Tips for Camping in the Rain

I don’t know what everyone else thinks, but to me it seems like it has been raining more than anything else this camping season and it makes me sad. BUT, that doesn’t mean that you can’t camp – it just might take a few extra preparation steps. I’m going to share some of the things you could do to prepare yourself more and also what Hickory Hollow provides to plan your trips accordingly (even if rain is in the forecast.) This blog is tailored more towards our tent campers or anyone who isn’t necessarily a RV camper, but anyone is welcome to check them out!

Location
Make sure you are choosing a good location to camp. Hickory Hollow offers cabins (Rustic and Full-Service) that make a great option for dry camping, plus they are beautiful and have a breathtaking view of our lake right out the door! There are also Conestoga Wagons that we started last year and these are a huge hit with campers. They keep you up off the ground and are covered (we even added a window for airflow!) These are a great choice for anyone who wants a different experience camping!

Now that I told you what Hickory Hollow provides, there are also other tips you should consider when choosing a location to camp (even if it isn’t with us.)

Find an area on higher ground with trees overhead (these will come in handy when it comes to hanging tarps – which I will get to in a little bit.) Avoid lower areas that can collect run-off or become flooded with heavy rain. We actually moved our tent sites at Hickory Hollow from a low to a high point at the campground which is much better when trying to avoid the rain!

Rain Free Space
Create a rain-free area using tarps, paracord and the trees above you. This will make a great shelter for gathering, cooking, or simply relaxing. Even if it isn’t raining, this creates a nice shaded area for you to set up (plus it’s not a bad idea to keep your cooking area sheltered too.)

If it is raining while you are trying to set up camp, hang a tarp above where you plan to set up your tent. This will help keep you and your tent dry while putting it up.

If you have an extra tarp, it’s also good to put one underneath your tent before you set it up. This can give you tent a little extra protection from water on the ground and prevent it from getting rips and tears from anything on the ground.

Wet Clothing or Gear
Sometimes the rain is unavoidable which can result in wet clothing and gear, so of course you’ll need a way to dry them. If you set up a tarp covering, you can then add a drying line to hang up your wet clothes and gear to dry.

Campfires
I know you’re thinking it is impossible to make a campfire in the rain, right? Well there are options to make this a little easier on you. Campfires are essential for camping when it comes to cooking and heat, so there are ways to make a fire even when it’s raining. Of course if you make a tarp cover high enough up that it is safe to make a fire, that is always a good option. Trees make decent covering too, but if everything is wet, how do you think you are going to make fire?

There are some waterproof fire starter options like waterproof matches and lighters, but we know that’s not all you will need to start a fire.

Starting with Tinder (because wet tinder won’t help you at all) check underneath pine trees, you may have to do a little digging, but you may be able to find some dry pine needles that make great tinder for fires. You can also make your own by finding the driest log you can, pealing off the bark (hoping that the wood underneath is dry) you can then use a knife to scrape at the wood to create thin shavings that can burn quick and hot! If you don’t like that option, you can also pack your own waterproof tinder (which you can find on Amazon or other places that handing camping equipment) that is good to pack in your emergency/survival kit.

Next you need Kindling, which like tinder can be found under trees or you can also find branches or twigs to scrape down to find dry wood beneath the surface.

When it comes to fuel wood, yes there are ways to find it outdoors (which you can look into if you’re camping at a more rugged terrain), but at Hickory Hollow we have you covered on the wood to fuel the fire. We sell bundles of wood for $5.00 to our campers and it is kept dry (plus it’s already split for you!) This makes the idea of finding large, dry pieces of wood a little less tedious on our campers.

Here are a few other quick and easy tips to remember if your camping gets hindered by the rain:
– Pack Ponchos or Raincoats to protect yourself from the weather
– Emergency Rain suits for your survival kits for those seriously wet situations
– Waterproof backpacks or a backpack rain cover to keep your items dry

If you have any other tips or trick to camping in the rain, feel free to leave us a comment! If there are any other blog topics that you would like me to write about for the campground, please let me know and I will do my best to incorporate it into our blog!

Thanks for reading!

Always at home, wherever you roam.

If you’ve ever gone camping, one of the best parts about it is making your campsite home-y for yourself no matter how long you are camping for. There are lots of great ways to go about doing this and our seasonal campers (even some of our overnighters!) are pros at making their campsites their home away from home. I have put together a few ways that I have seen our campers make their sites home-y that could help you spruce up your campsite the next time you’re out!

