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Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park, MARYLAND
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Most Recent Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park Camping Reviews
First to Review
Secluded and comfortable

Overview: we really enjoyed this private farm campground. We stayed at site 1 of two sites. Per their policies each sure can accommodate 12 campers. The fire pit area and port-a-potty were both very clean and you can tell that they are taken care of well. You are able to drive right up to the camp area and we kept our car right next to our tent. There are nearby chickens, geese and pigs. 

Host: our friends arrived prior to us and were greeted by the host. They said he was friendly and explained everything well and even had firewood already set up at the store that has been purchased by the previous campers. I thought this was incredibly nice considering they didn't have to leave the wood there for us.

Site: the sites are both grassy, level and well maintained. Both are easy to get to, although I wouldn't recommend attempting to drive to either in a small car. Site 1 is closer to the house, animals, potty and other buildings on the property. The fire pit area is clean and is surrounded by trees. Site 2 is more isolated but is still pretty close in distance to the animals, home and structures. However it is separated by a line of trees and you are camping more in a field.  We choose site 1 die to its proximity to the bathroom and picnic tables because we were camping with small kids. 

Bathroom: the bathroom is a port-a-potty and was cleaned right before our arrival. Several reviews I read mentioned that it was the cleanest port-a-potty they had ever seen and they were correct. It is surrounded by a privacy fence which was nice. It was relatively close to the site and was stocked with plenty of toilet paper and included hand sanitizer.

PROS: 

 Secluded

 You have the entire site to yourself

 Two options for camping with bathroom nearby

 Nice hiking trails with varying lengths, easy to hike even for a 3 year old

CONS:

 If you are a light sleeper the geese, rooster or planes may keep you awake

 We did find a snake skin, but you are out in nature

 The structures didn't give the best view, but you can always choose to face away from them or use site 2

Would definitely stay here again.

Ranger Review: RovR 60 Cooler at Shenandoah River State Park in Virginia

Shenandoah River State Park is located right on the Shenandoah River in northern Virginia. It is just a short drive from the northern section of Shenandoah River National Park and includes lots of hiking trails, a few canoe launches, gorgeous views, and nature center, and lots of different camping options. The park encompasses more than 1600 acres and includes 5.2 miles of pristine shoreline.

Campground Review

I stopped at Shenandoah River State Park on a two-week road trip from Vermont to Alabama. I had been traveling for a few days when I stopped here, and I did not make reservations in advance for a Thursday night in May. I arrived at about 3 pm and popped into the visitor center to ask about my options for camping for the night. Turns out that campers have a lot of choices here.

Camping options include huge RV sites with water and electricity hook-ups, small camping cabins, yurts, and large cottages with separate bedrooms, bathrooms, full kitchens, and air conditioning, which I guess isn’t really camping at all. The last option, and the one I chose, is “primitive” camping, which are large, private tent sites along the river. The only thing primitive about them is that they have no vehicle access. You park your car in a lot nearby and truck your stuff out to your campsite.

These primitive sites have access to a large bathhouse with private showers, as well as grungy pit toilets that are a bit closer to many of the sites. The campsites have a fire pit, lantern pole, and picnic table, and some have room for several tents. A few of the sites are right on the Shenandoah River, with incredible views. My site, #3 had a river view but was set back a bit from the banks. All of the sites are wooded and quiet.

There are carts available at the parking area for lugging your stuff out to your site, and there is also a small shed with firewood that you can purchase for $6 a bundle. The rangers come through every so often and are incredibly friendly and knowledgable about the area. I learned that there are copperheads within the park, as well as huge bees that look menacing but are pretty harmless. Bears also frequent the park, so it is very important to pack away your food in your car or your bear-proof cooler. Don’t have a bear-proof cooler? Check out the RovR Rollr 60 below.

This was a clean, quiet campground, with beautiful hiking trails and great river access. The cost for a primitive campsite was $36, which I thought was a bit pricey. It is cheaper for Virginia residents.

It may get really busy on summer weekends, but I only saw a handful of people during my visit. There is a privately run ziplining course within the park, and a local outfitter does paddling trips that begin up-river and include class I and II rapids. All-in-all, I give Shenandoah River State Park 4 stars for their primitive campsites, and I can’t wait to come back to stay in a yurt.

RovR RollR 60 Review:

As a ranger for The Dyrt, I am occasionally given products to test and review on my camping adventures. During this trip, I was thrilled to test out the RovR Rollr 60 cooler. The Rovr was recently ranked #1 for ice retention by Outside Magazine, so I was excited to use it for a mega road trip where I knew I wouldn’t be able to restock it with ice every day. Plus, I was carting large quantities of Vermont beer to my family in Alabama, and warm beer is really lame.

