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Camping in Sproul State Forest

Sproul State Forest is an ideal location to enjoy a night outdoors. Campers will find natural beauty and opportunities for other recreation during their stay amongst some of the most wild and remote areas in Pennsylvania. 

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

Certain watersheds near exceptional-value or high-quality waters are posted closed to camping.

Enjoy your stay in Sproul State Forest!

Motorized Camping

Motorized camping, commonly referred to as "car camping" or "roadside camping", is defined as overnight camping in or near a vehicle where the vehicle is used for storage or transportation.

Keep in mind there are no modern conveniences on state forest land, such as dump stations, utility hook-ups, showers, trash disposal, or water.   

Sproul State Forest offers nine designated motorized campsites which are set aside for RVs only, no tent camping. Self-contained toilets are required. Please see the Motorized Campsite Guide (PDF) to see pictures of these sites. 

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

For those intending to tent camp with proximity to their vehicle, Sproul State Forest offers some non-designated locations, some of which can accommodate RVs or trailers. Although this form of motorized camping does not occur at marked campsites, several guidelines must be followed. Permits for non-designated sites are issued on a first-come, first-served basis. Contact the Sproul State Forest district office for more information.

Please note, when a camper's vehicle is nearby and still used for storage and transportation, it is classified as motorized camping and a permit is always required. Permits can be obtained at no charge. Submitting an application does not guarantee the availability of the site or the right to camp.  A permit must be issued by the forest district.

For questions or information about non-designated campsites, please contact the Sproul State Forest district office at 570-923-6011

Office hours are Monday-Friday, 8:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M., closed state holidays.

Primitive Camping

Primitive camping, commonly called “backpacking,” or “backcountry camping,” is permitted while hiking along the Chuck Keiper and Donut Hole Trails, as well as many other district hiking trails and locations throughout the forest.

This is part of a true backcountry experience, so be prepared for spending a night well away from your vehicle.

Permits are not required when staying no more than one night at a single location. However, primitive backpack campers are encouraged to contact the forest district. 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 Sproul 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 ten people requires a Letter of Authorization from the Sproul State Forest District Forester in addition to a camping permit.

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

Winter Camping

State forest roads do not receive winter maintenance and are not plowed. Travel at your own risk.