COE Campground Review – Ives Run Campground, Tioga, PA
A lovely and oh-so relaxing green COE Campground on the shore of Hammond Lake in north-central PA
- Site Quality = 3.5/5
Nice sites here with just a few specific inconsistencies. All sites are paved back-ins (mostly asphalt with a select few concrete) with nicely spacious “sitting areas” containing picnic table, lamp holder and fire-pit. Site separation is lovely everywhere and there is tons of open green/grassy views inter-dispersed with trees and select water views too. There are ~200 campsites and the majority (~170) are large enough to accept big rigs (45-foot), but a select few are too small so do pay attention to site size when booking. Main ding is site levelness and quality which does vary quite a bit across the campground, both by site and loop:
- Hawthorn Loop (sites #1-43) – This is a full hookup loop (50A/water/sewer) with generally quite large, flat sites as well as the nicest (newest) facilities in the campground. No water views here, but lots of green views. Sites here cost $40/night.
- Aspen Loop (sites #46-64) – Also a full hookup loop (50A/water/sewer) with a mix of flat and some more uneven sites. No water views here, but lots of green views. Sites here cost $40/night.
- Beech Loop (sites #65-84) – This loop has a mix of very new-looking, concrete full hookup sites near the beginning (50A/water/sewer), and water/electric only (50A/water) sites nearest the water. Mostly very nice, large sites here, and sites nearest the water do have very nice water views (particularly #70-77). Only ding is that this loop is also the main drive-way through to the boat launch so you do get more traffic along the road than other loops. However you also get the best/easiest access to the water from these sites. Sites here cost $40/night for FHU, $36/night for water/electric.
- Birch Loop (sites #86-105) – Like the Beech Loop this is also a mix of mix of full hookup sites (50A/water/sewer) near the beginning with water/electric only (50A/water) sites nearest the water. Mostly flat but some uneven sites here. Sites nearest the water here have some of the nicest water views in camp, particularly #95-101! Sites here cost $40/night for FHU, $36/night for water/electric.
- Hickory Loop (sites #107-131) – These are water/electric only (30A/water) in what look like an older part of the campground. Many sites are quite unlevel (bring leveling blocks!), and hookups are shared between two sites meaning many pedestals are quite far away (our electric/water hookups were ~25-ft away!). However these sites also have some of the very nicest green & water views in the campground (in particular sites #121-125, #115-#118, #129) thanks to their arrangement along a steeper hill overlooking the lake. We stayed in this section and needed a 4-stack of leveling blocks to level (site #116), but we LOVED our green + slice of water-site view. Sites here cost $36/night.
- Pine Camp (sites #132-180) – This is the primitive section of the campground (no hookups) and, apart from a few select sites, it’s the only area I wouldn’t really recommend for big rigs. It’s a 1-mile drive along a bumpy dirt road to camp and MANY of the sites here are grossly unlevel. For smaller rigs and tenters however it’s lovely and there are several sites with lovely water views and direct access to the water. Flattest/largest sites are #141-143 and #157-#159. Sites here cost $20/night.
- NOTE/ This is a mostly-reservation campground, although there are a handful of sites that are marked on the map as non-reservable (walk-in only). Reservations are recommended, especially during busy summer months and week-ends.
- Facilities = 3/5
OK facilities here. There are 2 older facilities building (in Hickory Loop and Birch Loop) which have 2 large unisex walk-in bathroom/showers. The showers were fine (warm water, decent pressure) but the bathroom was dated with spots of mold. There is a newer facility in Hawthorn Loop which has separate male/female shower/bathroom facilities and looked a little more modern and cleaner. The Hawthorn building also has a laundromat with 2 washer and dryers for laundry ($3 per wash). On-site dump station.
- Location = 5/5
Lovely location here just to hang and veg. The park has green, grassy hills with miles of hiking trails plus it’s centered right on Hawthorn Lake which offers opportunity for boating/kayaking/fishing etc. There is also a small swim beach area plus lots of places to picnic, as well as an on-site camp store (small selection of groceries, ice and deli). Only slight ding is that there is not much in the way of shopping/exploring closeby, so stock up before you come. There is a winery just down the road and a Super Walmart ~30 mins away. For more extensive exploring, the lovely town of Corning NY is ~30 miles north and well worth visiting for it’s fabulous Glass Museum, historic downtown and plenty more shopping/groceries.
- Pet Friendliness = 5/5
Fabulous place for doggie. Lots of space in camp, plus miles & miles of grassy fields and dog-friendly trails to hike. No on-site poo bags however, and dogs are not allowed on the official swim beach (very small section of the shoreline). PLENTY of other spots to enjoy the green and grass however. Polly loved it here!
Overall Rating = 4.1
BONUS ALERT = Camp in a green/lush area by lovely Hawthorne lake!
Video Overview: Want to see it in living color? Check out our detailed ~20 min overview here (it was a BIG campground)! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=idNGzkjzsuI
Summary: A lovely park! We always like COE parks because they’re centered around water, and this one was no exception. It’s a huge, green park with ~200 campsites located on a hill next to lovely Hawthorne Lake. A nice mix of campsites here from full hookup to primitive, all with great separation, spacious “sitting areas”, lots of greenery/grass and even some excellent water views (in select sites). Only dings are that some of the sites are rather unlevel, especially sites along the steeper hill (Hickory Loop) and in the primitive campground (Pine Loop) plus the facilities are rather old and dated. Also there’s not much close by. It’s ~30 mins to the nearest Walmart and ~30 miles to Corning NY (well worth seeing, especially for it’s Glass Museum!). Lastly cell signal was iffy/variable, although we were able to stabilize Verizon to a workable level with our booster. As a place to hang and veg however it’s fabulous! There are miles and miles of hiking trails in the surrounding hills, acres of grassy fields to romp on and a large lake for water activities. Both the pets and us truly enjoyed our stop here an we would certainly return.
Extra Info: Somewhat iffy cell signal. Verizon varied from 4G to 1-3 bars LTE and definitely benefited from a booster to stabilize/solidify the signal. ATT was poor and most voice-only (3G). Surprisingly T-Mobile worked great (Binge On worked). Total 200 water/electric sites, most of which are reservable on-line. Sites cost $40/night for FHU sites 50A/water/sewer (Hawthorne, Aspen, Beech & Birch Loops), $36/night for water/electric (either 50A/water or 30A/water in Beech, Birch & Hickory Loops), $20/night for primitive/no-hookups (Pine Loop). This is a Federal Campground so Senior Pass (America The Beautiful) does get you 50% off the price. On-site dump station.