The RovR Rollr is a “rotomolded cooler,” which basically means that it has a consistent wall thickness and two full inches of foam insulation to keep the insides frosty for a lot longer than traditional coolers. They are also made with heavier, more durable plastics that ensure that they last longer than other types of coolers.

The downside to the RovR Rollr, and all high-end rotomolded coolers, is that they are quite a bit heavier than their competitors. Fortunately, the RovR Rollr line includes incredibly rugged tires that make it easy to maneuver just about anywhere. I did have trouble lifting it in and out of my car and dragging it up a full flight of stairs, but because of the tires and the sturdy handle, my issues were minimal.

RovR Rollr 60 Features:

This cooler is really big and holds 60 quarts of food, beverages, and ice. It is a workhorse, and can definitely keep enough food and drink cold for a long weekend or more. The RovR Rollr includes a removable plastic bin that secures snuggly into the cooler to keep your food dry, but still nice and cold. You fill this bin with your eggs, meats, and veggies, and then pour the ice into the cooler on top of your beverages. This system is so great — no more fishing for Hershey bars when your cooler turns into a lake.

The RovR website mentions that the RovR Rollr will give you 10 days of ice retention if you follow some recommended steps, which includes prechilling everything, keeping the cooler full, and keeping it out of full sun. I could do none of these things, but keeping the cooler in the back of my car (in the sun), half full, and not prechilling anything, the ice lasted a good 4 days before needing to be replaced.

There is a handy valve to release excess water, and the dual-grip handle is made of aluminum for easy pushing and pulling. The latches are made of sturdy rubber and the lid is fitted with an airtight gasket, making it entirely bearproof. The cooler comes with a 5-year warranty, and many of the parts can be removed and replaced if necessary.

The RovR Rollr comes with a removable, foldable wagon bin that secures firmly to the top of the cooler for easy transport. I kept dry goods in here that didn’t need to be cold - fruit, cereal, trail mix, peanut butter, etc.

Optional Add-Ons

For this particular adventure, I just got the cooler and the wagon bin that fits on top, but there are a bunch of optional features that would make the RovR even more versatile. These include an attachable cutting board, drink holders, an umbrella holder, and a bike kit for pulling the cooler behind your bike.

Bottom Line

The RovR Rollr 60 is obviously a high-end cooler with a high-end price tag, but the quality is obvious from the very first use. This is an investment for sure, but totally worth it. My biggest complaint is that it is heavy and a bit unwieldy for one person to maneuver. And to be fair, this is a big cooler that is not meant to be used by one person. I was impressed with the rugged tires, the overall design, and its ability to keep stuff cold and dry and would love to invest in a smaller model for smaller adventures.

Not my favorite

The sites are generous and well maintained but no trees. Had odd experience with camp host. Apparently old women steal campsites regularly because he thought I had and had to call the ranger and double check because I’m obviously a liar. Not a good experience

Beautiful views, well-maintained trails, variety of amenities

I recently led a large group of Scouts to the Mathews Arm Campground in SNP. We spread out over 4 RV/camper/tent sites as our base camp. There was definitely a lot less privacy/space between sites here at SNP than I’ve noted at other parks across Virginia. I suppose it’s because it’s a national park, with a big draw and higher volume of visitors. The roads were well-marked and paved nicely. The bathrooms were okay, I’ve been in better-maintained/cleaned ones and worse ones, so I’m not going to complain. They were quite prevalent though. The staff that circulate around the park were quite friendly! We had a lovely hike to a nearby waterfall that was gorgeous. We even took a group out hiking across the AT and did some backcountry camping. I was impressed by how well-maintained the trails were! We had a really nice time and I look forward to returning again soon. I will note that our original reservation was for the Southern Section, but because of the winter storms, there was a lot of storm damage which caused them to close down quite a bit of Skyline Drive and they automatically shifted our reservation (with the option to cancel) to the Northern Section of the SNP. So, we didn’t hike what we expected to, but we still had a nice time, regardless. Plus, a couple days before our trip they did open the Southern Section, but we left our reservations and plans alone.

Beautiful and cozy

It rained most of the weekend, but we still had a blast! The trail to the lake is accessible but far enough that you avoid the high day use traffic. The campsites have trees and some privacy.

Great place!!!

Really loved this campground! Had a blast with my family here on a family reunion trip. Here are a few things I loved about this place:

1. Hiking- some gorgeous hikes nearby!! The views are amazing, and the trails are in great condition. My pup loved these hikes, too!

2. Campsite is clean! Nothing makes me happier than a clean campsite. There are dumpsters where you can dump your trash which I think helps a ton! There is also a picnic table and fire ring. We enjoyed making s’mores at night and sitting around the campsite! Also the campsite spots are well separated. We didn’t feel like we were right on top of each other.

