SUBSCRIBE | NEWSLETTERS | MAPS | VIDEOS | BLOGS | MARKETPLACE | CONTESTS
TRY BACKPACKER FREE!
SUBSCRIBE NOW and get
2 Free Issues and 3 Free Gifts!
Full Name:
Address 1:
Address 2:
City:
State:
Zip Code:
Email: (required)
If I like it and decide to continue, I'll pay just $12.00, and receive a full one-year subscription (9 issues in all), a 73% savings off the newsstand price! If for any reason I decide not to continue, I'll write "cancel" on the invoice and owe nothing.
Your subscription includes 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Or click here to pay now and get 2 extra issues
Offer valid in US only.


» Welcome Guest
[ Log In :: Register ]

 

[ Track This Topic :: Email This Topic :: Print this topic ]

reply to topic new topic new poll
Topic: Family Car Camping Destinations?< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
 Post Number: 1
Embeth Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 2
Joined: Mar. 2014
PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 04 2014, 10:36 am  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

My husband and I are hoping to go camping with our infant son--6 months old this summer--and some friends within 3 or 4 hours of home (Ithaca, NY).  In the past, we have mostly done back-country camping but would prefer something easier for our first time out with a baby.  But we are having trouble coming up with a good destination.  There are many state parks around, but the campgrounds we have been to tend toward the crowded, party scene.

Any suggestions for a quieter car camping experience (ideally with some good hiking)?
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 2
MRHyker Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 3887
Joined: Dec. 2005
PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 04 2014, 1:12 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

How about Rickett's Glen SP: 2 hr  from Ithica:

Google Map directions


World's End SP might be a little closer to you. 1 hr 52 minutes.


--------------
"Red is the color of the sun with my eyes closed." - Dave Matthews

Midatlantichikes.com
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info WEB 
 Post Number: 3
ki0eh Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 2637
Joined: Mar. 2005
PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 04 2014, 4:26 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Adirondacks have some great car camping campgrounds but most of them would be more than 2+ hours from Ithaca.

I personally would not recommend Ricketts Glen as the falls trails are not quite as highly developed as in the NY State Parks in the Finger Lakes - I took our baby on some rough trails, but not ones as crowded as Ricketts. Also, the falls are shorter, albeit closer together than what you are likely used to. ;)

The new Crystal Hills Trail has a shelter in McCarthy Hill State Forest, adjacent to Pinnacle State Park near Addison, just southwest of Corning and less than an hour from Ithaca. The shelter is near a doubletrack gated road rated handicapped accessible, so you could push in the big wheel stroller about 3/4 mile. In the unlikely event the shelter is occupied, you could send Dad back to the car to get the tent. If you need more provisions, Wegmans would be about a 15 minute drive away in Corning. There are interlocking loop trails throughout the area - some relatively flat woods, some more open through mowed old fields, could go down and up an abandoned ski slope, or over to a pond. Not a real "peak" experience, but baby won't appreciate the view so much as playing with a pine cone. Very quiet deserted area. Select Map "PMHL" from this page and order online. Just south of the big pond, the trail goes through a laurel thicket, so this qualifies in the mid-Atlantic forum even though it's about 10 trail miles north of the PA border.

A little better known (meaning, you might see another hiker or two, but drive in campsites could be full especially on holiday weekends) and just a touch over an hour from Ithaca, would be the Ives Run Recreation Area at Hammond Lake near Tioga, PA. These Corps of Engineers campgrounds have many more rangers around than the average state park so the partiers tend to go elsewhere. The hiking from this car campground would be a little more ambitious with about 1000' climbs available. The Stephenhouse Run trail would wind up at a secluded splash area (they let you in the stream in PA, not like in most of the Finger Lakes state parks) about 1/2 mile in - not an iconographic view again, but baby can splash around and discover things without anyone else much around. Or you could hike further (like 2 miles in) up a gated doubletrack into the remote fastnesses of the boringly named State Game Lands No. 37 into an isolated valley with beaver ponds reminiscent of the Adirondacks. Download Mid State Trail Map T19 here to show the trails hereabouts.
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 4
ki0eh Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 2637
Joined: Mar. 2005
PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 04 2014, 4:43 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Although if you're driving this far you probably would be considering the Adirondacks, since this thread is in the mid-Atlantic forum, in 3:45 from Ithaca according to Mapquest you could get to Poe Paddy State Park surrounded by the tiltrock mountains along a trout stream - no cell coverage, no highway noise, no fracking, vault toilets. The nearest town, Millheim, has been called the "Asheville of Penns Valley" - possibly a low bar to climb, but Elk Creek Cafe at the traffic light has great ales and great food (it actually gets crowded with folks coming out from State College and beyond).
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 5
Embeth Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 2
Joined: Mar. 2014
PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 04 2014, 8:15 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thanks for the replies!  These suggestions look great.  I will happily research them as I await spring!
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 6
ki0eh Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 2637
Joined: Mar. 2005
PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 04 2014, 10:13 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I thought of another idea. Some PA State Forests offer car accessible permit campsites. They might have a fire ring but have no other facilities (especially this means no toilet facilities). One needs to contact the State Forest district office - by voice telephone, during the day (MOST OF THE SITES ARE NOT AVAILABLE IN THE ONLINE RESERVATION REQUEST, SO DON'T BOTHER WITH IT) to find out where the sites are, and to arrange for a reservation. These sites are free (at least to PA residents, but I see no basis for any distinction).

