Ricketts Glen State Park spans 13,000 acres in three Pennsylvania counties, providing incredible views and experiences.
The park's roots are in land held by Robert Bruce Ricketts, an Army colonel who came to control 80,000 acres in the area for its timber. Ricketts' heirs started to preserve the land in the 1920s. It was a 1,200-acre parcel sold to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in 1942 that started the development of a state park, which opened for recreational use in 1944.
At Ricketts Glen, you'll find the great glens that this park is known for, as well as stunning views of many different waterfalls. There’s so much beauty to see here--and the trails in the park will take you to see it all. Ganoga Falls, located in the park, is 94 feet tall--the highest waterfall of the 22 named inside the park. There is nothing more peaceful than being in the presence of one of these waterfalls and having the whole world drowned out by the sounds of the water crashing at the bottom. The stunning views of the waterfalls is the perfect reward after a tiresome hike, and you’ll be glad if you brought your camera.
When you come RV camping to Ricketts Glen, you’ll have plenty of time to explore it all. If you come in the summer, it won’t be too hot for a pleasant hike; summer temps tend to stay in the 70s, making the air perfectly comfortable. The winters can be a bit harsh, but RV camping during the warmer months is the perfect way to get away.
RV Rentals in Ricketts Glen State Park
Transportation in Ricketts Glen State Park
Near the entrance of the park, there is a mountain that has a steep 18 percent grade that goes on for 2 miles. This can be hard on larger vehicles. In order to avoid it, come from the north side and you'll have a much easier time getting to the park. Once inside, driving is easy.
When visiting the park in your RV, you should have no problem finding parking places. In fact, there are two designated parking areas specifically for RVs and buses. When the park gets busy during the summertime and on the weekends, a gravel parking lot is opened for overflow parking as well.
Campgrounds and parking in Ricketts Glen State Park
Campsites in Ricketts Glen State Park
The Campground at Ricketts Glen State Park
The campground that you’ll find within the park has 120 total sites. They’re a mix of sites of all sizes - some are recommended for tents only, while others can comfortably hold RVs. All RV sites are back-in only, and the size restrictions vary from site to site. As long as your RV is less than 40 feet long though, you’ll be able to find a spot that works for you. Keep in mind that there are no hookups available at any of the sites. You will have access to water though, along with a dump station and bathrooms with warm showers and flush toilets nearby. These campsites are great for the summertime, as many of them even offer shade. During the winter, many of the campsites do not get plowed, so options are much slimmer. You can call the park office to get information on the conditions before going.
There are three deluxe camping cottages available inside the park. Each one sleeps up to five people, making it the perfect place to bring the whole family for a fun vacation. This is great if you’re looking for a change of pace from your RV. You’ll feel right at home here staying at one of these cottages, as you’ll have two separate bedrooms with bunk beds and a kitchen with a stove, microwave oven, and refrigerator. You’ll also have electricity and electric heat in case you get cold. If you need to shower, there are shower houses close by. A cottage porch is the perfect spot to relax and take in all of the beautiful nature that surrounds you. When you stay here, you’ll get to take a break from the rest of the world and get to just breathe again.
Seasonal activities in Ricketts Glen State Park
There are 26 miles of trails available for anyone who wishes to explore the park on foot. Many of these trails will take you through pretty forests to wonderful streams and waterfalls that you won’t want to miss seeing. The trails range in difficulty level, so you’ll be sure to find one that works for you.
If you came to go horseback riding, there are two trails to enjoy--Cherry Run Trail and Mountain Springs Trail. You can ride 3.5 miles on Mountain Springs Road between the two trails to create one big 12.5 mile loop. So you can choose to do the entire loop, or just do one trail at a time. Either way, you’ll get some peace and quiet on these beautiful trails.
The beach at Ricketts Glen State Park is 600 feet long, giving you ample space to get a feel for the water. You can go swimming here at your own risk anytime between 8 am and sunset. This is a really fun way to get some sun and simply enjoy the summer.
If you’ve brought your electric motor boat, you can bring it to Lake Jean inside the park and use one of the two boat launches available to get it into the water. Just be sure you have your boat registration on hand. You can also rent kayaks, canoes, paddleboats, and rowboats during the summer.
Hosting a picnic is a great way to spend some quality time with friends and family. Here in the park, there are picnic areas located along Lake Jean that open for you to use. Not only will you find picnic tables, but there are also charcoal grills available.
Don’t let the winter stop you from exploring the trails. When snow begins to cover the ground, the hiking trails become available for cross country skiing. This can be a really fun way to get out even when it’s cold and wet outside. The whole family will find skiing a fun way to explore the Pennsylvania woods.
Many people also enjoy going snowmobiling on many of the trails, but you’ll definitely need to bring your own machine. You should also check weather and trail conditions before heading out. You wouldn’t want to cause damage to the trails by riding without enough snow on the ground.
Another great activity to enjoy when it’s really cold is to go ice fishing. There are plenty of fish hiding under the ice, and once the lake here at the park freezes over, it’s the perfect place to go to catch them. Just make sure that the ice is thick enough, carry any required fishing permits, and go at your own risk.
Play in the Snow
Winter time at Ricketts Glen State Park is a winter wonderland. There’s plenty of snow, which means there’s unlimited resources to build the perfect igloo, snowman, or any other sculpture that you can think of while staying here. So get out there and have some fun with the whole family.
The winter is a time for quiet seclusion. There are no crowds or loud noises at this time of year, giving you the perfect opportunity to relax and take it all in. There’s plenty of fun to be had in the snow, but you can stop to take a break at any point. Curl up in your RV with some blankets, hot chocolate, and a good book.