3. Biking trail- we brought our mountain bikes and enjoyed some great biking with the family and dog!

4. Road was great to the campsite. We have been to a few campgrounds where the road leading to the place is horrible and needs high clearance. This wasn’t the case.

If you go during the summer, definitely bring bug spray. We had some and used the whole bottle because the mosquitos were so bad!!

Water Nearby

I wouldn't give this campsite a super high review by any means. The campsite itself is pretty run down, and small. The great thing about this place was that the Evitts Creek was nearby, which was great for cooling off. My family and I visited Maryland one summer because we have family that lives in the area, and decided to do some camping the last part of the trip. This was one of 2 places we stayed. We did some hiking around the area- Evitts Mountain is close by and provides some really great views. They do have quiet hour in the park, I believe it starts at 10pm. You can not bring firewood in the campground. You basically have to use collected items from the ground to start your fire. Also, I brought a hammock, but was told we couldn't tie anything sort of rope to the trees, just FYI. There is a table and grill on each site as well, which is always nice. You can reserve your spot online, or pay at the station there. We only stayed 1 night here, and I think it was $20 for 8 max in a campsite. We split the cost between 2 families.

Perfectly awesome

We stayed here May 1st, one night, it was a weekday night so we pretty much had the place to ourselves. I start my review with that because we have heard this place can get very busy. They said it has long already been completely (180 sites!) booked for Memorial Day. That being said, we tent camped, it cost about $25. We bought three bags of their kiln dried wood which made for a wonderful and easy fire ($15), the tent sites were perfectly flat with crushed gravel and fire rings. The place was CLEAN as heck, the bathroom/shower were so clean it was like it must have been built last week. I mean seriously in perfect condition, water was hot the sites are not on top of each other and each has its own designated parking area. The surrounding park is seriously gorgeous. You cannot go wrong here, we enjoyed every single second.

Expensive

Stopped here for a tent site. And the cost was almost $60 a night. They do offer discounts for some associations but I wasn’t a member of any.

Good location

This little camping area consists of first come first serve sites, so don’t plan on arriving late in the afternoon and find a spot. There are about 24 sites and they are very close together. Do not think of this as a secluded camping experience. Proximity to the creek is ok for some sites. And proximity to the road is very close as well. There are bathrooms. There is no cell service in this area.

Great campsite

This site is right along the Potomac River. The water pump connects with a well, and is treated with iodine. Plenty of space for tents, and has a fire ring. Trailside for easy access.

Quaint and inviting

We've been here a few times and only choose this campground. Everyone from the campers to the staff are inviting and friendly. Artillery Ridge is close to the battlefields and has all the fun of larger campgrounds. Our #1 place to go

Great Kid Friendly Getaway

Great views of the blue ridge mountains with many river access points. The Virginia Canopy Tour is fun. We camped with our pop-up in the RV section. Sites were spacious and the bathhouse clean. We checked out an adventure pack from the visitors center and hiked the River Trail, thus our son became a junior ranger. Tent sites, RV sites, camping cabins and large cabins all available. Firewood for sale in the park. We’ll be back! More trails to hike!

Great river side getaway

We’ve come to this campground twice: Once just our family of four and another time with my in-laws. This park is nice and secluded with a number of family friendly hikes. Facilities are clean with plenty of wood to buy and carts to help transport supplies from the parking lot to the camp sites. We recommend renting the yurts which were perfect for our in laws. They were just a few steps away from our camp site in a more comfortable setting. We foresee coming to this park many times over the coming years. It’s the quintessential car camping experience.

Great Family Spot!

Brought our 5 and 7 year old kids here on a Dad’s weekend. Camping sites are standard and well spaced out. Bathroom facilities were very clean and I’d say even better maintained than most. Kids love this place because of the other activities like laser tag and the cart track. I wondered why a camp site needs these things and the fact is they don’t. But when I ask which camp site my kids had the most fun at, they said Little Bennet because of the activities. We prefer hiking as a family and staying away from crowds and this camp site wasn’t crowded or felt busy. It’s a quick drive from NOVA but just far enough where you feel away from it all.

I don’t think they need to show movies at night. Live music or something more interactive like a bon fire would help elevate the experience.

Sweetest owner ever!

On a whim we decided to try this campground. We are tent campers and we’re looking for a place close to Shenandoah to ride our motorcycles. This was 3 miles from the north entrance to the park, perfect. Making a reservation was easy, we arrived and had the loveliest conversation with Pam, she is such a gem!! We got a spot right next to the creek, bought some firewood from Pam for $10, which gave you a small wheelbarrow full. You can get a better deal elsewhere but we were happy to support Pam. The campground wasn’t exceptionally beautiful, the bathrooms and shower are rustic. Paint peeling and very makeshift but who cares. The water was hot and the bathroom facility has gorgeous paintings all over it. The grounds were relatively empty when we stayed and we had no issues w anything. Rained all night, we didn’t care, rain and the creek sounded awesome. Without hesitation I would stay here again, you don’t meet special souls like Pam very often. Give her your business. Oh and watch out for the pet cat, he likes the road down to the campsite. His name is Puppycat.

