Dispersed Camping

Dispersed foot traffic and primitive tent camping within the Forests is allowed almost anywhere, unless otherwise posted closed and/or "No Camping". Downloadable Guidelines (pdf)

Occupancy and Use

  • All dispersed sites are available on a first come, first served basis.
  • At least one person must occupy a campsite during the first night
  • Equipment left unattended for more than 24 hours is subject to removal by the Forest Service
  • Camping or leaving camping equipment (such as, but not limited to tents, camper trailers and/or tarps) is allowed in the same location for up to 14 days. After 14 days the camp and equipment MUST be moved off of Forest Service System lands.
  • Excavations are limited to those required to make safe campfire rings and sanitary pit toilets. Any excavation will be re-leveled prior to vacating your campsite.
  • Do not put nails in picnic tables, or other government property.

No Dispersed Camping within:

  • Allegheny Reservoir - within 1,500 feet of the tree line
  • Longhouse National Scenic Byway - within 1,500 feet of the centerline, includes portions of State Routes 59, 346, 321 and the main roads into Jakes Rocks and Rimrock.
  • Marienville ATV Trailhead - 500 feet from the centerline of FR 401 to the stone pit.
  • Pigs Ear Road - 500 feet from the centerline of FR 125/Pigs Ear Road between the intersections with FR 124 and State Route 66.
  • Tionesta Reservoir - within 1,500 feet of the shore.
  • Hemlock Road - within 500 feet of the centerline.

Camping at Designated Sites/Campgrounds Only:

  • Allegheny Reservoir
  • Clarion River and Millstone Creek
  • Tionesta Reservoir
  • Salmon Creek Road

No Dispersed, Primitive or Developed Camping:

  • Arroyo Archeological Site
  • Buzzard Swamp
  • Corydon-Riverview Cemetary
  • Hearts Content Scenic Area
  • Jake's Rocks
  • Rimrock
  • Kinzua Creek from Red Bridge to Mead Run
  • Tionesta Research Natural Area

Firewood and Natural Resources

  • Do not leave campfires unattended.
  • Do not cut or otherwise damage live trees, including but not, limited to placing nails in trees, using live trees for target backstops or to "plant" camp axes in.
  • Do not use trees to hang camp lanterns.
  • Dead and down wood can be used for campsite firewood without obtaining a permit. Removing wood from the Forest requires a permit.
  • Don't bring in firewood from outside of Warren, Elk, McKean and Forest counties.


  • Pack It In, Pack It Out. All garbage, including paper, cans, bottles, sanitation items or rubbish must be placed in appropriate containers when on site and removed from National Forest lands when the site is vacated. Do not dispose of cans, bottles, and other material in campfire rings
  • A pit toilet or “cathole” is required for each dispersed camp except:
    • on Clarion River, where public toilets must be used, or
    • when camping is limited to "self-contained" trailers", which must use designated dump stations for sewage and gray water.

Vehicle Use

  • Motorized vehicles may only be operated on designated roads, trails or areas open to that use. To find what roads and trails are open to a particular use, visitors should obtain a Motor Vehicle Use Map.
  • Vehicles should be parked no more than 50’ from a designated road.
  • Do not camp or park in front of closed gates or in roadways

Dispersed Camping Areas

  • Clarion River Campsites
  • Marienville Ranger District

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities