Surrounded by stunning mixed northern hardwood forest, Lyman Run State Park is a northern Pennsylvania gem that is a must-see state park for RV travelers. The 595-acre park is named after the creek that runs through it. Major Isaac Lyman was an American Revolutionary War veteran who was one of the first permanent settlers in Potter County in 1809. Major Lyman is recognized as the founder of Potter County and is the namesake of the creek. The area was part of the massive lumbering operation that occurred in north-central Pennsylvania in the 1880s and 1890s. In the 1930s, a Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) camp was established to start building the park's amenities, many of which still stand today. During the summertime, Lyman Run Lake is the center of outdoor recreation. The lake provides a location to swim, boat, and fish, which are all extremely popular activities within the park. During the winter, the lake freezes over and transforms into a great ice skating location. The park also has some great hiking trails and some specific areas where the use of ATVs is allowed. Whether you're new to RV camping or a seasoned nomad, Lyman Run State Park has two RV and trailer-friendly campgrounds. The two campgrounds together have 29 electric sites with water hookups. There are also flush toilets and warm showers available for use, along with a dump station at Lower Campground. Camping is available from the second weekend in April to December when the deer season ends. Peak season at Lyman Run State Park runs from the start of April to the end of October.
Lyman Run State Park is located in northern Pennsylvania. The park is almost surrounded by the Susquehannock State Forest and is 15 miles east of Coudersport and seven miles west of Galeton on Lyman Run Road. Some smaller towns are located within 20 miles of the park, including West Pike, Brookland, and Gains. To the south of the park, there are no towns or amenities close by due to the area being heavily forested. There are also big cities located close to the park, with Binghamton, NY being the closest at around 120 miles away. The park is accessible via the US-6 from the north of the park and the east of the park. The area is heavily wooded but is well maintained, so even large trailers and RVs shouldn't have trouble with overhanging branches. As you approach the park, you will lose all cell phone reception, and there will be only one radio station. During the wintertime, this area does get quite a lot of snow, so if you plan on visiting during this time, make sure you check the forecast before you start your journey.
Lower Campground is the smaller of the two campgrounds available at Lyman Run State Park. This seasonally operating campground is located at the southern end of the park and is the furthest campground away from the beach. There are 12 RV-friendly sites available for use. All of the sites have 50-amp connections, and all of the sites are pet-friendly. The sites at Lower Campground vary from back-in and pull-through spaces, and many sites can handle RVs up to 40 feet in length. You can find bathrooms and hot showers at Lower Campground, and there is also a dump station available for use. There is no cell phone or television reception at Lower Campground, but the ranger station is close by if you need to contact anyone or if there is an emergency.
Dagget Hollow Campground is the larger of the two campgrounds available at Lyman Run State Park. The Dagget Hollow Campground is also a seasonally operating campground, but this camping area is located at the northern end of the park and is the closest campground to the beach. There are 16 RV-friendly sites, and each space has a 50-amp connection, a picnic table, a fire ring, and a lantern hanger. Be aware if you are a pet owner, only a few of these sites are pet-friendly. All of the sites are back-in and can handle RVs up to 40 feet in length. You can find bathrooms and hot showers at Dagget Hollow Campground, but there is no dump station. There is no cell phone or television reception at Dagget Hollow, but the ranger station is close by if you need to contact anyone or if there is an emergency.
During the wintertime, Lyman Run State Park turns into a winter wonderland. Lyman Run Lake provides you with ample winter recreational opportunities on the park's multi-use trails. If you like winter sports, try sledding, snowmobiling, and cross country skiing, but don't forget to bring your gear with you, as there are no rentals available at the park. If you like ice activities, try ice skating or ice fishing once the lake's ice becomes thick enough to withstand the weight safely.
