In southeastern Pennsylvania, between Allentown and Harrisburg, lies Reading, one of the state’s largest cities. Reading got its start in the early 1740s as a colonial settlement and was named after the town of Reading in Berkshire, England. Now, the area is primarily inhabited by the Pennsylvania German population, who have created a culture and dialect that is distinctly their own, making southeastern Pennsylvania one of the most unique regions to visit in the United States.
Once a center for the United States’ iron production, even rivaling all of England’s iron production combined at times, Reading has since turned back on itself and has begun to build up its local businesses once again. Don’t let this industrial exterior fool you. Pennsylvania is known for its rolling hills, strong streams and rivers, and thick forests, all of which are easily accessible when you book an RV in Reading. You can just as easily spend the day learning about this city’s rich history and indulging in some German-American food as you can hiking up mountain foothills and spending time on a nearby lakeshore.
If you don’t feel like driving the Reading RV rental down the small, historic streets of Reading, you can leave it at the campsite and jump onto a BARTA bus. The Berks Area Regional Transportation Authority (BARTA) operates 19 routes throughout Reading and the surrounding areas.
Once you secure an RV rental in Reading, PA, you’ll quickly be enamored by the region’s seamless transition from urban surroundings to natural scenery as you journey from one locale to the next. If the history combined with the modernity isn’t enough to keep you coming back to the region time and time again, then the lush landscapes and seemingly endless opportunities for exploration will.
The Great Outdoors
About 30 minutes south of Reading is the picturesque French Creek State Park. Spanning just under 8,000 acres and with more than 35 miles of hiking trails, there is so much to see and explore in French Creek. There are also two lakes where you can rent a boat to explore even further. If you want to challenge yourself, Horse-Shoe Trail is 130 miles. You can go hiking and backpacking along this long and strenuous trail and explore even more of Pennsylvania.
Just under an hour away from Reading is the lush Swatara State Park, near Pine Grove. With creeks, rivers, and waterfalls coursing through the park, it is almost as if the entire park has a heartbeat. Although it is smaller than French Creek, Swatara offers more challenging hiking options as well as plenty of opportunities for those seeking to do a little bit of distance canoeing or kayaking on Swatara Creek.
If you’re looking to drive your Reading motorhome rental a little farther, about three hours to the northeast is Sproul State Forest. The largest state forest in Pennsylvania at just over 300,000 acres, the hilly terrain here provides challenging but rewarding, hiking opportunities as well as stunning views of the Susquehanna River Valley. Sproul State Forest is the ideal destination if you want to go kayaking or canoeing, as you can launch your boat, or a rental boat, in the Susquehanna River and watch as the landscape unfolds around you as you travel downstream. Kayaking and canoeing are particularly popular in the autumn, when the leaves are turning and the hills of the river valley are painted in various shades of orange and gold. If the park is just a little too far for you to justify a day trip, there are plenty of camping sites available to you, as long as you reserve ahead of time.
After your days of hiking and canoeing, you’re going to need to find somewhere to park your Reading RV rental by owner and get some much-needed rest. Unfortunately, there aren’t many places right in town, but there are several places to choose from just a short drive away.
About 25 minutes south of Reading is Lake In Wood RV Resort. Full hookups, showers and bathrooms, and Wi-Fi are the amenities that you will find at Lake In Wood. Other resort features include an on-site lake with kayak and pedal boat rentals, an indoor-outdoor pool complex, miniature golf, and basketball courts.
Also about 25 minutes south of Reading, is the Dutch Cousin Campground, right in the heart of Amish Country. With full hookups, bathrooms and showers, a laundry facility, and Wi-Fi, this park could be a decent place to set up camp with the rental motorhome near Reading. The campground is also nearby several attractions, such as the Kitchen Kettle Village, which is an entirely recreated village center focused on Pennsylvania Dutch crafts, food items, and seasonal festivals.
Explore the City
After exploring the varying terrains of southern Pennsylvania, it may be time to turn your Reading camper rental back to the city and explore some more of this once all-mighty industrial town.
If you want to learn more about the history of Reading and Berks County, spend some time at the Berks History Center. Home to over 30,000 artifacts from the area, there is never a shortage of things to learn. You can see artifacts pertaining to the industrial period of Reading’s history, to the Pennsylvania Dutch community, and even a Berks County-specific Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Not only that, but on the second Saturday of every month, the History Center hosts a special event.
If you’re interested in gaining some exposure to the arts, the Goggleworks Center for the Arts is the perfect place to go. With several galleries housing paintings, sculptures, and historic artifacts, you can learn more about the local art scene. If you’re feeling inspired, you can see if there are any single-section classes open.
When you’re staying in Reading, you’re going to want to treat yourself to some home-cooked Pennsylvania Dutch fare, such as apple dumplings or whoopie pies or maybe even some standard German favorites like bratwurst and pretzels.