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.
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.
Two thumbs up on this small campground with spacious, wooded sites!
We stayed here on a Thursday when the campground was almost empty, but there was a reservations list that showed the campground would be full for the Columbus Day weekend. We have good luck walking up to campgrounds during the week, but we look ahead to weekends and make reservations.
Spacious, Wooded Sites
- Lots of shade and trees on large sites and space between sites make this a pleasant campground.
Parking pads on the electric loop are asphalt.
There's very finely crushed rock on the non-electric loop. This includes the parking pad and tent pad.
There are 8 camper cabins, 4 on each loop. There are beds for 4 or 6 people, and the cabins have air conditioning, a ceiling fan and electricity. These are a nice alternative to camping in a tent.
Bathrooms are located in the middle of each loop, and there are spigots on the loops with potable water.
Small Park But Many Activities
Canoe/kayak launch between sites 46 and 48. The walk to Tuckahoe Creek from the parking area is very short, and the creek leads to Tuckahoe Lake (no gasoline motors) with more of the creek on the other side of the lake.
20 miles of hiking trails are also open for biking and horseback riding.
Hunting - as a hiker, I am extremely wary of hiking in parks at a time when hunting is allowed.
This is a great place to stop in that it is close to Camp David (historically presidential location). Make sure to drive slowly, as the road to get there is very curvy and somewhat steep grade (if driving eastbound. Recommend using fog lights.
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.
Otter Creek Campground Review
Otter Creek is located at 1101 Furnace Rd, Airville, PA 17302 and is directly aside of the Susquehanna River and Otter Creek in York County. This campground is perfect for all kinds of people from family, campers, boaters, fishers, someone who is seeking rest and relaxation, peace and quiet, adventure seekers on the river, history enthusiasts, trail seekers, nature lovers and more!
We stayed over Labor Day weekend however it rained so badly on Friday night that York was flooded in several areas so we decided to stay home and leave on Saturday morning. I am so glad we did because roads we needed to travel on were closed and we wouldn’t have gotten through anyway. Luckily on Saturday we didn’t run into any problems on our travels.
The campground itself is up on the hill overlooking the river. As you pull into the driveway you are directed to the right and you pull up to a gate. We were buzzed in and followed the signs to check in upon arrival. The camp store was very nice with basic RV equipment and accessories. There was also a small variety of food available like peanut butter and jelly, milk, marshmallows, candy, gum and they also had hard Turkey Hill ice cream. Upon checking in we were greeted by a very nice woman behind the counter and received the information on the events planned for the weekend. We purchased our firewood (tractor bucket full for $35) and proceeded to our site #21. That was a great price and it lasted us for both nights we were there. We pulled around and found our site easily and got set up. Our site was very large and there was a wooded area between both sites aside of us. They both looked to be permanent sites. Once we had our popup set up and everything in order we were ready to start our fire and relax.
The campground was very family friendly. There was a nice playground with a rockwall, slides and swings. There was also a volleyball court along with two horseshoe pits. They had a few kid friendly events planned like the Hershey Zoo and Family Bingo. They also had a food truck on site on Saturday for a few hours. Just down the road about a mile or so was the Indian Steps Museum which is owned by York Conservation Society. Across the river there was a wildflower sanctuary and Wind Cave that could be accessed by ferry or you can drive there and park along the road.
The river is only a short walk from the campground which is directly across the street at Otter Creek Picnic Area where there are private and public boat docks. You could easily fish from anywhere along the riverside and there was even an area where there were a few baby swings and open area for play. There was a small parking lot which would accommodate up to 10 to 15 cars. The parking lot is located on a series of corners so be careful when pulling into the lot.
Unfortunately, with all of the rain we have had here in Pennsylvania this summer the river was brown with mud and tree debris. There was no way any fish was going to see anything in that water. Our son wanted to try but the only thing he caught were branches. The ground aside of the river was also so saturated from flooding it was difficult to walk though without sinking into the ground. It was still very neat and relaxing to hear the rushing of the water from the campground.
There was one main bathhouse with flushing toilets, running water and pay showers. It was $0.50 for 6 minutes as per the sign however when I put my quarters in I got 7 minutes on the clock! I am not complaining. I made sure to use every second of that nice hot shower. There was plenty of room in the shower and stall however the shower curtain could have been a little bigger. It looked like a curtain for a single shower stall instead of a double which is what you would have needed. So the bench where my clothing was got a little wet and the floor in the dressing area was pretty flooded. Other than that it was very refreshing and well needed.
The campground is on about 4 acres. It was uphill in parts so it was nice to be able to walk our two dogs around in a large circle without having to leave the campground. They were pretty pooped by the time we got back and were ready to rest by the fireside. There was a nice pavilion right aside of the playground which was only one road behind us. We could hear our son from our campsite. There were also several outhouse buildings where there were two or four stalls with a sink. It was an outhouse but with a regular toilet with seat and lid. The only difference was there was a hole instead of flushing. We were right in the middle of two and close enough to the main bathhouse as well so we had several options for restroom use besides the one in our popup.
We all had a fantastic time and I would highly recommend this campground if you are looking for an affordable, out of the way, off the beaten path, peaceful and relaxing time to just be lazy and do whatever you feel at the moment. We love to travel to different campgrounds to check out new things and see nature however I am going to add this campground to my list of places for a return visit.
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.
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.
Elk Neck had some of the cleanest bathrooms I've ever used, and the camp sites were a good size. I didn't feel like anyone was on top of me which was nice. Pretty quiet too, which is always a plus
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!