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General Overview

Colonel Denning State Park, named after William Denning, a Revolutionary War veteran, is a 273-acre Pennsylvania state park situated in Cumberland County. The park is renowned for its picturesque Doubling Gap Lake and a variety of outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing, and camping.

Camping Facilities

Colonel Denning State Park offers a camping area that includes several amenities:

  • Tent and Trailer Sites: The park features a range of sites for tent and trailer camping. Each campsite typically includes a fire ring and a picnic table, with some sites offering electric hookups.

  • Restrooms and Showers: The camping area includes modern restrooms with flush toilets and warm showers for camper convenience.

  • Seasonal Availability: The camping season typically runs from the beginning of April until the end of October, with some availability outside these dates depending on weather conditions.


  • Hiking: The park is a hub for hikers, offering access to the Tuscarora Trail and several other local trails.

  • Swimming: Although there is no pool, Doubling Gap Lake provides opportunities for swimming during the summer season. The beach is open from late-May to mid-September.

  • Boating: Canoes, kayaks, and rowboats are permitted on Doubling Gap Lake. Electric motors are allowed but gasoline-powered engines are not.

  • Fishing: The lake is stocked with trout and is a popular spot for fishing. Anglers can also find bass, panfish, and catfish.

Local Wildlife

  • Flora: The park hosts a variety of plant species due to its diverse habitats, including forests and wetlands.

  • Fauna: Visitors may observe plentiful wildlife, such as white-tailed deer, squirrels, and various species of birds.

Pet Policy

  • Pets: Pets are allowed at certain campsites, but must be kept on a leash and attended at all times. Certain restrictions may apply, so it is advisable to review the pet policy in advance.

Nearby Attractions and State Parks

  • Kings Gap Environmental Education Center: Approximately 18 miles away, offering additional hiking trails and environmental programs.

  • Pine Grove Furnace State Park: Located about 20 miles from Colonel Denning, known for the Appalachian Trail Museum.

Reservations and Fees

  • Booking: Campsites can be reserved online through the Pennsylvania State Parks reservation system or by calling the park.

  • Fees: There are fees associated with camping, which vary based on the type of site and the season. Check the Pennsylvania State Parks website for the most current rates.


  • Weather: Be prepared for changing weather conditions and always check the forecast before your trip.

  • Wildlife Safety: Store food properly and maintain a safe distance from wild animals.

  • Leave No Trace: Follow Leave No Trace principles to minimize your impact on the natural environment.

Before planning a trip to Colonel Denning State Park, it's always a good idea to check the latest information regarding park operations, rules, and regulations on the official Pennsylvania State Parks website or contact the park office directly for the most current advice and instructions.

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