Beautiful and peaceful. Worth the drive!

Site Details: We stayed on site#40 in the Garrett Loop. It is one of only three FHU sites in this loop(the rest are primitive tent sites). The site was level, spacious, beautifully shaded, and convenient to the bath house. In fact, almost every site on the inside of the loop had its own little direct pathway to the bath house. The camping loop in general was beautiful, quiet and heavily forested. I don’t think there was a bad site in the whole loop. 

Facilities/Overall Park: This park very quickly rose to the top of our list of MD state parks. The trails to the namesake falls are beautiful and very family-friendly, with lots of helpful signage. However, the parking lots and trailheads were PACKED on the weekend, so if you’re a day tripper, get there early! The bath house was meh, but it didn’t matter much to us since we had hookups.

Surrounding Area/Attractions: The neighboring sister park, Herrington Manor, has full-service deluxe cabins and a nice swimming beach. Also, be sure to hit the nearby Rock Maze trail, especially if you have kids. Swallow Falls is also very convenient to the Deep Creek area, with all the touristy things of a lakeside resort town. Check out Lakeside Creamery for some awesome ice cream! 

Overall, this was a gorgeous, well-maintained park, with plenty to keep us busy in the park and surrounding area. We already have a return trip booked for next year!

Scenic, accessible, and peaceful!

Site Details: We stayed on site#13 in the Rock Run camping area. The site was very level, nicely shaded, and positioned a short distance from the bath house. There was also a water spigot located right at the entrance of the site. However, the best feature in my opinion was the sort of “hidden” clearing in the woods right behind us, with a group of boulders for sitting. My kids loved playing down there. I don’t think there is a bad site in this camping loop, but I think we got the best electric site. It was a tad on the short side though, so I wouldn’t book if your rig is longer than 25’. 

Facilities/Overall Park: This is a very peaceful and heavily wooded park, with minimal but perfectly adequate facilities. The bath house was large and well-maintained, and the outside dish sink even had a garbage disposal. There are a decent selection of trails for all activity levels, and there is a facility called the Tea Room that is very popular for events(though we didn’t visit it while we were there). No large playgrounds, but we did see a few bare-bones swing sets scattered throughout the park. 

Surrounding Area/Attractions: This park is in a great location for outdoor enthusiasts. Cunningham Falls, Catoctin Mountain, and Greenbrier SP(with AT access) are all a short drive away. The nearby cities of Frederick and Middletown offer all modern conveniences. 

Overall, we really liked this park, and it is now on our “short list” of favorite MD state parks. If you can’t find a site at the nearby, more well-known parks like Greenbrier and Cunningham, this would be a great alternative. Heck, even if the others aren’t booked up, you still might want to opt for Gambrill anyway if you’re looking for a more peaceful, secluded camping experience.

Location, wildlife, and scenery can't be beat!

Site Details: We stayed on site #I328, in the I loop at the very end of the campground. The site was level but on the small side; I wouldn’t recommend attempting to fit in with anything larger than a pop-up or hybrid. That said, it had electrical service(a hot commodity in this park!), and was well situated, with a nice open space between the edge of the site and the dunes. This open space was pretty low-lying, so I imagine flooding/standing water could bring some major bug issues in the summer. As with all other loops in the park, this loop is separated from the beach by a row of sand dunes, so beach access is very quick and easy. There is no shade to speak of; all sites are surrounded by scrub brush and other plants typical of a beach/marsh environment. Watch out for sandburs! 

Facilities/Overall Park: Assateague SP is widely known, loved, and hard to book for a reason. The scenery and setting simply cannot be beat. The beautiful beaches, unspoiled natural setting, and wild ponies all make for an incredible and truly unique camping experience. Additionally, the rangers are very helpful, and the bath houses are pristine. We visited in the fall, and the weather happened to be perfect, with no bugs. Based on other campers’ experiences, as well as having grown up on the Eastern Shore, I would honestly avoid the summertime due to the extreme heat and bugs. Summertime is undoubtedly a more popular time, and a more convenient time for many to travel and take advantage of the beach, but I’d lean toward going in the fall if you can. 

Surrounding Area/Attractions: There is so much to do and see nearby, if you can tear yourself away from the park. The state park sits adjacent to Assateague National Seashore, with its own visitor center, campground, and beaches. The NP side has more primitive facilities, and tends to be less crowded and a bit more “wild.” Outside the island, there is of course Ocean City nearby, with plenty to do, see, and eat. It’s a typical tourist beach town, which I have no desire to visit again, but might be worth checking out if you’re into boardwalks, shopping, mini golf, etc. If you do go, make sure to grab some Thrasher’s fries and Fisher’s popcorn. Also nearby is the cute small town of Berlin. 