For those who attached ATV to the back of the rig, there are plenty of opportunities for you to go riding around Lyman Run State Park. Park your rig at the Lyman Run ATV trailhead, where you can load and unload your ATV. The trailhead has space for five vehicles with trailers. There are over 43 miles of trails that you can ride in the Susquehannock ATV trail system, which at one point, connects to the Lyman Run ATV trailhead. If you need to use restrooms on your ride, there are some at the beach area that is within walking distance of the joint ATV trailhead.
Hiking is a great way to get out of the pop-up and see the sights around Lyman Run State Park on your own two feet. In total, five routes have six miles of trails located within the park. If you are looking for an easy hike, check out the Spur Line Trail. On this trail, you will find bumps that are the remains of old railroad ties from the days when logs were pulled through this area during the lumbering era. If you are looking for a challenge, check out the Beehive Trail—the most difficult trail in the park. If you've hiked all six miles of trail that Lyman Run State Park has to offer, there is an 85-mile loop that connects with the Susquehannock State Forest trail system. This loop is rugged and challenging, so those hardy enough to take it on should be prepared for a challenge. The system also traverses through parts of the Denton Hill State Park, Patterson State Park, and Ole Bull State Park.
For those looking to experience wildlife in its natural habitat, you don't have to look much further. If you venture out of the Sprinter, you may be lucky enough to observe wild turkeys, white-tailed deer, black bears, bobcats, and coyotes. Your chances of seeing these critters increase during the off-season because fewer people are contributing to noise output. To further better your odds, tread lightly and avoid speaking loudly. Make sure to keep a safe distance from any wildlife you encounter and never disturb, provoke, or approach any wild creature.
When the temperatures drop low enough, Lyman Run Lake becomes an ice-fishing paradise. The ice on the lake is often thick enough for ice fishing in the winter; however, the thickness is not monitored by the park. Individuals are responsible for testing the ice with an auger before dropping a line. Four inches is safe for one person, but a small group requires a minimum of seven inches. If the conditions are right, anglers can try for rainbow and palomino trout while taking in beautiful winter views of the surrounding area.
Over 500 acres of the park are open for hunting, trapping, and dog training during the established hunting seasons. Before you set out from the RV, make sure you are up to date on current rules and regulations and know which areas in the park allow hunting, trapping, and dog training. The most common game species within the park are deer, turkey, and bear. If the 500 acres inside of Lyman Run State Park aren't enough for you, hunting is also allowed in the nearby Susquehannock State Forest.
Not only does Lyman Run Lake provide a great place to swim and boat, but it is also an amazing fishing hole. The lake has exceptional water quality and is known for providing excellent trout fishing. Lyman Run Lake is a wonderful place to cast your reel because The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission stocks the water with rainbow and palomino trout throughout the fishing season. If you don't prefer trout, see if you can catch bluegill, another species found in the lake.
Boating fans will be impressed with the boating facilities available at Lyman Run State Park. If you didn't tow your own boat behind the rig, there are boat rentals available at the bathhouse near the lake. On Lyman Run Lake, you will also find a launching ramp and a courtesy dock for you to use. There is also a mooring area that holds up to 60 boats. If you would like to moor your boat, a permit is required, but it can easily be attained at the park office. Electric motors are the only motorized boat permitted on the lake.
Don't forget to pack your bathing suit in the camper because there is a sandy beach located on the banks of Lyman Run Lake that is open from late-May until mid-September. If you like to swim or sit on the beach, there's no better way to relax during the summer than by hitting the beach and soaking up some sun. Staying lakeside is easy at Lyman Run Lake because there is a snack bar, boat rental, a changing room, and restrooms, all located near the beach.
If you are in this area of Pennsylvania during the spring, head to Lyman Run State Park and witness the end of an old season, and the beginning of a new season right before your very eyes. All you'll need is a set of patient eyes and a pair of binoculars to watch the nesting of pied-billed grebes, wood ducks, and red-breasted mergansers. If you keep your eyes to the sky, you can see migrating waterfowl like common loon and merganser.