Looking for an unassuming, family-friendly gem as your next go-to camping spot?
Keystone State Park, just under an hour east of Pittsburgh, offers a low-stress outing with maximal return. Named for the now defunct Keystone Coal and Coke Company, Keystone Lake was used to wash bituminous coal and quench coke for Pittsburgh steel production in the early 20th century. Remnants of this industrial past can still be found in the 1,200-acre park today at the James A. Kell Visitors Center (formerly the coal company’s hunting lodge), which features mining artifacts and historical displays.
Keystone State Park offers an extensive menu of overnight options from tent and RV sites to cottages, cabins and yurts, most with at least one ADA-accessible site. Each overnight option is within view of the lake, with the exception of the Hillside Campground (tent/RV) which is tucked slightly farther back—more remote by design, for those camping with pets.
The 100 tent/RV campsites are typical crushed gravel affairs with a fire ring, picnic table and a place to park a vehicle. The trio of camping cottages sleep five a piece, offer electricity, heat, a fire ring and picnic table. A pair of yurts can sleep up to five and offer guests electricity, stove, microwave, refrigerator, and heat and in addition to the ubiquitous fire ring and picnic table. Each of these overnight options lack running water and internal plumbing, but are a short walk to modern bathhouses and potable water.
For those wanting a bit more of a home while away from home, 11 year-round modern cabins offer all the amenities one might expect (think: running water, full bathroom, kitchen, stove, refrigerator), though bedding, flatware, utensils and other kitchen appliances are not included. See pricing, details and reservations at pennsylvaniastateparks.reserveamerica.com.