Lackawanna is an Indian American word that means “the meeting of two streams.” Lackawanna State Park in Dalton, Pennsylvania is the embodiment of that word and houses four tributaries along with the Lackawanna Lake. Located just 10 miles north of Scranton, the park has a rich history starting many years before 1805 when one of the first settlers came to call this place his home. From then on, the town grew due to its location along trade Route 407. Civilians later opened a blacksmith shop, schools, a church, a store, a gristmill, a tavern, a post office, and a wheelwright shop.
Due to a minor feud between the water company and the railroad company, the rates of water were eventually lowered and the expansion of the cities continued to prosper. In 1946, a law was passed that allowed for the land to be purchased for a state park and construction began in 1968. Dr. Maurice Goddard, the secretary of the Department of Forests and Waters, started an initiative to create parks within 25 miles of residential areas. The park was opened in 1975 and since then has continued to serve as a place for family fun and adventure.
Lackawanna State Park is a 1,445-acre park with a 198-acre lake providing year-round recreation for campers from all walks of life. The lake is the central attraction offering an idyllic setting for fishing, swimming, and boating. There are plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy from ice skating and sledding in the winter, to biking and horseback riding in the summer. The park enjoys cool summers and cold winters. The park has 102 sites for camping and 68 of them are specifically for RV Camping. Lackawanna State Park serves as a wonderful RV destination to sit back and enjoy the beauty of mother nature in the Keystone State.
RV Rentals in Lackawanna State Park
Transportation in Lackawanna State Park
Lackawanna State Park can easily be reached off I-81, with close proximity to Scranton and surrounding towns near Dalton, Pennsylvania. Those who have reservations should go directly to the campgrounds on Fair Grounds Road. You will need to stop by the Campground Contact Station to pay for any permits and licenses you may need. Those who do not have a reservation should head to the main office to pay for park entrance fees and other permits they might need. With Scranton being within 10 miles, you can easily stock up on groceries and do a little shopping in town.
The road leading into the park is a bit hilly and narrow, so it’s best to drive slowly and be on the lookout for the entrance. A large sign will welcome you to the park and provide directions as to where you may want to go next. The roads are well maintained and the Rangers make it their duty to greet each visitor and assist them in finding the correct loop. There are four different campgrounds that house RVs. Not all of them allow pets, so check before you reserve your spot, if you’ve brought your furry friend along. If you plan to arrive later than indicated, then you should call ahead and a ranger will meet you near the entrance to help you check in.
The campground’s high elevation helps to prevent excess flooding, but be advised that the campground may close due to bad weather. Be sure to watch the forecast for the days of your travel and remember to pack a jacket as the nights can get pretty chilly. It is recommended that you either walk or ride a bike around the park to truly enjoy what it has to offer. In the event of inclement weather, the park will reach out to its visitors and provide a plan of action to secure your safety.
The park is spread out around Lackawanna Lake, but parking is available in several areas on different sides of the lake. The largest section with parking is located on the north end of the lake, which is where you will find the campgrounds and boat rental area. Parking is available towards the northeastern end of the lake by Bullhead Bay where you find a boat launch. Lastly, you can head on the southern side of the lake near the South Shore where you will find parking by another boat launch or near the Park Office.
Campgrounds and parking in Lackawanna State Park
Campsites in Lackawanna State Park
Carpenter Town Campground
Carpenter Town Campground is located near Fairground Hill Road and offers 51 sites with electrical hookups. There are no water or sewer hookups available at this campsite. A dumping station is located near the back of the campground and there is a water spigot near Tall Timbers walk-in campground. The campground opens every year on the second Friday in April and closes on the third Sunday in October. Amenities included are recycling bins, trash cans, hot showers, restrooms, picnic tables, and fire rings.
This campground does not allow pets of any kind. You must get locally approved firewood if you wish to have a fire. This campground leads to the swimming pool and the boat rental store. You may register up to 11 months in advance and may only stay a limit of 14 days during camping season and may stay for 21 consecutive days during the remainder of the year. While site size ranges, RVs up to 40 feet long can be accommodated.
Fox Run Cmapground
Fox Run Campground is one of the two campgrounds that are pet-friendly. You can reserve any of the 15 sites. Keep in mind that some of the sites are primitive and do not have water, electricity, or sewer hookup available. There is a water spigot available and a dumping station is located near Carpenter Town Campground. Amenities included are hot showers, restrooms, recycling bins, and picnic tables.
Only eight sites in this campground have 40-amp hookups. When making a reservation, be sure to ask which sites have hookups and which do not. You may use a generator only if it does not make an excessive amount of noise, and you must abide by quiet hours. You are prohibited from gathering firewood and may only burn locally approved firewood. Please remember to burn all firewood before you leave rather than taking it with you. You may stay a maximum of 14 days during the camping season and may stay up to 21 consecutive days during the remainder of the year. You may reserve your spot up to 11 months in advance.
