Maryland is known for its sun-drenched shores, fishing and boating; camping in and around the Chesapeake Bay delivers on those promises. But Maryland packs a remarkable variety of other adventure options too, including rugged mountains in the north and west and the pastoral hills of Central Maryland. As a plus, the thrills and relaxation provided by camping in Maryland are all within easy access of historic towns and the big cities of Baltimore and Washington, D.C.
Maryland’s beaches have long been a popular family vacation destination. Not far from the bustling Ocean City, campers can find restful fishing and swimming and beautiful ocean sunrises on Assateague Island, a 37-mile strip of sand and marsh where wild horses roam. Find dozens more options for waterfront camping in Maryland on the Eastern Shore in the tributaries of the Chesapeake Bay. Generations of watermen there have harvested blue crabs, oysters, clams, rockfish and their towns retain their red-bricked charm.
Another popular way to see Maryland is to bike or walk parts of old towpath for the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal. The 184.5 miles of easy, shaded trail follows the Potomac River, passing through dozens of historic lockhouses, the breathtaking Great Falls, and historic towns like Harper’s Ferry to connect Washington, D.C. to Cumberland, Maryland. Campers can find sites every few miles.
Mountain lovers can also find camping in Maryland along the remnants of the greater Appalachian range. These sites offer easy access to viewpoints and waterfalls, including the tallest in the state, the 78-foot Cunningham Falls. Sugarloaf Mountain is a small peak south of Frederick, Maryland with a Civil War history that now offers far-reaching vistas on the surrounding vineyards and forests to hikers, rock climbers and campers. Find more options for camping in Maryland’s mountains or beaches on The Dyrt.
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This place is heaven… Busy on weekends, but for a reason. I've been going here since I was a little kid and I'm 33 now. Brought my spouse last year for the first time and now we're both in love. You're in the woods. Can't see the other sites at night other than a fire. Be a good neighbor though and keep it quiet after dark.
- 12 mile bike ride on the C & O Canal trail into downtown Cumberland, MD
- Beautiful creek-side camping spaces
- Close to Route 51, so there is a lot of traffic noise
- Close to train tracks, so there were a few trains passing in the night
The beach. A national park. Wild ponies. OC boardwalk 10 minutes away. What could be better.
It's dry camping with ice cold showers, but it's quiet and beautiful. Nothing is more magical than waking up to ponies breathing in your tent.
Fort Washington is a massive brick and stone fortress majestically guarding the Potomac River approach to the nation's capital. It was constructed in 1809 and saw service from the War of 1812 until WWII. Now a National Park Service (NPS) site, the park is expansive, with trails and day use areas to complement the fortress grounds. As an NPS facility, it offers a welcome center and small museum, and a place to get your National Park passport stamped. Fort Washinton is only about five miles south of the DC Beltway, so it makes for a nice afternoon or day trip for your individual or family outing for getting the kids outside. Parking is plentiful. Most of the fortress grounds are handicapped accessible, as are the pathways around the park.