COVID-19 Status: We will open for 2021 camping on May 1.

Make your reservation for 2021 now; many dates are still available.

We respectfully ask that you follow the CDC's recommendations while at Lake Heron Retreat to keep everyone safe.

  • Wash your hands often
  • Avoid close contact
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others
  • Cover coughs and sneezes
  • Clean and disinfect

Also, the CDC has specific guidance for visiting parks and campgrounds.

Deer come in all sizes, including 'mini'

Welcome to Lake Heron!

Dean and Gail Stephens purchased the 240 acre property in 1987. It is located 30 miles North of Harrisburg and just 2 miles off of US Route 11/15 at Liverpool. Over the years, they worked to improve the property, building a pavilion, docks, cabins, and RV sites. They have always welcomed families, churches, and other organizations to enjoy the property. Preserving the natural resources and wildlife habitat is very important to them and they appreciate when visitors share that goal: "Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints."

Keep up to date with Lake Heron news and activities by subscribing to our newsletter.

Use the buttons below to jump to the desired section, or feel free to browse.

dogwood in bloom, overlooking Lake Heron

Fulfilling the Legacy: Lake Heron Conservancy

Dean and Gail have dedicated this entire property to be a Christian Ministry. After Dean went home to be with the Lord in 2017, the family created a non-profit private foundation, the Lake Heron Conservancy. The goals for this ministry are:

  • Enriching lives through camping
  • Providing a Christ-centered environment for children, teens, and families of all social, cultural, and economic groups
  • Introducing Jesus Christ to the unsaved
  • Growing and strengthening the faith of believers
  • Providing a place for rest and healing, both physical and spiritual
  • Preserving natural resources and wildlife habitat
deer eating grass


Truly a RETREAT from the world, Lake Heron offers seclusion and privacy. Whether you are camping in a tent, an RV, or a cabin, you will have a peaceful vacation. The Mohawk Area and the Pavilion each have pit toilets. A "Comfort Station" is located in the RV area which contains two flush toilets and two coin operated showers. If you choose to just spend the day with a group of friends or have a family reunion, the pavilion is ideal for larger groups to have a picnic and enjoy the beautiful scenery. There is an abundance of the wildlife that lives in the 240 acres of woodland; everything from squirrels and deer to turkeys and bears!


Adults can hike through the woods, then go swimming to cool off or take a canoe ride around the lake, ending with a nap in a hammock. Kids love fishing because they don't have to wait long for a bite on their hook. Kids also love swimming, boating, hiking, and gathering firewood to build a campfire to roast hot dogs and toast marshmallows.


Please be respectful of others.

Box turtles follow the rules, and so should you

Links and Resources

Maps and more...


Here's a map of Lake Heron Retreat and some of the surrounding area.

And here's a map (PDF) of campsites at Lake Heron Retreat.

Hiking Trails

Here's a printable map of the hiking trails at Lake Heron Retreat.


Camping/Fishing E-Mail:

Text/Phone: 929-Go-Heron


Payments for reservations must be made online with a credit card.

Mailing Address (if authorized, for payments by check, payable to Lake Heron Conservancy):
Lake Heron Conservancy
183 Riverview Rd
Liverpool, PA 17045


171 Barners Rd, Liverpool, PA




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Lake Heron Conservancy newsletter Newsletter

Lake Heron WEATHER


We're excited to announce an online reservation and payment system. Reservations for the 2021 camping season are now being taken, including RV campsites previously held for multi-month campers! You can see the number of available 2021 RV campsites here, and then click on Select Site Via Map to see which slots are open. Contact us for more info or to make a deposit on a 2021 RV-campsite reservation.
If you have a question about the reservation system, please let us know.

dogwood blossoms


May I come and fish for the day?

Fishing is an amenity enjoyed by campers at Lake Heron Retreat. You can reserve a tent site to be able to fish at the lake. Campsites are reserved nightly, with check-in after 2p and check-out before 1p the next day, so a campsite would allow you to fish in the afternoon and the following morning. Fishing is catch and release for largemouth bass, catfish, and yellow perch (or purchase them to keep some). You may keep bluegills. Please take them home to clean them.

Do you accept donations?

Yes, both one-time and ongoing donations are appreciated. See the Support section for more info.

May I hike through the Lake Heron property?

Yes, the public may hike Monday through Thursday. Please request permission to hike by filling out this online form. If you want to hike on Friday, Saturday or Sunday, reserve a tent site for the day you want to visit, or if you want to swim, fish, picnic, etc.
If you did not make a reservation, please do not drive in; park your vehicle at either of the entrance roads, Cree Road or Erie Road.
A map of hiking trails is available for download. Note that public access is restricted during bear, turkey, and deer hunting seasons.

Can I put a tent on an RV campsite?

Yes a tent is fine! RV sites aren't limited to only campers/trailers/RVs.

However, if you want to add a tent in addition to an RV/trailer/camper, that incurs an added tent-site fee, and is allowed as long as the total number of people at the RV campsite is limited to six. To add a tent to an existing RV-site reservation, send an email to with your RV-site reservation number with the names of the added people staying at the site in a tent. We will add them to your reservation and charge your credit card for the tent addition.

May I bring my own firewood?

No. Many counties in eastern Pennsylvania are quarantined due to infestation of Spotted Lanternfly. Perry County is in the quarantine area, and movement of firewood poses a high risk of spreading the infestation.

Firewood bundles are available in large chests in each camping area, and can be paid for through the reservation website on the Extras tab. Or, you are welcome to collect wood from downed branches and trees. Timbering was done in 2017, so there is a lot of wood available along Cree Rd and Erie Rd. No chainsaws are allowed, but you can get a lot of wood from smaller branches by hand and larger branches using a bow saw.

May I come and swim for the day?

The same rules apply as for fishing; swimming is an amenity for registered campers. Reserve a tent site for the day you want to visit.

Why do you charge a fee for me to launch my own boat on the lake?

Owning a lake and a dam requires a huge amount of liability and financial obligation.  These fees allow us to continue to offer boating, fishing, and swimming opportunities to our guests.

kids wearing life jackets while standing on dock