All photos were taken at Hickory Hollow Campground.

Make people feel welcome
You can make your site welcoming to other campers with a few simple touches. Just like you put at your house, why not decorating your site with welcome signs, mats, or even flags that invite people to your site. This shows that you are open and willing to have people hang out at your site.

Inviting Outdoor Space
Your outdoor space is the most important area (in my opinion.) This is where you gather to eat, spend time together, play games, visit with others, or just relax. There are so many ways to make it comfortable and inviting for other, as well as yourself. You’re patio area is open for creativity! Find your favorite patio furniture and make it comfy! There are campground rugs that really tie the space together and they are made to let sunlight through, and they don’t hold water. Hammocks are another great addition to your campsite. They make a comfy area for you to sit and relax (which is what camping is all about, right?) Don’t forget about those pets though! It wouldn’t be very home-y without them. You can include them with pet-friendly items like ties and mobile play yards that keep them safe. If you have a seasonal site a fence is also an option or having a built in patio area.

Decorations
The best way to make your home feel inviting and comfortable is to decorate it of course! So why wouldn’t you want to do the same at your campsite? You can show off your style and interests while making your campsite comfortable and an enjoyable place to be. Another simple way to do this is to dress up the table. You can easily do this by putting a table cloth on (vinyl ones come in many different patterns and are easy to clean!) Then add an extra touch by putting a centerpiece on the table. This could be a great way to get the kids involved! Have them go on a scavenger hunt and use items from nature to build your own centerpiece. This will not only look cute, but it is a great conversation starter too!

Lighting
I know this could be lumped in with decor, but I have seen so many creative lights used around our campground and they are such a nice touch! Everything from fun solar lights that can be put around the camper or fire pits. Tiki torches can give a really fun look to the site. There are also rope lights and really cool string lights that you can hang on your campers or in the trees! Our campers have been creative with their lights and they always look so good! We have even had events where campers can create their own Puzzle Lights to hang up!

Christmas in July 2019
Christmas in July 2019
Puzzle Lights

Do home activities/routines
What better way to make your campsite feel like home, than to treat it like it is and continue with your normal activities and routines while camping? There are a lot of ways to do this. Bring actual dishes to use, because it definitely feels more like home when you’re using a real plate and glass. Keep up with your normal routines. If you like to get up early and drink a cup of coffee, then do it! Take it outside and enjoy the outdoors too. Not a coffee drinker? Then mix drinks at night and invite your friends to join. You can sit outside and talk while enjoying a campfire! Cooking is important at camp and home, so enjoy making meals. They don’t have to be camping meals, you can try out some non-traditional camp meals at the campsite too. You can have fun too. Hold a game night and play outside.

Celebrate Holidays outside
This isn’t necessarily something to do to your campsite, but more of what you can do at the campground or just at your site. Hickory Hollow always provides fun activities to get involved in during the weekends, the holiday weekends especially. This is a great way to get involved and meet others. You can also create your own holidays or traditions that you have while you’re camping! I have seen graduation parties, birthdays, and so much more. Lots of people create camping traditions, so why haven’t you?

Anna’s birthday on Memorial Day!
Christmas in July 2019

We hope this gives you some great ideas on how to make your campsite a little more like home. If you have other recommendations please feel free to leave them in a comment below!

Eat Like the Locals

During all of this craziness, there is one thing for sure that has seemed to grow within the last few months majorly! I’m sure by the title you can figure out what that is. Restaurants and food industries have had to adapt in order to still provide food services for people (being that food will always be an essential.)They have grown and succeeded greatly in providing food services to their communities. The area local to Hickory Hollow Campground is no different.

I know what you’re thinking, there can’t be many options in such a rural area like this, but you would be incorrect. There are six places I would like to mention in this blog. These restaurants/food services are local to us, but as most of you know, the campground isn’t far from Somerset where there are many more options if these ones do not fulfill your hunger needs. Each of the businesses that I am going to mention have offered alternative arrangements due to the current situation that have satisfied their customers and we hope that they can bring some satisfaction to you too.

Please keep in mind that all hours and services are subject to change. Check out their links for more information.

Zambo’s Country Cottage
This restaurant is only 1.3 miles from the campground (make a right out of the campground entrance and is on the left side) and offers a variety of homemade food! The Country Cottage is open for TAKE-OUT Monday through Friday from 7:00 AM to 8:00 PM. Call to order at (814) 926 – 4800.

