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Camping Sites in Pennsylvania

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      10.01.2001 12:21
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      Ohiopyle State Park has become one of my family's favorite camping sites. For us, it is conviently located in South Western Pennsylvania's mountains which are stunning in the autumn and a great place to escape from the heat of summer. It offers plenty to attract an outdoor enthusiast. The campground itself offers both electric and primative tent sites. Be warned however, that since it is a state park there is a two tent per site limit. Each site has a decently sized fire ring and picnic table. The sites seem a bit close during the day, but the nights in these mountains are incredibly dark so this actually becomes fairly comforting! I do not know if the "Camping Capacity" refers to the number of sites, if so there are many and you can register ahead. They are also near the peak and far from any sounds of city life. Keep in mind that black bear and mountain cats, as well as the usual white-tail deer and raccoons, thrive in this wild area! Always remove trash from your site and keep food well contained! Split wood and bagged ice are always available at the camp entrance. Free nature programs are offered on weekends which are enjoyable and informative. We found both the park rangers and the office attendants to be very pleasant and helpful. Small playgrounds are placed periodically within clear view of the campsites and are well maintained. Restrooms are well lit, cleaned regularly, and have at least one shower that is handicap accesible in each showerhouse. Watch those little ones around the doors though! They are heavy and swing both ways! (State park prices are increasing this year so I do not know what the current rates will be at this time. When we went, we found them to be quite reasonable.) There are many things to do in this area. The numerous hiking trails range in difficulty and offer beautiful views. Having three adventurous children, we tend to stay away from the trails offering the bes
      t views into the wooded valleys. That's quite a drop!Bike trails are popular. In the town of Ohiopyle bicycles can be rented by the day at ten U.S.dollars for adults and eight for children. Many of our local wildflowers can be seen along any of the trails as well as our beautiful Mountain Laurels. Further down the mountain, there is a trail for Cucumber Falls with parking available at the trail head. The stairs leading down to this trail are steep but well railed. The Ohiopyle Falls are a horseshoe type, quite beautiful and can be viewed from observation decks on the bank. Whitewater rafting is plentiful here and even young ones can be taken on the more gentle 5 mile float. Kayaks, rafts, life jackets, etc. can be rented although I must warn that there is a rather large and dangerous rock in these waters which has taken the lives of experienced water sport enthusiasts. It's removal is currently a hot topic of local debate. A natural water slide is also in the area although I cannot give you much information on this as I have only recently found out about this attraction. Many gift shops, resteraunts, and antique stores can be found in this area. Personally, I would rather enjoy my meals at one of the many gorgeous picnic areas. Be sure to stop at the local jam and cider stand though! You will be amazed at the variety. Did you know they make blueberry cider? A wealth of daytrips can be made from this area as well. Local historical sites, an antique machinery museum, Fallingwater a house designed by the famed Frank Lloyd Wright, and Laurel Caverns are a few that spring to mind. This is a marvelous piece of our Keystone state. The natural beauty of the area speaks for itself, and the wide range of attractions keeps my diverse family interested. If the great outdoors appeals to you, I would not hesitate to recommend Ohiopyle.

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