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In the southwestern quadrant of Pennsylvania, about 50 miles east of Pittsburgh, is a large state park nestled in Somerset County. When you book an RV in Somerset County, you’ll be able to easily explore Laurel Ridge State Park, which covers over 13,500 acres of land. RV camping at Laurel Ridge State Park is a fantastic way to see this park and explore its many gorgeous facets, forests, streams, vistas, and wildlife.
Visiting Laurel Ridge State Park in the springtime will often reward you with intermittent wildflowers scattered throughout the forest floor, while summertime will bring you laurel and rhododendron blooms surrounded by dense forests. The fall is often dominated by the changing of leaves, while wintertime brings a quiet calm to the park. The park spans many counties and is visited by many different types of people, from those looking to hike the 70-mile Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail to those seeking to spend a quiet afternoon picnicking with a view. Book an RV in Cambria County and enjoy the great outdoors.
Given Laurel Ridge State Park’s large size, it should be no surprise that hiking is a popular activity for guests who are motorhome camping near the park. There are six different trailheads that provide parking opportunities, each holding about 30 cars each. From these trailheads, hikers can access over 70 miles of trails, some of which form a major segment of the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail.
While hiking, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for wildlife of a variety of species. RV camping at state parks are a fantastic way to experience new wildlife sightings, and Laurel Ridge State Park is no different. The most common types of forest animals to spot are black-capped chickadees, turkeys, ruffed grouses, woodpeckers, great horned owls, and tufted titmice. It is also common for turkey vultures to fly over the park, so keep your eyes peeled.
Other activities welcomed at Laurel Ridge State Park include hunting, cross-country skiing, picnicking, snowmobiling, and more. Typical animals that are hunted in the park are deer, turkey, bear, and grouse, and hunting is permitted throughout most of the park during the appropriate seasons. Hunting in Laurel Ridge State Park requires that hunters have the appropriate licenses and tags, and any questions about licenses and tags should be directed toward the Laurel Ridge State Park rangers.
Although Laurel Ridge State Park has no state park RV campgrounds, there are many facilities nearby that offer plenty of sites with a wide array of amenities. To the southeast of the park is Quemahoning Family Recreation Area, which has 25 RV compatible campsites for guests to rent. All of these campsites have 110v/30 amp electric service, while some sites have an additional 50 amp service.
A centrally located sewage dumping station and water spigot service the campground, and there are also hot showers and flushing toilets within easy walking distance of all the campsites. No campsites have their own water hookup, but each site does have a picnic table and a fire ring for guests to use. To ensure there is room for you, be sure to book a campsite after sorting out the details of your RV rental.
Ligonier, which is a town a few miles to the west of the park, is home to a variety of museums and locally-owned restaurants that are within easy driving distance. The Ligonier Valley RailRoad Association, the Southern Alleghenies Museum, and the Fort Ligonier Museum are all found within the town. The Southern Alleghenies Museum is a fabulous way to see art by local artists, while Fort Ligonier is a great way to learn about the town’s history as an old fort.
Many restaurants dot the streets of Ligonier, the majority of which can be found clustered together around the main square. Parking your rental RV and walking throughout town will bring you past barbeque restaurants, American diners, internationally focused spots, home-cooking focused places, and more. In general, it is easy to find a wide array of foods to eat in town, and when you discover something that is missing, there are many surrounding towns with more restaurants.
To the south of Laurel Ridge State Park, you’ll find Somerset, approximately a 20-minute drive without traffic. This town is home to the unique Guild of American Papercutters, which is an art museum focused on displaying works of art created strictly by combining different types of cut paper. Somerset also has over a dozen local restaurants to choose from, in addition to the standard array of fast food and national chain options. Of course, when you are seeking more, drive the 50 short miles to Pittsburgh for more restaurants, museums, theaters, and modern attractions.