Nestled at the top of Blue Knob Mountains, the second highest mountain range in Pennsylvania, Blue Knob State Park is a beautiful setting with plenty of activities to offer their RV visitors year-round. The first settlers to the area arrived after the American Revolution with intentions of clearing the land to make way for farms and distilleries along the river. By the 1830s, the area had a strong Germanic population with a booming economy supported by lumber and railroads industry. In 1935, the National Park Service used the land for recreational purposes and by 1938 the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and the Workers Progress Association worked together to build trails, cabins, a pool, and some of the main building structures around the park.
The CCC was withdrawn from the camp at the beginning of World War II and in 1945, the National Park Service transferred the Blue Knob Recreational Area to the Pennsylvania Commonwealth. The park is now open year-round with its camping season starting in late-April and ending in mid-October. The park offers several activities such as fishing, horseback riding, and mountain biking in the summer. The winter offers hunting, hiking, and cross-country skiing.
There are two mountain top campgrounds with 46 modern-electric sites and two sites that are non-electric. There are no water or sewer connections available, but a dumping station is nearby and a water spigot as well. The sites can be described as hilly with large open fields near the Orchard Road Campground where you can have a picnic or just sit and read a good book. You can walk along the trails or take a dip in the pool built by the CCC on your visit to the park or enjoy a nice stroll around Pavia, one of the towns near the park. The park enjoys cool summers and snowy winters.
Blue Knob State Park has 6,128 acres of open fields for children of all ages to explore and have fun learning more about the park and its history. If you are coming from the direction of the south, east, or west taking I-90 north which leads to PA 869 west through Pavia, where the park is located. From the north, you will have to travel along Blue Knob Road which leads to the entrance of the park. There are three towns within 25 miles of the park where you can go shopping for groceries or just take a stroll down the main street.
It is recommended that you fill up your water tank before at the park or your stay may be restricted on how much water you have in your tank. The road leading into the campground has a steady incline and you are advised to drive slowly towards the main office. The campground is open for normal camping from April to October but the rest of the year you can use the envelope honor system if there is no staff around when you checking in. The honor system also applies when you arrive later than anticipated to the park and all staff has retired for the evening. In the morning, one of the staff members will come around to greet you and answer any questions you may have during your stay.
It is recommended that you walk or bike around the campsites to better learn about the area. If you decide to take a shortcut through the campgrounds, be sure to take a map with you so that you do not get lost. Due to the high elevation of the park, the park does not worry about much flooding in the rainy season, however, the park does get an average of 12 feet of snow each year. In the event of inclement weather, the park may close and reopen when the conditions are safe. The park is open all year and enjoys cool summers and snowy winters.
There are 27 modern electric campsites open for reservations. The sites can accommodate up to a 30-foot long RV or trailer. You may be able to fit a larger RV in the site but it is not recommended. The sites are hilly with neither water or sewer hookups. However, there is a dumping station on your way out of the park. A water spigot is available in the park but is regarded as difficult to use, so it is recommended that you fill your water tank before you enter the park. The lots are located right next to an open field leaving little to no privacy from your neighbor or shade from the summer’s heat. Pets are only allowed at certain campsites so be sure to double check your reservation if you have a pet. Amenities included are restrooms, hot showers, a picnic table, and a fire ring. You are prohibited from bringing your own firewood or from gathering firewood from around the park. Locally approved firewood is sold in Pavia and at the park for you to purchase. In peak season, you are allowed to stay a limit of 14 consecutive days at a time, while in the off-season, you may stay up to 21 consecutive days at a time. You may reserve a campsite up to 11 months in advance.
The campsites at Sassafras Lane are more spacious and shaded than the other campground. There are 19 campsites with modern electric hookups but no water or sewer connections. On your way out of the park, there is a dumping station and a water spigot, but it is difficult to use the water spigot, so it is recommended that you fill the water tank before you enter the park. The sites are a bit hilly but have plenty of privacy from your neighbor. You may need to level your RV but it will be well worth it. Pets are only allowed at certain campsites so be sure to double check your reservation if you have a pet with you. Toilets, hot showers, a picnic table, and a fire ring are included. It is forbidden to bring your own firewood or to collect firewood from the fallen trees in the park. Locally approved firewood is sold for purchase in Pavia and at the park. In the peak season, you can stay at the same time for a maximum of 14 consecutive days, while in the off-season, up to 21 consecutive days. You can book a campsite for up to 11 months in advance.
Trout fishing is one of the park’s selling points. Each year Bob’s Creek and its tributaries are stocked with farm-raised trout. The optimal time for catching delicious trout is from late-April to mid-June, although the early fall months also offer a few fishing options. Remember to take your fishing rod and tackle box in your RV when you visit. You are required to purchase a fishing license whether online or in person if you are over the age of 16. If you do not have a license, you will be able to participate in one of the many free fishing days that the park offers. In order to go out on the water, you will need a boating permit along with the registration documents for your boat.
The trails with an orange diamond are open for horseback riding, while the rest of the trails are for hikers and bikers. These trails pass through the hunting grounds. The park does not offer to board horses, but there are a few boarding houses in the surrounding area where you can keep your horse or rent a horse for the day. Please remember that all horseback riding trails are on the right side of the park and you are required to wear a helmet and proper riding equipment at all times.
The multi-purpose trails are open all year for those who wish to go mountain biking. So remember to pack your bike on the back of your RV when you go. If it is your first time hitting the trails try the Homestead Trail. This trail is hardly two miles long and has only a few inclines for new riders. If you are more experienced you can try the Rock ‘N’ Ridge Trail. It is mostly an uphill ride taking you to one of the highest points in the park. Remember to take plenty of breaks and be considerate of other visitors who are also using the trails.
Each season has something beautiful to offer at Blue Knob State Park. In the fall and winter months, you can spend a few moments watching the leaves change color or spying a deer in search of food. The spring and summer months offer beautiful songs written by the songbirds or you can watch new cubs and offspring learn the rules of the wild. Remember to pack your binoculars and a sturdy pair of walking shoes in your rig. Carry a camera, a map of the park, snacks, and a water bottle with you when you hit the trails. Please remember to leave nature undisturbed and pick up any trash you may find on the trails and around the park.
There are more than 15 miles of trails for you to explore on your visit to Blue Knob State Park. One of the more difficult hiking trails is the Mountain View Trail, but it has a worthwhile view where the trail ends. You will need extra sturdy hiking boots for this rugged and steep five-mile trail. Remember to carry a map of the park and a water bottle to keep you hydrated on your hike.
Take your pirate ambitions to new heights and go hunting for treasures with your band of loyal mateys. To go geocaching requires an adventurous spirit, a pen/pencil, your favorite pirate footwear (preferably sturdy walking boots), a GPS device, a water bottle, and your own personal treasure to trade for your new discoveries. Before exploring, make sure you know the cache logging rules. Remember to leave each area as undisturbed as possible to keep the great treasure hunt alive.