Any reference to camping in PA would be incomplete without mentioning the Pocono Mountains. Poconos camping is some of the best in the nation, especially when the sunny days and cool evenings of summer come along. The area is overflowing with trails and the incredibly scenic views are around every corner. Luckily, visitors have plenty of camping options to choose from, including tent sites, RV parks, tent cabins, and luxurious glamping spots.
Several campgrounds in the area are located near (or on) the water. That’s why we’ve chosen to highlight ones with plenty of water activities available. We recommend three camping destinations as an introduction to Poconos camping, each with an array of outdoors adventure destinations and nearby hiking trails.
Retreat on Bear Creek
The nature of the Poconos is one of the region’s greatest treasures—and for campers looking to get back in touch with that nature while sleeping in comfort, the tent cabins at Retreat on Bear Creek offer just that.
On this private retreat, campers can enjoy a private swimming hole, a hike to a private waterfall or a chance to relax in a hammock. This tent is surrounded by over 400 privately owned acres of natural forests with several miles of marked trails. The campsite is adjoined by Lehigh Gorge State Park and PA State Game Lands, while remaining a hidden gem of the Poconos.
For campers interested in even more comfort without much setup, the camp keepers at Whippoorwill Woods in the Poconos are there for you. Amenities include a queen-sized bed with one bedding setup, a crate of firewood and 2 firestarters, a trail map of the area and connections to public lands, a hammock and an outdoor shower stall. Situated just outside Jim Thorpe, this cozy camping getaway in the heart of the Poconos will keep you entertained and comfortable.
Otter Lake Camp-Resort
Otter Lake Camp-Resort is an ideal family destination located in the heart of the Poconos. On 300 wooded acres, this camp offers a full-service campground with pull-thru RV spaces, cabins and lake swimming. The beach is a great place to kick your feet up for a full day of relaxation, or you can head over there after a hike on one of the nearby trails.
This camp is definitely the perfect hub for families, with horseshoes, playgrounds, swimming pool, hot tub and convenience store (to name just a few). This is resort style camping and Otter Lake offers plenty to do, but the immediate vicinity holds even more adventure.
Visitors here can enjoy river trips through an outfitter called Adventure Sports, either guided or unguided outings. Options include multi-day trips on the scenic Delaware Water Gap Recreation area in canoes, kayaks or rafts. There are too many destinations to list near Otter Lake--including a ski resort with festivals nearly every week, a water park, and excellent trail riding on horse or by bicycle.
Lehigh Gorge is just off route 80, easy to get to but incredibly peaceful. This resort style campground has fewer frills than Otter Lake, but also offers either tent or RV camping. Lehigh Gorge is a family-run gem situated on the wild Lehigh river, and a Poconos camping favorite for decades.
The area offers extensive access to hiking trails, river recreation, and horseback riding. It’s also a perfect place to kick back with volleyball on-site or disc golf five minutes away. Like Otter Lake, this campground can be a destination in itself.
The Lehigh Gorge area is known for its commercial river rafting, either half or full day group trips. Explore the river and surf class II and III rapids on a guided tour that is easy to book once you reach your glamp site.