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.
Ranger Review: Firebiner and Fiber Light Fire Starter at Greenbrier State Park
We were here one week before this campground closed for the season (open April through October) and it was so quiet that it was hard to imagine what it is like in the summer when the beach is open and the campground is likely full. There are four loops; two with no hookups and no pets allowed, one with no hookups that allow pets and one with electric sites that allow pets. Each site is clearly defined, and the sites all appeared level with gravel pads. The bathrooms were reasonable. There are several trails in the campground plus it is close to several AT day hikes.
There is a large day-use area and beach with lots of picnic tables. While the beach was closed for swimming, we saw a kayaker and two people fishing from a boat. Many hiking trails and this is an excellent place to camp if you’d like to do AT day hikes.
As a Ranger for The Dyrt, I have the opportunity to test products. At this campground, we tested the Firebiner and Fiber Light Fire Starter by Outdoor Elements. I’m reviewing both products since they can be used together, and we had much more luck with one than the other.
Upon unpacking my box from Outdoor Elements, my first experience was that it took a sharp knife to free the Firebiner from its cardboard backing, which was not an auspicious start. Once at our campground, we were able to use the safety blade to easily open the plastic packaging on our firewood. Unfortunately, it took several tries by two men trying the Firebiner to get a spark; they had to really crank on it, and it was not enough to light a fire. I’m guessing that with more patience and practice, it would have worked. Admittedly, we are car campers and not backpackers (and have the luxury of being able to carry/use a butane lighter), but I was looking forward to trying a new method.
We did use the Fiber Light Fire Starter and using our tried and true fire-starting methods, we got a roaring fire started very quickly. So, we had a 50% success! Packed in a small tin, you only need a pinch to easily get a fire started so we will use this in the future.
We also used the cutting tool on the Firebiner a few days later to remove the wristband from an activity we participated in and also used it to hang our lantern on a hook; this little tool is very strong (did not test but appreciate the 100-pound weight limit). I appreciate that it can also be used as a screwdriver, so the Firebiner is truly a multi-use tool!
Area is well maintained. Bathrooms are close. Affordable but I would bring your own wood. It isn’t that cheap. Great to bring little kids. Camp store is open until 9. The staff is super nice and are easy to get a hold of. Only reason I don’t give it 5 starts is the campsites are a bit close together and I don’t really feel like I’m out in nature but it’s nice to use to get away and hang out with friends.
The best park in the DC area! Very nice grounds, clean, and amenities galore! The staff are nice here. They have so much going on! Plan and reserve you DC tours right at the campground. No need to drive anywhere, the tour buses pick you up at the park! Pool, playgrounds, game room, camp store, pavilions, everything!
My husband loves to go DC and we recently purchased a travel trailer. This campground was the best of both worlds. It was close to a metro stop, so we were able to hope on there and head into DC. Since we stayed in October and temperatures were getting cooler, we only played putt-putt and it was very well kept and the tiny cost ($1.00) to play goes to a great cause. The shower houses were clean and the other facilities were in great condition, with what we saw when we walked around. We had an enjoyable stay and would consider coming back when it’s a bit warmer and when we have more time to experience more at the campground itself.
Super close to DC and the hustle and bustle, this park was such a cool random booking. We were seeing a show on a Sunday night and didn’t want to drive home. Uber or Lyft from the campground to Jiffy Lube Live is approx $20 - $25 each way.
The campground has over 120 sites, playground, a water park during the season, holiday light festival, hiking trails, camp store with wood and other basics. There are several large picnic shelters that can be reserved for events. We saw several large parties utilizing these areas. The picnicking area is along the river and really beautiful. Cabins are ADA.
We chose site 41 because it looked pretty private compared to some of the others. Lots of wooded space around us, plenty of room for hammocks! We will get this spot again when we go back. Lots of pull-through sites. Water and electric available if you don’t want a standard site. If you stay in site #41 or nearby just be aware that the shooting range is just through the woods. It didn’t bother us and it stopped at 5pm and isn’t open daily. We had a very peaceful Monday morning because the range was closed. Sunday night camping is great because it feels way more private.
The bathhouses are probably the cleanest I’ve ever seen at a campground. The centrally-located bathhouse showers are not within the bathrooms which is always nice. They’re the numbered doors right out front, I seriously looked right over them at first.
Only had two staff interactions but both were very pleasant.