Dough Girls Pizza
Pizza is always a great go to for a fast meal (but that’s not all they have), and Dough Girls is only 1.6 miles away at 3003 Kingwood Road, Rockwood. This locally owned restaurant is offering TAKE-OUT and DELIVERY options at this time. They are also opened 7 days a week! (hours vary, so check their page for more info.) Call to make an order at (814) 926 -1010.

Rock City Express (no website available)
This is a little more unconventional, but this gas station has more than just your average convenience store. The pizza here is always a big hit with the customers, so I feel like I have to include it in the list! I don’t have much more information other than it is located 4.3 miles from the campground at 1211 Bridge Street, Rockwood. This would be a TAKE-OUT order, and you can call ahead to place your orders. Call (814) 926 – 2117.

Rock City Cafe
This is a family favorite too. What’s better than wings and beer? Not a whole lot in my opinion. The cafe is located 4.6 miles from the campground at 671 Main Street, Rockwood. They are offering TAKE-OUT and DELIVERY at this time. They are open Tuesday through Saturday from 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm, so make sure you get your orders! Call (814) 926 – 1009 to order.

Mill Shoppes Pizza
I know I seem to be focusing on pizza, but I promise these places offer other food too, I’m just partial to pizza (lol). Check out their whole menu on their website if you don’t believe me! Mill Shoppes Pizza is located 450 Main Street, Rockwood and are offering TAKE-OUT Monday through Saturday from 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm. Call (814) 926 – 3663 to order.

Hometown Pizza
Last pizza place, I promise! This is a small pizza place located at 905 Main Street, Rockwood. You can see their menu on the Facebook page (it’s their profile picture) to find out all that they have to offer. Their hours are not set entirely yet, as they are attempting a trial run for business. You can help them out by ordering this week (Thursday 5/14 and Friday 5/15) from 11:00 AM to 7:00 PM. Call (814) 926 – 4922 for any additional information or to order!

There is one more opportunity to get a great meal that I am going to mention, because it is only taking place this weekend on May 16, 2020. The Rockwood Fire Department is holding a Chicken BBQ from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM and it’s one heck of a deal! For ONLY $10 you get a full meal of BBQ chicken, baked beans, macaroni salad, bread, and cake. Pick up will take place at the fire hall, 630 Main Street, Rockwood. They ask that if you come, please stay in your vehicle and they will assist you.

I hope this helps bring some business to our local restaurants and serves as an outlet for our campers too. Feel free to share with us your favorite meals at these places or pictures from them too. We love hearing from you, especially if we helped you to try something new or revisit somewhere you haven’t been in a while.

Adapting to New Norms

This shouldn’t be news to anyone. We have been dealing with the current situation for well over a month now, and that means that some of us are finally adapting to some new normalities in our lives. Whether you think it is a good idea or not, there have been tons of changes with what we once knew as our daily routines. That is because most of us are itching to get some sort of normalcy in our lives, so we adapt. Even though it can be hard to see anything good come out of a tragic time like now, there is a silver lining to it all (you may just have to look a little harder for it and I may have a solution for you.)

Crazy to think that something good can come out of something so bad, right? Not really. If you’re looking in the right direction, there is always something good to come out of the bad. It may not happen right away, but it’s always there waiting for you to find it. We might even be able to help you find it!

PSA: This is an opinion, not necessarily fact and is also based on our area.

Before this year, I am sure that most of us have never heard of “social distancing” and this has now been a phrase used by most people on the daily (even those who are essential and have been working during everything.) I feel like this is going to be a regularly used phrase for the unforseeable future. What does that mean? Smaller gatherings of people, less touching – I’m sad to say that the days of handshakes and hugs when you see someone will fade out, so first impressions will be a little different now – but don’t let me get you down. Like I said before, there is a silver lining to all of this. Even though the gatherings won’t be a large, it doesn’t mean that they won’t happen at all.

In Pennsylvania, privately-owned campgrounds were allowed to open as of May 1st. We had people staying with us that weekend! See…silver lining. The gatherings are much smaller, but families are getting out and spending time together. The change of scenery helps immensely. There are plenty of ways to social distance at a campground and the fresh air does everyone good!

