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General Overview

Michaux State Forest is located in Cumberland, Adams, and Franklin counties in Pennsylvania, named after French botanist André Michaux. It covers over 85,000 acres and is managed by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR). The forest is known for its rich biodiversity, picturesque vistas, and extensive network of trails for hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding. Moreover, Michaux State Forest also provides camping opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts.

Camping Regulations and Information

Permit Requirements:

  • Camping in Michaux State Forest requires a free camping permit for stays longer than one night.
  • Permits can be obtained from the forest district office.

Types of Camping:

  • Motorized Camping: Designated areas for those who wish to camp near their vehicles.
  • Primitive Camping: For a more secluded experience, away from developed areas.
  • Backpacking: Along the forest's extensive trail system, with some restrictions near designated natural areas.

Designated Camping Areas:

  • The forest includes several designated camping areas, and campers are generally encouraged to use these sites to minimize their impact on the environment.


  • Facilities at campgrounds can vary, from primitive with very limited amenities to more developed sites with restrooms and picnic tables.


  • Campfires are permitted but must be kept within provided fire rings or existing fireplaces.
  • Always check for seasonal fire restrictions or bans due to dry conditions.

Duration of Stay:

  • Campers are usually limited to a certain number of consecutive nights in the same spot, typically 14 days.

Safety and Etiquette

Leave No Trace:

  • Adherence to Leave No Trace principles is expected to preserve the natural beauty and maintain the integrity of the forest ecosystem.


  • Pets are typically allowed but must be controlled and on a leash.


  • Store food securely to avoid attracting wildlife, especially bears.

Recreation Opportunities

Hiking and Biking:

  • A multitude of trails, including the famous Appalachian Trail, which passes through the forest.

Water Recreation:

  • Streams and lakes suitable for fishing, kayaking, and canoeing.


  • Permitted in designated areas during regulated seasons.

Winter Sports:

  • Some areas are open for snowmobiling and cross-country skiing during winter months.

Access and Contact Information

It is advisable to contact the Michaux State Forest office for the most current information regarding campsite availability, permit requirements, and any seasonal advisories.

Forest District Office Contact:

  • Address: Michaux State Forest, 10099 Lincoln Way East, Fayetteville, PA 17222
  • Phone: You can find the current phone number on the DCNR website or local directories.

Before heading out, always check for the latest updates, as rules and conditions can change due to weather events, seasons, and forest management activities.

Map of Campgrounds in MICHAUX STATE FOREST
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