8 Fitness-Oriented Camping Spots Near Philadelphia to Try This Summer

Photograph via Flickr user Stephen Harris.

During summer, everyone loves to make full use out of the warm weather, later sunset, and overall positive vibes with vacations, beach trips, and getaways. However, the fitness regime we’ve been working so hard to stick to all year oftentimes falls by the wayside as more fun or time-consuming engagements arise. Which had us thinking: What if there’s a way to combine a vacation with some fitness-oriented activities?

There is, indeed, a way to make this happen, folks. Below, you’ll find eight campsites that offer at least one fitness-oriented activity for you to enjoy while you’re chilling out, having a beer or two, and roasting marshmallows over a campfire. Read on for where to camp — within a three-hour drive from Philly — based on your fitness activity preferences.

For the Athlete

Otter Lake Camp-Resort

1639 Marshalls Creek Road, East Stroudsburg

Sitting on 300 acres in the Pocono Mountains, Otter Lake Camp-Resort has an abundance of land for basically any outdoor activity you can think of. Reserve your camp site — starting at $52 during prime season — and get ready for the fun to unfold. Otter Lake is home to four tennis courts, two racquetball courts, one basketball court, a softball field, a lake where you can swim, boats, fish, and indoor and outdoor pools. All sports equipment — aside from tennis and racquet balls — can be rented with a deposit. There’s also a daily activity schedule for organized softball, soccer, and kickball games.

For the Rock Climber

Ralph Stover State Park

5998 State Park Road, Pipersville

Perfect for climbers and boulderers of all levels, Ralph Stover Park provides a great experience for those looking to climb and camp. The park boasts a 200-foot cliff overlooking the Tohickon Creek for brazen climbers to scale. In addition to the climbing at Ralph Stover, which won’t take you longer than a day to complete, you can explore the park’s hiking trails and creek before hitting the hay at your campsite, which starts at $4 for backpacking or river camping.

For the White-water Rafter

Lehigh Gorge State Park

123 Lehigh Drive, Lehighton (address for white-water rafting)

Known for the water adventure opportunities, Lehigh Gorge State Park is favored for their white-water rafting tours, hosted by Jim Thorpe River Adventures. Hit the Lehigh River with five of your friends — they only take six people on a raft — and opt for a more mellow, “EasyWater” ride perfect for the entire family, or a more intense “BigTime” ride which requires a good bit of mental and physical fitness. You’ll want to reserve a camping spot in the neighboring Hickory Run State Park, a 20-minute drive away, where simple campsites are available as well as deluxe cottages. If you’re staying for a few nights, we suggest exploring fishing at Hickory Run and the Glen Onoko hiking trail, which will bring you right up to a waterfall along the way.

For the Biker

Pine Creek Gorge

4797 Route 600, Wellsboro

Pine Creek Gorge is a pretty cool spot for multiple reasons, the first being: it’s also known as the Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania, because it’s 50 miles long and 1,000 feet deep. It also boasts 62 miles of crushed-stone pathways perfect for biking. Along the way, you’ll see some seriously gorgeous views of rock outcroppings, wildlife, and foliage, but you’ll also run into quite a few “comfort stations” — a.k.a. bathrooms — which will certainly come in handy after hydrating throughout your ride. While camping isn’t available at Pine Creek Gorge, there are plenty of parks and campgrounds nearby — outlined here — that will put you up.

For the Golfer

Tyler State Park

101 Swamp Road, Newtown

The disc golfer, that is. Tyler State Park in Bucks County hosts one of the top-ranked courses in the entire country. Artfully decorated signs help players navigate through all 36 holes of the course, which meanders through the woods, up and down hills and alongside Neshaminy Creek. While you’re there, explore the many attractions Tyler State Park offers in addition to disc golf, including hiking, biking, and a softball field. Ample camping is available on the 1,700-plus-acre plot.

For the Runner

Washington Crossing State Park

355 Washington Crossing Pennington Road, Titusville

Located just across the pond — or the Delaware River — Washington Crossing State Park is the perfect spot to hop on the Delaware Canal Towpath and clock some serious miles — upwards of double-digit miles, if you’re up for it. To get there, you’ll head over the bridge to the west side of the Delaware River, and hop onto the canal path. Head north to New Hope, cross over the bridge into Lambertville, and head south. The whole loop is about 15 miles. Once back on the New Jersey side, you have a few campsites to choose from in the park starting at $30 for New Jersey residents, $60 for non-residents.

For the Water Sports

Nockamixon State Park

1542 Mountain View Drive, Quakertown

Occupying over 1,400-acres of this 5,286-acre park is Lake Nockamixon, which provides ample room for your water sporting desires. On site, you’ll find SUP rentals, as well as single or double kayak rentals. Once you get your footing on the paddle board, you have a crystal-clear seven-mile lake to drift away on. Once you’ve filled your water sport fix, be sure to rent a cabin in the park to lay your head.

For the Adrenaline Junkie

Lums Pond State Park

3355 Red Lion Road, Bear

This park was built around Lums Pond, the largest freshwater pond in Delaware. Aside from being home to beautiful views, fish, and camping, Lums Pond State Park houses a Treetop Adventure course. Propel yourself off Tarzan swings, climb rope ladders, hop on the park’s five zip lines — four of which zoom over water. As for camping, Lums Pond State Park has reservable yurts, RV campsites, and tent camping starting at $40 for residents in the summer.

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