Featuring incredible recreation opportunities and sublime campground amenities, Keystone State Park is a wonderful year-round attraction for RV lovers. For over one hundred years, locals have enjoyed the beautiful Keystone Lake as a destination for recreation. Initially built in 1909 by the Keystone Coal and Coke Company, this human-made lake was established 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 historic artifacts from its coal mining days.
Today, Keystone State Park offers outdoor activities for everyone in the family, including fishing, boating, and hiking, just to name a few. Located less than an hour from downtown Pittsburgh, Keystone State Park offers 1,200 acres to explore. Majestic views of the lake and lush forest surround you, and 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. 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.
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. There are two RV campgrounds that you can call home during the summer months, but there are also modern cabins available to rent year-round. Peak season at Keystone State Park runs from April to October.
Keystone State Park is conveniently located 45 minutes east of downtown Pittsburgh, and 1.5-miles south of US-22. There are plenty of places for you to stop along your drive if you need to pick up any supplies, including New Alexandria (around two miles away), Latrobe (approximately four and a half miles away), and Derry (about six miles away).
The park has multiple entrances, and there is one campground access road that stretches along the south of Keystone Lake. 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 the Visitor Center.
There are several parking lots dotted around Keystone Lake, so you’ll have convenient access to all the attractions of the park if you are visiting for the day.
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. Sixty campsites are available at the Hillside Campground, which features a more remote setting in comparison to the Lakeside Campground. The Hillside campsites are also pet-friendly, so you are welcome to camp with your furry friend.
Hillside Campground features back-in sites to park your rig on, with gravel, asphalt, or grass surfaces available. You can choose between an open, shaded, or partially shaded site, and you will have access to either 30 or 50 amp electric hookups so you can live in a little luxury during your stay. 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, and reservations are available 11 months in advance of your adventure.
Keystone State Park features RV and tent campsites that are available from April through October in two separate campgrounds. There are 40 campsites in the Lakeside Campground, which offers breathtaking views of the water. 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 from 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 comes with a fire ring and picnic table, and RVs up to 55 in length will be able to stay at the campground. Please note that pets are not permitted in the Lakeside Campground, so if you are traveling with a furry friend, you should stay at Hillside Campground.
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.
There are also two yurts available at the Lakeside Campground, which feature a modern kitchen and bathroom. Reservations for the yurts can also be made up to 11 months in advance.
As weather conditions permit, Keystone State Park is a great place to get out and enjoy the park as it turns into a winter wonderland. There are many different recreational activities that you can try, including sledding, ice skating, some cross-country skiing, or snowshoeing on the trails. There are also places where you can try ice fishing if you are up for the challenge. 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. Bring your binoculars in your rig for birding, or your GPS device to try geocaching in the park. Stone Lodge Trail is a 1.5-mile steep loop along a ridge suited for more experienced hikers, but The McCune Run Trail is a shorter hike that leads to a beaver pond. One of the most popular hikes in the area is the Lake Side Trail, which is a two-mile, level trail that loops around Keystone Lake. Bikes are also welcome on the Lake Side Trail.
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 historical museum for Keystone State Park. There are many artifacts on display that 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, so pop in to the center during your visit to see if any programs will be running during your visit.
During the regular Pennsylvania hunting season, around half of the land within Keystone Lake State Park is open for hunting, dog training, and trapping. None of these activities can be done at the lake or near it, but don't fret as there are many game species in the forested areas, such as turkey, deer, squirrel, and pheasant. Before you begin your hunt, remember to check-in at the park office for any special notices, and also remember to follow all of the Pennsylvania Game Commission rules.
RV lovers who are also keen anglers will love visiting Keystone State Park thanks to Keystone Lake being stocked year-round with both warm and cold-water fish. Some of the common species found in the lake that you can try your hand at catching include trout, largemouth 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, so you know its well worth packing the fishing pole.
Are you interested in exploring Keystone Lake? During the summertime, visitors are welcome to head out on the lake to have some fun or chill out in their chosen watercraft. If you don't have your own boat, 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.
There is a great swimming beach on the banks of Keystone Lake that is open for swimming between Memorial Day and Labor Day from 8 AM until sunset. The sandy beach is also a great place to relax once you've gone in the water or for those who aren't wanting to take a dip — feeling hungry? A food concession stand is open during the swimming season, and it is convenient because it is near the beach. The stand has hot and cold food, so there is something for every taste.
The banks of Keystone Lake are waiting for you to host a picnic during your visit to the park. There are plenty of places for you to throw down a picnic blanket, as well as two pavilions that are suited to larger groups. Found on the lakes north side and below the dam, the spacious pavilions come equipped with charcoal grills, drinking water, and electric outlets. The pavilions are eligible to be reserved 11 months in advance, or they are free to use on a first-come, first-served basis if they are not occupied.