The campground officially opened for the 2021 season on April 15th and we know you are as excited as we are to get back outdoors! The familiar signs of Spring are already popping up around the beautiful Laurel Highlands as the snow melts off the mountains, the ducks are finding their way back to Lake Ann, and the black angus cattle can be seen grazing peacefully in anticipation of better days.
Better days are on everyone’s list after a long winter and a very challenging 2020. People throughout the country have been sheltering in place for many months and as restrictions start to loosen up, families are looking for safe ways to improve both their mental and physical wellbeing. According to CNN Travel, camping is still ranked among the safer forms of recreation. It falls on the scale of low risk activities along with golf and getting groceries when following proper protocols. The biggest thing in camping’s favor is the fact that you’re outdoors, so go ahead and start planning that soul-cleansing getaway without worry.
A year of lockdown has everyone anxious to start doing fun things again, but it’s still important to keep safety in mind when thinking about your next adventure. Proper planning is key for a great summer retreat in the mountains and if 2021 is anything like last summer you should make your reservations early to ensure availability. Reservations are easy to make on the Hickory Hollow website and we are booking up fast, so we encourage you to book now for the summer.
Whether you are looking to just kick back and relax or looking for some fun activities to participate in, Hickory Hollow makes camping fun and easy. The beautiful camp store is fully stocked with anything you may have forgotten to bring along with delicious smore kits, comfortable t-shirts and hoodies, custom designed camp masks, firewood, and so much more. If shopping in the store tires you out, take a break on the benches overlooking Lake Ann and enjoy the young goslings that will be hatching soon around the lake or see the fish jumping up for their dinner.
Lots of the annual events and some new activities are already scheduled for the season so remember to check out the Activities tab on the website prior to your arrival to ensure you come prepared for the fun. If you love a good horse race, or maybe just a really cool party, check out the Kentucky Derby Watch Party scheduled for May 1st. I’m betting you are going to have a great time, win or lose! You will probably see more golf cart/lawn bingo this summer, it was a big hit last year with the social distancing regulations so it’s back on the schedule.
The summer of 2020 saw people experiencing the great outdoors in different ways, some for the first time in years. Folks of all ages started to embrace the more rustic and earthy getaways like camping and visiting state parks. I’ve been a frequent visitor to the local state parks for years and never remember seeing so many visitors enjoying everything the parks have to offer as I did last summer.
There are fifteen state parks within 60 miles of Hickory Hollow Campground that offer a wide array of outdoor activities for all ages. Take the kids and the dog to Laurel Hill State Park located just 8 miles down the road and let them play in the stream and enjoy the cool waterfall. Or drive 24 miles south and check out Ohiopyle State Park, one of my favorite destination spots to entertain guests from outside the area. Treat yourself to a double dip of old fashioned ice cream at the famous Falls Market after you’ve experienced everything there is to see and do at the falls. While in that area, don’t miss the opportunity to discover Fallingwater, the architectural masterwork of Frank Lloyd Wright, an experience that’s been delighting guests with its natural beauty for over 50 years.
Check out the calendar of events for the local state parks by going to https://events.dcnr.pa.gov and you’ll find activities ranging from hawk watching and owl prowls, to lakeshore hikes, kayak and bike rentals, and even bluegrass festivals. With more than 39 trails covering over 4,000 miles, you will have no trouble finding a bike or walking trail to explore around the local area, so bring your bikes along to cruise the campground and get to know your fellow campers or to explore the Laurel Highlands on your own.
As we get ready to welcome the Spring equinox and the start of the 2021 camping season the staff at Hickory Hollow is anxious to welcome back old friends and are looking forward to making new ones. “Then came the healing time, hearts started to shine, soul felt so fine, oh what a freeing time it was.” Here’s to a great summer filled with adventures, great friendships, and beautiful sunsets.