Overall, this is a fantastic park for beach and nature lovers, and lives up to its hype. Make sure you book far in advance (especially for the electric sites!); be prepared for bugs, heat, and wind; and you’ll be sure to have a memorable experience.

Nice location, decent amenities, large sites

Site Details: I forget our site#, but we were in the wooded area farthest from the central “hub”(in the top left corner if you’re looking at a campground map). Our site was level, shaded and quite large. Almost every site in this section was similarly large and wooded, with an impressive amount of space between sites for a KOA. There was a bathhouse and dish sink nearby, as well as the entrance to a nice little nature trail a few sites down. 

Facilities/Overall Park: This is a large KOA with lots of sites, set on a hilly/”tiered” landscape with winding roads. I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of trees and separation between many sites. If you’re looking for trees and privacy, stick to the sites at the bottom of the hill(top of the CG map). The sites closer to the entrance of the park near all the amenities were definitely packed in tightly. We didn’t get a chance to use the pool, rec hall, or any other facility since we camped during the COVID pandemic. However, we were able to order food from the campground’s onsite cafe, which was surprisingly tasty for standard CG fare. The facilities all seemed clean and well-maintained from what we could see. 

Surrounding Area/Attractions: There is a lot to do in the area. Obviously, the biggest draw for this CG is Hershey Park, which was closed while we visited. However, we’d been there prior to this trip, and it’s a great, clean, family-friendly place if you’re into amusement parks. The CG is also an easy drive into Amish country, which is highly recommended for the amazing scenery, food and farmers’ markets. The nearby Conewago Recreation Trail is a great multi-use trail for walking, biking, etc. 

Overall, we had a very pleasant stay, and found this to be a solid(albeit pricey) KOA in an attractive setting. We wouldn’t hesitate to stay here again, but we’d likely only be willing to pay the KOA premium price again if all the amenities were open.

Great base camp for Niagara and other attractions!

Site Details: We stayed on site#79, which was an electric site with a nice lake view. Our row of sites was separated from Lake Ontario by a large, open field. The sunset views over the lake each evening were spectacular. Our site actually had a gravel driveway and pad, as did several others, but I noticed that the majority of sites were grass only. There was a nice row of small shade trees and bushes that separated our row of sites from each other, but the general feel of the campground was more open field rather than forest. I really liked our site overall, but it was a bit of a walk to the bath house and water spigot. 

Facilities/Overall Park: This is a very large and popular campground, and to my surprise it didn’t empty out much during the week. The setting is beautiful, the rangers were friendly, and the playgrounds are very nice. The camping loop roads were nicely paved and great for bike-riding. The lake was simply beautiful, and you can even see the Toronto skyline on a clear day. With that said, some of the facilities could use some TLC. There are several bath houses with laundry located throughout the CG, and some are a bit more updated than others. The closest bath house to our site was unfortunately the most dated and dirty of them. The showers were pretty gross, and the bathroom stalls were so-so, but there was constantly TP all over the floor, overflowing trash cans, and only one working soap dispenser(which was empty most of the time). We usually see camp hosts at state parks who take care of bathroom cleaning, but I didn’t notice any hosts or host sites this trip, which I thought was odd. I also noticed that the park in general was sparsely staffed, which seemed odd given the amount of campers. 

Surrounding Area/Attractions: The convenient location of this campground can’t be beat. Fort Niagara is about 5 minutes away, the falls are 15-20 minutes away, and there are many farm stands and cute little towns nearby. Another neat town to visit is Lockport, about 30 minutes away(Lake Effect Ice Cream is a must!). This is a very rural area, so the fresh produce stands are plentiful during the summer season. Our favorite was Tom Tower; his peaches and corn were incredible. The fresh cookies from nearby Sanger Farm were delicious as well. Overall, this is a lovely park in a great location. While the facilities within the park were lacking, it is a beautiful and affordable base camp from which to explore all the nearby towns and attractions. We would camp here again!

Pretty park, but noisy and dated

Site Details: We stayed on site#19 in Loop B(the electric loop). Our site was large, very level, and surrounded by pine and hardwood trees. All sites in this loop were fairly spread out, with ample tree separation between each one. I don’t think there was a bad site in the loop. 

Facilities/Overall Park: The loop had a wonderful, heated bath house which was centrally located and a very short walk from our site. It looked to be recently built(or renovated), and was impeccably clean with very nice-looking showers(which we didn’t use this time). However, there were only 3 stalls and 2 showers, so I imagine the lines could get pretty long during peak season. There was also a nice outdoor dishwashing sink on the exterior of the bath house. 

