We selected this campground based on two criteria: (1) it's proximity to Uniontown, PA; (2) comments seen on rvparkreviews. As pointed out in previous reviews, a major attraction of this relatively new campground appears to be it's mammoth size pool which is also open to the public and one obvious reason why the campground frequently fills up on weekends. For this reason, reservations are strongly recommended for weekends. The sites are on both sides of an open field but they offer ample room for big rigs and tow vehicles. Maneuvering into a site couldn't have been easier. And, even though there is very little shade, the entire campground seemed meticulously clean and quiet. Unfortunately, one of the main roads leading to the campground was being rerouted and the manager even called to alert us. But we didn't receive the call in time and ended up going wandering through the countryside when we relied on our GPS.
Even though I am not a resident of PA, I think it's nice when a state is willing to favor it’s citizens with any discount. Even senior citizens receive a small discount. Too bad my own home state doesn't offer the same perks. French Creek State Park is located about 30 minutes from an outlet mall outside Reading, PA, so that was OUR ulterior reason for choosing this particular park. Over the last two months, we have also decided that state parks generally to fit our camping needs a little better than the private campgrounds. So we were anxious to see how French Creek stacked up against the two state parks we had visited in western New York. Quiet hours are supposed to be from 9pm to 9am with the park divided into four main areas (loops); one loop dedicated to campers with pets. About half of the sites have electricity and none have water or sewer hookups. Despite this, the vast majority of sites are spacious and wooded, making them attractive to both tent campers and RV'ers alike. Judging from the number of hikers spotted and the dense forest around the park, there must be some marvelous trails available. We did not visit the pool or rest rooms so cannot comment of either of these. French Creek State Park is well worth a revisit. The sites are generally shady and can accommodate large rigs, although they just announced a new policy that will allow only one vehicle per site beginning later this month (Aug. 2007). Reservations are strongly recommended, especially if camping on a weekend. Also be sure to follow the directions obtained from the park website. We made the mistake of relying entirely on our GPS and ended up snaking our way thru the countryside.
We decided to adhere to campground regulations by timing our arrival for 2:30 on Sunday, since no registrations are permitted before 2:00 pm (and being warned that there is no "staging area") The waiting time was about 30 minutes. (Surprisingly, we did notice several exceptions to the 2:00 pm arrival the very next day.) Our “ultra” category campsite (#518) was located on the back perimeter and turned out to be relatively secluded, shady and quiet. Compared with four other nearby campgrounds that we subsequently visited, this one is clearly our #1 choice for future visits. The only major objection were the mosquitoes The vast majority of rigs were owned by seasonal campers were concentrated in the center of the campground, in an area near the park entrance. Obscured from view were the tent campers and across the road the garbage dumpster (also unobtrusive). Special week long activities included a Waikiki beach party, pig roast, Hawaiian Luau, and a talent show. Full hookups plus basic cable TV and a cement patio slab were worth the extra cost to us. Wi-Fi was also available but at an added cost. In season reservations are strongly advised.
Our site was one of only a few pull thru sites with little or no shade but right on edge of the pond. The pond is nice for fishing (catch and release) and there is also a nice swimming pool, basketball court, and volleyball area. Rest rooms and showers are impeccably clean. However, I would definitely advise calling for reservations since the park often fills up on weekends or whenever there are special rallies. While many sites are occupied by seasonal campers some of the nicer sites are those that border one side of the pond.
In order to save the $9 advance reservation fee (levied at all NYS campgrounds) I decided to risk finding a nice site on a Sat. afternoon in late July. Fortunately, we had a nice choice and the one selected (site #1) was up to our rigorous standards -- plenty of shade with lots of elbow room -- even though some of the shade came at the cost of falling crab apples. The Lake Erie shoreline lies only a few steps away, where there is a nice beach area and a glorious sunset. By 11 am checkout on Sunday morning, the number of campers had dwindled substantially and it seemed to us to be a "shade" nicer than several other nearby campgrounds. Sites are roomy and level with a nice paved road running through the park. Two large restrooms & shower facilities are kept very clean and we plan to return here in the early fall.
Based strictly on appearance, this is a no frills campground. The campground appeared to be about 1/3 full with quite a number of permanent campers. Unfortunately, the new owners, who handled our check-in, admitted that the elderly man who owned the campground had let it get out of control and become pretty trashy. Even today the bumpy dirt roads inside the campground and the narrow road to reach the campground would discourage most campers. But since our purpose for camping here was to attend the annual balloon rally in Wellsville, 6 miles away, and the only closer campground was filled, we had little choice but to stick it out. It is definitely not in our plans to return at anytime soon, even though we frequently attend the rally. Fortunately, cooler weather made A/C unnecessary so we saved $3.00 per day. There is one dump station but no rest rooms or shower facility. Saturday evening dances and two fishing lakes provide added enjoyment, for those who are interested.
The rest rooms and showers were reasonably clean (if not odor free). Electricity could have been a problem with only 20 amp circuits, since the heat was unbearable. A few sites were more than 20 amp. So whenever the A/C and refrigerator were both on, I needed to heat our water by propane rather than electricity. The campground is situated only a short 10 minute walk from a small beach on Lake Erie. Only a few sites are fully shaded; some are partially shaded but the vast majority are in the open with no pull-thru sites. Surprisingly, there is a tennis court (although not lined) which was never used. Weekend reservations are advised ($9) since this campground begins to fill up on Thursdays for the weekend. Only one dump station and a couple of places where water tanks could be filled. Laundry washers are available. Don't miss the pretty sunsets over the lake.
Our 4 day visit to this campground couldn't have been more enjoyable. We arrived on Monday, having paid $9 for a telephone reservation (same fee for all state campgrounds and via internet) which we really didn't need. Check in is after 2 pm; out is before 2 pm. Sites are spacious and generally wooded, with ample room to park both motor home and car. There are many reasons why this park is considered one of the nicest in the state -- three waterfalls, beautiful scenery, nature trails, playgrounds, laundry facility, and snack bar to name just a few. The majority of sites are equipped with electricity (30 amp) and some appear to have water. Three dump stations near the campground entrance. Rest rooms and showers were clean. Pets are allowed in designated areas of the campground.
MY CAMPGROUND REVIEW. We just returned from spending 7 days here and would highly recommend it. Being our inaugural, (shake-down), trip using our first motorhome, we received lots of tips from everyone we talked to. The Working Camp Guide (Smitty), even escorted us into a beautifully shaded site. Restrooms and showers were boastfully "hospital clean" so we relied mostly on them. There were an abundance of shaded, pull-thru sites. Being sparsely filled, except on weekends, it seemed like a quiet place to relax. Although the shores of Lake Erie lie a short distance away, most of the swimming occurred in one of the two campground pools. On Sunday, we drove to the Chautauqua Institution, (15 minutes away), to see the free afternoon concert, ($6 parking fee). Being situated less than 1/4 mile from I-90 can be either a blessing or a curse, depending on whether you're a light sleeper. In our case, this minor drawback was far outweighed by the many positive features including the familiar sounds of a nearby train.