We are back with another edition of our campground review series. In this edition we will be reviewing Wrights Orchard Station Campground located in Duncansville, Pennsylvania.
This was our second visit to Wrights Orchard Station Campground as we stayed there a little over two years ago when we took our son to school for his freshman year. Since that visit not much has changed and as far as we are concerned that is a good thing.
Wrights Orchard Station Campground is a small no frills family owned campground located just off interstate 99 and borders the town of Altoona, PA. It is open seasonally from May until the end of October and is in a great location as you can easily drive into town or get on the interstate and go in any direction for hiking, fishing, historical sites or just for some outdoor fun. Just plan on using your vehicle, uber or public transportation as this is an older town and there are zero sidewalks along the streets for walking and traffic moves fast.
The approach and entrance to the campground can be a little tricky as it is situated between their storage unit complex and is not visible from the road. Also, the driveway is in the middle of an intersection making the turn a little more complicated. But once you make the turn you will head all the way up a gravel drive path, past the storage facility, and the campground is nicely tucked away in the back. It’s really simple, but it’s one of those roads that make you second guess if you are on the correct path.
Campsites – The campground is pretty small so the number of sites are limited. All of the back in sites around the outer perimeter are 50/30 amp sites with full hook-ups. The middle pull-thru sites, with one exception, are all water and electric only as well as mostly 30 amp only. The spaces are quite large with grass and a lot of tree coverage for shade in most of the sites. It’s the perfect outdoor area for camping and relaxing. Most of the campsite have built in fire pits and if you don’t have one they will bring you a portable fire pit. They also sell wood on site by the crate for $5.
One knock is that some of the spaces are not very level so make sure you have blocks or something to help you level out. They try to level the sites using the common wheel base of most RV’s so it can be tricky to get in the level areas. It was difficult for our 40′ motorhome to get on level ground so we ended us using blocks.
The campground actually has pretty good wi-fi and we were able to stream movies on Netflix and Amazon. They also have 3 tent sites up on the hill that are surrounded by trees with fire pits. These are great spots if you are a tent camper as it’s quiet and a little secluded.
Common Areas – The campground is very well maintained and the owner is very vigilant to make sure it stays that way. The nice part about some small family owned campgrounds is that there is a high level of pride that owners take in maintaining their property. When you are a no frills campground a beautiful and relaxing property is what people pay for and good owners will make sure to maintain that level which they do at this campground.
The only other common areas are the small laundry room, bath houses and a small pavilion that has some games for kids to play. All are well maintained and very clean. As we said this is a no frills campground so there is no cable tv, dog parks or swimming pools. Just nature, relaxation and a friendly environment. Please Note: If you use satellite TV try and get a spot without trees in front of you as they will block your signal.
The campground is kept very clean and the small common areas like the bath houses and laundry room are also kept in great condition. There is one dumpster for the campground, located down by the office area, and there was never an issue with it overflowing or stinking up the campground.
The owner takes a lot of pride in maintaining the property so if she see’s anything that needs to be addressed she will take care of it.
Aside from being close to our son, there is a reason we came back to this campground and plan to do so again. While this is not some posh resort, it is exactly the type of place we envisioned staying at when we decided to go full-time in our RV. The quiet, clean and relaxing environment makes you feel at home and at peace while still being close to everything you need to keep stocked up and enjoy life.
The location is great because you can go in any direction and go hiking, fishing, visit historical sites or just explore the outdoors. And if you love baseball like we do the Pirates AA affiliate, Altoona Curve, is just down the road and it’s very affordable for families. We went to at least 5 games during our stay.
We also highly recommend visiting the Horseshoe Curve railroad as it is a great place to sit and watch the trains go by while enjoying a picnic with the family. There are also several other historic railroad sites along the old Allegheny Portage Railroad such as the very first railroad tunnel which is now a hiking trail and the railroad museum in Altoona.
For a no frills campground the price is a little steep at $44 – $50 per day depending on the site, but being a family owned campground that is only seasonal this is to be expected. And there is no shortage of people showing up so the price not hurting them. Additionally, the monthly rate of $725 is pretty much in line with most places, but again it’s a little steep for a place with no amenities if we are being honest.
The tent sites up on the hill go for $38 per night if you are looking for a primitive camping spot.
If you are looking for a quiet, relaxing family owned campground this is the place for you. While it might not be for everyone in this era of electronics and must haves, it is what we envisioned full-time RV life would be like. We really enjoyed the small campground feel and getting to know our neighbors and making new friends. The family atmosphere more then makes up for the lack of “things”.
If there is one thing that could be improved it would be getting the sites more level as a whole instead of trying to do it using a common wheel base. There are just too many variables when it comes to RV types, sizes and dimensions to keep doing it this way in my opinion. Plus getting into a site is the first thing a customer does after a long drive. Not being able to get level easily puts an already tired person that has been on the road for hours, if not days, in a bad mood and starts their stay off on the wrong foot. From a customer happiness perspective I hope they reconsider this strategy in the future and level the full site.
In the back of the campground by one of the tent sites there is a trail that goes up through the woods and into the cemetery next door. The cemetery is huge and has a lot of hills which make it an ideal place to go for a walk and get some exercise without having to leave the park. Don’t worry, we spoke with the cemetery groundskeeper, who’s family also own’s the property, as well as the campground owner and they encourage people to walk there as long as the sites are respected. And there are a lot of people who come there from town just to walk the roads as well.
It’s also interesting so see some of the gravesites as they are very old and some have an interesting historical connection. Did you know the inventor of the “slinky” was from the area and that the slinky factory was just down the road? Neither did we! And she is buried in the cemetery with her headstone proudly noting that she is “Mother of 6 and the slinky”.
Didn’t expect to see that one coming did ya!!
We hope you enjoyed our review! If you have any questions please post them in the comments below.
Thank you and safe travels!
P.S. If you haven’t heard we started an online store called StuckonCamping where you can get some of our designs on stickers, magnets, shirts, hats, tote bags and more! Check it out for camping, RV, Jeep and other outdoor designs!
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