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Camping in Michaux State Forest

Michaux State Forest is an ideal location to enjoy a night outdoors. Campers will find natural beauty and opportunities for other recreation during their stay.

To ensure the long-term sustainability of these valuable natural resources and recreation experiences, be sure to practice Leave No Trace Principles.

Camping Permits

Camping permits are required to stay at designated motorized campsites.

To request a camping permit, visit the Interactive Pa. State Forest Camping Sites Map, which shows locations, availability, and additional details for designated campsites.

Camping information specific to Michaux State Forest is available in the Michaux State Forest Camping Brochure (PDF).

Michaux State Forest office hours are Monday through Friday, 7:30 A.M. to 3:30 P.M. The office is closed from 12:00 P.M. until 12:30 P.M. daily. Camping permit requests are processed Monday through Thursday until noon.

Permits will not be issued until the next business day if requests are received after noon. Permit requests submitted after noon on Thursdays or on Fridays will not be processed until the following Monday.

Permit requests are processed in the order received and time permitting.

Submitting an application does not guarantee the availability of the site or right to camp. A permit must be issued by the forest district.

There is no fee for a camping permit.

Applications will not be accepted more than 90 days in advance; and permits will not be issued for more than seven consecutive nights.

Motorized Camping on Designated Sites

Michaux State Forest offers 24 designated motorized campsites -- defined as camping in or near a vehicle which continues to be used for storage or transportation.

These sites are without developed facilities, and can be reserved on a first-come, first-served basis.

Campers are required to obtain a camping permit at no charge for motorized camping.

Eighteen of these sites are hike-in tent sites.

There are five parking lot sites which accommodate RVs, campers, trailers, and equine camping. Of the five parking lot sites, there are two that also are open to tent camping.

Designated motorized campsites may be reserved up to 90 days in advance. Use the Interactive Pa. State Forest Camping Sites Map to check availability and apply for a camping permit.

If you have further motorized camping questions, please email the Michaux State Forest district office or call 717-352-2211.

Primitive Backpack Camping

Primitive backpack camping is permitted while hiking along the Appalachian Trail or other State Forest Hiking Trails. Hikers may not stay more than one night at any location.

Primitive backpack campers are encouraged to complete a permit application; however, no permit will be issued.

The information provided helps staff locate the camper(s) in case of an emergency or should the camper(s) become lost or overdue.


Campfires are not permitted when the fire danger is high, very high, or extreme; and from March 1 - May 25 (unless authorized by the Michaux State Forest District Forester).

Additionally, if the dates of camping are several days away, campfire permission may not be determined until closer to the camping trip dates.

Group Camping

Camping in groups of more than 10 people requires a Letter of Authorization from the Michaux State Forst District Forester in addition to a camping permit.

Letters of Authorization are processed through the Michaux State Forest district office and require 30 days advance notice. Please plan accordingly.

Winter Camping

The winter camping season begins annually the third Sunday following Thanksgiving and ends April 1.

During the winter camping season, the following designated motorized campsites are available for reservation:

  • Campsite #1 -- Big Flat Parking Lot
  • Campsite #2 -- Piney Mountain Parking Lot
  • Campsite #21 -- Teaberry Parking Lot
  • Campsite #22 -- Peggy's Hill Parking Lot

All other campsites are closed.

A permit is required for winter camping at the designated motorized sites listed above. State forest roads do not receive winter maintenance and are not plowed. Travel at your own risk.

Enjoy your stay in Michaux State Forest!