Surrounded by the wilderness of Susquehannock State Forest and featuring plenty of fun for RV adventure lovers, Ole Bull State Park is a must-visit for those in Pennsylvania. Despite only consisting of 132 acres, the park features the enchanting hues of Kettle Creek, a beautiful stream of water that flows in the middle of the park and a diverse range of wildlife that will make your jaws drop. Ole Bull State Park is named after a famous Norwegian violinist Ole Bull who set up a Norwegian establishment in the area long before it became a state park. If you are looking to spend some time camping in a quiet atmosphere close to nature, this Pennsylvania state park is an ideal choice. Surrounded by the endless acres of Susquehannock State Forest, the park is every bit worthy of bringing your RV for some downtime. There is no limit to outdoor recreation at Ole Bull State Park. From hiking and mountain biking to fishing and hunting, you will be satisfied with the amount of fun you can have. The winter offerings in the form of cross-country skiing and snowmobiling are also a big hit among winter campers and visitors. For visitors who are looking to kick back and relax, we recommend a nice relaxing picnic or a dip in Kettle Creek to clear your mind. Wildlife viewing and birdwatching is excellent as well. The state park is open for year-round camping with two separate campgrounds that contain a total of 81 RV friendly sites — spring, summer, and fall mark the busiest camping seasons at the park. For visitors looking for alternate accommodation, we recommend you check out the one and a half story Ole Bull Cabin which available to rent for overnight accommodations throughout the year. Peak season at Ole Bull State Park runs from April until October.
Ole Bull State Park is quite a famous location in Potter County. The park is situated along Kettle Creek, a stream flowing through Clinton, Potter, and Tioga counties in Pennsylvania. The park is just a 10-minute drive from the town of Cross Fork. Following either a map or GPS, you will not have any significant difficulty in accessing the park. The town of Renovo and Galeton are also not far from the park, so you can check them out if you would like to explore more of the surrounding area.
If the weather permits, you will access the park via PA-144, which is the only way to reach the park entrance. You may find the highway closed during most of the winter due to heavy snowfall. If visiting in the winter, we recommend that you check for seasonal road closures in advance so that you don't get stranded on your way.
There are no strict driving rules for RVs in the park, except that driving speed should not exceed 25 miles per hour. There are two unpaved parking lots in the loops of the campground, and a large, unpaved parking lot is also available near the picnic pavilion. If you are visiting for the day, you can park your camper near the pavilion before heading over to hike any surrounding trails or before you want to claim your site in the picnic area. A paved parking lot can also be found near the park office at the entrance.
Ole Bull State Park has two RV friendly campgrounds that are located on the southwest and northern sides of Kettle Creek. Camp Area One is the largest of the two and contains 46 campsites, 32 of which are equipped with electric and water hookups. Visitors who are interested in swimming during their time in the park often stay at Campground One since it located very close to the sandy swimming beach.
One of the significant differences between the two campgrounds is that Camping Area One is not pet-friendly, so if you have a furry friend, you will have to stay in Camping Area Two. An ADA accessible restroom with showers is available within the campground, along with a sand volleyball court, playground, and water collection points. Reservations are recommended if you are visiting during the peak season since it can be a popular place to stay. While the campground is usually open all year, during the wintertime, some amenities may not be open for use.
Camping Area Two is the smaller campground, but it is still jampacked full of great amenities. There are a total of 32 campsites, 24 of which have electric hookups, but unlike Camping Area One, none of the sites have water hookups. Each campsite comes equipped with a picnic table, fire ring, and a level gravel pad.
This campground is located near the park office on the opposite side of the river, so in order to use the beach, you will have to cross the creek. Pets are also allowed in Camping Area Two, although an extra fee is required. Campground specific amenities include an ADA accessible restroom featuring hot showers, while a playground and car parking is also available nearby. Most of the sites at Campground Two and One are quite small, so RVs over 36 feet won't be able to stay at the park.
Wi-Fi is not available in any of the two camping areas, but you should be able to get phone reception on all of the major networks. Reservations can also be made for Campground Two, and each site can accommodate up to five people.
A totally unique accommodation option at Ole Bull State Park is the Ole Bull Cabin. The cabin is quite large and contains three bedrooms over one and a half stories that can sleep up to 12 people. The cabin also contains a modern kitchen, an ADA accessible bathroom, and a standard bathroom. No pets are allowed within Ole Bull Cabin, and you must contact the park for reservation information since it cannot be reserved like the campgrounds online.
While exploring Ole Bull State Park during your RV camping stay, you will hopefully come across a variety of interesting bird species. The most popular areas for birders to check out are the wooded trails, but there are also plenty of waterfowl that hang out at Kettle Creek. If you have binoculars, we recommend that you carry them with you at all times and ask one of the helpful staff members for a birding checklist so that you can count how many species you see during your stay.
If you are in for a cross-country skiing or snowmobiling adventure, drive your camper to Ole Bull State Park in the winter and get ready to have the time of your life! A snowmobile trailhead in the park will lead you to nearly a hundred miles of skiing trails in the surrounding Susquehannock State Forest. From open spaces and roadways to wooded trails, you will find an opportunity to race your snowmobile through a variety of terrains. During the wintertime, the park’s hiking trails are groomed for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, so you will have plenty of fun during the winter recreation season. We recommend that you bring all of your equipment with you as rentals may not be available.
Hunting can be extraordinarily good at Ole Bull State Park thanks to the many diverse game species that make your search a spectacular experience. Deer, turkey, grouse, beer, and squirrel are abundantly available for an incredible wild hunt. You are also allowed to train your dogs on the 25-acres of land designated for hunting and trapping. The hunting season begins every year during the camping off-season from Labor Day through the end of March, but before you start your hunt, make sure you follow the rules and regulations outlined by the Pennsylvania Game Commission.
A variety of picnicking options are available for you to choose from along the banks of Kettle Creek. Many picnic tables are free for you to use on a first-come, first-served basis, but if you are traveling with a larger group, we recommend you reserve one of the four picnic pavilions. Stone Pavillion is our pick since it is the only shelter that has electricity available. Reservations can be made up to 11 months in advance.
If you love to hike, you will be impressed by the four scenic trails available for you to explore within the park. In total, the four trails contain five miles suitable for hiking that perfectly captures the beauty and splendor of the park. Each trail has something unique to offer, so you will have a fantastic experience as you hike one trail to another. Our favorite is the Daugherty Loop Trail that takes you on an exploration of the ancient loggings and rail grades while gradually drawing you into the surrounding forest wilderness. If you are looking for more hiking experiences, you can also check out the 85-mile Susquehannock Trail System.
RV travelers who are also keen anglers will have to check out Kettle Creek, which is a freshwater stream flowing in the middle of the park that is an excellent fishery. There are plenty of different species that call the river home, but trout are the most popular to target as they are in abundance. There are many varieties that you might be able to catch, including rainbow, brown, and brook trout. You will need a valid fishing license to cast out a line and make sure not to fish within the sandy beach area.