Little Pine State Park

Waterville, PA

Little Pine State Park - Waterville, PA

When: August 4 – August 8, 2021
Duration: 5 days, 4 nights
Location: Waterville, PA
Cost: $27 per night
Miles from SE PA: 183 miles
Site#: 7


About Little Pine State Park

I have been making the yearly trek to Little Pine State Park (or as we so lovingly shorten it to Pine Creek) since I was an infant.  In fact, my family trips each year to the campground are what inspired my love of camping.  We used to be way less glamorous with just a tent and a cooler full of food but the memories that I made over the many years make Pine Creek my absolute favorite place to camp – ah, nostalgia, my dear old friend.

Even though Little Pine is a relatively small campground, it’s vast in regards to the property and adventurous things to do.  There are only around 100 sites and not many are dog sites (which is such a huge whomp whomp) so we don’t always drag the puppers with us.  There are many trails to hike, including the Mid-State and Lakeshore Trails.  Of course there are lots of streams to fish, tube down, take epically long canoe trips on, or swim in.  More on that in a bit.

Taken directly from DCNR’s page, “The 2,158-acre Little Pine State Park is surrounded by a beautiful mountain section of Tiadaghton State Forest in the PA Wilds. The 94-acre Little Pine Lake, hiking trails, campground and nesting bald eagles are prime attractions to the park.” 

Since we ordinarily make the trip annually, we have stories galore from the shenanigans that take place at Pine Creek.  In 2019, we hit a wayward wild turkey on our voyage, which ripped off our truck mirror, I almost burnt the camper down with a grease fire involving my induction cooktop, The Explorer had a major bike accident with head injury that resulted in a trip to the ER, and The Explorer narrowly missed being bitten by a copperhead snake.  Other crazy antics include a 6-hour canoe trip, a 10-mile bike trip where The Explorer’s brake was stuck on for the first 5 miles (oops), and giant family style meals to serve an army.

One major thing to note:  Pine Creek is not for everyone.  There is zero cell service for about 20-30 minutes in every direction.  If you are looking to disconnect and go off the grid, this is your place; however, if you can’t go a few days without having to check email, receive messages, or search the world-wide web, then I would not recommend a stay at Pine Creek.  They used to allow you to log into their wi-fi at the Happy Acres store but word is that they discontinued that so now you are truly cut off from the world when you camp at Pine Creek.  This is one of the reasons we love it so much since The Engineer is in sales and it’s the only time I don’t have to say “shhhhh, daddy’s on the phone” constantly.


Our Pine Creek Crew

Typically, this is our largest sized group of the season.  Not only do we invite lots of family and friends, but because it is close to where we grew up, we get many visitors, which makes the trip even more amazing.  Our 2021 trip included my parents, our friends (the Faunt and Funcle and their kids), plus the Faunt’s Dad, my cousin and his wife and her niece, and my great aunt and uncle.


Activities We Love to Do

Even though Pine Creek is small, we always long for more time because there are so many things to do outdoors.  Here is a list of a few of our favorites:



In 2018, The Engineer bought a canoe right before our Pine Creek trip.  We normally go in early August which can cause issues as the streams can be quite low depending on the rainful for the year.  We’ve lucked out the past few years and have been able to take some fantastic trips down Big Pine Creek.   


Tubing/Swimming Holes:

There are so many places to tube and swim, including in Little Pine Creek, which runs along the campground.  We have River Run tubes that we purchased at our local Ace Hardware but you can get them at Dick’s Sporting Goods, Walmart, Amazon, etc.  If you want to go where the water is deeper, we found a great hole at Rattlesnake Rock:

There are so many places to explore and a lot of launch spots along the streams. Another place we swim is Hamilton Bottom:


There is a beach and pavillion that you can drive to (or if you’re super ambitious you can ride your bike but it’s up a steep hill and may result in a bunch of Jonah the moaners).  It’s a small beach but when the kids were little, they loved to head to the beach and make sandcastles and play in the water.  There is a bathouse as well which helps with rinsing off the yuckies.


The playground, while not ellaborate, is a major hangout at the campground.  The kids love when we get sites 69/70 (or any of the dog sites down by the spillway) because then they are able to dominate the swings and have countless hours of friendship making.


Happy Acres:

From the park, you can take a short walk to Happy Acres Restaurant and store.  We normally reward our uphill hike with ice cream but the store has many amenities if you forgot something.  During extreme washouts, we’ve also eaten at the restuarant.

Slate Run Tackle Shop:

If fly fishing is your thing, check out Slate Run Tackle Shop.

McConnell’s Country Store: 

This store is another great place for ice cream and hoagies, along with some soveneirs and accessories.

Fin Fur & Feather:

I grew up visiting this store every single year and then it closed…but it’s been opened again by one of my mom’s classmates!  There are so many interesting finds at this store that you have to check it out for yourself.

Cedar Run General Store:

Ok, there seems to be a theme around ice cream but who doesn’t love ice cream.  We often do a trek on the Rails to Trails and stop in for some ice cream at Cedar Run General Store.

Rails to Trails

Rails to Trails is an old railroad bed turned into a bike/walking path.  The Pine Creek Rail trail goes on for nearly 63 miles and we also ride the Rails to Trails when we visit Ives Run.  My parents ride their bikes on the trail pretty frequently so they try to pick the shadier spots to ride along for those of us who burn to a crisp in the sun.  I haven’t been able to find a decent map of the parking points to enter the trail but there is a map displayed at the park office and I bet if you ask your fellow campers, they’d be happy to share their favorite spots on the trail because many of them are local(ish).

Trip Video

Our video highlights some of the antics from our 2021 Little Pine State Park Trip.

Photos from Years Past

Since Pine Creek is a yearly event, we have compiled quite the scrapbook of photos.  Here are just a few to enjoy:


Recent Travels

I have categorized each of my posts about campgrounds in order to make them easy to spot.  Each time we visit a campground, I provide a review at the end of each post.  Huge caveat – my taste may be different than yours and that’s quite okay but make sure you read my Rating Criteria to see what we are seeking when making our final judgement.

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Bass Lake

When: June 21 - June 25, 2021 Duration: 5 days, 4 nights Location: Parish, NY Cost: $0 per night (with TRA membership) Miles from SE PA: 260 miles Site#: 262 and 263  About Bass Lake Bass Lake is part of our Camping Timeshare that we have through Travel Resorts...


Campground Review

Little Pine State Park

$27 per night





Sun/Shade Ratio




Pad Comfort


Activities Near By


Seasonal Sites


Fire Pit


Site Size


Golf Cart



  • Spacious Sites
  • Quiet
  • Great fire rings with plenty of room for a fire
  • Lots of activities in the area
  • Trees for hammocks
  • Great for viewing stars


  • Not enough pet sites
  • Road work on the way in is treacherous
  • Sites by spillway are very loud
  • Bears and rattlesnakes can be an issue in August
  • There is only electric hook up; you must fill up water before heading to your site!

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