Nicknamed the "Tricky Triangle" for the unlikely shape of its track, Pocono Raceway (poconoraceway.com) in Long Pond, Pennsylvania, is a 2.5-mile super speedway that hosts two 500-mile Sprint Cup Series races each summer. NASCAR fans flood the area for the Pocono 500 in June and again in early August when the Pennsylvania 500 comes roaring into town. Hotel accommodations are at a premium during race weekends, so you might have better luck at a campground in this rather rural area. Whether you want to spend the night trackside, lakeside or mountainside, a host of campgrounds are within 12 miles of Pocono Raceway.
Pocono Raceway Campground
For an upfront and personal stay, diehard NASCAR fans can pitch tents or park their RVs on open sites right on the raceway grounds during race weekends. Brave souls can sign up for the Stock Car Racing Experience for a chance to zoom around the track with an instructor. Campers have access to the Fan Fair and the infield entertainment, but the sun-baked sites get jam-packed. A more family-friendly option is just 1 mile down the road. Pocono Raceway Campground (poconoraceway.com) has 100 primitive campsites and sunny RV sites with full and partial hookups. Open from April to October, it has an outdoor swimming pool and licensed fishing on Long Pond to provide much-needed wet entertainment. A dump station and flush toilets complete the amenities.
W T Family Camping
If you prefer more creature comforts, then W T Family Camping (wtfamilycamping.com) in nearby Blakeslee fits the bill. Roughly 15 minutes from the track, the campground has 110 wooded sites with full or partial hookups, a camp store, dump station and heated restrooms. Shoot some hoops; take a dip in the heated pool; play a round of miniature golf; or participate in the planned activities. A hiking trail is onsite, and there's direct access to an ATV trail. The campground is open from April through October, but rates are slightly higher during holiday and race weekends -- and reservations are a must.
Mount Pocono Campground
Mount Pocono Campground (mtpoconocampground.com) has everything W T Family Camping does, and then some. Less than 11 miles northeast of the racetrack, the lush, green campground has almost 200 sites with full and partial hookups, a camp store and a laundry. A heated swimming pool, wading pool, croquet, beach volleyball, ladder golf, bocce ball and quoit pits keep campers active from May through October. If that's not enough, access to raceway shuttle services, a two-story game room and nature trails are available. A full calendar of events, including chili cook-offs, karaoke nights, candy bingo and Chinese auctions, add to the fun. S&S Speedways' (ssspeedways.com) indoor go-karts are 20 minutes away.
Don't let the wooded, natural setting of Hemlock Campground & Cottages (hemlockcampground.com) in Tobyhanna fool you. About 12 miles from Pocono Raceway, the campground blends back-to-nature experiences with many of the comforts of home. You can choose from primitive tent sites, full-hookup RV sites, rustic cabins or deluxe cottages with cable TV, heat, kitchenettes and baths. Conveniences include a camp store, laundry, dump station, showers and flush toilets. Open from May through October, the facility has a swimming pool, game room, basketball hoop and horseshoe pits to keep campers active, and Tobyhanna State Park (dcnr.state.pa.us) is just 10 minutes away, providing lake swimming, licensed river fishing, canoeing and additional camping.
Two camping options are available in Scotrun, a small town about 11 miles east of Pocono Raceway. Set up camp at one of 130 campsites with full hookups and mountain views at Four Seasons Campgrounds (fourseasonscampgrounds). The facility is open from April to October, and a camp store, laundry, flush toilets, swimming pool, horseshoe pits and shuffleboard courts are spread across its wooded acreage. Year-round Outdoor World Scotrun Campground (rvonthego.com) is another option. After a day at the racetrack, hone your cannonball in the pool, get a workout on the basketball court or play some ping-pong in the game room. Licensed anglers can grab supplies at the camp store and head to the stocked fishing lake, or bring binoculars for some birdwatching at nearby Camelback Mountain.
- Pocono Raceway: Camping Information
- W T Family Camping
- Mount Pocono Campground
- Hemlock Campground & Cottages
- Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources: Tobyhannah State Park
- Four Seasons Campgrounds
- Encore Thousand Trails: Scotrun RV
- Pocono Raceway: About Us
- Pocono Raceway: Pocono FAQS
- Woodall's 2012 Comprehensive Info on Campgrounds; Ann Emerson, publisher
- Jupiterimages, Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images