The orders have caused some difficutly for certain aspects at campgrounds though, like the activities. One of the highlights of camping is doing the activities they provide and with the social distancing orders it is a little more difficult to make these activities happen. We aren’t giving up though and neither are other campgrounds that we have been following! I, personally, have enjoyed seeing all of the creative ways that campgrounds are interacting with their campers (and I’ve been trying a few of my own, so make sure you check out all of Hickory Hollow Campground’s social accounts!) Campgrounds have been adapting to the situation and people are responding so well.

Another big positive, people have been coming together. Amongst the bad, I have never seen so many people coming together and helping one another out. It’s amazing to see and humbling knowing that there is some good in the bad. Everything from supporting small businesses, offering services, or even making masks (which I feel is going to be another norm for a while…) There has been people coming out of the works who have been working so hard to keep others going.

Just keep in mind that there is always good, even when it may not be easy to see amongst the hard times. If you want to know what you can do to help, here’s a few simple ideas to help out:

  • Support small businesses (like campgrounds, plus it’s nice to get outside!)
  • Check on your family, friends, and neighbors (especially if they are alone during this time)
  • Check on your essential people – they are just as stressed out, maybe even more!
  • Take care of yourself! You’re not good for anyone else if you don’t make sure you’re taken care of first!

Just because we are having to adapt to a new normal, doesn’t mean that we can’t live our lives. Get out there, spend some time with family, and go camping! Always remember, the Great Outdoors is never canceled!

Your little home away from home.

I can’t believe that I just realized that I have been writing all of these blogs and telling you what you can be doing during this time, but I have failed to tell you about our campground! The most important piece behind all of my work and everything that I’ve shared with you. I don’t want you to think that I don’t love and appreciate our little campground, when in reality it is my home away from home!

Hickory Hollow Campground is a privately owned campground located in Western, PA. If you’ve ever heard of New Centerville or Rockwood, PA then you’ve probably heard about our campground (or at least you’ve heard about Haunted Hollow which is owned by the same family.) If you’ve never been to the Laurel Highlands in Pennsylvania, then you are missing out! Our campground is located in such a beautiful area, with tons of great things to see and do without going far. There are plenty of places to get out and adventure nearby.

Just a few places you can check out while visiting us are the trails at Laurel Hill State Park (Pumphouse trail has one of the prettiest waterfalls with public access!), the Flight 93 Memorial (which I have mentioned in an earlier blog), and there are ski resorts with beautiful views and things to do while you’re visiting us. There are also plenty of local restaurants that are still accommodating during this time (just in case you don’t feel like cooking over th fire.) But you don’t have to leave our campground to have a good time or enjoy the peace and beauty of our campground.

The scenery at Hickory Hollow is more tthan just for looks! There are plenty of things to do right on our own piece of land. We have a lake (yes, it does classify as a lake) for fishing, a playground, volleyball net, basketball hoop, a pool, an off-leash dog park for our furry family, and lots of places to walk to enjoy everything nature has to offer. That’s not all though! We offer great activities during our holiday weekends and more activities on regular weekends too. This season may be a little different due to social distancing, but that doesn’t mean that we won’t have fun things to do while you’re camping with us!

Now, I know what you’re thinking, I’m just saying all of these things because it’s my job and I have to. Yes, that is true, but that’s not the only reason! We have proof that our campground is great and that we aren’t being biased. If you don’t believe me, believe the people! Our campers have given us so many great reviews on TripAdvisor, Google, and Facebook! We have recieved a 4.9/5 on Facebook reviews and 4.6/5 for Google and that’s pretty great if I do say so myself! Some of the biggest comments we get are that Hickory Hollow is peaceful, beautiful, relaxing, and quiet. It is also comfortable, and extremely clean and neat. We take great pride in our cleanliness and upkeep of our campground and we could do it without our staff and campers!

That’s also a big perk of this campground. We treat everyone like family, because that’s what we are. I consider the people here to be my family and I wouldn’t trade that for anything. We work together to keep going even under stressful, uncertain times like now.

So I hope this clears up anything I may have missed when talking about Hickory Hollow Campground, but feel free to ask questions or let me know what else you’d like to read from me.

We are opening for the season TOMORROW!!! MAY 1, 2020 and we are so excited! Book your reservations now, online here or call the office at (814) 926 – 4636.

Tractors, Trucks, Crowns & Steam – Come on out to the New Centerville Jubilee!

