The first time we decided to visit Knoebels resort, we decided to camp at the nearby Lake Glory Campground/Knoebels Campground. We rented a cabin and a family we were traveling with, also rented a cabin.
The cabins were clean, as was the bathhouse, but the cabins were right on top of each other, with NO division at all. It was more like a neighborhood on a quiet street. In some ways, it was nice that all of the children in the area where able to play together and all of the adults could watch them- but there was just NO privacy or feelings of seperation at all.
The fire rings seemed old, and you could hear every single cough, laugh, etc from your neighbor. It was also a fairly decent walk to the bathhouse- though the bathhouses were large and well kept.
While we didn't stay in the tent or RV sites, it looked like a fairly similar sense of privacy in those sites. It basically looked like tents were just randomly placed in open spaces of grass.
Firewood was for sale at the entrance, and it was "fill a bucket for $5". So basically, whatever you could fit and carry on of their metal pails, cost you $5. If you take your time, you can get a good amount of wood for that.
The insides of the cabins had a large queen size bed and then a loft bunk. There was a nice built in shelf with electric and even a good amount of hooks and cubbies for storage. Of the camping cabins we have stayed in, this was the largest and most functional. That said, there was a ceiling fan for air circulation at the top and it was LOUD. I had to sleep up top, since my sensory-senstive child couldn't handle it- just a head's up, in case you have a similar issue.
Overall, if you're looking for a dirt cheap way to stay near the local amusement park, this will do. Personally, when we returned this year, we just rented a hotel. We didn't enjoy the "camping" experience here at all.
We came to visit Herrington Manor while we were staying at Swallow Falls. The park is about a mile or so down from Swallow Falls, and is also fairly close to Deep Creek Lake. The great thing, is that if you are camping at Swallow Falls, you get entry into Herrington Manor for free and visa versa.
The other great thing about this particular park, is that if you have T-mobile cellular service, you can actually make and receive calls here, unlike at Swallow Falls.
When you first enter the park, you see several areas where you can pull off and picnic and such. As you go down a bit you enter the beach area. We stayed here after some storms and were sad to find a notice about Ecoli after we had gone swimming. This is my reason for only giving 3 stars.
That said, the park was clean, there are paddle boards and kayaks for rent, a small concession stand and a decently stocked camp store. The beach was clean, had a small swing bench, and some shaded trees to sit under. I would highly recommend visiting if you are camping at Swallow Falls!
This was our first visit to Susquehanna State Park. It was a popular weekend in mid-september, and there were limited sites available. We stayed in site 2 of the Beechnut Loop. I had chosen this site, based on two factors: 1. It was available and 2. It was close to the playground. Unfortunately, it was most likely available because it was overrun with roots and rocks (no pad for the tent)- and you also couldn't see the playground from the site.
That said, I think if we had stayed in a site that had a pad for the tent, I would've given this park 5 stars. I docked a star because I'd say about half- maybe more- don't have pads. I didn't get a chance to check out the Acorn Loop, other than a quick drive by- That is where the cabins are, but it otherwise looked similar.
Another reason for 4 stars over 5- not all of the sites had bath to the bathhouse, and the path that they did have was also very rocky and covered in roots. That said, the bathrooms have clearly been recently renovated and were up-to-date, clean and about as great as you can expect for a campsite. The only nicer ones I've seen where at Rocky Gap State Park.
All told, the campground was fantastic. The campstore is small (like literally the size of a closet) but had some main essentials. They also sell ice and firewood at the campstore AND there is an honor system with it available to you after the campstore hours. This is great so that you don't have to time things around when the campstore is open. The camphost does NOT have firewood available, but the camp store is only a little further down the road.
As I mentioned, we stayed on a busy weekend in September and on Sunday morning, I found that there was no toilet paper in the ladies bathroom. Luckily, some generous camper had some and left a roll for the rest of us. When I went back just two hours later, it was replenished- so I don't know if that was a one-off thing or not.
For kids, the playground was fantastic, though, it was not shaded. It is also in the middle of the Acorn and Beechnut loop. This is great if you want to be away from the playground, as you can book one of the sites further off and not have kids running about. That said, this also leaves limited sites that are close to the playground, for families who would like easy access.
