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Maryland’s big draw is the water; the state is virtually defined by its tidal shoreline along Chesapeake Bay. Beaches, mountain lakes, and marshy rivers make Maryland a paradise for boating, sailing, paddling, fishing, wildlife viewing, beachcombing, and sightseeing. Fresh produce from small farms and abundant seafood, including the renowned blue crab, can be enjoyed at casual dockside shacks or sophisticated restaurants in downtown Annapolis.
For RVers, Maryland’s state parks offer some of the best locations and top-rated campgrounds in the state. With private sites in natural settings, some hookups, modern facilities, outdoor recreation, and highly regarded visitor centers and interpretive programs, the campgrounds provide an excellent, economical way to take in the nature and rich history of Maryland. Alternative accommodations available at most parks with campgrounds include rustic cabins, full-service cabins, yurts, and historic houses, which are also a great option for family gatherings in a central East Coast location.
To make a reservation, visit parkreservations.maryland.gov/ or call 1-888-432-2267. Reservations can be made up to 1 year in advance. Unreserved sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis. A minimum of 2 nights is required over weekends, 3 nights over holiday weekends.
In general, Maryland state parks are not big rig friendly, although site sizes vary. It’s best to search by RV length in the reservation system or contact the park directly for more information.
ADA-accessible campsites are searchable and bookable online. Reservations can also be made through the contact center.
Maryland state park campgrounds offer sites with electricity. Water hookups may also be available. Full hookups with sewer are limited to a couple campgrounds. Details are provided on each park’s website under “Camping”. Sites with hookups are searchable and bookable online.
Maryland state parks do not have WiFi capability in the campgrounds, however some parks offer free WiFi in central areas. Some park websites include details about cell service. If connectivity is a priority, contact the park directly to ask about WiFi and cell service.
The maximum stay is 2 weeks. Campers must vacate for at least 1 week before returning and re-registering at the same campground.
Campsites have a picnic table, and most have a fire ring. Grills for cooking and lantern posts may be provided.
Basic facilities include restrooms with hot and cold running water and flush toilets. Showers, a dump station, and potable water are available at most campgrounds. Many parks have nature centers, museums, nature walks, and campfire programs, as well as playgrounds and access to outdoor recreation.
Maryland state parks offer an excellent Junior Ranger program. Pick up a book for the kids at the ranger station or check-in booth.
Prices range from $19 for a site with no hookups to $39 for full hookups.
Flat rates per campground and campsite type can be found under “Fees and Hours of Operation” on the state park website. Prices are displayed per site / per date in the reservation system.
Nonrefundable reservation fee: $6.25
Change or cancellation fee: $4.75
Cancellations on the day of arrival also forfeit the first night’s fee.
Domesticated pets are allowed as long as they’re kept on a leash. Proof of current vaccination may be requested. Be sure to book a pet-friendly campsite through the reservation system. And of course, campers should always pick up after their pet.
- Maximum occupancy per site: 2 vehicles, 6 people
- Check-in time: 3 p.m. Check-out time: 12 p.m.
- Quiet hours: 10 p.m. to 7 p.m.
- Alcoholic beverages: Prohibited. Check with the park whether having alcohol inside an RV is permitted.
- Generator use: Prohibited during quiet hours.
- Campfires: Allowed in designated rings or pits, following local advisories.
- Drone use: You must contact the park manager before flying a drone in a state park.
Assateague State Park
7307 Stephen Decatur Highway, Berlin, MD 21811
This is a bucket-list camping destination that requires advanced planning and reservations. RVers who make the effort are rewarded with the experience of beachfront camping on a 37-mile-long National Seashore barrier island on the Eastern shore. The natural beauty alone is a draw, but the famous herds of wild ponies who roam the island elevate Assateague to a truly magical state park.
Only 15 minutes from the tourist destination of Ocean City, this state park campground is well maintained and rustic, allowing campers to immerse themselves in the rugged beauty of the sand dunes, scrubland, and endless ocean views. Over 300 concrete-pad sites are available, many of which can accommodate big rigs. Only a limited number of sites have electric hookups, and these tend to get fully booked immediately, so be prepared for dry camping. Amenities include a swimming beach, bike path, playground, nature center, modern bathhouses, and excellent ranger programs. Reserve yourself a site and see why RVers return year after year to experience the magic of camping at Assateague State Park.
Cunningham Falls State Park
14039 Catoctin Hollow Road, Thurmont, MD 21788
Nestled in the Catoctin Mountains, this gem of a state park offers hiking, swimming, and beautiful waterfalls in a serene forest setting. Its trails range from half a mile to over seven miles, from flat and easy to rocky, steep, and challenging. The falls are easily accessible by a half-mile trail or day-access parking. Beautiful Hunting Creek Lake has a sandy swimming beach and boat rentals available in the summer. When the weather cools, Cunningham Falls is a favorite destination for leaf peeping.
There are two separate areas in the park. Houck Area has more than 100 campsites, some with electric hookups. It’s closest to the falls and the lake. Manor Area is a more intimate campground with around 30 sites, a few with electricity available. It’s located near educational sites, including an aviary with birds of prey and reptiles, and the Catoctin Iron Furnace, which is on the National Register of Historic Places. Neither campground has any sites that fit RVs over 30 feet.
Tuckahoe State Park
13070 Crouse Mill Road, Queen Anne, MD 21657
Located on the Eastern Shore, Tuckahoe State Park is well loved by day-trippers and campers for its abundance of outdoor recreation in a beautiful setting. Picnicking, biking, kayaking, fishing, swimming, hiking, archery, and bird-watching are just some of the activities enjoyed in the woods, wetlands, lake, river, and creeks in the park. Kids will have fun in the sprawling playground, ropes course, ranger programs, and the Adkins Arboretum’s beautiful displays of plants and flowers.
The campground offers over just over 30 electric sites that can accommodate RVs, spaciously arranged in a peaceful wooded setting. Some sites can fit RVs up to 40 feet. Well-maintained bathhouses, a dishwashing sink, potable water, and a dump station are available. Cell service is spotty, but if you don’t need a strong signal this is a peaceful, private base to tour the Chesapeake Bay area. Sweeping bay views are close by, and the charm, culture, and history of the state capital of Annapolis is a scenic 45-minute drive away.
Maryland state park campgrounds that accommodate RV camping
Assateague State Park
Cedarville State Forest
Deep Creek Lake State Park
Elk Neck State Park
Fort Frederick State Park
Gambrill State Park
Hart-Miller Island State Park
Janes Island State Park
Martinak State Park
New Germany State Park
Patapsco Valley State Park
Pocomoke River State Forest
Pocomoke State Forest
Point Lookout State Park
Potomac-Garrett State Forest
Rocky Gap State Park
Smallwood State Park
Susquehanna State Park
Swallow Falls State Park
Tuckahoe State Park
For more information on Maryland state park campgrounds, visit dnr.maryland.gov/Publiclands/Pages/default.aspx.