The park itself is rather small, but very pretty and(mostly) peaceful. It’s set on the Choptank River and Watts Creek, with a great amphitheatre and walking trails with beautiful water views. There is also a nature center(which was closed for the season), as well as several pavilions and playgrounds scattered throughout the park. The pavilions were in definite need of a facelift, and the playgrounds were older but decent. 

While the park was very quiet and enjoyable during the day, unfortunately I couldn’t say the same for nighttime and early morning. The first night, we were awoken several times by the very loud firehouse siren from the neighboring town of Denton. It sounded like one of those older air raid-type sirens, with a really loud, jarring windup. My husband looked it up the next day, and discovered that Denton does in fact use that old fashioned alarm system to signal any type of emergency. In addition, we heard very loud gunshots from nearby goose hunters right at sunrise. So, you may luck out if you camp outside of hunting season and there are no overnight emergencies during your stay.:) 

Martinak is a sister park to the larger Tuckahoe State Park(about 10-15 minutes down the road), and the two parks share and co-host many events between both facilities, mostly during peak season. Upon check-in, the(extremely friendly) rangers handed us a map and calendar of events for both parks. 

Surrounding Area/Attractions: The small town of Denton is about 5 minutes outside the park, with a Walmart, a few chain and standalone restaurants, plenty of gas stations, and most modern conveniences. St. Michael’s, a very quaint and popular tourist destination, is about 45 minutes away. 

Overall, while this a very pretty park with nicely wooded and spaced-out sites, we prefer the neighboring Tuckahoe SP for its slightly better trails, nicer day-use area with newer playground, and(most importantly) lack of midnight sirens.

Large, pretty park in a very convenient location

Site Details: We stayed in the Dragonfly camping cottage (quick weekend trip without the husband, and I’m not quite up for towing and setting up the popup by myself with 3 kids!). It was a standard rustic-type state park cabin, with one double bed, one single twin bunk, and one regular set of bunk beds, so it sleeps 5-6 comfortably. There was also a sturdy dining room table with chairs and an oscillating fan inside. Electricity/lights and heat, but no AC. Very clean inside. The cabin also had a really nice front porch, picnic table, and fire ring, and was situated with a beautiful lake view. The area we were in contained both rustic cabins and yurts (which looked really neat).

Facilities/Overall Park: Multiple bath houses were scattered among various loops, and each one we visited was very old, dim and drab, but they were also spacious and reasonably clean. Showers all had old rust and water stains. However, it was nice that there were so many of them, because this is a very large state park with multiple camping loops. Most tent and basic RV sites were shaded and private, while the newer FHU sites were more open (but still nicely spaced). Hosts and rangers were nice, but not very helpful or proactive when they needed to correct a reservation mistake they made (but it worked out in the end). There is a beautiful lake with a really nice day area in the center of the park, with a great playground and concession stand. The lake is popular for fishing and swimming, although there is oddly no sand beach; swimmers just entered the water straight from the grass.

Surrounding Area/Attractions: Not much going on in the immediate vicinity, but Harrisburg, Amish country, and Hershey are all doable day trips from the park. We were here just for the Hershey RV show, and it was an easy 40-minute drive.

Overall, this was a very pretty park with site options for every type of camper, but certain elements are in need of updating. I don’t think I’d go out of my way to make this park a destination, but it’s a nice option as a base camp for visiting the RV show or other attractions (with a much cheaper price tag than the private CGs closer to the action).

Tightly spaced, but the views are incredible!

We stayed in site #4, which is one of the water/electric sites right on Pamlico Sound. Very level, and the view was amazing. All the sites were very small and tightly spaced, with zero privacy, which is pretty standard for such prime waterfront real estate (and typical of most popular beach destinations).  Since the sites were so small, this place was really geared more toward tent campers and those with shorter RVs (25’ or less, I’d say). Each site had a picnic table, and most had a fire pit, which is pretty rare in this area (many CGs ban ground fires due to frequent high winds).

