravel for tent placement, which drains very well in rain. The showers and washrooms were very clean, with very hot water - the shower nozzles are very strong, though the men's room had a "handicapped" stall with a real hand shower massage unit mounted to the wall. The women's room apparently only had a hand-held shower in the handicapped stall. You should bring everything you need, there's no store within miles, and the campground is sparse - sites and a washroom. The CG runs on the honor system after-hours, with well designed instructions at the ranger station. I saw several ranger patrols, day and night, the two nights we stayed. The hiking trail is decently marked, but one of the trail heads was under construction while we were there, adding about two miles to the overall hike. But that mile there and back was a relatively flat wide crushed gravel road. I hiked with several children (ages 8-11) and they did well, but it is a medium to strenuous walk. There are porta-potties at the trail heads, but nowhere to stop along the way - so take care of things before you go! It took us a little less than 5 hours to complete the loop. I would suggest taking the trail "clockwise" making Onondaga Falls your first stop - the second half of the hike is extremely uphill (two 60+' and a 94' waterfall along the way) and my wife and I agreed that it was much better to walk up this side, than down, especially with the kids. All along the trail, there were wet spots, but it wasn't very slippery - you should wear hiking boots, but we got along well in sneakers. Bring lots of water - as much as you can comfortably carry! A couple tips: While there is ample fallen wood to make fires, most of it is more than a half-mile from the campground. The first night there, I did well to make a nice fire from what I found (I'm an old boy scout...) but the second night I went into town to buy some wood. The Red Rock Store at the bottom of the hill will sell you a milk crate full of hardwood for $5. but if you turn right on 118, and follow to the oil dealer about a half-mile past the 118/487 split, he sells a washtub full for $4. A great deal for camping more than a few days. About four miles past there, then down another road a few miles, you'll find a great breakfast place - The Brass Pelican - that has the best sourdough buckwheat pancakes I've ever had. Not cheap (about $40 for the five of us) but a nice treat. Tie up your trash! A local told us that there were no bears sighted at the park, but several had been seen down the hill. While we were there, several head of deer strolled through our site, and I saw a raccoon the first night. Keep your site clean and stow your trash at night. If you're pulling a large trailer, there's about a five mile 18% grade hill you have to climb on 487 from the south - you may wish to seek out the road from the north to enter the park from Lopez, PA. I wouldn't want to pull anything bigger than a 21-footer up that grade.
Date of Stay: August, 2009
Nice family campground; the sites were fairly level and well marked (even with painted lines on the road to mark site boundaries.) It was loud-- and not just when the roller coaster on the campground boundary was running (it stops most nights at 10pm.) Our first night there, they moved a pop-up trailer into the site next to us (at 12:40 AM!) complete with two-way radio communication between the cg employee and the office, trucks idling, gravel being disturbed, and the ratcheting sound of the camper being opened. There's a nice camp store with anything you might need, and many sites had nice raised level wooden platforms to place your tent. We didn't use one, but decided we would if we ever camped there again. The park is right next to Knoebels Amusement Park with several walkways directly into the rides. Very convenient for families with children. Washrooms plentiful with hot showers. Some site have hardly any shade, but ours was nicely shaded. It rained in torrents while we were there, but the campground has their own earth-moving equipment, so the grounds were manicured the next morning. That, to me, was amazing.