On the edge of Colonel Denning State Park, Dogwood Acres Campground is a family-friendly base for exploring the cultural and natural sights of southern Pennsylvania. It’s less than an hour’s drive from Harrisburg and within easy access of Hersheypark and the Gettysburg National Military Park.RV camping at the Dogwood Acres Campground includes access to 100 shaded and spacious sites, with full hookups and pull-through options available. Pets are welcome to stay with you, provided they remain on a leash, while firewood, LP gas, and ice can be purchased from the on-site store.Recreational facilities include a swimming pool, a fishing pond, and a children’s playground, as well as courts for playing basketball and volleyball. There’s also a recreation hall and a game room, not to mention paddleboat and pedal cart rentals.
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A highlight of camping at the Dogwood Acres Campground is its access to Colonel Denning State Park, which encompasses 273 acres within the Tuscarora State Forest. It’s named in honor of William Denning, a veteran of the American Revolutionary War who is renowned for his innovations in creating lighter and easier-to-transport cannons. Nestled within the Doubling Gap of Blue Mountain, the park is a recreational hub for hiking along the Tuscarora Trail, as well as swimming and fishing in the waters of Doubling Gap Lake. Hunting is also permitted in designated areas of the park, with common game species including squirrels, white-tailed deer, and turkeys.Directly south of the Dogwood Acres Campground is the Pine Grove Furnace State Park, which encompasses the remains of the 18th-century Pine Grove Iron Works and the Laurel Forge, where wrought iron was manufactured from the 1830s. A former grist mill within the park has now been transformed into the Appalachian Trail Museum, where vintage hiking equipment and old trail shelters are on display. It’s the first hiking museum in the United States and home to the Appalachian Trail Hall of Fame, where you can learn about those who have made a positive contribution to the Appalachian Trail. Numerous other hiking trails also wind through the park, many of which are accessible to cross-country skiers and snowmobiles in the winter months.Directly south of the Pine Grove Furnace State Park is the Michaux State Forest, which is named after French botanist André Michaux, who was ordered to gather plants for King Louis XVI in the 18th century. It encompasses the site of what was the first forestry school in Pennsylvania, Mont Alto, with this former industrial area now a thriving second-growth forest. A section of the legendary Appalachian Trail traverses the reserve for those wanting to stretch their legs while the Long Pine Run Reservoir is the place to head for fishing.
Campsites at the Dogwood Acres Campground are just a ten-minute drive from Newville, where you’ll find a supermarket for stocking up on groceries. There are also gas stations here if you need to fill up your motorhome rental, as well as a couple of pizzerias and a family-friendly diner for those wanting a meal out.Founded in 1790, Newville flourished with the arrival of the Cumberland Valley Railroad in 1837 and centers around a historic district that’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Architectural highlights include the Big Spring Presbyterian Church that dates to 1790 and two government buildings, as well as a log-built residence that stands as the oldest in the city. Also of note is the Laughlin Mill, a three-story log mill built in 1763 that’s become one of the most photographed sites in the Cumberland Valley.Just under an hour’s drive from the Dogwood Acres Campground is the Gettysburg National Military Park, which celebrates one of the turning points in the Civil War. Learn about the Battle of Gettysburg while browsing the artifacts on display at the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum, then watch a short film. You can pay your respects to the soldiers who fought during the battle at the Gettysburg National Cemetery and see where Abraham Lincoln put the finishing touches on his famous Gettysburg Address at the David Wills House. Also nearby is the former home and farm of President Dwight D. Eisenhower at the Eisenhower National Historic Site.Directly east of the Dogwood Acres Campground is Harrisburg, which serves as the capital of Pennsylvania. It’s home to the State Museum of Pennsylvania, where you can delve into the region’s natural, cultural, and industrial history, as well as the National Civil War Museum, where regular re-enactments take place. If you’re traveling with kids, don’t miss a visit to Hersheypark just east of Harrisburg, where they can let loose on more than 65 rides that include thrilling rollercoasters and a five-acre water play area.Whether you want to hike part of the Appalachian Trail or discover the Civil War history of Pennsylvania, book an RV rental in Cumberland County and start planning your next vacation.