Philly is known for its cheesesteaks and the famous staircase at its Art Museum. But there’s tons of natural beauty just a short drive away. Getting over to New York, New Jersey, Maryland, and Delaware is a cinch from the centrally-located Philadelphia.
Many natural wonders await in the state of Pennsylvania. Within two hours of Philadelphia, you can find everything from beaches and estuaries to mountainous hiking trails and lakes shrouded in mist.
If you’re looking for a place to stay out in the backcountry while you check out the historical sites in the city or you just want to escape the urban landscape altogether, read through this guide to find the best camping options in Philly!
About an hour and twenty minutes northwest of Philly near a town called Elverson is French Creek State Park, home to forested walking trails, a creek that’s great for fishing, and tons of different camping options. Not only are tent camping sites available, but you can also stay in cottages, cabins, or a four-person luxury yurt.
Even if you’re just staying in a tent, you’ll still have access to showers and flush toilets. The campground is open from March until the first weekend in January. In the summertime, you can use the swimming pool and you can hunt when it’s the season. Boating, mountain biking, and fishing are also common activities here.
- Variety of sites available
- Plenty of activities to do
- Showers & flush toilets
- Swimming pool in summer
- Pets restricted to certain areas
The Pocono Mountains are filled with hiking trails and majestic vistas and there’s no better place to enjoy them than this campsite. It’s a great RV site as they have full hookups. They also have wifi, which might annoy people bringing kids along, but it can be helpful for mapping your hikes.
Campers who like to bring their pets along will enjoy the on-site dog run. Camping sites have electric and water hookups, only water, or no hookups, depending on how you prefer to camp and how much you want to pay. Guests can also use the swimming pools for a luxurious dip in season.
- Full hookups
- Pocono Mountains access
- Swimming pools
- Potentially crowded
Wharton State Forest is the largest tract of land in the New Jersey State Park System and you can get there by car from Philadelphia in about forty minutes. Once there, you’ll find tons of different camping options and activities like cross-country skiing, swimming, boating, canoeing, and kayaking in the Mullica River, hunting, fishing, and hiking.
Some other unique attractions include recreated colonial villages and interactive programs. Check out the Batona trail for great hiking. The campground includes both trailer and tent sites with fire rings and picnic tables. Potable water, flush toilets, and showers are all within walking distance.
- Showers, flush toilets, drinking water
- Many tent sites
- Tons of activities
- Modern cabins available
- No alcohol permitted
- Higher fees for non-NJ residents
If you want the ultimate camping experience with none of the fuss, Wading Pines is for you. There are tent sites and modern cabins with cable available for rent year-round and plenty of family-friendly entertainment options like a saltwater swimming pool, privately stocked fishing lake, train rides on the weekend, kayaking, canoeing, tubing, basketball, volleyball, horseshoes, shuffleboard, and live entertainment.
Pull-through RV sites with full hookups are available as well. This place is a great option for people who like to enjoy the great outdoors but don’t want to rough it in a backcountry site. There are no primitive camping options here for people who do prefer to rough it, though.
- Modern cabins
- Variety of entertainment
- Full package deal
- Kids camp free
- Guest fee
- No primitive sites
Most campers already know something about KOAs and what they have to offer, but this one stands out. Not only is it a very close 20-minute drive from Philly, but it also has a pavilion for picnics, a dog park, games like horseshoes and cornhole, a pool, and wifi throughout the grounds.
There’s also a swimming pool. Showers and flush toilets are on site. For people who want to be outdoors in a bit more luxury, there are both modern cabins and glamping tents available. Trailer sites with full hookups are also available.
- Dog park
- Luxury options
- Flush toilets and showers
- Electric hookups
- Littel privacy from other campers
This state park takes up a massive amount of forested land in Delaware County. Restrooms and tent sites are available, as are furnished modern cabins. Hikers love the trails in this park. Equestrian enthusiasts can enjoy the 4.7-mile horseback riding trail.
Unlike typical state parks, Ridley Creek has formal gardens and horse stables. Visitors can jog, bike, or fish here. There’s a 5-mile paved trail for people who don’t want to get too far out in the boonies.
