Trip Report: Laurel Highlands Camping Adventure

Hey Everyone! Matt and I recently returned from a super relaxing weekend camping in the Laurel Highlands. I posted some pictures of the place we stayed on Instagram and started receiving a lot of questions about our lodging and the trip in general.

Because of all the interest (and the amazing time we had in general), I figured this would be the perfect trip to kick off this portion of the  blog!

Make sure to click the links to head to the pages for everything we did+info on renting the camping site! Enjoy!


We had been looking forward to this trip for months. Literally.  I accidentally stumbled onto the rental page for this “glamping” site and thought it looked fun and unique. -Side note, we decided we hated the word “glamping” and will not use if from here on out-  I sent it to Matt with a “Look at this! We should go!”. I was fully expecting “Cool. No.” as the response, but he was all for it! So we booked one of the last remaining weekends and waited patiently for July to arrive.

The drive from our home to Fort Hill (where we stayed), is about 1 hour and 45 minutes taking the shortest way. However, we had the whole day off and couldn’t check in until around 4, so we took the scenic route and really stretched it out. We took National Pike past the Summit Inn and Nemacolin, and had a lot of fun stopping along the way. We made stops at The Historic Summit Inn Resort for a gorgeous lunch view, Christian W. Klay winery for a tasting, and an antique store that was seriously obsessed with Christmas (the opposite of my feelings toward the holiday). A craft distillery, Ridge Runner Distillery, recently opened next to the winery. We didn’t get to stop in, though. Bummer.

 

After our sightseeing, we finally arrived at our home away from home for the weekend! The camping site is set back a ways from the main farm-house and super private. You have to park you car and walk through the field to get to it- the hosts provide a helpful wagon to lug all your belongings to the site.

This place had everything you could need for a relaxing weekend. The “bedroom” was in a large canvas tent built on a platform. The bed might actually be more comfortable than the one I currently sleep on- pretty good for camping. There were vents you could open to get more air flow through the room, and plenty of lights inside (I initially wasn’t sure what to expect electricity wise). A large porch with an amazing view was built right off the bedroom. Perfect for sitting in the rocking chairs with a glass of wine.

There was also a fully functional outdoor kitchen (I think we made one of the best meals ever in that little outdoor set up), bathtub and sink, and a compost toilet (far away from everything else). It was pretty much just like our house- if all of the rooms were outdoors and had an amazing mountain views from all angles …okay so maybe not like our home.

 

We had our own little ‘non schedule’ schedule for that weekend. Wake up and relax in the beautiful surroundings, head to Ohiopyle for hiking/biking/etc, head back to camp to eat and relax–repeat for the whole vacation.

It was pretty rainy the entire time we were there, but that didn’t stop us from doing the things we had planned in Ohiopyle, we just had to rearrange the plan a bit. The first day, we were going to hike the first few miles of the Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail to a lookout point. Matt had hiked this trail before on a backpacking trip and was excited for me to experience the hike/see the view. We made it about 1 mile the first day before bad storms started rolling in so we turned back. I’m not a risk taker, so being stuck on a trail in a thunderstorm is not my thing. Once we got back to town, it was just drizzling, so we walked a bit on the Great Allegheny Passage, saw some white water rafting tours (did that in my old risk taker days- never again), and followed a couple trails to Cucumber Falls.  It was a slippery hike, but totally worth it. Day 1 ended with a big burger and some beers at Falls City Pub.

 

We had planned on biking from Ohiopyle to Confluence the next day, but pretty nasty storms were predicted in the afternoon. Again, not being a risk taker, I really didn’t want to get struck by lightning while riding a bike. That’s not how I want to go down. We decided to try the LHHT again, and we made it to the lookout point this time. I learned some things on that short 5ish mile round trip hike.

  1. Not all miles are created equally. This was the most difficult hike I’ve ever done. It was steep and slippery-I’m not sure of how much elevation you gain, but you gain it quickly.
  2. I’m afraid of heights. We made it to the top and we were at this beautiful look out, and all I could think was “I’m going to vomit”. I was able to calm down and enjoy it for a bit, until I realized…
  3. Heading down was scarier than heading up. Look, I’m really clumsy. So me+scrambling down the side of a mountain=danger.

 

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All in all it was totally worth it, and I totally felt like I earned every bit of my delicious meal at the Ohiopyle House Cafe afterwards. The best part of the meal? The most gigantic and delicious iced coffee ever (for the least amount of money) Win.

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Still dreaming about this iced coffee

So, if you’re looking for a quick weekend getaway , I highly recommend staying at Campbell Farm (or anywhere in the area really).

If you do want to book the tent at Campbell Farms, I have just a few tips.

  1. Bring a flashlight/lantern. It’s helpful for late night walks to the bathroom or from your car if you get back late.
  2. Be careful storing anything on the door of the refrigerator. I put wine bottles there, and they promptly fell to the ground and one shattered. Then I melted down in true Rachel fashion.
  3. There are no mirrors. So if this is something you require, make sure you bring one. There are plugs for hair dryers/etc. I didn’t bring those with me and it would have been too hot to dry my hair anyway.
  4. Accept that you will still see some bugs. It is beautiful and relaxing- but it is still camping. There was a seriously large spider in the tent right before we were ready to sleep- and it ended with Matt charging it with an umbrella in one hand and a dirt devil in the other. He then promptly told me to shut my eyes and not look around the tent. That was the worst of it, and honestly it was pretty hilarious.
  5. Don’t forget your sense of adventure!

 

Have you ever visited the Laurel Highlands area? What are your favorite places? We will definitely be returning to explore some more so let us know what else to check out!

 

 

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