More than 130 additional campsites and cabins in Pennsylvania state parks will be opened to the camping with pets in 2022.
The new pet-friendly camping opportunities will be available in these state parks: Cook Forest, Clarion County, 15 sites; French Creek, Berks County, 2 cabins; Poe Valley, Centre County, 13 sites; Prince Gallitzin State Park, Cambria County, 82 sites; Pymatuning, Crawford County, (number to be determined); and R.B. Winter, Union County, 26 sites and 1 cottage.
“We’re getting the word out early that more than 130 new sites at 6 state parks will be ‘pet friendly’ next year because we know many of our campers like to plan their stays well in advance,” said Cindy Adams Dunn, secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
“Both our Pet Camping and Dogs in Cabins programs have expanded slowly and cautiously as park officials gauge camper acceptance and pet owner compliance. We know many of our campers say their park stays are enhanced by the presence of pets.”
Since its inception as a pilot program in 2001, with 9 state parks participating, Pet Camping has expanded to include all parks that offer camping, except Cherry Springs State Park, Potter County.
Pet owners at the designated sites must comply with program regulations on leashing; barking and other noise; maximum number of pets allowed (2, when the size of a cat or larger); aggressive behavior; proper cleanup and disposal of feces; valid licensing when required; and needed vaccinations.
Violations can lead to campers being required to remove their animals from park grounds.
Park officials are empowered to determine whether animals meet the definitions of “pet” (commonly kept in household captivity) and “caged pets” (will not be released from their cage while at the park).
Livestock are not considered pets.
Payable at time of reservation, pet fees cover added maintenance and program costs at participating parks. Fees are $5 per night for dogs in cabins, deluxe cottages and yurts; $3 per night for standard camping cottages; and $2 per night for campsites.
For more information on state parks already allowing camping with pets, visit the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources website.
— Marcus Schneck/PennLive via Associated Press