Camping in Northwestern PA

Post 8 of 36
Drake Well, Titusville, PA

Many people ask what is there to do or see in “The Great Lakes Area” of Northwestern PA.  First, “The Great Lakes Region,” is best known for our Pennsylvania’s most visited State Park – Presque Isle which sits on Lake Erie, which is of course, part of the Great Lakes.  But “The Great Lakes Region” is really about all of our great lakes, not just the most famous one!

There is no shortage of things to do and see in the Northwest corner of PA!  Our great lakes range in size from the shores of Lake Erie (the real Great Lake) to the smaller lakes and marshes that are so prevalent throughout the area.  Northwestern PA is not only home to Lake Erie but also our second most visited State park which happens to sit on the shores of Pymatuning Lake and Spillway.  Along with these two very well-known lakes are lesser known Conneaut Lake, Tamarack Lake, Sugar Lake, Canadohta Lake, and more!

This “great lakes area of Pennsylvania” offers all kinds of water and outdoor recreation in Crawford County and Northwestern PA!  These lakes have provided vacations for areas for generations of Pennsylvanians and surrounding states.  Conneaut Lake and the Conneaut Lake Hotel was a favorite vacation spot of Samuel Clemens, better known by his pen name, Mark Twain, who resided in Elmira NY.  Conneaut Lake Amusement Park was a frequent company picnic spot for years for people from the Pittsburgh and surrounding areas.  This area has a long history of being a destination area for fishing, boating, canoeing, kayaking, and more.

There are many other great outdoor destination sights to see and visit in the surrounding area of Northwestern PA!

Let’s not forget French Creek, one of the most diverse rivers in Western PA, it provides unique canoeing and kayaking adventures!

The Erie Wildlife Refuge boasts hiking trails, nesting bald eagles, and migratory birds.  The Ernst Trail in Meadville is a great paved hiking and biking trail.  Oil Creek State Park is a great biking destination, and there is also The Oil Creek and Titusville Railroad and Drake Well Oil Museum to visit.  This area is “The valley That Changed The World” as featured on the History Channel.  Oil was first discovered here and helped usher in the industrial revolution!  It’s a history lesson you won’t want to miss.

There are also a host of events and festivals all summer long in Northwestern PA!  Make your vacation educational with attending any of the many historical events!

Ever been to a hot air balloon event?  If not, you need to camp the Thursday through Sunday of Father’s Day Weekend each year, and attend the Thurston Classic Hot Air Balloon Event!

We have French & Indian War Re-Enactments and Civil War Re-Enactments!  In addition, the area is rich with history that even includes General Washington’s Drummer boy’s local burial site, which was a featured geocach destination last summer!  You never know what you’re going to discover in Northwestern PA!

Be sure to check out The Crawford County Fair!  It is one of Pennsylvania’s largest agricultural fairs in the commonwealth.  It features top-notch music entertainment, local art, photography, agricultural contests, horse shows, and more!

Love to camp in the autumn, then you’ll want to check out these great fall events too!  Have you ever attended a giant pumpkin drop?  Or the Franklin Applefest?  Well, if not, you’re missing out on some great fall camping experiences and local events!

So whether you seek to get back to nature and canoe, kayak, hike, bike, boat, fish, bird watch, or whether you prefer to attend fairs, hot air balloon events, or historical re-enactments, Crawford County and NW PA has something for you!

Would you like a guided fishing trip, to go on a rented kayak trip of French Creek, or take a boat ride?  If you would like a more complete list of things to do in the area, please visit our page at:

Come explore these great, nearby parks for even more outdoor recreation like biking, hiking, kayaking, fishing, boating, and more!  Then, return to your base camp at centrally located Meadville KOA Campground, and enjoy all the modern facilities and amenities like full hook up campsites with cable TV, Wi-Fi, a swimming pool, catch and release fishing, themed event weekends with planned activities, outdoor recreation, or, just relax by a campfire!

So why not get off the beaten path and camp in the wide open spaces of Crawford County?  Come enjoy your great lakes vacation in the beautiful surroundings of Northwestern Pennsylvania!

We refer you to the Crawford County Visitor’s Bureau and their schedule of events and more!  You can find more information at:

By Robyn Chilson

Tim & Robyn Chilson are both CPO, own Meadville KOA Campground in Meadville, PA.  Contact Robyn at 814-789-3251.

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This article was written by Robyn Chilson

Tim and Robyn Chilson are both Certified Park Operators (CPO) and have owned and operated Meadville KOA Campground since October of 1999. Robyn can be reached at 814-789-3251.