The camp road was minimally hilly and would be safe and easy for little kids to ride their bikes, unlike some of the campgrounds that have pretty decent hills. Many of the sites were at the bottom of a hill though, so I'm not sure how that would do in a decent rain.
We didn't get a chance to do any hiking (because we were lazy campers) but very much enjoyed our weekend stay. We will absolutely be coming back… but we will bring our bikes and book a site with a tent pad!
We have stayed at both the Hilton location of PSP as well as this one. We preferred the Hilton spot, with kids. However, this location is also great. The sites feel private, the camp hosts are lovely and they provide good firewood (instead of those preset bundles).
There is a "natural" playground in the loop, and then if you drive down further to the park entrance, there is a large playground for the kids. I've attached photos from the "natural playground" aka, large rocks and overturned trees. The kids loved it.
The things I didn't like about it were the old bathrooms- they were clean, but very outdated-, and the fact that the planes from the airport kept flying over, which made it hard to sleep. I've heard that this area gets pretty crowded on the weekends, but during the week, it wasn't too bad. Easy to walk trails are right off the loop and there are tall trees with a little opening to see the stars. Overall, it was a great place to get away for a few days!
Rocky gap is one of my favorite parks to camp in Maryland! It is right along a great lake, where you can swim, fish, kayak or just lay about. The camp store is well stocked and the staff is friendly. We always stay on Dogwood loop, and the camp hosts are there if you need them, but otherwise leave you be to enjoy your stay.
My only complaint is the sounds from the highway. You can hear the trucks go by, and that does take away from the experience a bit.
We just got our tent this year, so we have always stayed in one of the cabins, when camping here. The rest of the sites are rather separated though, and a great camping experience. I'm attaching several photos from our years of camping at Rocky Gap,, in cabin 104 Dogwood.
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.
The beach area here is, by far, my favorite in the area. I've been to Greenbrier and Herrington Manor, and the beach area at RGSP is, in my opinion, superior. There is a roped off area for swimming, an area for dogs and an area for fishing. You can rent kayaks, paddle boards & canoes for about $5-10 an hour (depending on the type) and going out on the lake is a great way to spend the day! The water is incredibly clean and the best part, is that the 'day use' area for the general public is seperate. So, when you go to the beach at Rocky Gap, it is just other campers. This keeps the beach clean, quiet and not crowded.
There is also a roughly 5 mile loop trail the goes around the lake, and starts and finishes near the camp store. I have not done this hike, but often see runners and hikers coming in and out and have heard it is fantastic. There is also a small trail that comes off of the dogwood loop, across from the camp host's site. My small dog and I have done about 1/2 mile of it- it is rocky, but beautiful.
My son was 6 when we came here last and he was able to ride his bike around the dogwood loop just fine. It is a little hilly, but not too much and I've also enjoyed running the loops in years past.
I've been to 6 Maryland campgrounds this year, and I have to say that Rocky Gap has, by far, the best bathhouse. The women's room has 2-3 very updated shower stalls, roughly 5 bathroom stalls and is always clean. Outside of the bathhouse, is a dish washing station with hot water and a garbage disposal.
You can purchase bundles of firewood for $5 at the campstore and ice is around $3. They also don't have trash dumps on the loops, and you take your trash to the main trash area near the camp store.
I have fond memories of camping here is a kid, and was thrilled to finally take my son this year!
We stayed in the Garrett Loop, site 62. We went mid week, and the loop was mostly full, with just a handful of spots open. The other loops only had a handful of people staying in them- so if you are looking for a quiet camp trip, I would go for the other loops. If you want your kid to have access to a playground in the loop and maybe some other kids to play with, stay in Garrett. Our site, 62, was literally right next to a great playground. If you have small kids, and want them to be able to play on the playground, while you set up camp or maybe cook dinner, it was a great site! It also had our own path to the bathhouse- which was also great when traveling with kids.