Do you enjoy that fresh country air? The incredible taste of fresh apple cider? What about spending quality time with friends and neighbors? I know I do, and I know many of the campers at Hickory Hollow do as well. But did you know there’s a jubilee that happens only a mile up the road from the campground? And it is happening NEXT WEEK! How exciting right?

This year the New Centerville Volunteer Fire Company is holding their 67th annual Farmers and Threshermens Jubilee beginning on Wednesday September 4th and continuing through Sunday September 8th. If you’re familiar with Hickory Hollow, just make a right out of the campground and it’s only a mile up the road, on the right-hand side. If you’re not familiar with the area, you can still come and check it out. Just take Exit 110 – Somerset off of the PA Turnpike and take Route 281 South, 9 miles to New Centerville. The Jubilee is part of the “4 Fall Festivals” of the Laurel Highlands, so you know it’s going to be a fun time.

As a former Jubilee Queen (Queen XXXI in 2009), I like to think that I know a good bit about the activities that occur and not to mention it’s the mark of the beginning of my favorite time of year…fall. I mean how can you not think fall when there is fresh apple cider being pressed right on the fair grounds?! That’s definitely not all that the Jubilee has to offer though.

Kick off the fun with the annual parade that takes place on Wednesday evening (Sept. 4) and delivers the crowd right into the heart of the Jubilee. There’s so much to see during this parade from floats, to firetrucks, and they even bring out the Steam Engines to ride through the parade. It’s an incredible experience you don’t want to miss. Bring your kids out and let them get some candy from the other attractions in the parade. And who knows, you might even get a sneak peak of our Haunted Hollow actors too!

Photo taken from NCRVFC website

As a former queen, you can imagine that one of my favorite parts of the Jubilee is of course, the Queen contest. This takes place at 7:45 pm Wednesday, so follow the parade into the main Jubilee grounds and head in to the stage to watch these girls turn into young women. Aside from being local or volunteering at the Jubilee, these girls must have knowledge about the history of the jubilee, be able to answer questions with ease in front of an audience, pose themselves with poise and grace while walking the stage, and most importantly be able to be a good role model that represents the local fire department and Jubilee. And these girls are only between the ages of 15 and 18! That seems like a lot to handle for such a young girl, but believe me they have incredible talent. So even if you don’t make it to the contest, make sure you stop and say “hello” to the queen and her court sometime during the week as they attend the different jubilee activities. This is an incredible memory that they will never forget, so help become a part of that journey!

2018 Jubilee Queen & King
Lexi Knopsnyder & Jason Johnson

Don’t forget though, the jubilee fun isn’t only 1 night, the fun lasts clear through Sunday. And trust me, you’ll want to come back more than once. There is so much to do and see every night, but it’s okay if you can’t make it more than once. It is still a great experience no matter how long you can stay. Just to give you a glimpse into the Jubilee fun, there’s truck pulls, tractor pulls, broom making, wood carving, there’s animals, including a dog that churns butter! Even if you think you’re not “into” any of these things, I can promise you it is still a great time. Just being able to spend quality time with people who I don’t get to see as often as I like (and trust me you will run into lots of people) is my favorite thing to do at the jubilee (well aside from eating my apple dumpling…yummm).

Photo from NCRVFC website

If this is you’re type of thing, but you aren’t sure what you can do to get involved there are contests that are held and there is something for EVERYONE! Just of few of the contests include: the photo contest, apple pie contest, the scarecrow contest, even a pumpkin painting contest. But if you don’t want to actually make anything, just taking time to go and appreciate the creativity that people put into their art is enough to entertain you.

Honestly though, out of everything that is going on, yes even checking out the dog-powered butter churning (because you know how much I love animals), the absolute best part of the jubilee is spending time with friends and family. Even when I run into someone from my past or even that is on my social media accounts that I don’t see much, I enjoy catching up with them face to face. Our lives are so busy all of the time, this is the perfect opportunity to slow down and enjoy what is happening around us.

Photo from Jubilee Contest fb page

So if you get a chance, make sure you go to the 67th Annual Farmers and Threshermens Jubilee, get some good food, check out the dog churning butter (ok I might be obsessed haha), walk around see all the vendors, and the handy work of the wood carver and broom maker. Then take some time to just walk around and enjoy the commotion. Who knows, you may even run into me there. 🙂

As you all know it’s not free to hold activities and fairs like this, so they do ask for a small $5 donation for adults, but children 12 and under get in for FREE! So not only is it good, wholesome fun, but it’s inexpensive too. If you want more info, or to check out the schedule for the week, go to the NCVFC Website here.

