WINTER UPDATE: Our area gets snow, ice and freezing temperatures in the winter. We shut down the outdoor water spigots and the flush toilets, and have the portable toilets removed until next spring. Also, our access roads receive limited winter maintenance or plowing. Feel free to book with us, if you are comfortable with the conditions. Sites 1 and 2 are recommended, since
WINTER UPDATE: Our area gets snow, ice and freezing temperatures in the winter. We shut down the outdoor water spigots and the flush toilets, and have the portable toilets removed until next spring. Also, our access roads receive limited winter maintenance or plowing. Feel free to book with us, if you are comfortable with the conditions. Sites 1 and 2 are recommended, since these sites are easiest access in the winter and are occasionally snow plowed. A 4-wheel drive vehicle to get in and out is highly recommended. Pulling a tow-behind camper would likely be difficult even with 4-wheel drive vehicle. Drop us an email or text message, and we can accommodate your winter camping request (provided that you are properly geared up for the event). Our campsites are located on PA Wilds Snowmobile Trail PO67 that is maintained by Southern Potter Snowmobile Club. Ask us for details.
UPDATE SUMMER 2021: For information on our Main Events, please visit us on Facebook "Austin Dam Park" to see what’s new! Look for updates and more events to be added. Ask us about admission tickets and camping details for these events.
Mow the Dam Grass (Bluegrass Music Festival) July 15—18
Dam Wood Carvers Fair (Chainsaw Artisans) July 19—25
Dam Show (Classic Rock Music Festival) August 26—29
Dam Pow-Wow (Native American Festival) September 25 and 26
Terrifying Trail (Halloween Event) in October TBD
There are beautiful sites for private primitive camping. There are nature trails. Many though forested terrain, along the stream and through the historical ruins. Some trailing south toward the Papermill ruins and some trailing up to vista areas.
Nestled in a narrow valley and along the winding stream of Freeman Run is the ruins of the Bayless Paper Mill Dam, currently referred to as the Austin Dam. In 1911 the dam broke and water engulfed much of the town of Austin and claimed over 78 lives. In 1994 the Austin Dam Memorial Park Association was formed and since has worked diligently to create a beautiful natural park. We are a non-profit, all-volunteer group.
Austin borough in Potter County, Pennsylvania is located 2 miles south of Austin Dam Park. Today, Austin, PA is home to just 600 people and the smallest school district in Pennsylvania. Due to its tragic past, Austin is known as "the town too tough to die." Visit Austin to see what remains of the town that almost completely washed away.
- Check in: After 2PM
- Check out: Before 12PM
- Cancellation policy: Moderate
- On arrival: Go straight to camp
- Minimum nights: 1 night
- Accepts bookings: 9 months out Weeknight discount: 50% off
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Offered on the Host's property or nearby.
Biking is allowed in the park. Hybrid and mountain bicycles are highly recommended to better tolerate a wide range of riding co...Read more
Fishing is allowed in the park. Freeman Run runs through the park. For Fishing License purchase, fishing rules, and fishing reg...Read more
There are nature trails. Many along the stream and through the park. Some trailing leads to the Austin Dam ruins and some trai...Read more
Horseback riding is allowed in the park. Summit Trail Rides hosts trail rides by appointment (additional fee apply) near by the...Read more
Our Park's swimming holes are suitable for innertubes. Our Park's stream Freeman Run is not deep enough for kayaks or canoes, ...Read more
Snowshoeing and cross-country skiing is allowed in the park. Our park is located on the snowmobile trails maintained by the Sou...Read more
Swimming and wading in the stream is allowed. "Stone stacking" is one of the most ancient art forms. And a fun activity to do...Read more
This is one of the most scenic and remote regions of Penn’s Woods. It offers a great opportunity to view Pennsylvania’s white-t...Read more
Natural features you'll find at Austin Dam Park in Pennsylvania.
