The best GROUP camping near
Fairplay , MARYLAND

382 Reviews59 Campgrounds

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Most Recent Fairplay Camping Reviews
Hike-in to great tent sites - don't overback!

My brother and I really only got to check out the trails leading to and from the overnight camping spots - but the rest of the park looks like a lot of fun, plenty of things to do.

The campsites are about 1 mile from the overnight lot, which was a great hike-in if you don't overpack! We brought a wagon with extra gear with us, but we definitely took in too many items. Ended up pairing it down after night 1 and took extra stuff back to our cars. The hike-in get mostly uphill in the second half with plenty of tree roots and decent sized rocks - for those of you taking in a wagon.

The campsites themselves were great, with plenty of space for 2-3 tents, bear lockers, bathrooms with hand sanitizers, and friendly park rangers to clean up the trash and re-stock the firewood. Make sure you pay for the wood you take, it's on the honor system with a dropbox. We had a family of deer pay us a visit each morning - didn't come across any bears.

We didn't get to check out the Appalachian Trail - but it was only a few miles from the campsites. I'll def. come back! Worth the 7-8 hour trip from both South Carolina and New Hampshire.

Great Site, Great Staff

Took our new Fifth Wheel for a shakedown trip and decided to try Twin Bridges Campground. Staff was polite, amenities are great and clean, and everyone was friendly and polite. Big spacious sites, and a honeywagon to make things easier (there weren't any full hookup sites the I saw besides the long term spaces). Would definatley stay here again.

Beautiful state park

We had a great stay at Cowans Gap. Very pretty park in a scenic valley between two mountain ranges. Very easy drive from DC. The sites around us were nicely spaced apart (we were in Loop A, site 142) but some other areas did loop more crowded. Nice hike up the Tuscarora trail - pretty steep with a few rock scrambles that made for a challenging but fun hike with our six-year-old.

Remote Camping

Other than the antiquated check-in process, we had a great experience camping at Sky Meadows. The reservation email said that check in is after 4, which is not true. You can check in after 1. But you have to drive up to the main building, register, go back to the overnight lot, put in the gate code, hang the lot tag on your mirror, and hike in to the site. Not bad unless you have another car coming later in the day, who then has to get the parking pass from the first person at the campsite and hike back out to their car to place the tag and put the registration in the drop box. Unfortunately we didn’t have cell signal, had never been there, and did not know we needed to coordinaste the parking. So first-timers beware! Seems like a lot of unnecessary steps. But otherwise, we had a great night. Quiet, no bears, easy access to firewood ($6/10 logs), and nice hiking trails steps form the site. There is no camp store at the campground, only at the main visitor center where you check in.

Quiet, spacious and heavily wooded sites

We stayed at site D72 for 4 days. The sites are quiet, very spacious, level, and heavily wooded with 50A service, water and sewer hookup. D Loop is for RVs, A, B, C& E are tents only. AT&T 5 MB/s w/o booster(1 bar), 8 MB/s with it(2 bars). There is no satellite coverage due to the heavy tree canopy. OTA TV was descent using an external omni antenna. There is no WiFi. There is a very nice network of trails, most if not all were leashed dog friendly.

Cunningham Falls State Park

Stayed one night in September and had a nice level gravel site with fire pit, picnic table and bath house. Greeted by a friendly and helpful camp host as we backed into our site for our maiden voyage. Clean bath house and amenities. Stayed in site 25 with water spigot nearby. Dumpsters for garbage not a far drive and dump station as you leave the park was convenient.

Both dispersed and campground

The Hawk Recreation Area has sites in a loop, these are numbered and near the water pump (which wasn't working when we were there) and the vault toilet. There are also dispersed sites along some of the gravel roads around the official campground. We stayed in one of the dispersed sites and it was un-numbered. The site was great. There was trail access right across the road, there was a fire ring, and a picnic table. There was plenty of wood around, we just drove around to pick up some bigger pieces. Also, you can't beat the free price! We had no service here so be sure to plan ahead.

Lots of trash and noise

If you are used to primitive/secluded camping this is not the campground for you. We arrived and there was a ton of trash in our site. Someone left their air fresheners, handbag tags from marshalls, and a ton of other junk. This campground is also very noisy. There are supposed to be quiet hours but people were playing loud music from their cars, from speakers, and whatever else until at least 11pm. Our site had no privacy either, we were right next to several other sites (closer than other state parks we've been to). Physical distancing and mask wearing was not enforced/required. People in the close quarters of the restroom were not wearing masks and didn't seem to mind getting within 6 feet of other people. The woman at the front office who we checked in with even took her mask off because it was fogging up her glasses. Oh, and the wood that we purchased from the camp host was wet, so the fire was a dud until a friendly neighbor gave us some of his wood. 

The only positive thing about this campground was the hiking. The first day we hiked up the mountain to the west of the campground, and the second day we hiked up the Tuscarora Trail to the east of the campground. No other campers were hiking these, so we got to appreciate nature by having the trails mostly to ourselves.

Camping, Swimming, Fishing, Off Roading, Shooting

Regardless of what you’re into, the Cove Campground has just about everything to get in touch with your inner Tarzan. That being said, especially since COVID-19, prices have hiked quite a bit. They’ve running water, power, and firewood if you’re able to show up early and pay a little extra. The entire premises is clean, and the owner(s) are extremely polite and laid back.

Beautiful camping area near DC

This is a great but very crowded camping area. Clearly a favorite of many DC area campers. We arrived on a Friday around 6 and found every campsite full. We ended up at an overflow site. Get there early if at all possible! And if it’s mostly full, look for breaks in the brush where other cats have pulled off. There are usually fire pits to be found near them. Campsites are well-distanced from each other. We did not hear others while we were there.

Additionally, this is not a great campground for cars that are low to the ground— the roads are gravelly, potholed, and very slow to navigate in a passenger vehicle with low clearance.

The area is gorgeous! Beautiful mountains and nature. Lots of critters and plants to check out.

Bring your own water— none available as far as I could tell. There was a creek a few hundred feet from our site, but it was too steep to get to for bathing or washing dishes (we tried).

Sites vary in distance from the road. Our overflow site was far enough that we could see the cars but not so close that them going by woke us. We could also hear nose from the interstate, but it fades into the background after a couple hours. We estimated we were 1/4 mile from the interstate as the crow flies.

There are fun activities nearby as well. We saw the tunnel at Paw Paw and went to Cumberland. You can apparently rent kayaks from a man nearby, but he prefers to take groups. Drop by his store the day before to see if you can get in on the action.