Bath house was ok. Cleanliness was so-so, depending on the day, but the biggest issue was it was not air-conditioned, so using the restroom was generally a pretty muggy and unpleasant experience. However, the amazing outdoor showers made up for it. They were huge, with great water pressure, and felt wonderful after a long, hot day in the sun. Unfortunately, there was often trash or toiletries left behind from other guests in the showers, but there was so much room and ledge space that it was easy to avoid and didn’t bother me. Generally speaking, the bath houses and grounds could stand a little more regular cleaning and maintenance, but since the owners run a watersport rental business from the property, it’s obvious that’s their main focus. Once checked in, it seems campers are left to their own devices until/unless they want to rent some equipment, because the owners and staff spent all day at the rental booth. I didn’t find this to be a problem at all; I just mention this to advise other campers to expect a more hands-off management approach, at least on the camping side. If you want to rent some water sport equipment while in the Outer Banks, this is a great place; the selection and prices are good (and half off for campers), you can launch right from your site, and the staff are very knowledgeable. Even if you aren’t into watersports, the sound is great for wading and cooling off, especially for kids, since it’s so calm and shallow. The sunsets are breathtaking, and it’s especially fun to watch the kite surfers out on the water in the evening. On a final note, be forewarned that the wind here is no joke. Be prepared to securely tie down any tents, pop-up gazebos or screen houses you have. The wind was so strong for two nights that our pop-up was shaking most of the night. The good thing about the wind was it kept the bugs away, because mosquitoes here are brutal when there is no breeze.

The Outer Banks are chock-full of activities and attractions for the whole family, whether you prefer your vacations relaxing or action-packed. Most of the more active, kid-centered attractions are farther north in the Kitty Hawk/Kill Devil Hills area. Rodanthe is definitely quieter and less crowded, which we liked, but there are still plenty of restaurants in the vicinity, more kite and water sport outfitters, souvenir shops, and an arcade. Lisa’s Pizzeria, right next door to the CG, was amazing. Buxton is worth a day trip down for an Apple Ugly at the Orange Blossom, and a tour of the Hatteras Lighthouse and adjacent National Seashore visitor center. Ocracoke is another neat day trip, but we didn’t have time.

Overall, this is a really neat little campground on the sound, and the prices are great for the area (much lower than the big RV resorts a few blocks away). There are quite a few campgrounds in the Tri-Villages alone, and after driving through most of them, I would probably opt for Rodanthe Watersports again. If you can deal with the tight spacing, minimal upkeep, and lack of big-resort amenities, this is a great, cost-effective option in a gorgeous setting!

OK for an overnight stop, if you can handle the road noise

We stayed in site #18, which was a FHU pull-through. The site was fairly level, but quite short. Not enough room for us to keep our truck in front of our pop-up, which is what we look for in quick overnight stops. Also, it was a bit of a walk to the bath house, even though I specifically requested a site close to the bath house when I booked the reservation 8 months prior.

Bath house was ok. It was clean enough, but you could tell it was extremely old, and needed to be completely redone instead of just painted over. That was the general theme for much of the campground; very old, not particularly attractive or welcoming, and in need of a face-lift. The laundry room, however, was very nice, clean, and well-lit. I believe they only recently converted to a KOA, so it seemed like they were in the middle of some needed capital improvements. Still not worth the KOA prices at this time, in my opinion. Had a minor customer service issue at check-in, but decided the annoyance wasn't worth making a big deal so I got over it pretty quickly. Additionally, they closed the office at 7pm, which I found out when I went back to get some change for laundry after we set up. Being that this is a KOA Journey, one of the supposed features of this designation is extended office/check-in hours for travelers coming in for overnight stops, so I was surprised by this. However, the owners ended up pulling up right then to check on something in the office, and they very graciously agreed to get me some change while they were in there.

One other item of note: this CG is located right off I-40, which is very convenient, but the road noise is loud and constant. I had already expected this from reading other reviews, and they did make a bowl of free, disposable ear plugs available in the office, which was a nice gesture. The combination of the said ear plugs and exhaustion from a long day on the road allowed me to sleep pretty well, but if you’re at all sensitive to noise, it would be a deal-breaker.

It seems Greensboro offers all modern conveniences, and lots of things to do, but we didn’t explore beyond the CG.

Overall, this was an OK overnight stop for us between the Smokies and OBX (an almost perfect halfway point). Location is very convenient to the highway if you can handle the road noise. I wouldn’t stay here for more than a night, and honestly, if we were to take the same trip again, I’d likely look for a quieter (and certainly cheaper) option, even if it meant going a few miles out of the way.

Very quiet, shady and secluded!

We stayed in site #7, in the trailer loop. It was a pull-through site with an additional area containing a picnic table and fire ring, accessible via a small set of steps up the hill. The whole campground is kind of “carved” out of the mountain, and is therefore quite terraced in appearance, so a lot of sites had a similar setup to ours (as in, a lower pull-through space for trailer and TV plus an upper “walk-up” area). I hadn’t seen anything like it before, and I thought it was really neat. The setting was heavily wooded, so the shade combined with the higher elevation made for a very cool, pleasant retreat from the July heat.

Facilities/Overall Park: Bath house was decent. On the ladies’ side, there were three flush toilets, two sinks with cold water only, and no soap. Was pretty old, but reasonably clean and adequate for our needs, since we were just passing through for one night. The CG as a whole looked kind of overgrown and neglected, but for some reason that added to its charm for me. The overgrowth made everything look extra green and lush, and I really like the heavily forested, secluded feel.

