Rated as the #1 campground in Pennsylvania on Tripblaze, we figured we had to visit this Corps of Engineering Campground. I don’t want to say we were disappointed but I think we really expected to be wowed by the #1 campground rated on any site. What we found wasn’t mediocre but other issues made for a mediocre total experience. The campground is located along the Allegheny River which sits in between two mountain ranges. Getting to the campground involves navigating several VERY steep but short hills that brought our motorhome to its knees in first gear. If you’re a gasser, disconnect your toad at I80. Be aware that if you’re coming in on PA Route 36 the campground is RIGHT at the bottom of a steep mountain with a truck speed limit of 25mph. It sneaks up on your so be prepared. Once in the recreation area you will again get lost and find the OUTFLOW campground which is a primitive campsite on the OTHER side of the river. You want to be on the SOUTH side (don’t cross the one lane bridge), instead the campground is straight ahead but it doesn’t look that way. Suffice to say we had a frustrating time getting everything sorted.
The campground itsel was very clean. It was not very full during the week yet low voltage caused our 30 amp breaker to trip several times, probably due to thunderstorms in the area. Although Verizon LTE service was amazingly good and fast, AT&T was edge and it was NOT getting Edge speeds. It was horrendous and completely unusable. Satellite is difficult to obtain but our site, right near the bathrooms in the northern loop offered best prospects and we were able to hit western arc satellites for Dish Network. The best sites by far though are the far most southern 3 sites on the southern loop by the dam. The view of the dam is pretty cool and there aren’t as many trees and bugs on these sites. The sites vary in quality and you’ll want to scrutinze google maps carefully to get what you want. Our site was mostly dirt while other sites are manicured gravel. None were paved. Our picnic table was made of steel and was falling apart. Like many wooded sites near water, mosquitoes were baaaaad.
There was a nice family atmosphere. The place cleared out during the week but was almost fully booked on the weekend. Many families bringing boats both small and large to take out on the lake. Other families go up the Allegheny River to take canoe trips (sometimes even multiple day trips). There were tons of kids riding around on bikes and they were fairly safe.
From the perspective of the full time RVer this is not a great place! Dining options were far and few between, google maps sent you everywhere but where you needed to go and the only good thing we had the whole time there was the Pizza from the Seldom Inn. The highly rated pierogies from T&K Dinor we felt were average. The grocery store was small and had nearly nothing. The town is extremely rural so if that’s your thing, you’ll like it. We like civilization and infrastructure somewhat nearby. We eat familiar chain restaurant food once or twice a week.
So the final determination for us is that we know there is better. Raystown lake for starters. We haven’t been to all of the campgrounds in PA to maek the determination but Tionesta should not be on anyone’s “must see” list but if you’re in there area and want a nice outdoorsy experience, it certainly delivers.
Last modified: 21 October, 2014
Created: 16 August, 2013