Pymatuning State Park | Outdoorsy

Pymatuning State Park
Guide

Introduction

Whether you're searching for a lakeside retreat, a winter sports arena, or just a place where you can relax amongst nature, Pymatuning State Park offers a variety of outdoor recreation during all four seasons. The park sits on the shores of the Pymatuning Reservoir in the Appalachian Plateau of northeast Ohio. Thousands of years ago glaciers covered the area, and once they melted, the terrain became filled with lakes, and eventually, a swamp forest evolved. Due to the abundance of resources, both animals and Native American tribes flocked to this area. Today, little is left of the swamp-like forest, but what does remain entices birds, animals, and outdoor lovers to come and experience the 3,500-acre park.

During the summer, temperatures are warm, with the mercury often rising into the 80s. Visitors can spend their days on the lake, splashing or suntanning at the beach, or picnicking at one of the many tables located throughout the park. Two trails carve their way through the park, and if you tread lightly, you've got a great chance at seeing some of the Pymatuning's full-time residents. Once the snow hits, the park transforms into a winter wonderland and visitors can partake in ice fishing, cross country skiing, and snowmobiling.

No matter what time of year you visit, you'll have a place to park the motorhome. Pymatuning State Park is equipped with over 300 RV-friendly sites, including 18 full-service sites, hundreds of electric sites, and 21 basic sites. Even during the cold winter months, you'll be able to find some electric sites that remain open year-round, weather permitting. So what are you waiting for? Pack up the campervan and head to Pymatuning State Park for a sojourn you won't soon forget.

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Camping Accommodations

40'
Max RV length
40'
Max trailer Length
Electrical hookup
Water hookup
Generator use
Food storage
Sewer hookup
Dogs & cats

Transportation

Driving

Located in northeast Ohio just 70 miles from Clevland, Pymatuning State Park is a great weekend getaway or summer retreat. You won't have to go too far off the beaten path to reach the park, and even those hauling trailers or maneuvering big rigs should have no trouble navigating the smooth roads that encompass the area. If you need to stock up on supplies, gas up the RV, or grab a bite to eat before heading to the park, the city of Andover is just minutes away.

The park has a few entrances, most of which are located off of Pymatuning Lake Road. The campground is located on the south end of the park, and if you're staying the night you may want to enter at the South Lake Road entrance. If you're just coming for the day to play on the lake or drop a line, the boat launch is located to the north of the park. Park roads are well maintained and even large rigs will be able to go to and from the main attractions without issues.

Parking

Parking lots are located near the boat launch, the park office, the campground, and at various trailheads. These lots fill up quickly in the summer, so you may want to arrive early if you hope to snag a spot. If you're staying overnight, you may find it useful to bring bikes or a passenger vehicle along so you don't have to deconstruct camp whenever you want to go somewhere.

Public Transportation

Campgrounds and parking in Pymatuning State Park

Campsites in Pymatuning State Park

Reservations camping

Andover / Pymatuning Lake KOA

Whether you are taking advantage of lake activities or touring local wineries in the region, Williamsfield, Ohio, has the perfect place to set up your base camp at Andover / Pymatuning Lake KOA. Less than five minutes from Pymatuning Lake and just a short drive from the shores of Lake Erie, you will have no trouble finding opportunities to water ski, swim, fish, or relax in the sand while basking in the summer sun. Pymatuning Deer Park also makes for a great day of family fun, especially with more than 250 animals and birds from around the world.

The campground boasts access to fishing and pontoon boats, as well as a variety of on-site amenities, including a game room, basketball courts, and a large outdoor swimming pool. As one of the few KOA locations with a full-time activity director, there is almost always an organized activity to participate in. Pull-Through RV sites at Andover / Pymatuning Lake KOA are available and can accommodate rigs of up to 45 feet and feature full hookups. For your convenience, there is a snack bar, and both firewood and propane are sold at the campground.

Meadville KOA

Situated in lovely, rural western Pennsylvania, with pretty ponds and shade trees, Meadville KOA features campsites with full hookups and cable TV and Wi-Fi. Lakefront sites are available, right on Wagon Lake, and the campground features a seasonal pool, fun playground for the kids, a jumping pillow, and on-site fishing. This family-friendly campground has themed weekends, free children’s crafts, a ceramics program, wagon rides, kiddie trains, and events. There are plenty of museums, natural sites, and amusement parks nearby to explore, so at Meadville KOA, the fun never ends.

Pymatuning State Park Campground

The Pymatuning State Park Campground is located on the south side of the park and features over 300 RV- and trailer-friendly sites. The campground is comprised of three loops, and in total there are 18 full-service sites, 334 sites with electric hookups, and 21 basic campsites with no hookups. Each site is equipped with a picnic table and fire ring, and two dump stations, laundry facilities, a camp store, a fish cleaning station, and heated bathhouses with flush toilets and hot showers are all located nearby.

Some sites sit lakeside, offering serene views out over the water. Even if your site is not directly on the lake, you will still have access to it from a small swimming beach and a boat launch only available for campground guests. Overnight guests can also take advantage of the campground's volleyball and basketball courts, picnicking areas, and playgrounds. Pets are only allowed at some sites, so be sure to keep this in mind while reserving a spot. The campground is open year-round, and reservations are required from March through November. During the off-season, 32 sites remain open on a first-come, first-served basis.