One thing to note is that Herrington Manor is right down the road AND if you are a paid camper with Swallow Falls, you also have access to Herrington Manor- which has a lake, picnic area & kayak rentals. This to me is a huge benefit of camping at Swallow Falls. You have the great campsites at Swallow Falls, the nice, easy hiking right by the camp store… and then, just down the road is a lake, kayak rentals, etc and it is all included in your campsite fee. We also decided to stay an additional day (and so needed food and such) so we drove into town and got to visit some really cool antique stores and had a nice lunch. It was a great way to spend a bonus day, before cozying up by the fire for another night of roasting marshmallows.
The camp store is well stocked and friendly- so if you forgot anything, they likely will have it. We even bought some souvenirs to remember our trip! We didn't have cell service here, and they were nice enough to allow me to call my husband to let him know we were safe and sound. (We have T-mobile, but some campers with Verizon seemed to be just fine with service)
The bathrooms were kept clean, but were outdated. I'd love to see a new bathhouse, but it was totally acceptable- hot watered, cleaned regularly, etc.
Right off the site of the camp store is access to a very accessible trail- grandma can totally handle it and part of it is even wheelchair accessible. We can't wait to go back!
We have stayed at both the Hollifield area and the Hilton area of PSP. We have a 7 year old, and much preferred the Hilton area. It's not far from Baltimore, and was the perfect get away with my little boy. As you enter the park, there is a HUGE tire park/playground, that anyone entering the park has access to. There is also a small nature center, a sensory trail for the kids and an area for some "natural" games/play area. You can easily spend the entire afternoon just at the playground.
Once you leave that area, through the parking lot, you come to the entrance for the camp area. There is a decent drive - maybe a half mile or so- to the camp area. It has fairly steep rolling hills and would not be good for small children to bike or walk, but okay for older kids. Just a head's up, in case you're wondering if the littles can bike from the campsite to the tire park. I wouldn't count on it.
Once you enter the camp loop, the camp host is right off to the right. The host that was there was incredible. He was there when you needed him, but wasn't overbearing. He delivered firewood to our site for us, and was nice to make sure we had some kindling, as a recent storm had soaked all the down branches.
There is another smaller playground near the camp host, at the entrance to the camp loop. It is small, but something and is easily walkable from the campsites.
I'm giving this camp a 4 for a few reasons:
- Most of the sites we saw had a bit of a grade/slope to it and made setting up our tent a bit more challenging.
- They do NOT sell ice at the park, and you have to leave to go buy ice.
- The bathhouses were adequate, and clean, but very old and out of date.
- There is no coded gate. The first night we were there, some guys came in around 10 pm and began to party. I yelled out that people were trying to sleep and they left. I did not like that I felt so "open" to people that were not camping there.
Otherwise, this was a great experience. Minimal noise from the highway, easy access to town… would be a great way to visit Baltimore without having to stay at a hotel. Close to Elliott City and about a 30 min drive from the city. We saw deer in the mornings and had an overall great experience.
I really think that how much you enjoy this campground will come down to what you want out of a camping experience. The sites on all of the loops are pretty open, and sort of right on top of one another. So, if you are looking for a quiet, private camp experience, don't even bother.
If you are looking to camp with several families, being able to go back and forth between campsites easily (kids running about, etc) then this is a great site for you! The camp hosts came around a good bit to check in, the bathrooms were acceptably clean, and the sites were well-kept. I would say that this is a great "first campsite" for young families looking to dip their toes into camping.
The downsides were that the paths to the bathhouses were usually on a hill, and are not "clear". Read- lots of roots and things to trip you up at night. Most places we have stayed have crushed gravel or at least cleared dirt paths. My son fell 3 times- during the day.
The other major downside, is that even though it was only in the mid-70's, the fans were on in the bathroom. It was loud, and if you have a sensory-sensitive child, this campground will not work for you. Also, if you have small kids, there is no playground on any of the loops, so you have to go to the beach area to use a playground.
The lake was nice and clean, the water clear and looked to be a great way to spend the day. It was a little cool for the beach, but what really took away from the experience, was the number of yellow-jackets flying about. We camped here towards the end of August and the camp hosts said that the yellow-jackets showed up about two weeks prior. I was stung, as was the little girl in the site next to us.
Overall, I would go again- but earlier in the year, as to avoid being stung again. This is totally a campground meant for families who would like to use the beach. Basically, this is the campsite we will go to when we don't want to drive to Rocky Gap.