Little Buffalo State Park | Outdoorsy

Little Buffalo State Park
Guide

Introduction

Encompassing 923 acres in Perry County, south-central Pennsylvania, Little Buffalo State Park merges history, nature, and recreation. With the peak season being from April to October, this park is a great destination for an RV vacation in a quiet environment. Located near Harrisburg, Little Buffalo State Park offers visitors a wide range of activities including swimming, hiking, and birding.

For water sports lovers there is a swimming pool near the parking area that is open from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Kids and adults can have a field day on the two slides and splash pad. For more water adventures, visitors can kayak or canoe on Holman Lake. Love hunting? Inside the Little Buffalo State Park forest, there are 300 designated acres of land open for hunting wild turkey, deer, and grouse with ADA accessible areas.

The campground is intimate with 30 sites offering hookups for RVs. Two of these offer full hookups, while the rest offer water and 50-amp electric hookups. The dump station is just outside the campground. The campground is about a mile from the pool and lake activities, offering a quiet break away.

The park regularly hosts various events including dog training programs and teachers’ workshops. The red covered bridge, the old caboose and Shoaff’s Mill are just some of the historic sites that can be enjoyed in the park. These are also great places to take photos. Little Buffalo State Park is intersected with numerous hiking trails suitable for all ages and skill levels, making it easy to experience nature and appreciate history with your entire family. With so many activities to choose from it's no wonder that so many RV campers enjoy a trip to Little Buffalo State Park.

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Camping Accommodations

55'
Max RV length
55'
Max trailer Length
Electrical hookup
Water hookup
Generator use
Food storage
Sewer hookup
Dogs & cats

RV Rentals in Little Buffalo State Park

Transportation

Driving

Little Buffalo State Park is conveniently located about 29 miles from Harrisburg and just over 65 miles from State College. Situated a few miles from Newport, on Little Buffalo Road, Little Buffalo State Park is easily accessed by all types of vehicles. Roads to the park from all across the state have sections of steep inclines and declines as they meander through the Appalachian mountain folds. Make sure to drive a comfortable speed so that your rig can handle the road conditions. Take your time and enjoy the beautiful scenery along the way. The closest gas station to the park is in Newport, where you will also find ATMs, restaurants, supermarkets, and supply stores.

At an elevation of 643 feet, some sections of the roads within the park are hilly, steep, and rough. On these roads, you'll want to drive slow if you are in a larger RV. Some campsites may flood during the heavy downfall. All the main roads around the park are paved with a few dirt roads branching off to different activities. The roads in and around the campground are all dirt roads, so drive carefully.

Parking

The main parking lot is near the pool, and there are also paved parking areas on the western side of the park near the boat launch and park office. During the busy seasons, consider parking your RV at the campground and walking to the pool, hiking trails, and other nearby activities.

Public Transportation

Campgrounds and parking in Little Buffalo State Park

Campsites in Little Buffalo State Park

Reservations camping

Little Buffalo State Park RV Camping

The Little Buffalo State Park campground is a family-friendly and pet-friendly facility with 43 campsites available for RVs, tents, and trailers. Situated on the north side of the park, about a mile away from the lake, this little campground is quiet and peaceful.

This campground features 28 sites that offer water and 50-amp electrical hookups. There are also 12 sites that don't have any hookups. Plus, there are two back-in sites that offer full hookups for RVs with a maximum length of 40 feet. Both sites are also ADA-accessible. While each campsite varies in size, RVs and trailers up to 55 feet long can be accommodated.

You can relax or cook a meal at your campsite since a picnic table, fire ring, and/or grill is provided. Other amenities at this campground include water spigots, a dump station, a recreation hall, a food store, hot showers, and restrooms. To make up for its small size, campsites are neat, quiet, and well maintained. There is also good internet connectivity. For grocery supplies, there is a grocery store in nearby Newport. Campsites can be reserved up to 11 months in advance, and the campground is open from April to October.

Alternate camping

Walk-in Camp Sites

If you want some peace and quiet, book a night at one of three walk-in campsites. The short walk is about 800 feet to your site. These sites can sleep up to five people, and you'll find a flushing toilet and shower nearby. Here you'll have your own lantern hook, fire ring with grill, and picnic table.