Surrounding Area/Attractions: The Peaks of Otter area seems to be a pretty popular destination on the Blue Ridge Parkway. There is a nice-looking lodge and restaurant on the (gorgeous) lake right around the corner from the campground, as well as an NPS visitor center, hiking trails, and a shuttle bus service that takes you to the top of one of the three peaks for which the area is named. We didn’t partake in any of these activities, since we were just passing through on our way down to the Smokies, but it would have been nice to explore a bit more.

Overall, I felt this was a very pretty, peaceful, and perfectly serviceable campground for an overnight stop, and would make a nice weekend destination. Not sure there is enough going on in the area to keep one occupied for more than a few days, and I know I personally would need at least electric hookups and showers for any type of extended stay. However, I wouldn’t hesitate to return for a night or two!

Ranger Review: Gregory Maven 35 at Indian Creek Campground

Campground Review

We stayed in site #6, which is a premium creekside W/E site. The site was pretty large, level, and had unparalleled views and access to Bunches Creek. The stream is normally perfect for wading and fishing (stocked by the Cherokee tribe once per week), although it did become a little high and fast-moving after a few days of non-stop torrential rain. However, according to the staff on-site, you’re at a higher elevation and upstream enough where flash flooding isn’t an issue (which proved to be true for us). Whether it was gently babbling or angrily rushing, the creek provided a beautiful backdrop to our site, and we really enjoyed seeing, hearing, and playing in it. In terms of shade and privacy, while there were plenty of trees throughout the CG, the creekside sites were pretty tightly packed in, with very little (if any) privacy in between. Understandable, given the prime real estate of the creek. They did have other, more private and wooded sites further away from the water, but if we returned, I’d be willing to forgo some privacy to be on the creek again.

Bath house was a bit dated, but spotlessly clean. I was there a LOT during the week (mostly accompanying my toddler), and I feel like there was a staff member in there cleaning and/or restocking at least every other time we were there. Showers were nice and roomy, they had a dehumidifier going the whole time, and it always smelled fresh and clean. Nice pavilion next to the bath house with TV and Wifi. Laundry room was adequate, but smelled a bit like mildew. Camp store was very well-stocked but pricey, and the owners and all staff were extremely friendly and helpful. The only thing I felt was missing was a large dedicated dishwashing sink; that’s one of those things that makes my life so much easier when we camp, and I was pretty surprised they didn’t have one, since they had everything else so well-covered.

Overall, this was a great campground in a beautiful location, albeit a bit far from town (a good 20-minute drive). There are quite a few campgrounds in the area, but based on what we saw driving by, I would likely pick Indian Creek again. If they added a dishwashing station, it would be darn near perfect!

Product Review

As a Ranger for The Dyrt, I get products to test from time to time - today I am testing the Gregory Maven 35 backpack. I’ll preface this review by admitting that I am an extremely novice hiker, and had never used a legit hiking backpack before. I had always carried cheap, regular backpacks or those nylon drawstring bags. In short, the difference in how my back felt after day hikes was incredible. I’ve never had back issues per se, or noticed that much pain or discomfort from using cheap packs, until I experienced the support and comfort that comes from using a true hiker’s backpack. I was worried it would feel too bulky, but the framing felt lighter than air, while still being sturdy and supportive. The chest and hip straps were easy to adjust, and felt very comfortable and secure. I loved the quick access to my phone and keys provided by the zip-up pockets on the hip belt. Speaking of pockets, the amount of storage provided by the Maven is incredibly impressive. While I admittedly didn’t use the pack for many of the traditional items carried by hikers (i.e., no tent, sleeping bag or other overnight supplies), I still found plenty to stuff in there! We were hiking with kids, so I was happily able to bring along an extensive supply of diapers, rain gear, snacks, water bottles, sun protection, rain gear, first aid items, and extra clothing layers for the notoriously unpredictable Smoky Mountain weather. I never would have been able to carry all of these essentials with a standard backpack. Access to all of the compartments was very quick and easy as well; no zippers getting caught like they do on cheaper backpacks, and I loved being able to access the largest compartment from the bottom and the top. I’m happy to report that, even after lugging all of the aforementioned junk around multiple trails in the Smokies, I barely felt the weight on my back and shoulders, and experienced no strain or soreness. The material is high-quality, attractive, and easy to clean, so the pack is back to looking brand-new after two weeks of use and abuse. I can’t wait to bring it on our next adventure!

