This map requires WebGL
Please update your web browser or enable WebGL to view the map.Troubleshooting Info
LIMITED TIME OFFER Try Pro Free for 3 Months
Plan 5-star camping road trips with PRO Trip Planner.
Find free camping on public lands with PRO Map Layers.
Roam freely with PRO Offline Access and PRO Map Downloads.
Save on camping reservations and camping gear with PRO Discounts.
Small campground with a pit toilet right on the Potomac river picnic table and fire ring with a few nice trees throughout the camp area. Easy to get to and not far from the towns. I will say there is a road right by the camp is and there are consistent levels of cars into the evening. Still worth it! Pit toilet was not very clean and there are no trash cans so folks had taken to leaving their trash in the bathroom.
Lots of room under trees two picnic tables and fire pits. River view. Water pump and port John.
We stayed at this campground during the COVID pandemic so not much was open at the campground. But from the looks of it they have a small mini golf area, nice size basketball court and a good size building for activities. This campground has horse stalls and rings if you would like to bring your own horses. There were a few families that brought their horses and they were right across from our site. Kids loved being able to see them and get close and even pet them!
This campground is minutes from town and is practically on the battlefield.
Every January for the last few years some friends and I have gone and camped along the Appalachian Trail. It's you can park at Pine Grove State Park and then hike your way into locations or park at other trail heads. Water is easily found and views like Sunset Rocks are simply gorgeous. These trips are what gave me the experience, and confidence, to go from tent camping to tarp camping.
Edit: photos added from 2021 event
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.
It's a small campground and it was a little nerve-wrecking getting here for the last mile or two on local roads. There are a lot of fun activities for kids and the proximity to Antietam is nice. But, sites are tight lengthwise…whatever length you enter is the length site you'll get! Halloween parade was fun, but haunted house was HORRIBLE. We came in fall, so I can't judge summer and pool.
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.
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.
We stayed for 3 nights at a hike in island camp site and LOVE IT!! The pictures just don’t do it enough justice, it was beautiful and relaxing. We lucked out to have the weather vary from cloudy, drizzles to full sunny days. Yes, there are trains that go by, and there is a zip line that goes over some camp sites (we were aware so it wasn’t a surprise) but honestly, we were down by the water and it wasn’t too bad. All the beauty and relaxation definitely over shadowed the other noises. There are plenty of water sports to do on the spot of the river (which was pretty calm, more like a lake than river). There are plenty of hiking and other adventurous things to do in the area. Finally there are lots of local history spots to enjoy as well as some local breweries and wineries. The only downside to this camp site for us was the hike uphill to the shower houses.