Harrisburg — Secretary of State for Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), Cindy Adams Dunn, and State Forester Ellen Shultzabarger announced today that state forest campgrounds transitioned to a more user-friendly, modern registration system on November 3.
“We want to improve the camping experience at the State Forest by transitioning to a more modern self-registration process like the one we use for state park campground reservations,” Dunn said. “This will enable a more convenient experience that provides real-time availability information to potential campers planning an outdoor getaway to our beautiful natural spaces.”
Camping reservations in state forests are currently made by visiting a state forest district office and obtaining a permit from the district forest staff. The number of camping permits issued has doubled in the past five years, creating a need for electronic records and reports to help district forest workers effectively manage campground conditions, perform necessary maintenance, and provide site alerts on site-specific conditions, that may occur, including road closures, flooding and other emergencies.
All designated roadside campsites, camping areas and equestrian camping areas are available through the reservation system. Undesignated motorized camping is no longer permitted.
Those wishing to make reservations can view campsite information, location and photos online and reserve a campsite. Designated campgrounds are made available through: Pennsylvania State Park and State Forest Reservation System, ReserveAmerica Call Center 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday (888-PA-PARKS (888-727-2757) and ReserveAmerica Camping App and Forest County Office where you want to camp Reservations are possible up to 11 months in advance up to 12:00 on the day of arrival, depending on the availability of the campsite.
“Pennsylvania’s vast state forest system offers unique camping opportunities in more remote and wilder locations than state parks, and the campgrounds are often remote from other locations,” Shultzabarger said. “As such, it is critical that we better understand the usage and conditions at these locations to improve the camper experience. We hope the new reservation system will simplify the process for those looking to spend time in our sprawling state forests.”
There are nightly fees of $10 for Pennsylvania residents and $15 for non-residents, with a $6.50 transaction fee to cover the cost of operating the systems. The new system allows for credit cards for camping and other permits like firewood and ATVs. There is still no fee for trailside, backpacking and water trail camping.
Proceeds from the fees go towards the upkeep, improvement and preservation of the sites and related recreational opportunities. Volunteers can be exempted from the fees for work projects.
For more information on state forests, visit the DCNR website.