PA - Ricketts Glen SP

Discussion in 'Pennsylvania' started by Matt O, Feb 8, 2011.

  1. Matt O

    Matt O Strangers are friends who have not yet met

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    **I am looking for info about the campsites at Rickets Glen and any pictures you may have from the campground/park so that I can get DW excited about this trip and we know what we are getting into.**

    DW and I are discussing our camping destinations for the Spring/Fall. Due to other events this spring and the fact that it is too darn hot to camp in July and August our trips will really be in Sept,Oct, and Nov. So I figure my 1 more trip this spring will be to a PA SP where we might go in the fall.

    One of our trips in the fall I want to be to some place we haven't been before but DW isn't super excited about camping so I like to scout out the campground first to make sure the bathouse is......nice. She wasn't a happy camper when I took her to Gifford Pinchot. They were listed as having modern bathrooms which French Creek also lists and DW likes French Creek. Well Gifford Pinchot does have modern bathrooms.....vintage 1980 with cement floor and cinder block walls with no lights except for sky lights.

    Out of the blue my Sister calls me and says that she wants to go to Ricketts Glen with her family to see the waterfalls. I guess we don't have to search for one of our trips....we're going to Ricketts Glen.

    So, What can you tell me about the campground? What is a good spot. I want to be near the water but it looks like the really good ones are tent only sites. What is a good site? Do you have any pics from there? I will have a 2 year old so it would be nice to have an area that he can walk and fall in without worrying DW too much.
     
  2. silvermickey2002

    silvermickey2002 Morris County, NJ

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    We camped there 2 years ago with the Boy Scouts. Really nice park and the back in sites were not bad at all! The bath house had flush toilets and showers. We took the hike to see the water falls and let me tell you that you had better be in shape for that hike. Going down the trail is not that bad, but coming back up is......let's just say a workout. Lots of steps coming up! But the hike was worth it to see the falls...
     
  3. Matt O

    Matt O Strangers are friends who have not yet met

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    I wonder if my sister knows what she is in for. She just broke her ankle 3 weeks ago. Oh well, I'll probably be pushing a hiking stroller or carrying my 2 year old.....are there any trails that don't have stairs? We will have my 9 year old niece and 6 year old nephew with us. We won't be doing any serious hiking with our group now that I think about it.
     
  4. busdriverwc75

    busdriverwc75 Chester County, PA

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    Matt, first off, let me say that we loved Ricketts Glen! The Falls are gorgeous, but truly a hike. (Not just a leisurely walk on a trail) We were there in June 2006. I wasn't expecting it, but when we checked in, we were given a bear warning, which was a good thing. The bears were very active & present during our entire stay. We actually had a mother & 3 cubs come up from the lake & walk through our site one evening. We encountered a large adult male on our way to the restroom one night & a young juvenile ran through the campground several times while we were there. We locked our food up in the truck & had no problems. The raccoons, however, are the boldest I have ever encountered in my life. They will walk right up to you & take food off your table at dinnertime or start to dig at your trashbag while you're still sitting at the table!

    We had site 29, right on the water. It's a wide site & there are no parking pads, so we arranged the popup sideways, so that our entire side of the trailer faced the lake. I don't know if it has changed since then, but there were no electric sites in the entire campground. Both loops were totally dry camping. I also liked site 36, but it's far from the bathhouse & could take some maneuvering to get the trailer in.

    I know the Small loop is now pet friendly. Pets were not allowed when we were there. I have read comments that since the park now has some pet sites, the rangers have said the bears aren't as visible as they were in the past.

    The only thing I remember about the bathhouse, was the heaviest (bear proof) steel door I've ever encountered. I think they were the basic cement type facilities, but they did have electricity. But don't go by me. In 4 yrs, it could have been upgraded. French Creek's were only recently renovated during this same time span, so maybe Ricketts were too?

    We really enjoyed swimming in the clear, cold lake. It had a nice sandy beach & also shady picnic area. Bagged ice is sold at the beach concession stand, as well as all kinds of snacks. Oh, & cell phone coverage is very spotty or nonexistent. (I had Verizon & was one of the lucky ones who could get a signal on the big hill) Which reminds me. There is a long steep grade to enter the park.
     
