Sleeping under the stars is simpler than you think with these forests, lakes, and parks near Philly.
When summer hits the City of Brotherly Love, sometimes you need an escape. Green pastures, lakes, and pristine forests are just miles from Philadelphia, waiting for you to pitch a tent and cool off. Philly's closest camping is across the river in New Jersey. Here, you can get away from it all without going all that far. Gloucester County has several private camping resorts, as well as RV parks with swimming pools and Wi-Fi if you prefer a little pampering. French Creek State Park is just an hour's drive away. This large park offers miles of hiking, lake trout fishing, and kayaking. The public campground has tent sites, some with electric, plus a limited number of full hook-ups for RVs. The camp also offers modern cabins, rustic cottages, and yurts. Ridley Creek State Park is excellent for family-friendly day trips. Just 16 miles from the city, visitors find hiking trails, creek fishing, and camping for organized groups like scouts. An equestrian farm within the park holds pony rides on summer weekends and horseback riding year-round. Or you can visit Colonial Plantation, a living history farm where oxen still till the fields. About 30 miles away, the Wharton State Forest is a massive 122,000-acres, making it the largest park in New Jersey. The 28-mile Batona Trail cuts through the Pine Barrens, passing by primitive tent camping for multi-day treks. For basics like showers and water spigots, pitch tent near Atsion Lake. The facilities are older, but the camping sites are spacious and private. For a deeper escape, drive past the Poconos to Ricketts Glen State Park in northeast Pennsylvania. The challenging Falls Trail System passes more than 20 waterfalls, including the 94-foot Ganoga Falls. The campground on Lake Jean has mostly non-electric sites, plus furnished cabins.