I LOVE Catoctin Mountain Park in general!! The trails are well-kept and the scenery remains as natural as possible (I hate it when you go to some parks and it looks forced or man-made).
The Houck area is pretty wide-spread with sites ranging from dispersed walk-in to camping by the lake. There’s pretty much something for everyone.
But, let’s talk about the lake for a sec… Hunting Creek Lake is a 75 acre man-made lake near Cunningham Falls. Ironically, all the streams and creeks in the area couldn’t make a sufficient lake, therefore one was created. It’s labeled as great for boating, kayaking, and fishing. There were even paddle boats available. It’s quite picturesque from the get-go.
But, once we got in, I have to admit I was thoroughly disgusted. I love swimming in natural water features, but this kinda creeped me out. There was all sorts of algae and growth in the water. We would hit pockets and cold and warm water, which felt like you were walking through someone’s urine — there wasn’t much circulation or movement of the water, so it gets stagnant-feeling. Not to mention the abrupt drop-off when you enter into the lake. Nothing natural feeling about this place.
I give the park 5 stars, but the lake only gets 3, if that.
Well-appointed, semi-rustic cabins set in Catoctin Mountain. Not far from the Wm. Houck lake area and trailhead to Cunningham Falls.
Our cabin came equipped with A/C and heat, full kitchenette, fireplace, screened in porch, and firepit area (including wood and fire starters!) with seating and picnic table.
Ole Mink Farm is very resort-like with a central pool and clubhouse. They also offer various activities — mainly on weekends — like cornhole tournaments and campfire gatherings.
And I can’t say enough about the customer service!! They take hospitality to whole new levels! We ran into a couple personal snags on our trip, and they were so accommodating. Even when my Mom got sick, they checked in on us and asked about her by name. What a wonderful group of owners!
If you want to “glamp,” I would HIGHLY recommend this place!
Rv sites are huge and private, not on top of one another. Beach, boat ramp, hike to the lighthouse with incredible views of the 2 rivers and bay. If you boat and camp, it's perfect. Nature center, great store, clean, well maintained and staffed for a state park. Nice beach. So much to do. They do have a no alcohol policy unless you are inside a cabin or RV, but unless you get stupid, no one bothers you. Can't wait to go back.
Nice campground. Very clean facilities. We typically stay in the primitive tent loop which is right on the lake. It can get a little busy on the weekends since there is a boat lauch at the end of the primitive lane, but some of the sites are secluded/set back enough to be private.
You can bring your own boat (gas allowed) or rent one from their marina. There is no swimming allowed in the lake but there is a pool located at the park, there is no extra cost to use the pool if you are at the campground. There are also a lot of trails available for hiking, biking, or riding horses.
This park has a lot that you can do or just relax by the fire. Perfect for families.
I stayed at Cuningham Falls State Park a few weeks ago and the campground was very good with lots to do hikes, swimming etc. But last night I stayed at same state forest but 4 miles away the Cunningham Falls State Park Manor Area. I haven't seen this much space between campsites in a long time. The place was clean, paved roads, great price and very quiet. If you have kids or like to talk to other people go to the original campground but if you perfer quiet and your own little piece of the woods go to the Manor Area. It was August 1st and the bugs were minimal and there is a visitor station and aviary but I wasn't able to see them.
Good campground, has a couple residents that keep watch. Can get a little crowded on weekends. Each has a fire pit, and there is a store on site that sells general campground supplies (fire starter, hot dogs, band aids). Has a great walking trail to an awesome lighthouse that overlooks the Chesapeake Bay.
Really enjoyed this campground. Quiet; campsites weren’t on top of each other; had your own space. Hot water was out while we were there so showers were a bit cold but it’s summer/hot so it wasn’t really a problem. Lots of things to do near by and so close to the water.
Angled pull-thru paved sites makes setting up easier. Nice pool about half shaded in the morning. Friendly staff.
Perfect site for the family or if you just want to be out for the night. The hike to the falls is not too far and the lake is nearby too. Really close to Route 15 so you can grab everything you need on the way or run out really quick if you forgot something!
This is a campers dream site. Everything you can think of is offered here. You have to check their website to see all. This is the closest site to Washington DC. Great location with access to all forms of transportation. Store fully stocked to include groceries. Two pools. Hot tub. Play areas to include a game room and miniature golf. Pets are pampered here. Even dog walking service available.
Site was well maintained and very clean. Bathrooms were clean with showers and wash stations. Great views of the bay and beaches. Very well stocked camp store.
We saw bald eagles and great blue heron.
Only minor drawbacks being; the pad for pitching tents seemed to have poured concrete a few inches down, making it tough to stake anything down. RV sites mixed in with tents so the sound of generators was pretty constant, but it was a scorching weekend, so might not be so bad in cooler days.
CAMPGROUND REVIEW: Nestled within the beautiful greenery of Huntingtown, Maryland, this campground offers heart, scenery, and access to numerous adventures. The grounds are a short drive to Washington D.C. parks and museums, as well as the Chesapeake Beach Water Park, or North Beach's beautiful new pier and Friday night Farmers Market including local art vendors and food trucks. Kings Landing Park is just a few minutes from Final-Lee Here, which offers hiking and equestrian trails, picnic areas, disc golf, swimming pool, fishing, and a launch for kayaks, canoes, or paddle boards.
