Lake-In-Wood in Narvon, Pennsylvania was originally a tobacco farm on a picturesque piece of property with woods, a lake, and rolling hills. In 1969, it was turned into a campground and then in 1976 The Bakker family bought it and continued expanding it into more of a resort.



Folklore Theme Makes This Pennsylvania Campground Stand Out

Manager at Lake-In-Wood Camping Resort Discusses How People React To Their Distinct Accommodations, Like A Covered Wagon, Noah's Ark Or Gnome Home

The resort's mainstay Gnome Home rental [Photo Credit: Lake in Wood Campground]

"Once I was sitting at Lindy's and Gertie's on the southside of Chicago and a semi-truck driver came in.  We got to talking and I asked him what is the most beautiful state in the country.  He looked at me right in the eye and said matter-of-factly 'Pennsylvania.'"  So recalls a random person sitting in a coffee shop in Nashville, Tennessee. 

And, indeed, it is beautiful.  History, rolling hills, greenery, mountains, rivers, and all those bridges make Pennsylvania a unique destination in this country.  A place that utilizes that nature, as well as adds its own twist to it, is Lake-In-Wood Camping Resort in Narvon, Pennsylvania.  Lake-In-Wood is not a typical campground; it's a resort with some very unique accommodations.  "No one wants to stay at just a plain numbered site," says Jerome Bakker, Manager at Lake-In-Wood Camping Resort. The Double Decker Bus is just one of many different accommodations present at the campground. The Double Decker Bus was found at a junkyard in Harrisburg, PA, Bakker tells the Buzz.

Lake-In-Wood was originally a tobacco farm on a picturesque piece of property with woods, a lake, and rolling hills.  In 1969, it was turned into a campground and then in 1976 The Bakker family bought it and continued expanding it into more of a resort. Eventually it was bought by a corporation - Sun RV Resorts, something Bakker says is a good thing.  “Corporations have become a big part of the camping industry and luckily for Lake-In-Wood, we were purchased by Sun RV Resorts which believes in putting money back into the park,” he says.  

Shot from above the lake and campground in Narvon [Photo Credit: Lake in Wood Campground]
Noah's Ark cabin features the animal-themed centuries old story [Photo Credit: Lake in Wood Campground]

Starting with the Double Decker Bus, they have now added a bunch of different places, such as an old caboose, covered wagon, tipi, gnome home, and much more for a distinct glamping experience in Pennsylvania.  "We used to have a Shipwreck, which was a real boat at the edge of the lake but we replaced it with a park model and added a lot of wood to give it a theme of Noah's Ark," Bakker says.  He says that a lot families who vacation to Lake-In-Wood come back year after year to stay in all the different accommodations.  Narvon, Pennsylvania has a sizeable Amish population, some of whom take advantage of the campground in their town.  “Amish who vacation here seem to love the Gnome Home and Noah’s Ark the most,” Bakker says. 

The park has a gnome theme, something Bakker brings from his childhood.  "We were brought up in Holland, and we were taught that gnomes lived in the woods and they were friendly, so we named the Cafe after them and sell gnomes and gnome related items," Bakker says.  Known as Kabouter in Dutch, the tiny shy people are known in Dutch folklore to live underground or in mushrooms and help out in the home.  For Lake-In-Wood, the gnome is a spokesperson that provides a friendly, magical element to the camping experience.  It also gained popularity when Travelocity started using a gnome as their mascot on a commercial.  

Tipi accommodation at Lake-In-Wood [Photo Credit: Lake in Wood Campground]
The lake in the beautiful Pennsylvania Dutch Country resort [Photo Credit: Lake in Wood Campground]
Get in the 'Caboose' with this rental at L-I-W [Photo Credit: Lake in Wood Campground]

The camping experience has always been close to Bakker as it's something his family has done since he was a child.  "First we had a big tent and then later a pop-up and we would camp at least two weekends a month," recalls Bakker. "So for me it's always been a good, wholesome, family experience."  As such, Bakker tries to ensure that it stays a family experience, providing fun activities for everyone.  "We also try to keep as much of the natural elements so it's not like an amusement park with just black top and gravel." 

Another way Lake-In-Wood retains a family atmosphere is by making a few of their accommodations pet friendly.  “We feel strongly about including pets as part of the experience since most campers feel their pets are part of the family,” Bakker says.  So they have made three of their vacation rentals pet friendly, appropriately called The Dog House, Woof Woof Hideaway, and Happy Paw.

As for amenities, they have everything one associates with camping, plus a lot more that is considered in the realm of glamping. They have mini-golf, basketball courts, and recreation equipment for rent.  There is fishing and paddle boats on the lake.  For the kids, there is an arcade, playgrounds as well as a swimming complex with indoor and outdoor pools.  There are pet goats, too, because, well, why not? Lake-In-Wood is a unique resort-like campground that keeps its nature and culture at the forefront. 

Andrew Malo

A graduate of Northeastern Illinois University in Education, Andrew has taught for the past decade in Chicago, New Mexico, and Japan.  He  enjoys tinkering with trucks and motorcycles, woodworking, reading and computer programming.  

Lake In Wood Resort

Make Sure To Stay At:

Lake-In-Wood Camping Resort, which features a magnificent entertainment hall with a beautifully restored pipe organ for hosting grand parties and resort gatherings. Other pavilions are available for smaller groups (the Gnome Bridge Club are regulars). 

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