Camping in Gallitzin State Forest
Gallitzin State Forest offers only primitive backpack camping -- there are no sites for trailers or camping vehicles.
To ensure the long-term sustainability of these valuable natural resources and recreation experiences, be sure to practice Leave No Trace Principles.
Primitive Backpack Camping
Backpack campers are permitted to camp in most areas of the forest without a permit if staying no more than one night in any location.
Backpackers may camp overnight anywhere except:
- In designated Natural Areas
- Within 200 feet of a forest road
- Within 25 feet of a trail
- Within 100 feet of a stream or any open water
Backpack camping is typically done at trailside campsites and does not allow for access to motorized vehicles during overnight stays.
Primitive, trailside camping is part of an overall backcountry travel experience.
It involves hiking from campsite to campsite, far from your vehicle and nearby buildings, roads, and trailheads where you will find no modern conveniences or campsite improvements.
John P. Saylor Trail and Lost Turkey Trail, which run through Gallitzin State Forest, offer some of the best opportunities for backpacking; however, other Gallitzin State Forest hiking and shared-use trails can be used to form short loops or out-and-back overnight trips.
Primitive Backpack Camping Permits
A free primitive camping permit is required if a backpacker desires an emergency point-of-contact or if a campfire is requested during the annual spring wildfire season (March, April, and May).
Camping permits are also required for primitive backpack camping at the same site for more than one night.
To request a primitive backpacking permit in Gallitzin State Forest, please contact the district office at 814-472-1862.
Backpack camping groups of more than 10 people must obtain a Letter of Authorization from the state forest.
These are processed through the Gallitzin State Forest district office and may take up to two to three weeks to obtain. Please plan accordingly.
Campfires are not permitted when the fire danger is high, very high, or extreme; and from March 1 through May 25, unless authorized by Gallitzin State Forest.
Additionally, if the camping date is several days away or more, campfire permission may not be determined until closer to the dates of the camping trip.
Gallitzin State Forest district office at 814-472-1862 for more information.
Enjoy your stay in Gallitzin State Forest!