Men only, members only, 21+, private campground on 235 acres, most sites have water & electric, fire pits, picnic tables, restrooms, showers, pool, rec hall, weekend disco, bonfire, cabins, day passes, night passes, BYOB, open early May – late September. No phone reservations on Friday. Reservations required. Pets welcome.
Directions: From I-81, Exit 219 (formerly exit 66); Rte 848 East, 1.9 miles; Very sharp, at the bottom of the hill, Creek Road; 8/10 mile to first entrance on right, camp logo is a rabbit under a pine tree.
We took a day trip to the campground from a nearby location because all our attempts at getting a reservation have been thwarted by unavailability. Come to find out that the campground only has three sites our fifth wheel will fit in. So we drive to exit 219 off of I-81, we see a truck stop and a couple fireworks places as we come off the highway and drive nearly 3 miles through rural Gibson, PA to find the entrance of the campground. We spot the yellow sign with the pine tree and the rabbit under it and are very surprised to find a gravel parking area that looks like it belongs to a construction company. There is a row of dumpsters and a row of storage trailers and piles of gravel with a small green house and a stockade style gate. We don’t understand the “down low” presence of the entrance for an establishment that has been in business for 23 years. We imagine a history of static relations with the neighbors and the community that has driven such a secretive existence.
It’s the Fourth of July weekend and the place is hopping. We arrive just as the parade is getting under way. As we walk it appears that people are milling about and hanging out at the edge of the road to watch the parade go by. As we walk further it becomes apparent that the people are not necessarily waiting for the parade but they are socializing. Almost the entire campground is engaged in what looks to be a festival or gay pride celebration. This atmosphere is complete with people vending wares from their campsites, loud music playing and intoxicated people hanging out doing such things as setting off car alarms for amusement. We walked around the campground for three hours and only left out one small loop and at no time were we far from a group of people whether sitting under their awning or walking around.
The hillside is a beautiful piece of property with some very nice sites. However, a sizeable portion of the campground is overcrowded and one particular area has been populated to urban proportions. Other than the people that took interest in our dogs and stopped to pet them and talk, we did not find many of the campers to be especially outgoing and talkative.
The facilities that we saw were rather old, primitive, in need of repair, not well designed, and inadequate for the size of the campground. The pool and the area around it appeared to be of good size but below standard with gravel to walk on around the decking. The recreation hall was small and in need of attention, the store was empty.
We confess right up front that doing an evaluation of a campground without actually having camped there does not have the insight gained by staying there. Being equally as honest, we have to say that we could not have stayed any longer than we did had we brought our rig. Having said that, which is in complete contrast to what Hillside campers obviously feel about the campground we have to say also that we do not understand how people that are interested in camping find much or any value in camping at Hillside. What we experienced was more of an outdoor bath house that is over sold and under maintained. The campground web site states that the owner no longer has a mortgage and so the rates are not being raised. Well even at current rates, with or without a mortgage, with the number of people at the campground adequate toilets and showers could be provided, the pool could have something other than rocks around it and the recreation hall could be more than an amphitheater.
Our best to all concerned, the owners and campers are apparently content with business the way it is, more power to you. We prefer our camping to be more in the traditional style.
Check out Steve & Phil’s Blog from this location
|LP Gas Sold||no|
Dates and Times
|Open Annually||Early May|
|Close Annually||Late September|
|Check In Time||10:00AM|
|Check Out Time||No Info|
|30 Amp||Electric and Water only|
|Pull Through Sites||no|
|Big Rig Access||no|