Clean, well-maintained, more woodsy than other KOAs

We stayed in site #68, to the left when you enter the campground. We were in the water/electric section, and saw mostly other pop-ups, smaller RVs, and a few tents in our area. Our site was very spacious, beautifully landscaped and wooded, but right next to the road. There was a buffer of trees, but unfortunately that didn’t make much of a difference with regard to noise. I live adjacent to a busy local highway, and the noise was worse here at the CG, even though this road seemed like a smaller, rural road. There were vehicles loudly whizzing by at all hours of the day and night, which made it pretty hard to relax and enjoy nature, but since this was more of a “glamping” weekend vs a “real camping” weekend for us, I didn’t let it bother me too much. However, if we were to return, we would definitely avoid sites 65 through 69, as they all back up to that same road. Site 74 in the same section caught my eye as being very private, tucked away, and backing up to thick woods, so I would request that site in the future. The whole water/elec section was a bit further from the bath house than we usually like to be with little kids, but not a deal-breaker of a walk by any means.

Bath house was decent. Showers were very nice and looked like they’d been updated recently, but the overall bathroom earned about a B- for cleanliness. It was kept reasonably tidy (other than the trash overflowing on one occasion), and the countertops stayed wiped off, but the whole bathroom (minus the showers) just seemed a bit old, drab, and didn’t smell great. I know it’s a bathroom, but this wasn’t a one-time smell; it persisted throughout all 4 days of our stay.

What impressed me most about this CG was the landscaping and use of natural surroundings. There are tons of really nice boulders everywhere, bordering each site and most of the fire rings. The grounds are also very green and wooded, so it really does look and feel like a natural, rustic setting - much more so than any other KOA I’ve visited. You can tell the owners take pride in maintaining the grounds and natural elements. All of the roads and sites were paved(?) with really nice gravel, and you can tell they put a lot of effort into maintaining that, as well. Another highlight was the nature trail, which was a surprisingly challenging, rocky trail that leads up through the woods from one end of the CG to the other. It wasn’t like hiking Everest or anything, of course, but it definitely felt like a real, scenic hike for a family with little kids, and we felt like we had gotten our workout in afterward.

Concerning the surrounding area, you’ll never lack for things to do in Gettysburg. Obviously, the national battlefield is a must-do. I’m not a history buff by any means, but I really enjoyed the auto tour, and was taken aback at how vast and beautiful the battlefield is, with varying scenery. The actual town of Gettysburg is very cute, crowded during peak season, and offers all sorts of dining options, entertainment, and historical attractions. Any service (gas, groceries, medical, shopping) you need can be easily found in the area.

Overall, the was a very nice, well-maintained little CG and probably my favorite KOA I’ve visited to date. The expert use of landscaping to incorporate the natural, wooded setting really made a great impression on us. We wouldn’t hesitate to return for one of our “glamping” weekends!

Great location, but too close and crowded

The site was nice and level, but a bit small, with a short driveway. We actually brought 2 vehicles this time, and it was really tight. Fair amount of trees surrounding our site, but since there are still very few leaves, it felt way closer and less private. This campground is very popular, and set up as two loops; an inner loop with electric sites, and a more spread-out outer loop with non-electric, tent-only sites. The inner loop was completely full, and the sites were just too closely spaced for my preferences. There were a few sites with a little extra room and privacy (419 and 420 caught my eye), but for the most part they were packed in pretty tightly. If you’re a tent camper and don’t need electric, the sites on the outer loop were quite nice and private.

Bath house was old, small, and not exceptionally clean, but adequate for our needs. Did not use the showers this time. However, there are only 4 restroom stalls and 2 showers on the ladies side, so I can imagine the lines would be pretty crazy during the summer time. I expected lines this weekend, considering the campground was full, but we lucked out. There is also a dishwashing room with a deep double sink, but this was old and dingy as well. I’m really surprised that the bath house hasn’t been renovated yet, considering the size and popularity of the park. I’m also amazed that there is only one bath house and a single water spigot to service both loops; normally in MD State Parks, there is a water pump every few sites.

Overall, while this is a great park for day-tripping with a very convenient location, we just didn’t care for the campground. If you don’t mind the proximity to other campers and multiple scouting groups, or if you can make use of the more private tent sites, this might be a good option. We were hoping to count on this park for quick weekend getaways, since it’s only about 15 miles from us, but we may be willing to drive a bit further to get the more peaceful, woodsy experience we prefer.

Small, quiet, good for fishing

The site was large, almost perfectly level, and wooded. It was also right next to the bath house, which was great for the kids. There were several paved walking paths leading to the bath house, so no one cut through our site to get to it. Site was equipped with a fire ring, grill grate, lantern post, and nice long picnic table. There was a nearby shed with firewood for $5/crate, sold on the honor system. However, there were lots of downed trees around, so we never had to buy any firewood. Sites were all very wooded and spread out; nice amount of trees and separation between each site. We were near the “top” of the oval loop, so also had close access to the foot trail through the forest, as well as the foot bridge over the creek, leading to the marina.

