Roland Lake in Baltimore County is a great place to kayak on the Patapsco River. Tons of wildlife, facilities, and amenities for you and your family. The park was clean and it had knowledgable staff.
I go here annually. It is a very nice walk about 2 miles to the beach where you can hunt for fossils. The beach has gotten smaller over the years however the trail has gotten much better. The trail now is very well marked, clean, and there are facilities down by the beach to use. They do have a nice park for the kids by the entrance and a very well kept pond at the beginning of the hike to fish from. Highly recommend this trail/park.
I absolutely love this campground. The sites are pretty secluded, which is nice if you want to actually feel like you're out in nature.
The state park is located right on the potomac river, which is pretty cool. The best part is that you can actually find sharks teeth on the beaches here. When it rains, the teeth get washed out of the cliff (since this whole area used to be covered in ocean). My family has always loved coming here to look for sharks teeth on Fossil Beach.
The place also has great trails for walking, running, or hiking.
If you want to get away from the camp ground, the area is pretty cool to explore as well. George Washington's birthplace is near Westmoreland, so history buffs can find plenty to do.
This park has a wide range of activities for kids. The hike I did was not very long but was well worth it. The trail was well marked but there was some confusion at one point on where we were suppose to go. Luckily I had an app that kept me on trail. There are some pretty cool Bridges, old houses, and a water fall. I recommend this to any beginner hikers.
The Oak Ridge campgrounds at Prince William Forest Park are a lovely little campground just outside Washington DC. The sites were large, the facilities are clean and the staff friendly and helpful.
We stayed the last weekend in September for a quick one night stay. We needed to get out of DC and found this spot to be the perfect ticket. There were heavy rains the whole week prior to our stay and when we got to our site (it is one of the lowest spots of B loop) was a little too wet for us (our three kids would have love it, just not us). The campground host was very accommodating and told us to pick any spot on the first come/first serve A loop. We were able to find a very nice spot and the host came to us to change the forms around.
The free firewood is nice but be sure to pick is up (next to the water tower by the entrance to the campground) when you check in so you don’t have to carry it, or make a separate trip. The wood was sitting out, so it was a little wet, but all fresh, no rot. I would recommend having a hatchet or camp knife to split the corded wood to account for the wetness.
The A loop bathroom facility was clean with a nice service sink, but no showers. The B loop facility does have showers and is also very nice (we didn’t swing through C loop so we can’t speak to those facilities).
We went cycling as a family and though did not go too far (young kids) the park is a fantastic place to ride bicycles. There is only one short hiking loop from the campground, but other trails which will take you on a longer loop. All the hiking loops are accessible via car or our choice (once the kids are old enough) bicycle.
We enjoyed our stay and will be coming back, even for a quick one night stay to break up the busy city life.
Extremely over crowded in the summer. The park closes daily very early as it hits capacity. The best times to go are winter, spring, and fall. Lights on the Bay is a great Christmas light drive thru that's over a mile long. Great host for the polar bear plunge.
We were at site 430. It was a perfect spot tucked away from the others and a short walk to the restrooms. You can purchase firewood from the camp hosts nearby as well. The fire pit at this site was a little difficult to cook with because the grate was very high and could not be lowered. Overall we had a great time exploring the park especially the nearby railroad track. Would visit again.
We had a great time here over a long weekend in August. The check in is a breeze and the staff is super nice and helpful. They gave us a great intro to the park as we were first timers. They informed us that they had a scavenger hunt for the kids going all weekend, they had an outdoor movie scheduled for Friday night, a campfire story time scheduled for Saturday night and crafts scheduled for Sunday morning. This was music to our ears as we camp with our 3 and 1 year old. There is also a pool/water park in the park as well as a nice network of trails. There is plenty of things to do here to keep a family occupied.
We got a site on thr inner loop and it backed to the playground and the bathhouse. The site was spacious. We are tent campers but almost all our neighbors were in an RV or trailer. The site had water and electric which was nice. The bathhouse is standard but also has laundry and an outdoor dish washing station. The campground was quiet which is nice.
This was an amazing weekend for us and we will definitely be back. There is boat rental a short walk down the trsil from the campgrounds and the pool and disc golf course are another short trail walk away.
I asked myself what was the closest location I could find to Great Falls when making a day of this area. 3 miles was about as close as I could get, and while in this area a lot can happen in 3 miles it was well worth the traffic I faced, the driving in and out of the "city" and the overall discovery of this location as it was.
Let me just start by saying I expected to find this and just go to Great Falls, but had I have known that it had so many different things around I would have probably extended my stay a bit. There was a waterpark and outdoor sports area where you could enjoy so many activities. And then there was the lake itself!! Bike trails, hiking trails and equestrian trails surround this area and I honestly could have spent so much more time just enjoying this space because of all the interesting things there were to do right in front of me.
But with all good things there is also a price point that has to match and I will say that this one is a bit steep at $28 on week days or $31 on weekends for a regular tent camper with no electricity. For those needing hook ups that extends even more so to $37 or $45 for RVs depending on length on weekday to $41 or $50 for weekends.
That really was the deal breaker for me the price. While I was there on a weekday, the following day was a weekend and that hike though not but a few dollars was hard to swallow in an already kind of expensive primitive site.
