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Tall Pines Harbor is a great place for a family with kids. Management was very welcoming — the park does themed weekends throughout the entire year. Surprisingly enough, the campground was very quiet for being booked the entire weekend. Pets are welcome, everyone was friendly, and there is a lot of socializing opportunities at this park.
Only 30 sites, all which have electric/water hookup. We’ve been here twice now, once with an RV and once in a tent. Most sites are shady and level, with lots of space between. The park rangers are friendly and knowledgeable, and there is a LOT to do. Beautiful hikes and bike trails, a small beach for the kids to splash in. We stayed in site 20, with friends across the way in 11, and it was a great way to see friends, but also have privacy. Sites 19 and 20 would be great buddy sites as well. We love it there!
We chose this campground based on proximity to work. This campground was priced fairly, however, it does come with its downfalls.
Let me start with the positive, we were 1 of 3 campers in this loop during our week-long stay. This made it peaceful and quiet.
It's close to a Naval base, and therefore you constantly hear airplanes, and helicopters at all times.
Other than the daily bathroom cleaning, this campground lacks maintenance on sites and walkways. They are both overgrown.
Playground, fishing, archery all seem blocked off at this time.
Trails seem open but are across and through hunting areas. They are also muddy from the rain. There is even standing water around our site which brings us to…the MOSQUITOS! We tried fans, tiki torches, and many deet free or light deet products before having to buy 100% deet so we could be outside. These things are awful!
I used to live by this park and I visited it all the time with my cousins as kids! There are a couple playgrounds, swing sets, and tons of open areas for children to enjoy. The trails are nice and fairly well kept. The little sandy beach is by far my favorite part of the park though! The water is shallow and warm in the summer. In fact, the water is so shallow that you can wade almost 400 meters out or more! There are often crabs, small fish, and sometimes jellyfish floating about. There is always cool driftwood and shells to collect along the sand. Belle Isle is a great place to visit for day trips or over night camping! I’d definitely recommend it to anyone in the area that wants to get a small taste of the Chesapeake Bay and it’s wildlife and plants.
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.
Saw a snake, alligator snapping turtle, and rabbits, before we even reached the gates. Moderate privacy and space, especially considering how close it is to DC. There are some abandon camp loops around the open campground which makes for some cool walks with your dog. Very pretty area with lots of trails and overgrown roads to walk. Equestrian trails go deep into the woods if you want a longer trail. Bathrooms don’t look like much from the outside, but the inside is very nice. Clean, hot water, and good water pressure. The have a new dump station, but the hose has an anti-freeze up in the air with a pull cord valve. This means every time you pull to turn the water on, you get a shower. It was hot, so it was OK. Hahaha. They sell firewood, but they were huge pieces and getting them to start burning was tough. LOTS and LOTS of ticks. I got one, but my wife and dog got about a dozen each. Just bring tweezers. Each site had picnic table, fire ring, and pretty level parking spot.
No great photos to represent how pretty this State Park is. I used to camp here often with my family between 2010-2012. The campsites are nice and remote. The facilities, roads, and shelters are well maintained. There is an awesome little store to buy supplies, bait, and rent kayaks. Belle Isle also has a cute little beach touching the Chesapeake. You can walk pretty far out and enjoy the warm water!