Nice hiking. Connect to AT. Campground’s are well kept.

Lake area can be crowded on weekends, I tend to avoid.

Hike from visitor center to AT is steep and rocky

Wet muddy

Lot of stone being spread.. hope they plan on spread ing more

Perfect place to camp!!

This campground is fantastic! Great sites and clean facilities!! If you’re there around Columbus Day weekend, check out Colorfest in the town of Thurmont!!

Great place

Lots of weekend events and bingo at the camp store, friendly helpful staff! Great sites!

Honeymoon July 1999

We chose to go camping here for our honeymoon. The campground offered a lot of hiking trails and swimming. Our campsite wasn't very well maintained as it had a lot of rocks throughout and didn't make for comfortable sleeping. The fire ring to use for the evening to sit at wasn't well kept and we were afraid a fire wouldn't stay well in the ring. We didn't use the amenities that were offered as we mainly used the campground as a place to rest our heads and breakfast as we were doing a lot of touring of Gettysburg.

Best Gettysburg Stay

We are local and love going to Granite Hill for our spring and fall trips. They have friendly staff members that help make your stay pleasant. We live the B section, but there are other great spots, too. Hands-down, this is the best campground in Gettysburg.

Nice stop on the Appalachian Trail

The hut is 3 sides and open on the 4th, the open side faces the fire pit. There is a picnic table, privy, bear locker, and bear pole to hang additional items at the site. The hut sleeps 8 and is first come, first serve. You may end up meeting some new friends there because of this. If the hut is full, there are some tent sites available. Also the spring for water is located very close by.

Great park, easy hike.

Come prepared with all essentials

Nice family campground

Nice campground for families and couples. Clean restrooms. Camp store has everything you need. New pool and nice playgrounds. Rocking trolley to the Dairy Queen was great.

Not a bad place to stay the night, but not much more

Overall, it's a decent campground. There are a few trails encompassing and leading out from the campground, and it's nice to have a central location from which you can out on small hikes. It is also more central to the northern region of the park and is a good stopping place in that aspect.

A few things that left me wanting was the large line of cars at the entrance to the campground, as I did not have a reservation, and a bit of inefficiency in getting campers set up in this aspect. I think I waited around 30-45 minutes to get a spot when I went on a Friday in early October. Also, the bathrooms at the campground that I used only have one stall and one urinal, so it was hectic when multiple people needed to go.

Otherwise, the long slab of pavement at each campsite and especially the food storage locker were very positive aspects of the campground.

great place to stop on the AT

I only stopped here for a night while I was hiking the AT, but it was a welcome relief to get to a spot where I could wash off and have indoor plumbing for a night. The sites are nice, but seemed pretty close together. As far as campgrounds on the AT go, this is one of the nicer ones. The place also has fresh drinking water, another welcome site while on the AT.

All around great AT campground!

Sites vary in size for tent space

Arrived after 8 pm on a Friday evening, and was pleasantly surprised that park rangers were still manning check-in process as it was close to filling up. He gave us his best option left for a small tent. Site was quite open to HC accessible adjacent sites and had a bit of light trespass from the restrooms. Can't complain for a last minute trip!

really cool place in an awesome town

Harper's Ferry is a little town in WV nestled right next to the Potomac River. It's also a convenient halfwayish point on the Appalachian Trail. One of my friends and I stayed here while we were section hiking the AT. The campground is pretty nice, with cabins, tent sites, and RV sites. It's also got a lot of extra activities that you can do. Zip lining, tubing, rafting the Potomac, and even an adventure park, you name it. You definitely won't be bored wile staying at this campground.

Harper's Ferry is a pretty neat place too. There are some great restaurants, cool shops, and make sure to make a stop at the AT Conservatory. There you can see cool pictures of all the people who have through hiked the AT and learn more about it.

Speaking of the AT, there are great hiking and biking trails right around Harper's Ferry. You can even say you hiked all the way to Virginia from West Virginia. Just don't tell anyone that Harper's Ferry is right on the border.

Great rustic river sites!

There are several rustic campsites located on the Southfork of the Shenandoah River, as well as modern electric sites, RV sites, and cabins. Park and campgrounds are clean and well maintained. Tons of trails, wildlife and activities in and near the park. This state park is adjacent to Shenandoah National Park and is just as beautiful and rich in history!