  5. Matt O

    Matt O Strangers are friends who have not yet met

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    Busdriver, that is awesome info you had. Exactly what I was looking for. Except for the Bear part. I won't mention that to DW or my Sis. But I will keep it in mind and take precautions. Site 29 is one I was thinking of. I like the idea of putting the trailer in sideways so I can face the lake. That is an awesome idea. Site 36 and the other sites on the "peninsula" are listed for tents only. I was thinking those would be awesome sites and kept trying to make a reservation thinking that they were so popular that they were constantly booked. Then I clicked on one and it wouldn't even allow for a tent greater than 8x8.

    How steep is the hill on the way into the park? I read that note in the directions area and I am thinking I might avoid it. I have faith in my little 4cyl but if they are telling big rigs to avoid it I will avoid it as well with my small rig pulled by a small engine.

    I have verizon as well so that is good to know about cell service. I find that Verizon has better coverage all over PA than any other service. [8D]

    With all of the kids I think we will leave our Dog Basil with my MIL for this trip. Plus I really really want to wake up, look out the window and see water.....sort of like site 29 [;)]
     
  6. tlhdoc

    tlhdoc New Member

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    Matt you do not want to tow your trailer up the hill to the park. Take the long way in. Bears are all over in that area, but with some dogs in the campground they are not as bad as they were. For the most part the sites are not very level, and some are small. I don't have any pics of the campground, but it is one of the most used in the state. If you check some of the photo websites and search I bet you will find pictures of the campsites. Every year there are hikers that fall on the trail to the falls. Make sure everyone is wearing shoes, not flip flops or sandals. It is a beautiful area. :)
     
  7. busdriverwc75

    busdriverwc75 Chester County, PA

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    I'm glad someone else chimed in about the hill. I really couldn't give you a "yes or no" about it. We were towing a barebones (1800 lbs) popup with a 5.4l V8 truck, so the hill wasn't an issue for us. Would I want to haul my hybrid up that hill now? Don't think so :)

    We really liked putting the pup sideways across the site so everything we did was facing the lake. We parked the truck alongside the pup, which acted as a buffer from the road. This setup gave us a good amount of privacy.

    29 is a waterfront site w/ a great view, but there is low growth & underbrush btwn the site area & the lake. There's a little pathway (maybe only a few ft long), that gives you access to the water. My boys were able to fish from there. The good thing is that, since the embankment isn't completely open in the main area of the site, w/ a 2 yr old, you won't have to worry about him losing his footing & accidentally toppling into the water.

    I do have a few pictures on my shutterfly site under the popup tab. Looking at my campground notebook, I have a comment that I wouldn't want site 45 due to an incline. Unfortunately, I didn't take many detailed notes since I didn't think we would return due to the No Pet Policy.
     
  8. Matt O

    Matt O Strangers are friends who have not yet met

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    I already snuck a look at your pictures [CAM] Your boys have grown a little since then. I think I will book that site. I am trying to get a rally going there 4/29-5/1. tlhdoc is going, are you interested? They do allow pets in the small loop now [DOG]
     
  9. silvermickey2002

    silvermickey2002 Morris County, NJ

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    Yes, I totally forgot about the hill driving in. It is a very steep hill and I would not recommend it if you have a 4 cyl TV. Take the long way around!!!

    As for the trails along the falls. Yes, plenty of steps going down and more on the other side coming back up. I would reconsider the hiking stroller though. There are parts of the trail you will end up carrying it. By all means make sure your camera batteries are fully charged! You will need them, lots of great photo ops!

    Now as for bears, we were warned about them, but never saw them anywhere. We went in mid September with the scouts and we had 6 tent sites since the group sites are no longer open. All food and smellables were locked in the trucks at night and when we were not at the sites.
     
  10. busdriverwc75

    busdriverwc75 Chester County, PA

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    Sorry to say, we won't be there. The college son will be joining us at Killens Pond in DE the wknd before, & we'll be with the MAC crew @ Tuckahoe State Park in MD the wknd after. My DH turns 50 on 4/30, so I guess I'll do something special for that, too. [:D] Camping 3 wknds in a row won't work out for us this time.
     
  11. tlhdoc

    tlhdoc New Member

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    My DH will be 59 on April 30th. We could dedicate this trip to your DH. [:D] That would be special.
     
  12. busdriverwc75

    busdriverwc75 Chester County, PA

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    Aww Tracy, now you're really tempting me! We did a "family" camping trip, which unbeknownst to him, turned into a surprise "group" camping trip for his 40th.

    What a popular day. Besides DH's bday, it's also one of my dearest friend's bday, too.
     
  13. tlhdoc

    tlhdoc New Member

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    We can do a surprise party for him...if you come and bring him along. [;)]
     

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