Rocky Gap State Park is a 3000-acre park in Maryland, bordering Lake Habeeb. The area is diverse and quite beautiful, offering visitors many overnight options including powered and unpowered campsites, cabins, yurts, and chalets. Wildlife lovers might get a chance to see bald eagles, great blue herons, red-tailed hawks, ospreys, and beavers. Children can cycle between the trees on paved trails, while more experienced cyclists can ride the lake trail. You can also spend your time standup paddling, kayaking, canoeing, fishing, hiking, relaxing on the beach, or exploring.
Camping at Rocky Gap State Park, MD
The Dyrt campers have provided insightful feedback on camping at Rocky Gap State Park. We’ve collected their most helpful pieces of advice below, to help you make the most of your stay.
Within the park, rangers regularly host programs like nature hikes, information sessions, arts and crafts workshops using local wood, and campfire programs. There are also guided fitness activities like standup paddling lessons, kayaking excursions, trail jogs, open water swimming courses, and yoga classes. People of all ages can enjoy the Scales and Tales Aviary, where visitors can learn about local wildlife, and the process of rehabilitating injured animals in the area. Rocky Gap State Park also has paved loops where children can run and bike, a playground, and a local lake where everyone can swim.
“I really enjoyed bringing the family. It was very easy to access, had hookups, and it was very well kept and clean! Definitely will be going back sometime soon!” – Nick P.
Play in the Water
Rocky Gap State Park is an ideal home base along the Potomac River, allowing campers to easily launch kayaks and canoes without going far. Many of the trailheads for hikers are located near the beach. You don’t need to be an advanced paddler to kayak or canoe down this section of the river. The water is calm here, making it a great trip for anyone who has a handle on the basics.
If you’re an angler, bring your fishing pole and cast a line from shore or boat. The area is home to fish like rainbow trout, brown trout, pumpkinseed fish, small and largemouth bass, and black crappie. All fishermen need a Maryland fishing license before going out. Lake Habeeb is another popular spot whenever the sun is shining. There is a camper’s only section of the beach, which is usually less crowded.
“One of my favorite parts about this park is that the day use beach and the beach that campers have access to are separate. I believe this is a great way to spread out all of the mayhem that comes with summertime swims.” – Melissa C.
Camp on Dogwood Loop
Dogwood Loop at Rocky Gap State Park is one of the best sections of the campground. Here, you can enjoy beautiful views, hiking trails, and paved walking paths. This loop also offers easy access to the beach and playground.
“We usually stay on Dogwood Loop, which has a nice, direct path from one of the sites down to the beach area. I would say that it is about a 1/4-1/3 mile walk from the loop to the beach/playground area. That said, when going to the beach to swim, we took our car. However, for a trip to the playground or just for a nice walk, the path is great.” – Jennifer S.
Avoid the Noise
Rocky Gap State Park is set next to a busy highway which can get very noisy at night. If you’re a sensitive sleeper, opt for one of the cabins or bring a set of earplugs to block out the noise of passing traffic.
“The only downside to the park is that the interstate is close by so you can hear the nighttime traffic, which in my experience included many passing semis.” – Melissa C.
Bring Hiking Shoes
There are many different trails around Rocky Gap State Park, including some that are dog-friendly. The 5.3-mile Lakeside Loop Trail winds all the way around Lake Habeeb, and the Canyon Overlook Trail provides hikers with a view of the mile long gorge nearby. Find more of the nearby long hiking options here. For a leisurely stroll, campers can explore the Touch of Nature Trail, which will take you down by the lake and connects to the longer Lakeside Loop Trail.
Book Your Campsite in Advance
Summer weekends and holidays, like the 4th of July, are often are booked out months in advance. Reserve your space at Rocky Gap State Park at least one month in advance if you’re interested in camping there over a weekend. If you are planning a spontaneous trip, visit during the middle of the week or during shoulder season.