For over one hundred years, locals have enjoyed the beautiful Keystone Lake as a destination for recreation. Originally built in 1909 by the Keystone Coal and Coke Company, this man-made lake was built to support the booming steel industry in the region. The company’s original stone lodge still stands today as a visitor center, where you can see many historical artifacts from its coal mining days.
Today, Keystone State Park offers outdoors activities for everyone in the family. Fishing, boating, and hiking are just a few to mention. RV campgrounds are open between April and October, but there are modern cabins available to rent year-round. Whether you visit in the summer months or during the off-season, Keystone State Park offers plenty of recreational activities, making it an ideal location for an RV getaway to experience the great outdoors.
Located less than an hour from downtown Pittsburgh, Keystone State Park offers 1,200 acres to explore. You’ll be surrounded by majestic views of the lake and lush forests all around you. The lake is an ideal spot to take a swim or coast around on the boat. There are eight miles of hiking trails to discover that are perfect for hiking, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing. If you’re itching to get out on your bike, you can coast along the beautiful two-mile Lakeside Trail. With sunny summers and snowy winters, you’ll enjoy a memorable RV vacation in Pennsylvania at Keystone State Park no matter what time of year you visit.
RV Rentals in Keystone State Park
Transportation in Keystone State Park
Keystone State Park is conveniently located 45 minutes east of downtown Pittsburgh, and a mile-and-a-half south of Route 22. All the roads within the park are paved, and there are no extra day use fees to pay in the park. After you park your RV at your campsite, you can drive, walk, or bike to enjoy the afternoon relaxing at the beach, fishing at the pier, or at the Visitor Center.
There are 100 campsites within the park, between the Lakeside and Hillside Campgrounds. RV sites on the Lakeside Campground are located right at the water’s edge, while the Hillside Camground is a little further away from the lake. There are several parking lots dotted around Keystone Lake, so you’ll have convenient access to all the attractions of the park.
Campgrounds and parking in Keystone State Park
Campsites in Keystone State Park
Madison / Pittsburgh S.E. KOA
The family-friendly Madison/Pittsburgh S.E. KOA is conveniently located right off the PA Turnpike and I-70, with plenty of easy pull-through RV sites that are able to accommodate rigs up to 65 feet. This lush KOA is 45 minutes from Pittsburgh and big-city amenities, and the nature trails in the rolling Laurel Hills Highlands. Nearby are golf courses, and Frank Lloyd Wright’s famous Fallingwater house. At Madison/Pittsburgh S.E. KOA, lounge by the pool, and let the kids bounce it out on the huge jumping pillow. The KOA also features a peaceful pond, where families can fish for trout and catfish, with no license required. Games for kids of all ages include horseshoes, croquet, bocce ball and basketball. Activities include craft projects, scavenger hunts, hayrides and special events. Wi-Fi, cable TV, and laundry facilities are available on-site, along with firewood and propane for purchase.
Keystone State Park features RV and tent campsites that are available from April through October. 60 campsites are available at the Hillside Campground, which features a more remote setting. The Hillside campsites allow pets so you can camp with your furry friend. This campground features back-in sites to park your rig on, with gravel, asphalt, or grass surfaces. You can choose between an open, shaded, or partially shaded site. You will have access to either 30 or 50 amp electric hookups.
Although there are no water hookups at the campsite, water faucets are accessible throughout the campground. The campground offers clean, modern bathhouses and hot showers. Each campsite has a fire ring and picnic table. You can park an RV or trailer that is up to 55 feet long.
Between the two campground loops, there are 11 cabins available to rent throughout the year. If you have friends or family who would like to camp with you but don’t have their own RV, this could be a great option for them to check out the camping lifestyle. Each cabin can sleep up to six people and features a kitchen with a stove, microwave, and refrigerator, and a modern bathroom. The cabins can also be reserved online. Reservations can be made up to 11 months in advance.
Keystone State Park features RV and tent campsites that are available from April through October. There are 40 campsites in the Lakeside Campground, which offers breathtaking views of the water. Pets are not permitted in the Lakeside Campground. The campground features back-in sites to park your rig on, with gravel, asphalt, or grass surfaces. You can choose between an open, shaded, or partially shaded site. There are either 30 or 50 amp electric hookups, which you can choose when you reserve your site.
Although there are no water hookups at the campsite, you will find easy access to water faucets throughout the campground. You can also take advantage of the campground’s clean, modern bathhouses and hot showers. Each campsite has a fire ring and picnic table. The maximum RV length is 55 feet. You can also reserve one of the two yurts available at the Lakeside Campground, which feature a modern kitchen and bathroom. Reservations can be made up to 11 months in advance.
There are no first-come, first-served campgrounds at this state park.
Seasonal activities in Keystone State Park
Fishermen will love that Keystone Lake is stocked year-round with both warm and cold water fish. Try your hand at catching trout, large-mouthed bass, black crappie, and yellow perch. Keystone Lake has even been named one of the top fishing destinations for families by the Take Me Fishing organization.
Renting a canoe or kayak can be a fun way to experience the almost 80 acres of water and mile-long shoreline of Keystone Lake. Boat rentals are available near the main boat launch. Paddling out on the pristine waters can be relaxing at a slow pace or good exercise if you want to give it your full effort. If you’re planning to bring your own boat, only electric motors are allowed.
The beach is open for swimming between Memorial Day and Labor Day from 8 a.m. until sunset. You can enjoy a relaxing picnic after your swim at several picnic areas or under the spacious pavilions with charcoal grills, drinking water, and electric outlets. There is a concession store near the beach, which offers cold and hot food during the busy summer months.
Enjoying Winter Recreation
As weather conditions permit, Keystone State Park is a great place to sled, ice skate, and do some cross-country skiing or snowshoeing on the trails. There are even places where you can try ice fishing. Even though the RV campsites are not available at this time of year, the cabins and the day use areas will be open and allow you to enjoy these activities.
Hiking is a fantastic way to explore, experience nature, and see wildlife up close. The wooded trails provide plenty of shade on warmer days and beautiful colors in the fall. Trails of varying difficulty and distances can be found throughout the park. There is parking available at each of the trail heads. Bring your binoculars in your rig for birding, or your GPS device to try geocaching in the park. Stone Lodge Trail is a mile-and-a-half steep loop along a ridge. The McCune Run Trail is a short hike which leads to a beaver pond. The Lake Side Trail is a two-mile, level trail that loops around Keystone Lake. Bikes are also welcome on the Lake Side Trail.
Visiting the James A. Kell Visitor Center
If you enjoy history, you must check out the original stone lodge building used by the Keystone Coal and Coke Company. The stone lodge is now operated by the Pennsylvania Park Service as a visitor center and historic museum. There are many artifacts on display which can teach visitors about the coal mining and steel industry, which played a large role in the history of this region. Park rangers also run nature programs out of the visitor center throughout the year. You can check in with them when you visit to find out the current schedule.