Can You Camp Anywhere in Allegheny National Forest?

Located in the western part of Pennsylvania, The Allegheny National Forest is an amazing 517,000 acres of nature to explore. It has a variety of habitats, from lakefronts and wetlands to streams and forests full of wildlife. For those looking for a great camping experience, the Allegheny National Forest offers plenty of options.

Camping at Developed Campgrounds

The Allegheny National Forest has five developed campgrounds that are open year-round for camping. Each campground has its own amenities such as tables, grills, fire rings, trash cans and toilets.

Some also have RV hookups and showers available. All campsites can be booked in advance through their website or by calling the local ranger station.

Backcountry Camping

The Allegheny National Forest also allows for backcountry camping in areas that are more remote than the developed campgrounds. This type of camping requires a permit which can be obtained at any Ranger Station in the area or online through their website. Backcountry camping allows you to explore more remote areas and take in the beauty of nature with fewer people around.

Dispersed Camping

The National Forest also allows for dispersed camping which is essentially just primitive camping outside of designated areas. This means that you can set up camp anywhere within the forest boundaries as long as you follow Leave No Trace principles and camp at least 200 feet away from roads and trails. Dispersed camping is a great way to get away from it all and really experience all that nature has to offer without having to pay for a campsite or stay in a designated area.


Yes, you can camp anywhere in Allegheny National Forest as long as you abide by local regulations and follow Leave No Trace principles when setting up camp. Whether you choose one of their developed campgrounds or venture out into more remote areas with backcountry or dispersed camping, there is something for everyone to enjoy at this beautiful national forest!

Photo of author

Chris Powell