My kids never stopped running! We will be back.
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!
Cute location right on the river and the C&O bike path. Would be great for through bike camping. Not much regulation. Our campsite had been taken by another family so we had to use a different one. Good for a quick camp weekend.
We love this campground!! The area is absolutely beautiful. The lake is large and gorgeous. There are a lot of lake side campsites which are amazing. The hosts are all very friendly. We had a problem with our site and our weekend was saved thanks to the wonderful rangers. We are so thankful. My one and only reason for 4 out of 5 stars are the bathhouses. I wish they would update like Cowan's Gap. I have health issues and am always afraid I'll fall because the floors are so wet. Otherwise, they are kept cleaned up. Honestly, one of my favorite places to visit and we camp at as lot of parks. I hope they'll add more cottages too! There are lots of nice basic (non-electric) sites that are wooded, well shaded and private. There are nice, shaded electric sites. However, if you request electric and water you automatically get sewer too. This raises the price per site, per night by$13 and gives you a site with very little shade. We will return but we will choose an electric only site and fill our A-frame's water tank in order to get a wooded site. This campground is 100% reservable which means that you must select a site when you make your reservation. If you do not live in the area, that is difficult
We camped at Codorus State Park for the first time a few years ago while out east. We really love this Campground! There is a wide variety of sites so finding one that you like should not be difficult, there are some in wide-open park-like settings, and some that are treed. For the most part we didn't notice any that really seem to be right on top of each other, but we think the site we got was the best one in the park. We were in 132, which was huge and had nice open flat areas for the tent, there were actually three spots that we could have put it on, and lots of trees to hang our hammocks and options for our tarps, but there was no chance of rain at all that weekend so we did not hang tarps. Those trees were bare however until very far up, so they did not afford any privacy, but we definitely were not on top of the people next door anyway so it was just how we like it. There is some hiking, not strenuous climbing mountains hiking, mostly easy, and the lake was the biggest attraction for me. Campground bath houses were very clean, nice hot showers with great showerhead that stayed on without pushing a button. Our site was close to the bath, a trail head, and field where we lay in the sun and played frisbee. We are definitely going back!
Beautiful campgrounds situated near a creek. The campgrounds have a homey feel and were decorated nicely for fall & Halloween. The staff & hosts were incredibly nice & helpful. The restrooms & showers were the cleanest I've seen. The sites were very nice and equipped with an upgraded firepit with a swivel grill for cooking instead of the standard ring or rocks. I only stayed one night due to traveling through but would love to go back & stay again
I camped here as a child so when my husband and I recently purchased our new RV I knew we had to go there. My only reason for not giving 5 stars is that only a small portion of the park is open to campers with pets. I'm ok if they have just a section of pet sites, but you are also not allowed to walk the whole park with them - just that small front section. It would be nice to see the whole park become pet friendly.
This campground offers spacious sites and a pretty convenient location on the cheap. I stayed here Saturday into Sunday and reserved my site ahead of time. Google maps street view has images of the campground, use this if you want to see what sites look like ahead of time - it is a bit overgrown on the riverside today. I’ve seen reviews mentioning squatters… I didn’t notice anyone but then again, I arrived early and set up camp. I can see how some might show up and not realize a site is booked in advance. There’s little privacy between sites but most are far enough apart. Portable bathrooms were clean. Downtown Williamsport is 20 minutes away. C&O trail is steps away. Lots of families with kids but everyone settled down around 11. Fire ring and picnic table at each site. I packed water so didn’t see if the pump was working. The train does go through twice overnight and it is loud but still got a decent night of sleep.
We stayed two nights in site #6. The site was easy to back into, plenty long enough and relatively level. We filled our water tank on the way in and used the convenient dump station on the way out. Cell signal is spotty to non existent. There are plenty of trails in the park and two lakes to swim in. We enjoyed our stay.
