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Monday, June 14, 2010


Overnight sites on a sunny day.Our Opinion: Rave - quiet park, great area, great price for Passport America members.

Date of Stay: June 9 through 16 , 2010.

Weather During Stay:  Highs in the upper 70’s and low 80’s, lows in the mid to upper 60’s; sun, clouds and sprinkles.  The elevation here in the Laurel Highlands area is unusually high for Pennsylvania, so temperatures were relatively cool by summertime standards.

Site Description:  This 200 acre campground has 110 campsites, mostly in open grassy areas around clusters of trees.  Half the sites are for “seasonals” and half a dozen are tent sites.  Another dozen have water, electricity and cable TV - leaving around 30 FHU (50 amp) sites with cable TV, nicely separated from the seasonals.  There are two cabins for rent, as well.

The sites used by overnighters are arranged in three rows.  Each site has a fire ring and picnic  table on a large grass strip, well sized for a commercial park, with room for slides, awnings, chairs and BBQ grill.  Roads and sites are gravel; sites are reasonably level and long enough for a big rig and towed.

Site 100 at Hickory HollowThe park’s amenities include a small swimming pool, a small lake with paddleboats and a walking path; a large, clean bathhouse; a playground; and a small store in the office (with ice cream).  One washer and one dryer in the laundry room.  A large pavilion is available for groups.

Rate: Standard rate for 50 amp FHU with cable TV is $30/night.  Passport America is accepted all nights except Friday and Saturday, so we paid $15/night for 6 of the 8 nights we stayed.  Excellent deal!

Phone/radio/TV:  Our Verizon phones and aircard (usually on broadband) work here, though the signal is weak.  No obstacles for our satellite TV in our site, and cable TV is included in the price. No WiFi, and we couldn’t find a local NPR station.

Elevation/landscape/terrain: This is a hilly, green, partly forested campground at around 2,000 feet.  Views are of neighbors, grass, cows, trees and, for a few sites, a small lake.

Lighting/noise:  Dark and quiet at night.

Favorite Sites: We were in site 100, nicely level.   The “overnight” sites are all similar, but 81 through 87 are closest to the playground.

The Lake Hiking/Walking: Walking around the large park is pleasant, but good hiking is not far away - either in the nearby state parks, or on the Great Allegheny Passage rails-to-trails route (there is a trailhead less than 5 miles away in Rockwood).

Comments:  More appealing than most commercial parks, Hickory Hollow is centrally located to an amazing number and variety of sights and activities: the Flight 93 crash site and memorial; the Johnstown Flood Museum;  two Frank Lloyd Wright designed homes, including Fallingwater; several state parks with hiking/biking trails; river rafting at Ohiopyle State Park; and a rails-to-trails bike path.  This is a beautiful area, and we hope to return someday.

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