- Paved trails
- Horseback riding
- Gardens & fishing
- Flush toilets & tent sites
- Day use areas close at dusk
This is the closest campground to Rickett’s Glen State Park, where hikers flock to tackle the stunning Falls Trail, a year-round loop that features tons of waterfalls and a lake. As far as the campground itself goes, each tent site has a fire ring and a picnic table. They also offer running showers, firewood for sale, and flush toilets.
Goods is a pet-friendly and family-friendly environment. The tent sites are big enough to offer privacy from other campers. Plus, this campsite is just a bit less expensive than the going rate at one of the state parks, especially if you take one of the primitive campsites.
- Close to great hiking
- Showers & toilets
- RV sites with hookups
- Primitive sites available
- Few on-site entertainment options
An ideal place for an RV getaway, Brandywine Creek is connected to Marsh Creek State Park, which has tons of hiking and biking trails. The RV sites have full hookups and easy access to fishing in the Brandywine Creek. While the park is only open seasonally from April 1st to November 1st, it’s pet-friendly and the closest campground to Valley Forge, which doesn’t offer its own campsites.
You’ll be close enough to shops to buy supplies and they sell firewood and ice on-site. RV enthusiasts who want to get a look at historic downtown Philly should consider this one of their best options for places to stay.
- Best Philly RV campsite
- Close to Valley Forge
- Full hookups
- Ice and firewood on site
- Closes seasonally
Lake In Wood is a slice of RV paradise with everything you need to enjoy the outdoors with all the comforts of home. They even have a small cafe where you can grab a bite to eat or a hot cup of coffee and a shop where you can pick up any items you forgot to bring with you.
Laundry facilities are also available, so anyone on a cross-country RV tour of the United States can use this place to refresh their clothes. Dump stations, hot showers, athletic equipment, and even golf carts await you in this gem of Pennsylvania Dutch Country.
- Fully furnished RV camping
- Unique entertainment options
- Cafe and store on site
- Laundry facilities
- Less privacy from other campers
Nestled along the Pequea River on the edge of Amish Country in Lancaster County, this campground has lots of cool wildlife like deer, foxes, and groundhogs. There’s a boat ramp less than a mile from the grounds so make sure to bring your boat and kayaks if you have them. The walking trails are a nice way to digest your dinner after you use one of the site’s picnic areas.
Firewood and ice are for sale on-site and they can even get you cable TV if you’re staying long enough. Laundry facilities cost extra but they are available. They can pump your septic tank if needed, and for additional convenience, they also accept credit cards.
- Laundry facilities
- Credit cards accepted
- Boat ramp
- Many services cost extra
Make sure you bring your kayaks and canoes to this amazing recreation area. There’s plenty of fo space in the water and some neat wildlife on display. In addition to restrooms and shower facilities, visitors can find some unique entertainment opportunities on the disc golf course and a zipline trek that allows you to see the park from the treetops.
Yurts are available for a more luxurious camping experience and there’s a playground for the kids. The hiking trails are very peaceful and the wooded landscape has a calming effect. If you don’t have your own canoes or kayaks, you can rent them here.
- Zipline & disc golf
- Restrooms & showers
- Water for kayaks and canoes
- Horseback riding
- Higher fee for non-Delaware residents
Maryland is a great place for a camping trip if you stay at a place with as much natural beauty as this one has. There’s a beach on the river, which you might not have been expecting. This place is also a boating enthusiast’s dream. The surrounding Carpenter Point isn’t too crowded.
They keep this place very clean as well. Having a fire or a picnic is easy at the facilities and staying here promises a quiet night near the water.
- Picnic & campfire facilities
- Great boating
- Non-boaters have limited options
If you really want the full experience of New Jersey’s beaches, this is the place to stay. They have clean bathrooms, free hot showers, picnic tables, fire rings, a game room, propane, a playground, and all the sites are shaded. It’s the perfect headquarters for a family-friendly beach adventure.
It’s a pet-friendly place as well. RV campers can take advantage of full hookups. Their in-season lasts until November 1 which is a bit later than some other locations, but even at peak season prices, this place is worthwhile.