Final-Lee Here Campground offers its own beauty. As a long planned and awaited dream coming true, Connie and Ken Lee are using their gorgeous property to harbor a love for the outdoors in their family as well as those who visit. The land is well groomed with grassy, shaded tent sites, RV sites, tall, privacy-offering bamboo, evergreens (it's a tree farm), and forested trails to a soothing, water-trickling creek.
The campground has several tent sites, and some are big enough to hold multiple tents for bigger gatherings. Sites offer tables, chairs, and a fire pit. Hot showers are available in a very nice outdoor tent set up. A potty chair, along with wet wipes and trashbags are available for use, or you can just use the outdoorsman's method ;). The Lees gave us plenty of firewood, offered dry wood after storms came through, and even offered to bring us fresh eggs from their chickens. (The rooster brought smiles as it welcomed our mornings with hearty salutes.) There is a small zip line for kids and you may request games such as cornhole, horseshoes, or Yardzee to play. The Lees also rent and transport single and double kayaks or canoes to Kings Landing for a minimal fee.
On Friday, my teenage daughter and I took a trip to the Chesapeake Beach Water Park (I would recommend this for younger children, checking the internet for discounts) and we cruised the North Beach antique shops, pier and farmers market. Saturday was well planned for adventure, but out-of-the-blue storms hit hard. After breakfast, we kayaked the river and creek through beautiful marshlands where we saw caterpillars walk on water, a heron and bald eagles soaring above, turtles, a cove where thousands of tadpoles were amidst metamorphosis (having both tails and legs) scampering through and atop the water, and a multitude of dragonflies. We stopped at a Kings Landing dock, hydrated ourselves and ate our packed lunch. Dark clouds began rolling in and we paddled back to the boat launch, texting the Lee's to meet us for boat pick up. We had planned to hike and swim while at the park, but instead headed for our tent during the storm surges. Once the storms passed, we adventured onto the campground trails. One trail, though very well groomed, was steep, heading to the creek. We avoided it due to the wet conditions, and found other trails leading to the creek which were easier to maneuver. The creek was so peaceful. I would have loved to have more time here just taking it all in, but evening and another storm came upon us.
I highly recommend this campground based on its heart and available opportunities. The Lees are absolutely wonderful and truly want their visitors to enjoy the outdoors and their stay. The only "con" I came across was the toileting situation. My teen daughter is not much on the outdoors, so the portable toilet and the natural method option were too weird and uncomfortable for her.
PRODUCT REVIEW: As a Ranger for The Dyrt, I receive products to test from time to time - during this trip, I tested LiquidI.V. Hydration Multiplier. It is an electrolyte drink mix you add to a water bottle or 16 oz. of water. We tried the sampler pack. My favorite flavor is acai berry, and my daughter enjoyed the lemon-lime. Though we tried to remain hydrated, setting up camp and kayaking in the heat left us truly parched. Adding the LiquidI.V. to our water seemed to rejuvenate. Both my daughter and I feel that a whole "stick" seem to be overwhelming in one water bottle, but using half to 3/4 of a packet brought tasty hydration. I'm very picky when it comes to aftertastes, hating all fake sweeteners; however, this is made with pure cane sugar, and leaves your mouth satisfied. That is pretty rare! (Note: the passion fruit flavor left a slight aftertaste to me.) Additionally, my girlfriend and son tried some of our LiquidI.V. and loved it as well. This was great to have on hand!
We took our maiden voyage in April to this camp ground since it was close to home. We’ve tented camped and pop up camped here prior so we knew the area. Beautiful weather! Great camp ground! We walked all over, watched crew races on the lake, drove into Hanover where there were stores and went to the Utz chips outlet. Our site was great and there was only 2 other campers within sight. There’s a huge pool though not open at that time. There is a marina to rent boats and a disc golf course. A small store at the marina has some essentials. There’s a nice nature center as well. Bath house was decent. Great place to camp!
They have a nice area for kids (pool, playground, jumping pillow, basketball courts, giant chess, etc). If you get an area to back into it’ll be more secluded, but the pull through spots offer no privacy. We enjoyed our stay. We would come again.
My family loves this camp ground. It’s conveniently located, it’s quite, it’s beautiful and there is plenty to do to keep the kids busy.
Nice state park. Tons of campsites. One loop has full hookups. Careful of choosing a site if you have a big rig. The loop has tight turns and some seriously non level sites. Trails are nice and well marked. The pond loop has some amazingly old growth mountain laurels and patches of ghost flowers. The Turkey Point lighthouse hike is popular go early or late to avoid waiting for a parking spot on nice weekends. Swimming and boating on the river are popular activities too.
This was definitely a state park that was worth the trip. We stayed in the elk loop spot 142. It is the only one with electric in that part of the park so we were the only RV. All the loops we visited were quiet, well maintained and offered nice shade. Quite a few spots also offer water views. There are a bunch of nice, well marked trails throughout. Camp hosts were not out and about but were friendly and park rangers stopped by from time to time to make sure everyone was parked according to the rules. Overall a very nice experience, several spots to put in kayaks or paddle boards. Clean bathhouse. Playground for the kids. Will be back.
A lot to do: mountain bike trails (horses and walking, too); wooded hikes with water along the trails (great for dogs in the summer heat), skateboard park, BMX park, Water Park near the campground, fishing, & canoeing). Best quality: totally in the woods so summer sun doesn’t affect you.
Beautiful to walk in and historical markings throughout the park describe the Civil War events here. Beware of massive amounts of ticks in the grass. Even wearing high socks and bug spray, we had ticks clinging to our ankles and socks. And, despite tick guard, our dog had three clinging to him. We stayed on the trails, too.