Located in the Raystown Lake Recreation Area is Seven Points. It has 6 different loops to choose from. Two are waterfront and view. Four are wide open sites with space in between. Highlights are the numerous hiking trails, mountain bike trail which is extensive, swimming beach that wasn't crowded on Labor Day weekend, a marina, a restaurant at the marina, a visitors center, and a bicycle "course" for younger people I think. We stayed in Senoia loop in a water view (somewhat) site. It was small for our 22 foot total camper but we fit. It was carved out of the side of the hill with 3 wood walls. Our table and firepit were up several stairs/steps. This is a hilly area so your site is split and the two areas are on different levels. Only the two loops on the water have this. The other four loops are all level spacious sites. There was electric but no water or sewer hookups. We drove into Huntingdon and found signs to two outlooks which had spectacular views. One was Ridenour Overlook and the other Hawn's Overlook which were accessed from the same parking lot. Ridenour overlooked the Raystown dam which led us to see that we could drive to the top of the dam and have another great view which we did. We saw signs for Hesston Speedway which we want to visit next time we go. It's across from the campground main road entrance. The RLRA has numerous activities one of which was Chris Collins and Boulder Canyon group who performed John Denver songs. They tour nationally and into Canada so not a small town group. They were great! The amphitheater provided plenty of space for the couple hundred attendees. While we could walk Senoia loop even with its steep hills, the whole area was not walkable. One would have trouble walking the entire RLRA. There was a path through much of it but that path didn't seem to go all the way to our loop. There was obviously boat noise at times but you're at the lake. In fact, several sites allowed for boat tie ups right at your site so you could have both your camper / tent and boat at the same site. There is a launch area at the marina also. The lake swimming area also had a snack bar and bathhouse. We plan on going again next summer and explore more. I will include pics and videos of campsites. Water sites are in Senoia and The Point. The Valley, Meadow, Bay, and Ridge loops are not near the water but there's plenty of parking in day use areas which were not full that weekend.
As a Ranger for the Dyrt, I get to test products. At this campground I tested the GrubStick. I was excited to try it out as I wanted to cook over an open fire. First off, the kit comes with two handles, 2 baskets, 2 double prong sticks, a hot pat and finger hot pad to use to open the baskets. It is very sturdy and well made. You're getting a well made product! We first tried a Caprese Sandwich. We use the circle basket and handle combo to heat and melt the tomato, mozzarella, and Pesto. Then we put that on a ciabatta roll. I love these sandwiches. It was delicious and quick. I was happy. Later I used the square basket for S'mores. I put the graham cracker, marshmallow, and chocolate together in the basket and held it over our fire. It burnt the graham cracker, melted the chocolate into a mess but tasted good. I think using the long marshmallow stick for them and then putting the smore together would be less messy. The next morning we made breakfast sandwiches of hash brown patties, sausage, and egg whites with cheese. We had to cut some of it smaller to fit into the GrubStick basket. It heated well and was delicious but we could've done the same in our microwave in the RV or in foil over the fire. My husband said he felt it was a fun tool but if pressed for space or weight on a backpacking trip, he wouldn't take it. I think kids would have fun with it. I recommend it for a meal or snack but probably not for every meal. Though I admit clean up wasn't that bad. If considering it, go for it! You'll have fun with it.
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
This State Park is easy to find and in a great location. The AT crosses through the park and it’s not far from the amenities of town. The park is a good size and I liked that the campsites were a bit secluded. The sites themselves were close together but we were there in late August during the week so it was practically empty. The bathroom facilities were some of the nicest and cleanest I’ve ever seen. There was even a paved path through the campsite to the bathroom. There are showers, flush toilets, sinks for hand washing, and sinks outside for dishes. We didn’t use much of the rest of the park but there is a swimming pool and lots of nice areas with picnic tables. We really enjoyed our stay!
We stayed at one of two walk-in sites at Greenwood. The highlights were a spacious camp site, nice bathrooms, little light pollution (we saw the Milky Way!) and hearing screech owls at night.
A couple of really nice things about this campground: You can buy ice ($2), bundles of wood (15 pc @ $5) and as long as you don't need change, it's self serve. The shower house is nice, nothing too fancy but clean. There's also a toilet-only bathroom closer to the walk-ins with a mirror and a baby changing table. It was VERY clean and heated, which was glorious considering it was quite chilly at night. There's also drinking water spigots in several locations which is a big plus and not something you see a lot in most state parks.