- If you are a senior make sure to mention this, you get a large discount on sites when staying here.
- Check out the marina where you can rent paddle boats and other items for water fun.
- Take the 3 mile drive to Great Falls, it is amazing and if not there on a weekend you will have many of the trails to yourself. During weekends it is a popular spot for families with only a $10 per car price tag.
Sometimes big reward comes to those willing to walk a little, as is the case with this one. This one is officially marked at the 16 mile mark and if you are willing to go you are rewarded by campgrounds every so many miles. There are only a few spots and it is first come first serve here but well worth it to see the nature around you!!
I didn't know what exactly to expect of this site but when I got there was so happy I tried to get here!!!
Great hiker site!! Fire ring is present and plenty of firewood. Downside the chemical toilet was pretty gross and the picnic table had seen better days.
I would say this is one of those spaces that you basically are in the middle of the action without feeling it at all. In fact this entire area is remotely non-remote if that makes any sense. This campground, in the area of the Bull Run incident is one of those areas that even through you have amenities of the city you can quietly reflect on relaxing without driving far.
With that being said, the sites are between $27 and $45 depending on what you are looking for. My primitive site was $27, which was a little steep but again you are given a nice large "family" style camping space with typical amenities.
The showers in the 2 bath houses are both HOT, which was great considering how sore my muscles were from camping for weeks at this point. The restroom was in pretty decent shape but clearly well used. Something I did rely on at this campsite which I typically do not was the camp store, I picked up firewood here and had a nice campfire to relax in the evening. MUCH NEEDED.
I was pretty pleased overall with the campsite, it was not to crowded despite having a lot of other campers staying and it had great proximity to several things in the Manasas area including the battlefield which were interesting ways to spend the day. I even got to check out a live demo of the weapons including muskets and canons which made a cool experience only 5 minutes from camp.
- Sunday Traffic is a bit intense because of a local church so make sure you are being careful, there are a lot of patrols in the area at this time.
- If you forget something the camp store has just about everything from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
- Check out one of the over 15 trails in the area designed for hiking, biking and horseback riding. So many options depending on what you are looking for. Also… there are a lot of geocaches in the area if you enjoy that.
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.
The small loop here accommodates both tent and RVs, which is fine but some of these damn things are so huge, I have trouble believing they could wedge themselves here. The sites for tents are big enough for a 4 person tent. There are clean bathrooms and the hosts, who I have spoken to many times, are friendly and knowledgeable about the area. There is however a great bit of light pollution at night here due to its approximation to DC. Minimal noise except for planes overhead. There are decent trails to hike here too. There’s a sacrifice of space here- I’d like to see it expand a bit, as the campground can fill quickly, especially if RV’s are involved.
When we camp as a family, we seek out site that provide a sense of security. The campground at Point Lookout State Park gave us the sense they could not have cared less. The sites are small, though there was room for our large tent. There are RV sites a plenty that offer larger areas. The grounds themselves are covered with poison ivy. There is also little to no Ranger presence. We were staying here during a yearly Maryland park event called Park Quest. The site was easy enough to get to, but the immense crowds made the area noisy and dangerous. Alcohol was flowing freely (it’s not allowed in State Park lands unless it’s inside a RV). The noise level kept us up all night and when we called to complain, we were told no Ranger was present and that if we felt it was necessary to call Natural Resources Police “about 45 minutes away.” We found tons of trash everywhere. There were condoms left used in the bathrooms. The camp hosts refused to do anything. It was the absolute worst experience we’ve had camping and it nearly turned us away from the MD state park system as a whole. The only bright spots were the historic areas and the nature center, which was very well done. I think I’d rather sleep in the back of my truck in a Wal-mart lot than return here.
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!
Great Park, friendly staff, clean facilities. We stayed with our Pop Up for two nights at an electric -supported site. Portable water and dumping station located at the camp store. We stayed at site 146 on the first caul-de-sac off the first loop just another site away from the bath house (which was pretty clean). We got rained on the first night so things got a little muddy but nothing out of hand. Tons of free activities for the kiddos facilitated by the camp staff over the weekends. Face-painting, ice cream sundaes, S'Mores, hay rides and a rock wall. Park has a lot of things to do as well just outside the campground. We took a try at disc golf which was a lot of fun. Pet friendly. We'll be back!
A very nice State Park campground. Have a nice pool and bathrooms. On a major road not far from the freeway. Very close do Washington DC. About 17 miles to the closest Rail station to bring you to the mall in Washington DC
This is one of the most picturesque state parks in Maryland. One big problem, though, was that the site we had was all swamp. We had to pitch our tent in the driveway, so we couldn’t stake it down. The light house and area has some neat history though.
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.
Very convenient for before or after your time in the largest aerial challenge course in North America.
Groups only- no individual campsites.
Rv and tent camping. Kids activities. Adult fun. Campstore and bathrooms.
I could not wait to get there! I was so excited to go fossil hunting! Camping was way too cramped for me as we tent camp and were stuck surrounded by RVs. The people next to us could be heard whispering! That being said, the fossil hunting was fun and my hubby found a few neat sharks teeth. The hiking was a blast and fishing was productive and fun! Next time though we will just day trip it as I never want to camp that closely to others again - ugh