Sprawling across an area of 6,249 acres, Prince Gallitzin State Park offers a spectacular view of the lush green hills of the Allegheny Plateau. Located in Patton, Pennsylvania, this family-friendly camping haven has something for everyone. Mountains, forests, rivers, and lakes — the park has everything you need for all kinds of recreational pursuits when you bring your RV.
The park also has an interesting history of its namesake. Prince Gallitzin was actually Father Demetrius Augustine Gallitzin, who was born in the Netherlands in 1770. In the 1790s, Gallitzin came to the US and was impressed with the area, deciding to stay and become a priest at the Sulpician Seminary in Baltimore. The park was named for him because he had a big part in settling Cambria County and the town that is now Gallitzin.
If you’re an adventurous soul, Prince Gallitzin State Park won’t let you down. The vast area of the park features varied habitats, so it is home to different types of wildlife. It’s a convenient stop for birds during fall migration, making it a bird-watching paradise. Adding to the beauty of nature is the 1,635-acre Glendale Lake, which provides excellent outdoor recreational opportunities. Its 26-mile shoreline attracts anglers and boaters from all over the country. Water babies particularly enjoy boating, fishing, ice fishing, kayaking, and swimming.
Other activities that can get your adrenaline rushing at the park include hiking, mountain biking, cross-country skiing, and sledding. The park is also equally welcoming to those who want just to sit back and relax. It features a large campground with RV and tent sites, modern cabins, and deluxe camping cottages. One of the best state parks in Pennsylvania, Prince Gallitzin State Park is a perfect RV getaway for those who want to get closer to nature and unwind. With a large campground and a plethora of outdoor activities, there is never a dull moment here.
Easily accessible by car and RV, Prince Gallitzin State Park is situated in northern Cambria County. You can reach the park by taking PA-36, PA-53 from I-99 to the south or east, and US-219 in the west and north. All the routes are extremely scenic, so don’t forget to stop in for a few photographs on the way. Less than two hours from Pittsburgh to the west and only a little over two hours to Harrisburg to the east, you are not too far from some big cities if you want to visit them.
The road leading to the park is not very clearly marked, so you may have a tough time if you miss a turn. Keep a map of Pennsylvania handy; you’ll need to look at the map to find out the right turns now and then. Mark out the GPS coordinates to make it easier for you to find.
During the peak season, it can be tough to find a parking spot at the state park. It has multiple parking areas, one of which is located slightly further away from the campground. The beach parking lots are the best in terms of proximity, design, and privacy. For each campsite, only one car is allowed.
Crooked Run Campground at Prince Gallitzin State Park features 398 campsites that are available for RVs from late April to late October. Surrounded by Glendale Lake on three sides, the campground is just a stone’s throw away from the swimming beach. The ADA camping sites are spread out across the large campground. Out of the total seven large areas marked for camping, only two of them are pet-friendly. If you’re planning to take your pet along, make sure you mention that while making a reservation. Some of these sites on the campground only offer electric hookups while others have full-service hookups that include sewer, water, and electricity.
The huge campground makes life easy for campers as it has laundry facilities, sanitary dump stations, showers, flush toilets, paved sites, playgrounds, and even Wi-Fi. Campers can stay at the campground for 21 consecutive nights; however, between Memorial Day to Labor Day, campers can stay there for only 14 consecutive nights. Make sure you reserve a spot ahead of time to get the site and the amenities that you want.
There are 10 modern cabins open year-round. Each cabin has two or three bedrooms, a kitchen, dining room, living room, and a bathroom with a shower. They’re located by the marina and picnic area on Lakeshore Trail. Cabin seven is ADA accessible, and cabins one and 10 are pet-friendly. There are three camping cottages by the campground that are open from April through October. They accommodate up to five people and have bunk beds, a porch, electric heat and utilities, a picnic table, and fire ring. There are also two deluxe camping cottages in the campground that are open from April until November. They have two furnished rooms with a full kitchen, electric heat and utilities, bunk beds, a porch, picnic table, and a fire ring. The cottages are pet-friendly, and two of them are ADA accessible.
Prince Gallitzin State Park has a plethora of different species of birds, animals, and fish. As the habitat within the park changes, so does the wildlife found there. Areas like Slatelick, Wyerough Branch, and Mudlick are great places to spot herons and ducks. You can also spot waterfowl at the lake during spring and fall. This awesome park hosts a variety of birds, which include vireos and warblers.
The 1,635-acre Glendale Lake in Prince Gallitzin State Park is a great place to get on a boat and enjoy the serenity of nature around. There are nine boat ramps to launch from, which are all spread out across the park. They also have special accommodations to tie up your runabouts, sailboats, and pontoon boats. If you’re taking your own motorboat, make sure you’ve got all your registration documents in place. You will be required to show them.
Whether you are a seasoned hiker or an amateur one, it doesn’t really matter. Prince Gallitzin State Park has 20 trails totaling 32.65 miles that pass through many habitats. Those who want to test their hiking skills and challenge themselves should go for Foster Run Trail. The pathway stretches for almost two miles, and this trail goes through a remote area in the park that features thick woods over rolling hills. For an easy hike, pick Herman Fields Trail, Poems Trail, or Campground Trail.
Muskrat Beach at Prince Gallitzin State Park is yours to enjoy while you are visiting, so make sure you pack your beach toys in the RV before heading out. This gorgeous sandy beach is by the day-use area along the service road, and it is open from 8 AM until sunset from May until mid-September. You’ll also find modern bathhouses, dressing rooms, a large picnic area, volleyball courts, and disc golf closeby. What you won’t find are lifeguards, so you will be swimming at your own risk here as well as any other place you swim in the park. If you want to swim before 8 AM or after sunset, there are many different swimming areas to go for a dip, one of which is right by the campground and Hughes Point.
How’s your aim? Everyone needs to practice sometimes, so bring your rifle or pistol in the motorhome when you head out to Prince Gallitzin State Park. The Cambria Shooting Range is set up for two rifle firing points at 100 yards and three pistol firing points at 25 yards. You’ll find the firing range on State Game Land Property by the old dam off Marina Road. The range is open all year long from 8 AM until sunset Monday through Saturday and noon to sunset on Sundays. Don’t forget to bring ear protection.
Don't forget to pack your hunting gear in your camper. Prince Gallitzin State Park opens up almost 6,000 acres of land for training hunting dogs, trapping, and hunting during the different seasons. Hunters at this state park are mostly on the lookout for deer, turkey, or other small game. Hunting woodchucks or groundhogs could get you in trouble; it’s strictly prohibited. Before setting out on a hunting game, it is advisable to check all the hunting rules and regulations from the Pennsylvania Game Commission.
Prince Gallitzin State Park’s idyllic beauty is perfect for sitting and enjoying a great meal with your loved ones. Picnics allow you the opportunity to soak in the sun while you gaze at the shining water or lush greenery that surrounds you. You can find picnic tables located all over the park. The ones near the swimming beaches of Muskrat Beach are particularly popular with swimmers and beach enthusiasts. They also have picnic pavilions that can be used by a large group of friends and families. However, you will need to book your pavilion in advance, because the structures are popular places to hang out.
Get your competitive spirit out as you challenge your friends to a game of disc golfing. Prince Gallitzin State Park has an 18-hole disc golf course that extends through different types of terrains. Wooded and field areas are especially challenging, even for those who are experts at the sport. To keep a tab on your score, you can use the scorecards at the bulletin board, which is near Tee #1. The disc golf course offers scenic views of Glendale Lake, which take the game experience to a whole new level. Disc golfing is a unique game you can enjoy with your family during your RV trip to Pennsylvania.