The walk-ins are not very far from the little parking lot, so it was easy to carry our gear down to the site. The site itself was HUGE in comparison to the other sites. Also close to a nice little stream.
There were a few big puddles from this summer's torrential rains but surprisingly no mosquitoes to speak of. The only con about this campsite was that it's down the hill from PA 305. It was fine during the night, but traffic started to pick up at daylight. Maybe it would not bother everyone, but it was annoying to be reminded you're right next to the road all day.
We had reserved a site for 6 days. We ended up only staying 36 hours and had the entire reservation refunded. The view from any of my windows was of the long-term resident’s tarped over garbage. We shared 1 water source with 2 other campers. In order to hook anything up, you had to be in your neighbor’s space. The train wreck behind our camper was VERY vocal about how we were entering their site to hook up. Apparently, we were supposed to use the force. The fire pits were crammed under the tree and between the 5ft space to park your vehicle. The fuse at power source blew every time the air turned on. The access roads are so tight/narrow, that there is multiple areas of damaged trees and corners of structures. We woke up to the lovely aroma of dog feces and cigarette smoke (with the windows closed). This is not a place you vacation at. By far, the worst place we have ever stayed.
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!
We found this park while driving south to Georgia and decided to stay for a night. It was full of trails and it’s the halfway point on the Appalachian Trail so you can hike some of it too! Our campsite was #31 in the Horseshoe Loop (no elec/water) near the bath house that was very clean. There are water spigots located throughout the park though. Friendly campground hosts attend the firewood barn and are willing to help with suggestions for stores and and such. Check in and check out is both 3pm, which allowed us to spend the morning hiking. Cell service is pretty non existent but there is WiFi at the ice cream/general store.
We choose this campground due to its location near an event we were attending. It was last minute and the owner was amazingly accommodating! I called Friday to see about one of the 2 cabins for that weekend and he went to look and offered to call me back. We stayed 2 nights in the smaller cabin (12x8). We affectionately called it our She-shed but it had everything we would need for a quick trip. There are 2 twin beds, a small fridge with freezer, trash can, microwave, coffee pot and AC. Outside there was a picnic table, grill, fire pit and wood available for sale. At the time we were there it was $5 a bundle. The cabin does not have water but he offered to add a splitter to the nearby spigot but we had brought our camping jug. The owners are friendly and fast! They were quick to accommodate any requests and checked on us as we were cleaning up to check out to ask if we needed anything. The camp ground has a dump station, sites with electric and water, primitive sites for tents, access to the river, bathrooms, showers, ice and a playground. There is a barn which housed a pavilion for events and a large expanse of grass for the kids to play. Everyone was really friendly and we had a great time. I definitely recommend a stay if you're in the area.
Since I am from near the area, I camp here a lot, and I will say that it is a great campground. The sites are spacious and well taken care of, and if you camp on the upper loop, there is a lot of separation between sites, which is nice. The bathrooms are average, not the best I've seen, and certainly not the worst. The sites aren't all level, so If it rains, certain sites become ponds. Other than this, though, it is an awesome campground, and I highly recommend it!
A group of 4 families visited this lovely quiet spot.
Pros: Quiet Lovely little hike for young kids right out of the camp site Close to DC so am easy drive Handicap accessible Lovely little boardwalk to a small creak past a saw mill
Cons: Bathroom was just so-so. I prob wouldn’t want to shower there but - your are camping!
This park is about half way on a trip form NC to NY I take and it is a great way to split a long day into two nice days.
Fifteen Mile Creek is part of the larger C&O Canal park. If I remember correctly it winds its way for about 150 miles. For this portion, at least, the campground is good and the tow path along the canal is great for a run and quite scenic. There are spots along the canal for through hikers and bikers to camp and various drive up spots.
About the campground:
- 6 or 8 campsites reservations are a good idea
- picnic tables and grills / fire rings
- two pit toilets
- no showers
It is right next to a boat launch and parking lot.
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!