Erie KOA

Enjoy fishing and water-based activities at Lake Erie or Presque Isle beach, or go on a winery tour when you stay in Mckean, Pennsylvania. Bring the whole family to the Erie KOA, where big rigs will find plenty of space in 100-foot pull-through sites with full hookups and up to 50-amp service. Make your stay even more pleasant at a premium and deluxe patio site, where campers are provided with glider seats and propane BBQs. Restock with on-site firewood and propane. Amenities include cable TV and internet, a pool, and a snack bar. Entertain kids with bike rentals, arcade games, and fun summer activities.

First-come first-served

Winter Camping

From November through March, Pymatuning State Park closes most of its campsites for the season. There are, however, 32 sites that remain open during the winter that are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Each site is equipped with an electric hookup, a picnic table, and a fire ring, and a dump station and vault toilets are also available nearby.

Alternate camping

Off-site Campgrounds

If you didn't have any luck securing a spot to camp at Pymatuning State Park, there are various state parks in the surrounding area that offer RV camping. The Pennsylvanian Pymatuning State Park sits on the south side of the reservoir, just ten minutes from the Ohio park. Overnight guests will find over 300 electric and full hookup sites between two campgrounds, and there is plenty of entertainment to be had, as this is the state's largest park. More options can be found 35 minutes to the southwest at Mosquito Lake State Park. Here, guests will find more than 200 RV-friendly campsites offering either electric or full hookups.

Camping Cabins

If you're looking for a bit more luxury during your stay at Pymatuning State Park, leave the rig in the parking lot and rent of the park's 65 cottages. The cabins range in facilities and prices and are categorized as basic, standard, or premium, depending on the size and amenities. All are equipped with basic indulgences like indoor plumbing, furnished rooms, and cable television. Outside, guests will find charcoal grills and picnic tables, and one cabin is even equipped with a jacuzzi. ADA-accessible and pet-friendly cabins are available upon request. The cabins are available from May to November, and reservations can be made up to a year in advance.

Seasonal activities in Pymatuning State Park

In-Season

Boating

A trip to Pymatuning State Park wouldn't be complete without spending some time on the water. Pymatuning Reservoir is a whopping 14,000 acres, and with so much space, you could easily spend a day cruising, paddling, or fishing on the lake. There are five boat launches located inside the park along with hundreds of seasonal docks available for rent. If you didn't tow your own water vessel behind the Sprinter, there are tons of private outfitters available along the lake. Boaters should note that there is a 20 horsepower limit on the lake.

Fishing

Anglers flock to Pymatuning State Park for some of the country's best walleye fishing, so don't forget to pack your poles and tackle in the Airstream. But the water is breaming with more than just walleye. Other common catches include black bass, crappie, channel catfish, and yellow perch. If you're lucky, you may even reel in a large bluegill or a trophy muskellunge. If you drop a line from the water via boat, you'll need both an Ohio and a Pennslyvania fishing license, while those casting out from shore only need an Ohio license.

Swimming

Summers can get hot in northern Ohio. Luckily, a 500-foot swimming beach is located at the north end of the Pymatuning State Park. Here, visitors can cool off in the water, soak up some rays on the sandy shoreline, or play a game of volleyball at the courts located nearby. Other nearby facilities include restrooms, showers, a changing house, and a parking lot big enough to fit your motorhome. No lifeguards are on duty at the beach, so swimmers must enjoy the water at their own risk.

Visiting the Pymatuning Spillway

Have you ever seen ducks walking on fish? It may sound crazy, but there is an explanation for the peculiar phenomenon that occurs in the Pymatuning Reservoir. The Linesville fish hatchery is located on the northeast side of the reservoir, and the nearby Pymatuning Spillway allows visitors to throw bread into the lake for the ducks that float nearby. But the ducks aren't the only hungry ones. Freshly released fish flock to the fallen bread just as fast as the birds, creating an opportunity for the waterfowl to literally walk on top of the fish to get closer to their doners. It is truly a sight to behold, and those visiting Pymatuning State Park should not miss their chance to see this strange happening.

Off-Season

Birdwatching

Pymatuning State Park is a safe haven for wildlife. The marshes provide valuable resources for migrating birds, and if you keep your eyes to the sky, you're sure to see some birds of prey in action. Bald eagles are especially prominent at the park, and you might spot them fishing from the lake or nesting near the campground. Walk along the park's trails to catch site of some of the park's other full-time residents, including wood duck, red-breasted merganser, and blue-winged teal. Wherever you wander, don't forget to grab your binoculars out of the travel trailer.

Hiking

There are two trails available at Pymatuning State Park: the Whispering Pines Trail and the Beaver Dam Trail. Both are short, easy routes, with the former measuring less than a half-mile in length and the latter measuring one mile exactly. The park is abundant in flora and fauna, and the trails will lead you past the marshes and towering pines that harbor much of the park's plants and animals. These trails are a great way to stretch your legs after a long ride in the campervan or to simply reconnect with nature in an undisturbed setting.

Picnicking

Pack a picnic basket and enjoy an outdoor lunch in the scenic surroundings of Pymatuning State Park. The park is outfitted with four picnicking areas along the lake shoreline, and visitors will find tables and grills available on a first-come, first-served basis. If you're expecting a group or hosting a party, there are also three shelter houses available for reservations. Those staying overnight can, of course, enjoy a private picnic back at camp, as each site is equipped with its own table.

Winter Sports

Even when the dog days of summer are over, Pymatuning State Park is still a center for outdoor recreation. Northeast Ohio is known as the snow belt region, and once the snow sticks and a healthy layer of ice covers the lake, winter sports enthusiasts gather in droves to partake in snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, and ice fishing. There are even some RV-friendly campsites available year-round, should you wish to enjoy the winter weather for more than a few hours.