Life is Best When You’re Camping

Camping means relaxing…right? But who says you can’t party and have fun while doing so? Hickory Hollow campers know all about this (and I have the photos to prove it…hehe).

Even though we are a small and quiet campground located in the beautiful Laurel Highlands, that doesn’t mean that we don’t know how to party and have fun when the time comes. This summer we really amped up the weekend activities, but of course our annual favorites are always the showstoppers for the campground. Our campers come out and show us what it’s really like to have some fun!

Jimmy Buffett Beach Party
Randy Myers

This past weekend we had our Tropical Paradise weekend which included huge groups of campers for our Campground Flea Market, kids crafts, a wagon hayride, and of course our Jimmy Buffett Beach party that featured acoustic music from Randy Myers!

These aren’t the only activities we have at the campground! We celebrated Christmas in July with Santa and his elf delivering gifts. There was the soaking wet Water Wars that had all the campers dripping with excitement! We have also done tons of other fun activities like the annual Poker Run, Wing Fling, and Local Wine, Spirits, and Beer tasting! This year Hickory Hollow Campground even sponsored a race car, driven by Matt Ruffing with AMA Motorsports at Jennerstown Speedway and Matt was nice enough to bring his car out and sign autographs a few times during the season. These are just a few of the activities we have and each year we hope to grow and add more throughout the camping seasons. Check out a few pictures from the activities throughout the season!

Local Wine, Spirits, & Beer Tasting
Jungle Yoga
Santa delivering gifts for Christmas in July
Father’s Day Fishing Tournament
Hickory Hollow Sponsored Car – Matt Ruffing with AMA Motorsports
Poker Run
Water Wars!

Those are just a few highlights from the activities and fun that happens at Hickory Hollow Campground! We are always looking for new ideas to add to our activity list, so feel free to leave any ideas that you have in the comments below.

Don’t worry though, we aren’t done for the season. There are still some great things planned for the remainder or the season, like our Labor Day Picnic, and more! Plus in October, you cannot forget about Haunted Hollow which is located right across the road! For our campers we even offer a Lights On Tour of the haunted house during the day. Make sure you come out and enjoy the rest of the camping season here with us at Hickory Hollow!

Thanks for reading! If you want to see more pictures from the activities we have make sure you like our Facebook Page. And if you are interested in scary activities for fall go and like the Haunted Hollow Page too!

How Much Do You Know About Camping?

Have you ever gone camping and felt overwhelmed with so many things to do, when you should be taking that time to relax and enjoy the scenery around you? I know I have.

Especially in the Somerset County Area, there is so much to do and things to see, but you get overwhelmed with the fact that you have to set up camp and figure out everything you want to do and what you want to eat. You shouldn’t be taking your relaxation time to worry about the tiny details involved in camping.

I stumbled upon an great resource that I feel would be beneficial for any and all campers all over the world. I wanted to share it with the campers at Hickory Hollow as well. I hope that you find it helpful and use it as a reference for any adventure you take. It may even be beneficial for when you’re not camping.

Okay, I know you’re wondering what the resource is… so here you go. The webpage is called 50 Campfires and you wouldn’t believe the amount of information that is on this site. You can find almost anything you can imagine and it is all related to camping (not that you couldn’t use these tips any other time though) and it is organized very well. Based on the reading that I have done, there is everything from recipe ideas for all meals, different camping gear that you could use, and it even tells you great camping locations all over the United States. It even has articles about the best hills to go sledding on – who would have thought about that? So it’s not only summer ideas, but all year long.

There are other great perks to this site. I know that I hate when I forget where I found an article or when I find something I want to save and it is such a hassle to find a way to do that. I then screen shot it and it ends up in the mass of photos I have on my phone and it eventually gets forgotten. 50 Campfires is set up similar to a blog page, this way you can comment and discuss with other campers, like, save, and even share these posts on your social media sites. That makes it easy to find and also give your camper friends ideas too!

So if you have a chance, I highly recommend checking out 50 Campfires. You won’t be disappointed, and who knows you might find something you wouldn’t have thought of before.

If you find anything you’d like to share, please feel free to share it to our Facebook page. If you know of any other great resources, comment them below and I will check them out too!