Bath house was old, and quite buggy, but reasonably clean. No dish washing sink, which was a bummer for me. Showers looked ok, and the stalls were quite large, but we didn’t use them this trip. Marina at the day-use area was very nice, and seemed to be one of the main focuses of the park. Several docks for strolling and fishing, and saw quite a few boat slips available as well. The store at the marina sold souvenirs, camping and fishing essentials, snacks and ice cream. Staff was very friendly. There is also a discovery/nature center and art center in the day use area, both of which we really enjoyed. There is a nice, brand new playground, and a pavilion which looked pretty basic and old. The day use area seems to see the most action (and maintenance) in the park, by far.

There is a separate historic area in the park, which contains Gen. Smallwood’s mansion, and a few other historic buildings. According to the website, these are only open a few days out of each month during the summer, and for an open-house type event around Christmastime. There is another pavilion in this area, as well as a recycled tire playground. The playground is about 15 years old, and you can tell it was really nice at one point, but has been somewhat neglected over the past few years. In pretty sore need of paint and mowing. 

Pretty much nothing to do in the immediate area, but not too far of a drive to DC, and a few other national/historical sites (Ft. Washington, Piscataway Park, etc).

Overall, we thought this was a nice, quiet park, and enjoyed the fishing and woodsy setting. This is definitely one of the smaller, less popular MD State parks, and that shows in the lack of maintenance and updating of some facilities. Nevertheless, if you’re looking for a place to just hang out, camp and fish, and don’t need any bells or whistles, this could be a good option.

Quiet; beautiful, rustic setting; definitely geared toward tent campers

This is a very small campground on a private farm, and while the setting is beautiful, there aren’t many amenities. We knew that going in, and we weren’t expecting the Taj Mahal. However, I was still a little taken aback by some of the facilities. Bath house was, um, quite primitive. It is solar-powered, but situated in a pretty wooded area. Was very dim inside, even when we visited during the middle of the day. There were 2 toilet stalls with plywood doors, one shower stall, and one small sink (ran out of hand soap halfway through our stay, and owner added some water to make it last a bit longer). Definitely brought me back to my days of summer camp :) While quite buggy, and not very clean overall, everything was in working order, and we were fine using it during our stay. There is a small, cute wooden play set near the bath house that could also use some TLC (one swing broken, huge wasp nest under slide). That all said, you’d be hard-pressed to find a campground in a more beautiful, peaceful, quintessentially Vermont setting.

We stayed in site #2 - one of two sites with electric. The site was very large, grassy, and well-shaded, with beautiful wildflowers along the perimeter, and a babbling brook running along one side. However, it was definitely not geared toward RVs. Took quite a bit of finagling to back in, and the electric box was on the “wrong” side, so we had our door facing the outer perimeter of the site, and had to walk around the camper to get to the picnic table, fire, etc. Was also quite a hike to the bath house, but we knew that going in. That all said, it was a beautiful, peaceful, spacious site, and we were able to make it work. Saw a few larger sites in the field section, which would have been easier to back into, but none of them had shade nor electric. We knew the trade-offs we were making in order to have those things when booking, and were pleased with our site choice overall.

Not much to do in the immediate vicinity. The town of Bristol is about a 10-minute drive, with some cute shops and other modern conveniences. Waterbury is about an hour’s drive north, where you’ll find Cold Hollow Cider Mill, Ben & Jerry’s, etc.

Overall, this is a great place to stay if you’re looking for a nice, quiet, rustic camping experience in a gorgeous setting. Definitely geared more toward tent campers, but you could definitely make it work with a smaller RV.

First to Review
Decent little park, great staff, so-so facilities

We booked site #39 online, based on proximity to bath house (at least, it looked that way on the map). No pictures of individual campsites on the ReserveAmerica booking site, so we were kind of winging it. We unexpectedly arrived at the campground around 10pm, after a long and grueling day on the road. The site (or what we could see of it) seemed nice, but was very un-level, with a steep, narrow driveway. Combined with the winding, tree-lined loop road, there was no way we were going to be able to back into that site in the dark. We drove back to the camp office to hand our tag back in, ready to find a cheap motel for the night. Much to our delight, they had a pull-through site (#15), that had just been vacated minutes before we got there. So, we drove over to said site, and it was much better. We were able to pull in and get leveled relatively easily, even in the pitch-black. The site was very spacious, close to the bath house, and had a really nice view of Walker Pond through the surrounding trees.