Maple Lane Campground
Maple Lane Campground is another area that allows pets. This area has 11 sites with 50-amp electrical hookups. There are no water and sewer hookups available, but a dumping station is located near the Carpenter Town Campground, and water spigots are available as well. Amenities included are hot showers, restrooms, fire rings, and picnic tables.
Firewood is not provided and you are prohibited from gathering, chopping down trees, or bringing firewood from home. You must use locally approved firewood only. Any extra firewood that may be left over from your visit should be burned before you depart from the campground to prevent the spreading of insects and diseases harmful to trees. Camping season is from the second Friday in April and ends on the third Sunday in October. You may camp for 14 consecutive days at a time during camping season and may stay up to 21 days at a time the remainder of the year. You may reserve a spot up to 11 months in advance, but walk-ins are also available.
Little Fern Loop Campground
Little Fern Loop is the smallest RV campground in the park. This site has only five spots. The majority of the spots are for smaller campers. There are no hookups in this area but water is provided and a dumping station is located near Carpenter Town Campground. You are allowed to use a generator but only if it does not make an excessive amount of noise. You are to follow the park’s quiet hours at all times. Amenities included are hot showers, recycling bins, trash cans, fire rings, and picnic tables.
You may only use locally approved firewood in the park and may not chop down trees or gather wood in the park. Firewood is not provided from the park. If you have extra firewood left over from your stay, you must burn it and are not allowed to take it home with you. Neither are you allowed to bring firewood from home. You may stay a maximum of 14 days during camping season and 21 days the rest of the year. You are allowed to reserve a spot up to 11 months in advance.
If you did not make a reservation in advance you may be able to snag an open spot if any are available. Make sure to check in with the park rangers when you arrive. If any sites are available they will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis.
Seasonal activities in Lackawanna State Park
Lake Lackawanna offers year-round fishing for the dedicated fisherman. The 198-acre lake offers cold and warm water fishing. You will need a valid fishing license before you are able to fish. The exception to the rule is if you are under the age of 17 years old. Common species found in the lake are walleye, perch, channel catfish, and bass. There is a small pond in the northern side of the park for youth fishing for ages 12 and under. In winter, you can try ice fishing, but please remember to follow all safety regulations and check the weather ahead of time before you venture out onto the ice.
The park comes equipped with a pool for summertime fun. The pool opens the weekend of Memorial Day and closes the weekend after Labor Day. There is no swimming allowed in the lake or surrounding ponds at any time during your stay, but hopping into the pool is a great way to cool off. Please remember to follow all safety regulations while in the water. The park also provides an ADA area for those with disabilities to join in the water activities.
18 miles of trails are specifically put aside for foot traffic only. You can explore the different trails with your family or by yourself. Remember to take a map of the trails with you for your own safety. If for some reason you get lost, follow the nearest rail to the trailhead and a staff member or ranger will stop by to give you a guiding hand. There are other trails that you can explore, but keep in mind that you may come across a horseback rider or two if you decide to venture on your own. Pack a pair of sturdy hiking boots in the RV, as some trails are harder than others. Remember to carry your water bottle and a snack if you plan to be on the trails all day.
In the winter months if the weather permits, the park’s staff will clear an area near the fishing pier to allow ice skating, so don’t forget to pack those ice skates in the RV. The staff does not monitor the thickness of the ice, so be sure to check it out before you go. Please remember to follow all safety regulations when on the ice. You must wear a life jacket and remember to spread out on the ice so as to not weaken it due to the number of people in one area. Be sure to avoid areas where there are logs, fallen trees, grass, and the dock, as these areas can absorb heat and make the ice thinner.
The main picnic area overlooks the lake with a grill nearby and picnic tables for you to use. You may also choose to lay a blanket down on the grass to enjoy a lovely evening with family and friends. The smaller picnic areas are located near Bullhead Bay Boat Launch to the north and the States Creek Mooring Area to the southern end of the lake. There are grills and restrooms littered throughout the area for your convenience. The three picnic pavilions may be reserved up to 11 months in advance, so if you know when you’re bringing the RV, you can book the picnic area for the same time. Without a reservation, the area follows the first-come, first-served basis.
Trails are available for horseback riding in the park as well. While this is not an equestrian park, they do provide an area for you to unload your horse along the northeastern section of the park near Wallsville Road. Horses are not allowed on the walking trails and must be monitored at all times. No time during your visit should your horse be left wandering about without supervision. Horses must be kept up to code and please remember to clean up after your horse and provide both drinking water and any feed they may need.