Best State Parks in Maryland: A Camper’s Guide

Best state parks in Maryland

We give you a list of best state parks in Maryland. This is perfect for those who just want to take a break and are looking for vacation inspiration.

You can turn it into an educational trip, learning about the rich historical and cultural heritage of Maryland. Alternatively, you can opt to pursue recreational activities or explore nature. There’s simply a wealth of things you can do is you choose any of the best state parks in Maryland as your next destination.

Rocky Gap State Park

Rocky Gap State Park covers more than 3,000 acres of land. It has a scenic location surrounded by mountainous landscapes. Should you choose to go here, you’ll be able to explore nature’s wonders freely. Specifically, there’s Lake Habeeb, Evitts Mountain, and Rocky Gap Run.

It has no shortage of activities you can engage in, ranging from the calm and relaxing to the thrilling and exciting. As an example, you can hike through the Canyon Overlook Trail, which is about a quarter of a mile. Then again, you could also choose the Lakeside Loop Tail, which lets you explore the area around Lake Habeeb. You could also go boating, fishing, and hunting.

They offer 278 individual campsites – 30 of which have 30-amp electric hook-ups. Because of the sheer popularity if Maryland State Parks, it’s best if you book a site beforehand. Rocky Gap allows you to do a year in advance. They have several campgrounds you can choose from whose prices vary depending on the capacity and features. You can check them out here.

As for the general consensus on the state park, it has an average rating of 4.5 stars on TripAdvisor. Previous campers commend the park for its well-maintained sites, amazing amenities, and wonderful views.

Susquehanna State Park

Another highly rated state park in Maryland is Susquehanna. In fact, it also has a 4.5 star-rating on TripAdvisor, owing to the various activities that allow campers to commune with nature, rich history, and functioning equipment.

Susquehanna State Park is the place to be if you want to inject a little history lesson into your vacation. In particular, the Rock Run Historic Area, Carter-Archer Mansion, and Jersey Toll House are areas of interest. If you’re looking for more of a rush, go traipsing into nature by fishing in the river or biking in the mountain trails. Otherwise, you can have a picnic in Deer Creek.

With this state park, the dates of your trip should fall between April to October, as that is the only time` they are open. As with Rocky Gap, you are allowed to book any of its 69 campsites a year in advance.

Patapsco Valley State Park

Are you one of the people who finds the sound of a river flowing relaxing? If so, then maybe you should go to Patapsco Valley State Park. It’s situated right beside the Patapsco River. With 16,000 acres of land to explore, there are a ton of things you can do.

They boast 8 recreational areas where you can go fishing, hiking, camping, canoeing, biking, and horseback riding. Of these areas, take note that only the Hilton Area, Hollofield Area, and McKeldin Area are open for camping. Check each one out to determine where you need to make a reservation.

TripAdvisor puts its rating at 4.5 stars. Previous guests have affirmed the beauty of Patapsco’s well-kept trails and breathtaking scenery. Its surrounding forests and existing waterfalls are things to marvel at.

Tuckahoe State Park

Peace and quiet are the foremost qualities of Tuckahoe State Park. It has a 60-acre lake which you can navigate with a boat or enjoy by fishing. Additionally, it has multi-use trails for hiking, biking, and horseback riding.

You can also build team spirit with their Challenge Course, available in 2-, 3-, and 4-hour programs. To avail of this course, there is a minimum number of 8 and maximum number of 48 people required. The obstacles would include a pamper pole, giant swing, tube net, zip line, and rock-climbing wall.

The great thing about this state park, is it has a tire playground for smaller children. For that reason, if you are travelling with very young kids, you don’t have to worry about the dangers of other activities. They can stay in the playground and meet other children their age as well.

This, like all other state parks that came before it, is rated 4.5 stars on TripAdvisor. It’s pet friendly and great for the family. What’s more, it’s a little underrated so it won’t be as crowded as other state parks.

Gambrill State Park

Last on our list, but certainly not the least, is Gambrill State Park. If you aren’t afraid of heights and instead revel in the beautiful perspective elevated views will give you, then maybe this is where you should head to.

Gambrill State Park has two main areas: Rock Run and High Knob. Rock Run is more of the laid-back site, perfect for family bonding through picnics and fishing. On the other hand, High Knob is 16,000 feet high. You’ll get a wonderful view of the valleys. Of course, there are also picnic areas and shelters in the latter area.

You have a variety of campsites to choose from: 13 basic, 9 tent, and 8 electrical hook-up. To make sure you have a space to camp, make sure to call months ahead. This park also has the tendency to become jampacked.

Final Thoughts

Maryland is a popular camping destination. In truth, it many of the parks cannot accommodate the number of people who wish to visit. That being said, you better get a move on and call them for a reservation. What is it they say? The early bird gets the worm.

You can’t let the chance to camp at one of the best state parks in Maryland go. It’s a unique experience that will make you want to come back again and again, as can be attested by regular Maryland campers.

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