Looking to spend a few days camping out in the woods? Within a short drive from the Washington, DC area you can find a wide selection of campgrounds. Here is a guide to the campgrounds in Maryland and Northern Virginia. It is a good idea to call ahead and make a reservation at most of these campgrounds, especially during the peak season in the late spring and early fall.
Camping in Maryland
- Cunningham Falls State Park - Thurmont, MD. Cunningham Falls is a state park in the Catoctin Mountains known for its 78-foot waterfall. There is also a 44-acre lake and a beach, used for swimming and boating. The campground includes 171 campsites and 9 cabins with hot showers, flush toilets and a camp store. Reservations: (8880 432-2267, Park Information: (301) 271-7574.
- Greenbelt Park - Greenbelt, MD. This 1100-acre park is located just 13 miles from the heart of Washington, DC and has the closest campgrounds to the nation’s capital. There are 174 campgrounds, 10 miles of hiking trails and three picnic areas. Reservations: (301) 344-3944.
- Greenbrier State Park - Boonsboro, MD. Greenbrier has a 42-acre man-made lake and a beach, popular for swimming, boating and fishing. There are 165 campsites, plus plenty of hiking trails, including access to the Appalachian Trail. Reservations: (888) 432-2267, Park Information (301) 791-4767.
- Jellystone Park - Williamsport, MD. Jellystone Park is a family camping resort located near Hagerstown, Maryland. Cabins and tent camping is available with facilities including a swimming pool with waterslides, mini-golf, playgrounds, horseshoe pits and a basketball court. Daily family activities provide lots of entertainment. Reservations: (800)421-7116
- Little Bennett Regional Park - Clarksburg, MD. Little Bennett Regional Park, located just 30 miles north of Washington, DC, offers wooded campsites and 20 miles of hiking, biking and equestrian trails. The campground includes 91 campsites, a camp store, and activity center offering children's crafts, guided nature hikes, ice cream socials, hayrides, and a game room. Reservations: (301) 972-9222.
- Ramblin Pines Camp Ground - Woodbine, MD. This campground is located in Howard County, conveniently located near I-70, between Baltimore and Washington. There are 200 campsites, 6 cabins, a fishing pond, miniature golf, a swimming pool, playground, game room and planned activities. Reservations: (410) 795-5161, (800) 550-8733.
- The Treehouse Camp - Gapland, MD. This unique campground offers tree cottages, tree houses and tent camping about 6 miles from river rafting on the Maryland side of the Potomac and 6 miles from Harper's Ferry West Virginia. The facilities are recently up-dated, simple and rustic. (301) 432-5585.
- Duncan Family Campground - Lothian, MD. The campground offers shady tent sites and rustic cabins located 20 miles southeast of Washington, DC and about 9 miles from Six Flags America. Amenities include a swimming pool, mini golf, playground and a camp store. (410) 741-9558, (800) 222-2086.
- Rocky Gap Campground - Flintstone, MD. Rocky Gap State Park, located in Western Maryland, offers 278 individual campsites, a family group site and two youth group camping areas. The campground also features a boat ramp, canoe and kayak rentals, a nature center, a private swimming beach and a camp store. The campground is located adjacent to Rocky Gap Casino Resort which offers a wide variety of amenities and attractions. (888)432-2267.
- Point Lookout State Park - Scotland, MD. The park has 143 wooded campsites available including 26 with full hook-ups and one campsite for youth groups. The beach area has grills, picnic tables, and a playground. Facilities include showers and restrooms. Boat rentals and three fishing areas are available.
Camping in Northern Virginia
- Bull Run Regional Park Campground - Centreville, VA. Bull Run Regional Park's campground features 150 shaded campsites, a camp store, mini golf, disc golf, playground, trails and an outdoor pool. Reservations: (703) 631-0550.
- Burke Lake Park - Fairfax Station, VA. Burke Lake Park is popular for fishing on its 218 acre lake. Amenities at the park include a miniature train, a carousel, volleyball courts, an 18-hole par 3 golf course, clubhouse with snack bar and driving range, disk golf, horse shoe pits, an ice cream parlor, picnic areas, playgrounds, trails, an amphitheater, and a miniature golf course. The campground includes 100 wooded campsites. Reservations: (703) 323-6600.
- Lake Fairfax Park Campground - Reston, VA. Located just 20 miles west of Washington, DC, the park has 136 campsites adjacent to the popular Water Mine Family Swimmin' Hole, a western themed water park. In addition, the park has an 18 acre lake with pedal boat rentals, tour boat rides and fishing. (703) 757-9242.
- Pohick Bay Regional Park - Lorton, VA. This beautiful park is just 22 miles from Washington, DC. The campground has 150 campsites. There is a lake with boating and fishing, an outdoor swimming pool, miniature golf, hiking trails and picnic shelters.
- Aquia Pines Campground - Stafford, VA. This year-round campground offers accommodations ranging from luxury cabins to wooded tent sites plus modern amenities including cable TV and wireless internet. The resort is convenient to Washington, DC and offers car rental service. Amenities include hot showers, clean bathrooms, laundry facility, game room, outdoor pool, and mini golf. (540) 659-3447 and (800) 726-1710.
- Oak Ridge Campground - Triangle, VA. Located within the Prince William Forest, the 100-site, wooded campground accommodates tents, RVs, and trailers (no hookups). The campground is open year-round. Rangers present family-friendly campfire programs during the summer months in the campground amphitheatre.
- Shenandoah National Park - Luray, VA. For breathtaking views of the Blue Ridge Mountains and a wide selection of outdoor recreation opportunities, head to Shenandoah National Park. Five campgrounds are located within the park. Cabins are also available. Reservations: (540) 999-3500. See also, my Visitor’s Guide to Shenandoah National Park.
- Westmoreland State Park - Montross, VA. Westmoreland State Park extends about one and a half miles along the Potomac River and boasts spectacular views from the park’s Horsehead Cliffs. Activities include hiking, saltwater fishing, boating and swimming. Campground includes 133 campsites. Cabins are also available. Reservations: (800) 933-7275.
- Lake Anna State Park - Spotsylvania, VA. The campground offers campsites with and without water and electric hookups, centrally located restrooms with hot showers, fire-rings, picnic tables and lantern holders. The park has more than 15 miles of hiking trails, lakeshore picnicking, a guarded swimming beach, a children’s play area, a boat ramp, (800) 933-7275.