Help save Lake Heron

The future of the lake at Lake Heron Retreat is uncertain. New regulations after the dam was built in the 1960s means that over $500,000 in modifications are now required. Without the changes, DEP wants the lake to be drained and the dam destroyed. Don't let that happen!

Opening on May 1 for the 2024 camping season

Book your reservation now for 2024.

Multi-month RV sites are available for 2024. Contact us for an application and to make a deposit on your multi-month RV-campsite reservation.

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, in Perry County, Pennsylvania. 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: [email protected]

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



Note: read this for recommended turn-by-turn directions for RVs and trailers.


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Lake Heron Conservancy newsletter Newsletter

Lake Heron WEATHER


Lake Heron Retreat uses an online reservation and payment system. Reservations for the 2024 camping season are available.

Contact us for an application for a multi-month 2024 RV-campsite reservation.

If you have a question about the reservation system, please let us know.

dogwood blossoms


  • Where do I put my trash?

    A dumpster is provided for campers, located across the township road from the Barn. See the campsite map for details.

  • May I come and fish for the day?

    Yes. Please make a reservation for either a Day Pass (9a-7p), or a Tent Site to fish for the afternoon (2p-7p). With a Day Pass you'll have access to the RV-area dock; with a Tent Site, you'll have access to the Mohawk-area dock. You can fish from the dock/shore, launch your own boat, or rent a boat. Fishing is catch and release for largemouth bass, catfish, and yellow perch (or purchase them to keep some). You may keep bluegills at no cost; 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 Day Pass for the day you want to visit, 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.

    Tent only:

    A tent on an RV campsite without an RV/trailer/camper is handled as a normal reservation. Just book the RV campsite you want (without including a "tent add-on").

    Tent + camper:

    A tent in addition to an RV/trailer/camper incurs an added fee, and is allowed only if the total number of people at the campsite is limited to six.

    If you're creating a new reservation, choose an RV campsite, put a "tent add-on" into your cart (per night), and then check out.

    If you already have an upcoming/ongoing reservation, buy a "tent add-on" online (for each night), and then email us with your reservation number at [email protected] and we'll make sure the tent add-on is assigned to your existing RV campsite reservation.

  • 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 is prohibited by the PA Department of Agriculture.

    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, and there is a lot of wood waste 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?

    Yes, with a reservation. You can reserve a Day Pass for the day (9a-7p) that you want to visit and swim. With a Day Pass you'll have access to the RV-area dock.

kids wearing life jackets while standing on dock