- Game room
- Full hookups
- Beaches close by
- Modern facilities
- Free showers & bathrooms
- Longer peak season
- Popular location
A no-frills campground in Amish Country, Mill Creek is 10 acres of wooded area with five picnic tables and fire rings. That’s basically all you get in terms of amenities, so if you wanted to try and live off-grid a bit like they do in Amish country, try this place out.
They do have firewood for sale and campers on a budget will enjoy the comparatively inexpensive rental fee. This primitive camping site is open from April 1 to October 31.
- Picnic tables & fire rings
- Private & secluded
- Primitive campsite only
Colonial Woods is a vacation destination just as much as it is a campground. They have a heated pool, mini-golf, volleyball, basketball, hayrides, a game room, tubing, and special family-friendly events for kids like arts and crafts.
In terms of amenities, they have laundry facilities, clean restrooms, a store on-site, and RV sites with electric, cable, and water hookups. They also have a few modern cabins to rent.
- Clean facilities
- Spacious sites
- Cabin rentals
- Tons of activities
- Not ideal for a private vacation
Cyclists and anglers love this park on the banks or the Susquehanna River. There are tons of trails and the fishing in the river is good for catching bass, pike, and perch year-round. The campsite has options for tent camping or modern cabins for rent. There’s even a historical district on-site for a bit of education.
You might not be wowed by the available amenities for camping, but campers who just need a place to set up their tent will enjoy the surrounding area.
- Fishing & biking trails
- Modern cabins for rent
- Historic area
- Fewer amenities
Camping in such a nice wooded area typically doesn’t mean you have hot showers and flush toilets readily available nearby, but at Oldman’s you do. This place is popular for people who rent a seasonal lot and stay for longer, sometimes even months. If you want to possibly have a chat with camping neighbors, this can be a great place for it.
It’s also a family-friendly place with a nice little lake that’s perfect for swimming. They mark off the shallow end so kids and new swimmers can get some practice in.
- Swimming lake
- Hot showers & flush toilets
- Community feel
- Less private
If you want to see Amish Country in Lancaster County and want a familiar-feeling space to camp, this KOA is a clean place with plenty of amenities to do so. There’s a wide-open view of the surrounding countryside from their RV sites, terraced tent sites, and modern cabin rentals.
You’re only about an hour’s drive from Hershey, Pennsylvania, at this KOA. You have wifi, showers, and a playground for kids available. There aren’t as many events or entertainment options on the grounds of this KOA as there are at some others, but the surrounding town of Intercourse has plenty to do.
- Moder cabin rentals
- Fewer on-site entertainment options
19. Acorn Campground
The classic family-friendly camping trip is still a reality at Acorn. They have laundry facilities, hot showers, fire rings, and picnic tables. They have hundreds of sites so it could get crowded, but there are two swimming pools to accommodate everyone.
The RV sites have three hookups. Shade is widely available all over the grounds. The game room has wifi available for folks to get a quick social media fix. There are also on-site fishing ponds that give a great chance to get the little ones into fishing.
- Hot showers
- Game room with wifi
- Swimming pool
- Laundry Facilities
- May get crowded
For a really historical perspective on New Jersey and the surrounding New England states, camp here where they have a full-on 19th-century ironmaking town mock-up. Kayaks and canoes are great ways to enjoy the nearby Manasquan River.
Fire rings and picnic tables are at each tent site and they also offer modern cabins, lean-tos, group campsites, and primitive sites. Flush toilets and showers are within walking distance.
- Unique historical village
- Showers and flush toilets
- Group sites available
- Nearby river
- Higher cost for non-New Jersey residents
There may be flashier places to camp within two hours of Philadelphia, but Goods Campground reigns supreme nonetheless. The hiking on the Falls Trail in nearby Rickett’s Glen State Park is unmatched and there are still amenities like showers and flush toilets to make your camping trip more comfortable.
Campers can also choose to camp how they want – RVs and primitive sites are both available. The surrounding nature is a big part of why camping in Pennsylvania is so much fun, which is why Goods Campground is the best campsite within two hours of Philly.
Bonus tip: Watch this family of campers create Philly Cheesesteaks campfire style!