When I was checking out this site I wasn't sure how it would work out exactly. It seemed close to the METRO, which made for a great option when exploring the DC area and had been raved bout as a great escape for those with larger rigs, but how would that translate for me as a tent camper?
I went ahead and booked for the days I would be there in good faith and spent $100 for 5 days ($20 per night) a great deal by far in comparison to a lot of the other sites I had explored.
I arrived later in the evening that I had expected and the booth was closed (something I learned is common practice since they have changed over from cash to reservations only for this site). I found my receipt from my online booking and pulled up a map on my phone of the loops to help me find the site, it was pretty simple as only the B and D loops were open at the time I was visiting.
Traffic in and out of the camp loops are one way and they have signs posted that you need to back into your sites. I found my site which was close to the bath house and before setting up my tent made my rounds. The bath house had 1 shower per bath house per gender with 2 bath houses per loop. I was a little concerned about what would happen if it got busy with those accommodations, however it never seemed to be an issue.
My site was facing the road to the other loops, which initially concerned me about noise, but because of limited traffic due to loop closures it never was an issue either. The site was pretty even but did have some rocks in the area where my pad would be so I had to do a little clearing.
I had a picnic table but no grill at this site, although others did have grills available. I set up my small cooker on the picnic table and while cooking dinner noticed a family of deer grazing close by, a great way to settle in for the evening.
The camp host came by and welcomed me before I was fully set up for the evening and was great!!!
After staying here for a week I was so pleased by the quiet nature of the campground, the overall feeling of the outdoor space (every morning birds and squirrels) and the proximity to the METRO (only about 10 minutes with traffic).
- Reserve online - this is a NO CASH facility which means you CANNOT pay upon arrival so you will have to do so online.
- Drive slowly - there are a lot of people who use this space as a green space for walking and running. There is no shoulder so you share the road space with those enjoying this space so be careful.
- No hanging things from trees. Even if you love a hammock you cannot hang them at this park on the trees so make sure you are aware of this before camping here.
- Book a campfire. You can inquire with the ranger on duty about using the group facility for campfires and gatherings which is located on the back side of the B Loop.
- Take the METRO if you are going into the District. There are two stations very close to camp (Greenbelt and University Park). Rides vary depending on how far you are going but on average I spent about $10 per day on METRO versus $20-$40 on parking in the district area and I could come and go as I pleased with a little walking as opposed to having to drive aimlessly until I could find parking in garages which can be very difficult. There was also a small charge to park at the METRO daily but still even with this cost it was more reasonable than attempting to drive around the city and a lot faster as well.
This is a fantastic campground for the price!!! First of all,the rangers at the check-in are very friendly and kowledgable about the area. Anythibg you want to know about visiting DC, they are prepared with maps and suggestions om where to go and when everything closes, etc. There is a water pump and great restroom facilities super close to each campsite. The restrooms are clean and the shower has hot water 24/7. The picnic table was made out of metal and strong plactic instead of wood which was really nice and easy to clean (just dont put hot pans directly on the table surface). The tables are specifically made for wheel chairs to fit under each end and it is very accessable. RV's are also welcome at this site. The place is beautiful and full of wildlife! I couldn't have been happier with this campground!
Ranger Station has Jr. ranger program that's great for kids. Most trails are good for kids as young as 6. Only drawback is no swimming hole. Close to grocery store/gas.
The location makes this one 5-Star. Ten minute drive to the metro station for a quick 30-Minute ride to all DC has to offer. Cars need to stay parked on the paved road and hanging hammocks is not allowed. There was a good number of rest rooms and we enjoyed the peacefulness after full days of sightseeing.
We arrived late and in the dark. It was easy to find and on GPS. We had made reservations online and our site was marked with a tag with our name. Pretty Location. We saw deer near the entrance road.
Bathrooms were a little dirty. Filled with spiders and other bugs. The doors were propped open and lights were on. I didn't mind but my 7-year-old son was a little creeped out.
At 7:30am the groundskeepers were weed-wacking and leaf blowing so that was pretty annoying and definitely didn't enhance our peaceful morning in the woods.
It's best asset is it's proximity to DC.
There are lots of campsites so finding one last minute shouldn't be a problem. The mosquitoes were biting but could have been worse. You can barely hear the traffic from the road outside the park.
What a crazy, but well-placed spot for a campground! This mid-sized campground is just 2 miles from Washington D.C. area traffic, shopping centers, etc. Honestly, we didn't hear the traffic at night and just a bit when we woke up in the morning, but not loud enough to bother us. It's a great place to camp if you want to make a visit to D.C. very affordable, as it's located just 1.5 miles from the nearest Metro Station. You can leave your car behind and visit the sites on foot or bike.
Campground is pretty well maintained, though they recently had some tree damage that has a handful or so of the sites closed for awhile. Each site has a firepit and picnic table. There is a tent only campground as well as RV specific sites, and all are non-electric. The bathroom is relatively clean, but very old and needs some maintenance. There is one hot shower per bathhouse. Some sites have a good amount of privacy (perimeter sites) but the ones in the middle do not.
As this campground is run by the NPS, they offer ranger programs and nighttime campfire talks. Hiking trails are nicely graded, but bikes are not allowed on them. We found some bike trails very close to the campground in a nice green space (Indian Creek Trail and Painted Creek Trail, part of the Anacostia Tributary TrailSystem). There is a small picnic area separate from the campground which has a small playground for the kiddos.
Reservations are required for this campground, no more iron ranger on site as of 2018.