The index to Forest District offices is here. The 3 closest districts to you are Tioga, Loyalsock, and Tiadaghton. All these have some level of gas fracking activity, but the foresters can discuss with you where to go for less fracking, more waterfalls, more vistas, etc. Most of these are back gravel roads. However PA State Forests maintain their roads much better than NY does so nearly anyplace that would have a permit campsite can be reached with an ordinary car at least when the roads are clear of snow and ice (which might be mid-April or later deep in a hemlock shaded hollow).

There are a couple of well known groups of permit campsites. One is the ghost town of Masten in the Loyalsock SF that is an access point to the popular Old Loggers Path weekend backpacking loop. It is not unknown for partiers to show up here without permits though. Another is near the Asaph Picnic Area in Tioga SF.
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 7
jmitch Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 1606
Joined: Feb. 2002
PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 05 2014, 4:51 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

There are tons of camping options in northern PA.

For PA state parks, go here:

http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/stateparks/findapark/where/index.htm

Full service campgrounds (showers, etc):

Worlds End SP-  beautiful park, tons of great hiking.  Surrounding Loyalsock State Forest has tons of trails with views, waterfalls, gorges.  The park is popular, but I've not seen a party scene there.

Hills Creek SP-  very nice campground, beautiful lake, lots of easy trails.  Good hiking is nearby at Pine Creek Gorge, Sand Run Falls, or Tioga Hammond Lakes.

Lyman Run SP- a beautiful, isolated park with a gorgeous lake.  Several trails. The vast Susquehannock State Forest surrounds the park with tons of trails.

Sizerville SP- another isolated, scenic park.  Beautiful streams and narrow valleys.  Lots of trails in the park and nearby in the Elk State Forest.

Sinnemahoning SP-  has a new wildlife center, nice lake and mountains.  Close by to Quehanna Wild Area with tons of trails and elk.

http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/cs....418.pdf

Primitive campgrounds (no showers, more isolated):

Cherry Springs SP- darkest skies in the region, favorite for astronomy lovers.  Lots of hiking nearby

Asaph Run Camping area- contact Tioga State Forest.  Beautiful spot, in a narrow wooded valley.  Great trails nearby, close to Pine Creek Gorge and Pine Creek Rail-Trail

Patterson SP- small, isolated park.  Susquehannock Trail passes through.  Close to Cherry Springs

Hick Run Camping Area- contact Elk State Forest.  A beautiful spot, isolated, in a narrow mountain valley with a stream.  Close to the trails in Quehanna and the wonderful Fred Woods Trail.  Don't miss the Bucktail Overlook nearby, or the Elk Visitor Center.  Many other trails in the state forest.

Have fun.
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
6 replies since Mar. 04 2014, 10:36 am < Next Oldest | Next Newest >

[ Track This Topic :: Email This Topic :: Print this topic ]


 
reply to topic new topic new poll

» Quick Reply Family Car Camping Destinations?
iB Code Buttons
You are posting as:

Do you wish to enable your signature for this post?
Do you wish to enable emoticons for this post?
Track this topic
View All Emoticons
View iB Code



Get 2 FREE Trial Issues and 3 FREE GIFTS
Survival Skills 101 • Eat Better
The Best Trails in America
YES! Please send me my FREE trial issues of Backpacker
and my 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Full Name:
City:
Address 1:
Zip Code:
State:
Address 2:
Email (required):
Free trial offer valid for US subscribers only. Canadian subscriptions | International subscriptions