Thanks so much for reading and happy camping!

Jump on the Wagon!

Our new Conestoga Wagons that is.

So I decided to stick with my big theme this week for this post, especially with all of the great reactions I’ve received over our new wagons! (ok they aren’t new, we use them for the Haunted Hollow too, but this is new for Hickory Hollow!) This is a new feature for the campground! Of course we have used the wagons for our traditional wagon rides through the woods, but now we have the whole old-time camping experience with our Conestoga Wagon campsite.

Before I get into describing the new site, I wanted to give you a little background on the “Conestoga” concept and time era. For those of you who don’t know, a Conestoga wagon is a broad-wheeled wagon. Now we pull ours with trucks and tractors, but they were pulled by 6 horses and according to good ole Webster Dictionary, the wagons were used for transporting freight across the prairies. Britannica Encyclopedia also says that these wagons were made in the 18th century in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania – another great concept created in good old PA!

I know what you’re thinking though. What is so special about staying in a covered wagon? Well let me tell you everything that is so awesome about them! So since it is new at the campground, we haven’t quite worked out all of the kinks. With that being said we have two, yes I said it, TWO wagons for your comfort on one site. That means there is plenty of room for you to spread out and you are up off of the ground. These wagons are 8 feet by 14 feet, which is enough room to sleep 4 people, and they are covered! What’s that mean to you? You don’t need to set up a tent – you can just set your bed/sleeping bag or whatever you choose to sleep on inside the wagon and you are protected from the outside elements. There are also screen doors to keep those pesky bugs out and provide you with a nice cross breeze while you’re relaxing. This site is also equipped with a picnic table and a fire ring for your camping experience.

We still have time this season if you want to come out and camp at Hickory Hollow Campground! This is a perfect way to spend some time relaxing outside. Being that there is only one site available, you shouldn’t wait too long to make your reservation for the remainder of this season. You can find more information about Hickory Hollow and what we have to offer at our website here.

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Slow down, relax, you’re here now.

In this day, it’s really hard to take time to enjoy the small things in life and relish in the little moments of our lives that we tend to take for granted. I am no different. As someone who has worked multiple jobs (a lot at the same time) since I was old enough to have a job, I am guilty for looking past the beauty of life and the nature in this area.

Somerset County is known for it’s rural beauty. I’ve lived here my entire life and that’s how it tends to be for most of the population, but how many of those people take the time to really appreciate the land and all that is included with it? Not very many. Everyone is so busy on their phones and glued to social media (not that it is always a bad thing) that they forget to look around and see what is right in front of their face… or phone screen. I am just as much to blame for this, but lately I’ve began to realize that life is short and beauty is everywhere, as long as I am looking for it.

Maybe since I started working at Hickory Hollow Campground, that is when I started to see the beauty in nature. I grew up not even ten miles from the campground, but didn’t realize how breathtaking this area truly is (if you don’t believe me, check out the pictures – they are all taken at Hickory Hollow). This job has helped me take an extra moment to enjoy and appreciate everything that is around me. I have more time for myself too – which helps me feel like I am able to relax and enjoy my life. Everyone should have the opportunity to do that.

Even if it’s a few hours once a week, once a month, or even once a year, take a few moments out of your busy life and look around. Life is passing by so quickly. Children grow and change, animals grow and change, and you are going to grow and change. You don’t want to miss out on the little moments and the beauty that is surrounding you. You don’t even have to go far. Sit outside for a few moments and breathe some fresh air, get some Vitamin D and just reflect on the good parts in your life. There are so many negatives and problems that drain us and make us forget the positive aspects of our lives, but we shouldn’t spend our precious time dwelling on the things that we can’t control. Especially when we can control this.

So I challenge you, it doesn’t have to be today or even tomorrow, but find time for you. Put down your phone, go outside, and relax. Find at least 5 things around you that are beautiful and just reflect on the positives. If it’s difficult to do that where you live – get out for a day. Go on a walk, go to a park, just go do something! You could even go camping, that’s a perfect way to relax and Hickory Hollow Campground is one of the most beautiful campgrounds (in my own personal opinion). But seriously, slow down, relax, you’re here now, enjoy it while you have the chance.

I truly hope you find the joy and beauty in nature, even if it was just from looking at these photographs. Thanks for reading – make sure you put in your email address to follow our blog and to get notified whenever a new blog post is made.