The Coudersport Ice Mine is located near-by (a short drive within 30 minutes). The Coudersport Ice Mine is an ice cave located ...Read more
Susquehannock State Forest is one of eight state forests located in the Pennsylvania Wilds region. Our region is mainly covered...Read more
The park is on the Allegheny Plateau, western section of the Appalachian Mountains. The high plateau has been worn away by stre...Read more
The Stargazing at Cherry Springs State Park is located near-by (a short drive within 30 minutes). Cherry Springs presents dark ...Read more
River, stream, or creek
East Branch of Freeman Run flows through the park. Freeman Run is a stream in Potter County, in the state of Pennsylvania. Fr...Read more
Several swimming and wading holes are in the park. The deepest swimming hole in the park is located at the Coffer Dam. Another ...Read more
Wetlands associated with Freeman Run are classified as Exceptional Value Wetlands. These wetlands support species such as wood...Read more
The vibe at Austin Dam Park
Places to see near Austin Dam Memorial Park
If you stayed here and have some insider info for us, let us know!
Best car-camping ever
Loved my campsite. It had soft ground, a nice firepit and picnic table, and was secluded from other campsites. There is an abundance of pre-cut firewood here (all ash which burns beautifully), the bathrooms are clean, the on-site water is tasty. I enjoyed exploring the dam, a true piece of Americana. I also took advantage of star-gazing at cherry springs state park while i stayed here (2nd darkest skies in the continental US). I met three of the caretakers at the park, and all three were friendly and helpful. At the time of this review, the park is pretty new to hip-camp, but the president of the park association told me he intends to keep the campsites private and primitive; no RV hookups or crowded-together campsites.
We are so glad to have found it!!!!
I have only good things to say about our stay at Austin Dam Memorial Park. The volunteers were so nice - they were there when we arrived, pre-arranged firewood delivered to our campsite (at a great price, too) , and answered all of our questions. They even offered to guide us on hikes through the woods or to the ruins of the old mill.
The location was beautiful and had the bonus of the interesting history of the dam failure. There was a small amount of car noise from the road across the valley, but otherwise it was very peaceful. We fell asleep to the sound of the running waters and woke to birds. We saw songbirds, hawks, a bald eagle and heard plenty of woodpeckers so its nice for bird enthusiasts.
We had campsite 4, which was at a great spot -lower than the access road but above the valley with the run. You need a four wheel drive car to park at the site or else you have to park at the road and go down a trail maybe 50 feet to the site.
There is a real toilet by the damn ruins (maybe a quarter mile from site four) and also a water spigot there with potable water. They have free wifi but it didn’t work great. There was cell reception throughout.
The campsite was huge! We could have placed a dozen tents on our site and still had space. We could not see another site from where we were.
The park is about two miles from Austin, a tiny town, which had a gas station and a general store. Because we were there during COVID distancing we didn’t spend time in town. Austin was accessible by car on the main road or by foot (or very rugged car) on a smaller road. Responsible teenagers or energetic adults could safely walk or bike to Austin from the camp.
The camp is very pet friendly. Our dog loved it.
We were there in early May so there were no leaves on trees yet. The site would be even more secluded with full foliage. It was pretty wet in some places due spring rains, but we were told it dries up more through summer and fall.
We had a great time!
Beautiful sights, nice and quiet ,great packing in with tents a little tight with a teardrop camper right on the stream. Had the whole place to ourselves.when you first turn off the main road onto the gravel go over the bridge and up to gravel road don't take left at big log that says campsites.only drawback in the whole place is that gravel road when you get to the end and come down into the reception area that road is very steep and hard to get up with a regular vehicle. Lots of free firewood already seasoned and split.
I enjoyed my stay here, and I lucked out staying at the same time as a local festival. There are a big variety of sites available, so there are a lot of spots where you can be tucked away in the trees and some where you’re parked closer to the creek and the flushing toilets. They offered to make me a fire while I got my things set up, and we chatted about the cool history of the place, a privately owned park. Overall, it was a great environment, very quiet and peaceful in the campsites away from the main park and even closer to the noise, it was still a nice experience.
Austin Dam was a great place! Just about 30mins away from Cherry Springs. There’s a fire pit, picnic table and flush toilet at our site. The views were great and we got to learn about the history of the dam.
Super friendly experience. Brad and Alvie went really far out of their way to accommodate. Brad showed us around the features at the campground and had a great knowledge of the area. He directed us to a state park that we were unaware of that had a great lake for kayaking and good hiking. They are doing a lot of work to improve the campground and I’m excited to go back again. Hopefully I can make Dam Fest next year!