Founded in the early 18th century by William Jones, Jonestown is a borough in Pennsylvania’s Lebanon County. It was originally known as Williamsburg, but in 1771, the post office requested that its name be changed due to confusions with another Williamsburg.
Today, Jonestown is a laid-back destination to rent an RV while exploring the sights and attractions of Lebanon County. It’s within easy access of excellent RV parks and scenic nature reserves, as well as the family-friendly rides of Hersheypark.
The Great Outdoors
Book an RV rental in Jonestown and drive south to the Stoever’s Dam Park, which lies on the edge of Lebanon. It centers around a 23-acre lake and a historical Nature Barn where you can learn about the native flora and fauna, as well as a Memorial Arboretum featuring a variety of trees and plantings. Follow one of the interpretive nature trails, enjoy a bit of softball on the community fields or just relax with a picnic at one of the benches.
Head west, and you’ll arrive at the Memorial Lake State Park, which is surrounded by the military reservation at Fort Indiantown Gap. It was established in 1945 to honor the Pennsylvania National Guard soldiers who served in World War I and World War II, with fishing the most popular activity. Try your luck at luring northern pike, yellow perch, and a variety of bass, or enjoy a stroll along one of the surrounding trails. During the winter months, the park is a popular area for ice skating, cross-country skiing, and ice fishing.
Or, make the short drive north to the Swatara State Park, which encompasses 3,520 acres of rolling fields and woodlands between the Second and Blue Mountains. Rent a canoe or kayak to explore the scenic Swatara Creek at your leisure or follow part of the Appalachian Trail that passes through the southern end of the park. It’s also home to the Swatara Rail Trail and a historic log cabin built in 1939 by local industrial-arts teacher Armar Bordner.
Pick up your travel trailer rental in Jonestown and make the short drive north to the Jonestown / Hershey NE KOA Journey, a big-rig friendly campsite that offers level pull-throughs and full hookup sites. It overlooks the Swatara Creek where you can swim, fish, kayak, canoe, or float in rental tubes, with miles of hiking and biking trails in the adjacent Swatara State Park.
Closer to the town center is the Jonestown Campground, whose pull-through sites feature full hookups. There’s an on-site laundry where you can catch up on your washing, as well as a children’s playground and a camp store for any forgotten necessities.
Head south, and you’ll arrive at the Hershey RV & Camping Resort, in the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch Country. There’s a swimming pool, mini-golf course, and playground to keep young guests entertained, as well as a hot tub and clubhouse where you can mingle with other guests.
Or, you can make the 15-minute drive into Lebanon where there’s a Walmart where you may be able to set up for a night or two with the manager’s permission.
Exploring the City
Pick up your campervan rental near Jonestown and drive south to spend a day exploring the heritage-listed buildings of Lebanon. Admire the early-20th-century Reading Railroad Station and the Second Empire-style Josiah Funck Mansion, as well as the charming Chestnut Street Log House that dates to 1772. Also of note is the eclectic Victorian architecture of the Cornwall & Lebanon Railroad Station, which combines influences from 17th-century Flemish, Romanesque, and Chateauesque styles.
If you’re traveling with kids, be sure to spend a day at Hersheypark, which is packed with roller coasters, kiddie rides, and live entertainment. Get up close to native wildlife such as black bears, ocelots, and white-tailed deer at the Zoo America, or cool off in the themed pools of the waterpark. Hersheypark is also home to the Hershey’s Chocolate World where you can embark on a chocolate tour and create your own candy bar.
To gain a better understanding of the United States’ military history, drive to Fort Indiantown Gap to visit the Pennsylvania National Guard Military Museum. It’s housed within a two-story barracks that dates to 1941, with artifacts and weapons from the Civil War to the Gulf War on display. Learn about the role the Pennsylvania National Guard has played in these conflicts and the history of Fort Indiantown Gap.
The town is home to a supermarket where you can stock up on groceries, and there are also a couple of restaurants for dining out, as well as a gas station if you want to fill up your camper rental in Jonestown.
Whether you’re visiting Lebanon County for its military history or amusement parks, book an RV in Jonestown and head out on a Pennsylvania adventure.