Encompassing 923 acres in Perry County, south-central Pennsylvania, an excursion to 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, as well as adults, can have a field day on the two slides and splash pad. For more water adventures, visitors can kayak or canoe in Holman Lake. Love hunting? Inside the Little Buffalo State Park forest, there is a 300 designated acres of land open for hunting wild turkey, deer, and grouse with ADA accessible areas. Occasionally the park hosts dog training programs and teachers’ workshops as well. With so many activities to choose from it's no wonder why so many RV campers enjoy a trip to Little Buffalo State Park.
RV Rentals in Little Buffalo State Park
Transportation in Little Buffalo State Park
Little Buffalo State Park is conveniently located about a half-hour from Harrisburg and just over an hour from State College. Situated a few miles from Newport, off Pennsylvania Route 34, Little Buffalo State Park is easily accessed by all types of vehicles. Coming from Newport take PA 322 you drive for one mile and make a right turn to the Little Buffalo Road and then drive for five miles until you get to the parks’ entrance. 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.
The main parking lot is near the pool with many more parking sites in the campground. 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.
Campgrounds and parking in Little Buffalo State Park
Campsites in Little Buffalo State Park
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. The campground is open from April to October.
This campground features 28 sites that offer water and electrical hookups. There are also 12 sites which provide water hookups only. Plus, there are two sites that offer full hookups. 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, 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.
There are modern cabins and camping cottages available for rent as well. Cabins are air-conditioned and furnished with refrigerator, microwave, and dishwashers.
There are no first-come, first-served camping options at this state park.
Seasonal activities in Little Buffalo State Park
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 the few state parks that hold Volksmarching, or fitness walking events, throughout the year. During the winter some trails are open for cross-country skiing.
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 historical 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 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.
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 large mouth 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.
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.
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.
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.