Modern Cabin

The park has one modern cabin that can accommodate up to eight people and is ADA-accessible. This cabin is a real home away from home! Equipped with a fridge, oven, toaster, microwave, dishwasher, and washer/dryer, you could comfortably spend a long time holidaying here. There are three bedrooms and two bathrooms, with plenty of space for guests to make themselves comfortable.

Camping Cottages

There are four camping cottages available for rent across the road from the campground. Here, up to five people can be accommodated on bunk beds in one room. The second room has a table with chairs. The cottages have electricity and offer lights, ceiling fans, and electric heating. Outdoors you'll find a communal water spigot, picnic table, and fire ring. Toilets and showers are a short walk away in the campground shower house. Two of the cottages are pet-friendly, and you're welcome to bring up to two dogs along for an additional fee.

Seasonal activities in Little Buffalo State Park

In-Season

Fishing and Boating

Named after Allan W. Holman, who was one of the founding members of the park's creation in 1972, the 88-acre Holman Lake is stocked with plenty of yellow perch. Licensed anglers can also catch largemouth bass, catfish, and rainbow trout from the shores or from the boat. Little Buffalo State Park has two public boat launches located on the northern side of the lake and an ADA accessible fishing pier. Recreational boating, paddling, and canoeing are permitted. Ice fishing is open during the winter season too. It is recommended anglers be armed with a life jacket for safety purposes.

Visiting Historical Sites

If you're an RVer and a history buff, you've come to the right place. The Little Buffalo State Park is rich with history, featuring four historic sites.

Built in 1849, the restored historic Shoaff’s mill is still used today to grind cornmeal and apples. In October the mill hosts the Apple Festival, where you can see the grinding process and sample baked goods and fresh apple products.

Spread across the Little Buffalo Creek, visitors can walk across the 82-feet clay covered red bridge for amazing views of the park. Initially built in 1890, the bridge is one of the most prominent Perry County historical sites.

You can also check out the Blue Ball Tavern Museum and Library, which was originally used as a resting and meeting place for messengers delivering information to the warriors during the War of 1812 and stopped being operational in 1841. You can also explore and take pictures of the remains of the Newport and Sherman’s Valley Railroad, which dates back to 1890.

Hiking

Little Buffalo State Park has eight miles of well-established and marked trails. If you are a history fan, you will love hiking the Bull Ball Trail. If you are more inclined towards nature, the one-mile Fisherman’s Trail and Little Buffalo Creek Trail will fully quench your thirst with lake views and lush green vegetation. If you need to burn some calories, there is a designated one-mile Exercise Trail with 18 stations where visitors can engage in all sorts of exercises. Little Buffalo State Park is one of few state parks that hold Volksmarching, or fitness walking events throughout the year. During the winter, some trails are open for cross-country skiing.

Off-Season

Picnicking

Little Buffalo State Park has two picnic sites where you can enjoy a relaxing meal during your RV trip to PA. One is called the East Picnic Area, while the Main Picnic Area is located near the recreational pool surrounded by giant shady trees. Both are strategically located near the waterfront with excellent views of the beautiful lake Holman. The picnic areas house a kids’ playground, first aid station, restroom building, charcoal grills, tables, horseshoe pits, and sheltered pavilion.

Birding and Wildlife Viewing

Little Buffalo State Park is a bird watcher's haven with over 100 species spotted all year round. Birdlife varies across the park's diverse habitats. From herons, bald eagles, and ospreys preying on aquatic animals on the shores of the lake to turkeys and grouse resting on the giant oaks, avid birdwatchers are guaranteed great views from any location within the park. Little Buffalo State Park is also a habitat for mammals such as deer, rabbits and black bears and reptiles including snakes and turtles. So make sure you pack your binoculars in your camper to catch a glimpse of these unique native creatures.

Attending Christmas Festivals and Special Events

How about spending your Christmas time with family members in solitude in the middle of the woods? Each year from December 17th to 23rd, Little Buffalo State Park marks the Christmas season with elegant light displays, live music concerts, and festive treats. This free program is made possible by the Friends of Little Buffalo and volunteers. Other regularly scheduled programs hosted by the park include educational, environmental programs, campfire programs, and Halloween Night.

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