Again, we were only here for a quick overnight stop on the way home from Maine, but from what little we saw, this seemed like a nice little state park. Most sites were heavily wooded, and the pond is very pretty. Staff was also very friendly and helpful. Bath houses, were ok: roomy, well-lit, but quite old and a bit smelly. Don’t think they are cleaned very often.

Great campground, great location!

This is a really nice, clean, well-maintained campground. They have everything, from rustic tent sites with mountain views, to a full hookup section that looks like a small-scale KOA. Camp store was well-stocked, playground and pool looked brand new, and the bath house, while old, was among the brightest and cleanest I’ve ever seen in a private campground. Very impressive, especially given the volume of campers staying there. They also had free hot showers, which apparently is a rarity on Mt. Desert Island. Coin-operated laundry room on-site, which was very convenient. Nice large dish washing sink on the outside of the bath house. The free Island Explorer shuttle bus also makes stops right at the office.

We stayed in site #16, right across from the office. Site was huge, fairly level, and well-shaded. Was kind of U-shaped. Easily fit our pop-up, TV, and screen house. Probably could have fit a tent and additional vehicle, as well. Perfect location for those traveling with small kids, as it was just a stone’s throw from both the bathhouse and playground.

Overall, this is a great campground, and an excellent “home base” from which to explore Acadia and Mt. Desert Island. Would not hesitate to return if we find ourselves up in Maine again.

Great campground, beautiful setting!

Note: There are two separate areas of this park: Shad Landing, in Snow Hill, and Milburn Landing, in Pocomoke City. Shad Landing is the main area of the park, and contains the camp store, marina, multiple camping loops, swimming pool, etc. The two areas are right across the river from each other, but it’s about a 20-minute drive, since you have to drive up and around the river.

The site was very large, level, and heavily shaded by loblolly pines. Nice open-ish area to the side and behind the site, where we were able to hang our hammocks and clothesline. The pines provided great shade, but little privacy between sites. The campground itself was very pretty and well laid out, but most sites were a little too close together for my taste. I really did enjoy our particular site, but it was a bit too far from the bath house for those traveling with little kids. Camping loop also has a partial view of the river, and is steps away from the Nassawango Pavilion and tire playground (which was great for us, because we were holding our family reunion in said pavilion). One note: the loop road is nicely flat and paved, but very tight and winding, with lots of trees right next to it. Be prepared for a multi-point turn to back into your site!

Bath house was large and extremely clean; renovated within the last year. Two large shower stalls; one was a handicapped stall with the detachable shower head, which was great for showering my toddler off. Water was nice and hot, and pressure was strong. I’m assuming they had well water, as i could feel the slight “sliminess” of a water softener. There was also a nice, large dishwashing sink on the outside. Nearby pavilion and tire playground were very clean and well-maintained, with a beautiful view of the Pocomoke River. Nice dock for fishing and boat launch. This seems to be the more “quiet” side of the park; if you’re looking for more on-site activities and amenities, head over to Shad Landing.

There is a ton to do within an hour’s drive! Ocean City, Salisbury Zoo, Historic Berlin, Assateague, Wallops Island, you name it. A great base camp from which to explore all Delmarva has to offer.

Overall, we really enjoyed this park, and the setting couldn’t be more beautiful. If we were to return, we would probably camp on the Shad Landing side, as it has more amenities right there, and the campsites over there seemed more private and wooded than those at Milburn.

Large park with beautiful views, in a great location

Came here for the day to enjoy the beach, check out the campgrounds, and scout for a potential family reunion location. The beach area was beautiful, and not nearly as crowded as other MD State Park swimming beaches, even on a weekend. Was also nice to be on the actual bay, as opposed to a man-made lake. The water was pretty calm, and felt very refreshing, but was full of seaweed. The bottom was also quite pebbly, so I'd recommend water shoes. Nice playground and picnic shelter. We drove through a few of the camping loops, and they looked very nice and well-maintained. There is also a beautiful (and popular!) lighthouse accessible by foot, but the parking lot at the trailhead often fills to capacity, so get there early! That was the case with us, so we were turned away. Nevertheless, we had a great time, and were all set to host the reunion here, but then learned that they were planning some major renovations to the picnic shelters and a few camping loops in the months leading up to our event. We hope to return next year to camp, once said renovations have been completed!

First to Review
Nice lake area, not too crowded

Have only visited the day-use area of this park, which was very beautiful, clean, and relatively quiet. Nice snack and bathing facilities close to beach, as well. This park is located in a quiet, mountain setting in south-central PA; feels like you're out in the country, but it's also not far off the turnpike, so pretty accessible. Would definitely return!