The state of Maryland is a great spot to vacation, with many camping opportunities. Whether you are alone or with a group, enjoy rustic camping, or you are looking for a luxurious RV park, Maryland has a place for you. There is lots to see a short distance from Maryland’s campgrounds. I went last summer with our boy scout troop. We spent a week touring Washington DC, and the historic Antietam Battlefield. Other great spots for outdoor enthusiasts include the Chesapeake Bay area and Assateague Island.
Camping Near Washington DC
Cherry Hill Park
This is the campground we stayed while we were touring DC. This is more of an RV park than a scout campground, but it allows easy access to the metro line to get into the city. They have a field for tents and a great group rate. As far as amenities, this campground was very well equipped. Two pools, mini golf, a cafe, air conditioned TV room, a game room, clean showers, and a well stocked camp store. The campground is clean and well kept. And the staff is extremely helpful. They pride themselves at being one of the closest campgrounds to Washington DC, and they provide all the information you need for getting around the city, and navigating the public transit system. The only downside of this campground, at least for someone like me who is not used to camping near Interstates, is the noise from nearby traffic. For more information, find them online at: http://www.cherryhillpark.com
Greenbelt State Park
A more rustic alternative, also located close to public transit, is the Greenbelt State Park. 174 Camp sites, nine miles of trails, and three picnic areas. Greenbelt is run by the National Park Service, and open year round! https://www.nps.gov/GREE/
Over 150 rivers drain into the Chesapeake Bay. Stretching almost 200 miles from the Susquehanna River to the Atlantic Ocean, the Chesapeake provides endless recreation and relaxation for outdoor enthusiasts. Here are three Maryland campgrounds from this region.
Elk Neck State Park
Elk Neck State Park is a public recreation area located between Chesapeake Bay and the Elk River near the southern tip of the Elk Neck Peninsula. It has hiking trails, fishing, and the historic Turkey Point Lighthouse. Enjoy the view at sunset from the lighthouse, overlooking the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. For more information, and reservations visit Elk Neck State Park on reserveamerica.com
Bay Shore Campground
A full featured campground on the DelMarVa penninsula, located in Rock Hall, MD. Enjoy all the fun of Chesapeake Bay. Water and electric hookups are available. A boat ramp provides access to the bay for boating, tubing, and fishing. http://www.bayshorecamping.com/
Point Lookout State Park
Point Lookout is located at the mouth of the Potomac River. The park offers swimming, fishing and camping on the site of a former Confederate soldier prison. Visit a civil war museum, enjoy fishing from the 710 foot fishing pier. Lighthouse enthusiasts can visit the Point Lookout Light which marks the entrance to the Potomac. For more information, visit Point Lookout Online.
Assateague Island National Seashore
Assateague Island is famous for the wild ponies that live there. But besides the ponies, the Island is a popular stopover for migrating birds, and where you can enjoy sand dunes, marshes, wetlands, and miles of beaches. Sightseeing cruises, Kayak tours, and camping round out the activities visitors can enjoy here. Learn more at the Assateague National Seashore website.
Antietam Battlefield/Harpers Ferry
Civil war enthusiasts can spend many hours around Sharpsburg and Harpers Ferry, MD. Antietam was the site of the single bloodiest day of the civil war. The visitors center has a small but informative museum, and the battlefield has been kept very true to the time period of the war.
Just over the border in West Virginia, is Harpers Ferry. The lower part of the town, Harpers Ferry National Historic Park, has numerous buildings restored to their mid 1800’s look. Period actors help set the stage, and make the walk back in time more realistic. Besides the living museum, the town sits at the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers. The Appalachian Trail passes directly through Harpers Ferry.
Rohrbach Campground is located on the Antietam Battlefield, and is accessible by Scout Troops and organized groups. This is truly rustic camping. Quiet, and peaceful, the campground offers picnic tables, fire pits, and bathrooms, but not much else. Our scout troop stayed here for the last two nights of our trip to Maryland and DC, and this was a big change from the Cherry Hill Park. No noise, to traffic, and no city lights. This was a place to relax. For more information, visit nps.gov.
Antietam Creek Campground
The Antietam Creek Campground is also a rustic campground, located along the C&O Canal towpath, just south of Sharpsburg. Only tents are allowed at the campground’s 20 sites. From this campground visitors get access to the nearby Antietam battlefield, and are a short drive from Harpers Ferry. Get more information at recreation.gov.
Whatever you are looking for, whether you are looking for history, relaxation, outdoor scenary, or access to touring the US Capital, you can find it in Maryland. Enjoy your trip!!