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Fort Washington is a massive brick and stone fortress majestically guarding the Potomac River approach to the nation's capital. It was constructed in 1809 and saw service from the War of 1812 until WWII. Now a National Park Service (NPS) site, the park is expansive, with trails and day use areas to complement the fortress grounds. As an NPS facility, it offers a welcome center and small museum, and a place to get your National Park passport stamped. Fort Washinton is only about five miles south of the DC Beltway, so it makes for a nice afternoon or day trip for your individual or family outing for getting the kids outside. Parking is plentiful. Most of the fortress grounds are handicapped accessible, as are the pathways around the park.
If this campground is convenient - and given that it's open through October and <60 minutes from DC it might well be - this campground is good to go. But without that convenience factor I would not rate this site as worth visiting.
The loop is very small, with all the sites pretty close together. The forest behind the site was sparse, enough so that it was hard to find fuel for the fire and we were basically part of the youth group activities happening. From 8am to 4pm I learned A LOT about what number to dial in case of emergency.
The site itself was very small - difficult to get 2 cars and two tents in - and the fire ring was smaller as well. Though it was cleaner than the average state park site.
We stayed in site 21, which was fine enough except for its proximity to the nearest pavilion and all the small children screaming "stop drop and roll" at the top of their lungs.
But at the end of the day it was $20 (with a $6 booking fee) and for better or worse we never interacted with a single park ranger or camp host. The upside is we could do what we wanted, the downside is there wasn't a sense of community, or regulation.
I'll say I have never been to a site where the firewood is padlocked, and you have to call someone to come unlock it so you can buy firewood. In fact I'm downgrading the review from 3 stars to 2 as I write this - there really weren't many positives about this campground other than that camping is a terrific hobby.
We rescheduled to this weekend after our original reservation weekend was flooded out 2 weeks ago. They never notified us but our camping buddies got there earlier than us and called us. I thought the park could’ve emailed about being closed for flooding before people showed up. This weekend was Halloween weekend. It was quiet with a couple activities planned. We only had 2 trick or treaters. Our site 119 in Hoffman loop was long and very private. Most of the sites on the outside of the loop were private and long driveways. Inside the loop were more open. Our original loop was Greens Loop but that didn’t have availability this weekend. Those sites were out in the open but most were waterfront. Site 99 was gorgeous. Site 97 was long and narrow but there was a Fifth wheel with 2 slides in it. Tulip loop had FHU and no bathhouse. Another loop we walked was closed for the season. Nearby is the Pt. Lookout lighthouse and a Civil war museum, as well as Fort Lincoln. There were piers to fish and crab from in Green and Hoffman loops as well as a huge pier just a short drive or bike ride away. No hammocks are allowed which we found odd. Pets are allowed in many loops. Overall, a nice campground with very nice rangers. Also a small camp store and firewood for sale. No Wi-fi. Sprint service was no good anywhere near this campground. We were an hour away before getting any kind of cell service.
The park is yet another great VA syate park. We tend to use the state parks because you know what to expect. The park is well off the beaten path, but has plenty of historic and other attractions near by. We stayed on the B loop, the lot we reserved by only looking at a park map was nice a spacious for our popup. We were a little too close to the other site, bad design, other camp fire was right next to the the trailer spot. We ended up keeping our trailer closer to the road to avoid any possible fire damage. The bath house was kept very clean until the weekend. If you need the showers, its two stalls men and two womens side. The trails are ok, and the rest of the park has the unkept feal. We are glad we came but dont expect to come back.
The ranger drives through often and had to run a large group out of the park that had no respect for others. I'm glad to see the ranger uphold the park.
We stayed in Sycamore 09. The site was clean and level. No fire pit or grill, so plan ahead. We went the last weekend the pool was open, which wasn’t crowded at all. Casino night was a blast! Overall a family friendly place with plenty for the kids to do!
Site Details: We stayed on site#19 in Loop B(the electric loop). Our site was large, very level, and surrounded by pine and hardwood trees. All sites in this loop were fairly spread out, with ample tree separation between each one. I don’t think there was a bad site in the loop.
Facilities/Overall Park: The loop had a wonderful, heated bath house which was centrally located and a very short walk from our site. It looked to be recently built(or renovated), and was impeccably clean with very nice-looking showers(which we didn’t use this time). However, there were only 3 stalls and 2 showers, so I imagine the lines could get pretty long during peak season. There was also a nice outdoor dishwashing sink on the exterior of the bath house.
The park itself is rather small, but very pretty and(mostly) peaceful. It’s set on the Choptank River and Watts Creek, with a great amphitheatre and walking trails with beautiful water views. There is also a nature center(which was closed for the season), as well as several pavilions and playgrounds scattered throughout the park. The pavilions were in definite need of a facelift, and the playgrounds were older but decent.
While the park was very quiet and enjoyable during the day, unfortunately I couldn’t say the same for nighttime and early morning. The first night, we were awoken several times by the very loud firehouse siren from the neighboring town of Denton. It sounded like one of those older air raid-type sirens, with a really loud, jarring windup. My husband looked it up the next day, and discovered that Denton does in fact use that old fashioned alarm system to signal any type of emergency. In addition, we heard very loud gunshots from nearby goose hunters right at sunrise. So, you may luck out if you camp outside of hunting season and there are no overnight emergencies during your stay.:)
Martinak is a sister park to the larger Tuckahoe State Park(about 10-15 minutes down the road), and the two parks share and co-host many events between both facilities, mostly during peak season. Upon check-in, the(extremely friendly) rangers handed us a map and calendar of events for both parks.
Surrounding Area/Attractions: The small town of Denton is about 5 minutes outside the park, with a Walmart, a few chain and standalone restaurants, plenty of gas stations, and most modern conveniences. St. Michael’s, a very quaint and popular tourist destination, is about 45 minutes away.
Overall, while this a very pretty park with nicely wooded and spaced-out sites, we prefer the neighboring Tuckahoe SP for its slightly better trails, nicer day-use area with newer playground, and(most importantly) lack of midnight sirens.
Half of the sites are dry camping other half are electric only. Dogs are allowed at half the sites. They had the cleanest nicest showers we have ever seen at a campground. Fantastic camp store with long hours. Camper size Old Bay was there!! Ice cream, firewood, cake, and a new pontoon service to the island beach. It was $12 for 2 hours. Takes you to beach and swimming but no amenities so plan well. We loved it. There are fire road trails which are more like paths through the woods. Very flat. Be sure to wear DEET as the chiggers and ticks are crazy hungry there. There is a canal that borders the campground where the breeze comes through nicely and has great sunset view. Dump station was nice, but dumpsters are along ways from the camp spots. Staff was extremely friendly and helpful. Our favorite part by far was the pontoon over to the island to swim at the beach especially because you can bring your dog and ours had a blast