Close to many battlegrounds, the first battle of the Civil War being fought at Bull Run. History buffs - spend a few days here and take advantage of everything that this awesome park and nearby attractions have to offer.
Also passed a few wineries nearby!
All-in-all, it was a pretty perfect trip. Thanks, BRRP ✌🏼✨🏕
When a bunch of high schoolers decide to party till 3AM, there's no one to call. Your only option is to call 911, but it's not technically an emergency so you have to call the the non-emergency number and leave a message.
Then, at 6AM the walking groups start on the trail, so be prepared to listen to their shitty music.
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.
18 was a very private spot with a trail leaving from the back of the spot. Has a pretty lake with trails around it. In season has concession stand and paddle boat rentals. We went off season, but saw the potential. People were fishing and we saw a swim/run competition. Bathrooms were weren’t the cleanest, but had good pressure and hot water. Campground sells firewood at the entrance, which is too far to walk, so buy it on the way in. Sprint and Verizon cell service. Pack your broom because the sites have very small gravel and it gets EVERYWHERE. We stayed in May and actually had to turn on the heater. Lots of trees for dog run or hammocks. Will definitely be returning
Very clean campground with plenty to do on site such as pools, mini golf, and playground. Camp store was well stocked and the staff was friendly and helpful. Can purchase metro cards at the campground and take a bus from the campground to the metro station that will drop you right at the National Archives (or anywhere else on the line). Would highly recommend this campground, especially if your going to visit Washington.
We spent several nights here with kids aged 5-12 and will definitely come back. We live in Montgomery County and this is a nice camping get away close to home. We stayed in Loop E, where the majority of the campsites were set back a bit off the road, well spaced, and nicely shaded. We took a couple of walks through Loop A, and this seemed to be the case for those sites as well. We were a group of 5 and used 2 4-person tents. The tent sites all have a tent pad (great drainage during a downpour!) but the tent pad isn’t big enough for two tents. So beware if you intend to use two tents that most, but not all, of the tent sites seem to have a patch of level ground where a 2nd tent can be pitched. On Saturday there were fun activities for the kids all day (pedal cars, crafts, water balloon baseball, laser tag, to name a few from memory), with some activities also on Friday evening and Sunday morning. A fee is charged for some of these (laser tag and craft supplies) but most are free. There is a small arcade-style game room (with free wifi in the building) where we passed a rainy morning. Air hockey, table soccer, and a small basketball game could be played for free, but pool and the video games required $.25-1.00 per game. We used perhaps 5 miles in total of the hiking trails, doing loops down to the creek and back. They were all manageable for a 5-year old and the kids enjoyed playing in the stream in warm weather. We did see poison ivy at the edges of some trails. There is some distant ambient noise from 270 and overhead air traffic, but nothing too bad. If coming with kids, I would recommend bringing a playground ball and/or basketball so you can use the gaga pit or basketball courts even when no games are organized by camp staff. Also note that there was no ice in the camp store for the duration of our stay, but ice can be bought at the Liberty gas station and the small Clarksburg Grocery, both about a mile from the campground.
The campsites are located along the Potomac River and between the C&O Canal. Flat campsites, Fire rings & pubic well. Very affordable. One can walk to Shepherdstown, WV for some fun. Antietam creek is very close by and is perfect for tubing or just enjoy the river & nature from your campsite!
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!
Owner mislead me about being able to park my 40 foot Newmar and trailer. Very tight with over crowds trees. No cable, out of date and roads are in poor shape. I canceled my reservation after meeting the owner and viewing the campground.
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.
Went to this state park early July for 3 nights. We had a terrible storm going on when we were to arrive so I called and the office was very friendly and helpful. He put my mind at ease about arriving too late. Our site was relatively easy to get into but many sites were angled, sloped, and looked like they'd be best for a tent. Our site was private and kind of faced away from most other sites. There was a hiking trail behind us that led to the lake. The park has a lake with a swimming area roped off and guarded and camp store and marina where you can rent kayaks and canoes. While hilly, it would be a great bike riding area if you want a work out. Bathhouse was adequate, Not particularly dirty but not super clean. Only 2 showers in the ladies room. Campground hosts were around every day and super helpful. t was close to Antietam Battlefield and Antietam Creek Winery which had live music and allowed our dog to come in. There were some live reenactors at the battlefield and a great car audio tour you can get from the visitor center. I would go again!
Angled pull-thru paved sites makes setting up easier. Nice pool about half shaded in the morning. Friendly staff.