Best Campsites in Maryland

by Emily Morgan

If you’re looking for a memorable camping experience in the country, Maryland might not be the first state that comes to mind, but it should be. It has some of the best campsites in the country.

Maryland may be small, but it makes up for it with its stunning coastline and dense forests, perfect for camping. Although it’s the ninth smallest state, at just over 12,000 square miles, it gives campers a wide range of settings to pitch a tent. You can camp directly on the beach, or you can be tucked away in a wooded forest. For this reason, we believe there is a place for everyone in Maryland.

Though the state is small, there are enough campsites to keep you going for more than just a weekend here and there. The Chesapeake Bay alone boasts miles of picturesque coastline, including beaches, marshes, and forests, ideal for any water-loving individual.

With an abundance of climates and ecosystems, Maryland may be small, but it packs a punch when it comes to camping.

Additionally, the Appalachian Trail runs through Maryland, offering some incredible forest reserves where you can pitch your tent. From the countless inlets around the Chesapeake Bay to the Appalachian Mountains, Maryland camping is a real treat for outdoor lovers.

However, if you’re not sure where to start, no worries. We’ve crafted a guide to help you choose where to camp in this state to make your trip as epic as we know it can be.

Assateague State Park

For those who want to camp seaside with majestic beasts

• Location: Located on Assateague Island in Berlin, Maryland
• Campground Contact:  (410) 641-2918
• Park Hours: 7 a.m. to Sunset
Campground Website

Firstly, at the northern end of Assateague Island, Assateague State Park is the only oceanfront park in the state. But wait, it gets better. While camping oceanside, you’ll also be greeted by friendly wild horses who call the island home. In addition, you can spend time surfing, fishing, and swimming in the Atlantic ocean. Camping is on scrubland, but because it’s near the ocean, there’s a constant breeze that will help keep you cool. In addition, it will also help with pesky mosquitos. However, they can still be a problem once the sun goes down, so bring your bug spray and pack proper fly netting. Also, there isn’t much shade from the sun, so remember to bring/craft your own. Despite this, getting the chance to camp amongst wild horses makes it worth it.

Campground Breakdown:
• 342 RV and Tent Sites: $27.50 per night
• Campsite with Electric Hookup: $38.50 per night

Assateague State Park Amenities: Market, ADA accessible, picnic tables, fire rings, leashed pets allowed, toilets, showers, potable water, firewood available

Reserve an Assateague State Park campsite here

Cunningham Falls State Park

For those who want lakeside camping

Location: In the Catoctin Mountains
Campground Contact: (301) 271-7574
Park Hours: 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Campground Website

Cunningham Falls State Park is separated into two different regions in the beautiful Catoctin Mountains, the easternmost mountain ridge of the Blue Ridge Mountains, a part of the Appalachian Mountains range. Campers in the William Houck Area have access to a 43-acre lake to camp out next to, and the Manor Area is just a few miles away.

If you ask us, the Houck area is where you want to be. The site offers excellent camping with plenty of well-maintained trails to explore. For instance, the challenging Cliff Trail will take you directly to the falls. Here, you can try your hand at hike-in camping or pitch a tent on the lake’s shoreline.

Campground Breakdown:
• William Houck Campground:106 Basic Sites: $23.50 per night
• 36 Electric Sites: $29.50 per night
• Cabins available in the Houck area
• Four-person cabin: $50.50 per night, Six-person mini-cabin: $65.50 per night
• Manor Campground: 21 Basic Sites: $23.50 per night
• 10 Electric Sites: $29.50 per night

Cunningham Falls State Park Amenities: Restrooms, showers, potable water, leashed pets allowed, picnic tables, fire rings

Reserve a Cunningham Falls State Park Campsite Here

Ridge River Campground

For those who

Location: Little Orleans, Maryland
Campground Contact:  (301) 478-2325
Park Hours: Open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Campground Website

Ridge Rider Campground is perched on over 200 acres of beautiful woodlands in the Upper Potomac River valley in Western Maryland and provides everything you’d ever want in a camping experience. The tent and RV campsites are in spacious locations within the forested area.

For anglers, you’ll love fishing the nearby creek for trout that runs through the property. In addition, the campground regularly hosts activities like campfire sing-a-longs, potluck dinners, and pool tournaments. There are plenty of things to do in the surrounding area, such as the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal, which is only half a mile away, and the neighboring Green Ridge State Forest, which offers plenty of hiking opportunities.

Ridge Rider Campground Breakdown:
• Cabins: Two-night minimum, $123 per night
• RV Sites: $43 per night
• Pop-Up Camper/Large Tent Sites: $38 per night
• Pavilion Private Tent Area: $37 per night
• Remote Tent-Only Sites: $37 per night
• Waterfront Tent Sites: $47 per night

Ridge Rider Amenities: Bathhouse, pool, playground, free Wi-Fi, pavilion, camp store, firewood, propane refills, laundry, fire rings, picnic tables, leashed pets allowed

Reserve a Ridge River Campsite Here

Bay Shore Campground

For those who

Location: Rock Hall, Maryland
Campground Contact: (410) 639-7485
Park Hours: Open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Campground Website

Located in the Chesapeake Bay, Bay Shore Campground is conveniently located less than three miles outside the town of Rock Hall. While there, enjoy plenty of shops and restaurants only a few minutes’ drive away. Additionally, inside the campground, spend your days swimming, fishing, and enjoying the local beach. Electric hookups and water hookups are available, and campers are also welcome to use the campground’s two bathhouses. Campsites are available throughout the year, but rates vary according to the season. According to the campground’s website, three miles south of Bayshore Campground is also the Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge, which includes great nature trails, amazing bird watching, and access to the meeting point of the Chester River and the Chesapeake Bay.  

Campground Breakdown:
• Pull-Through Bayfront Site: Two-night stay minimum, $61.50 per night
• Standard Pull-Through Site: Two-night stay minimum, $86.75 per night
• Backed-in, Angled Site: Two-night stay minimum, $69.75 per night

Bay Shore Amenities: Leashed pets allowed, camp store, beach access, catch and release fishing, playground, dog park, boat ramp, firewood

Reserve a Bay Shore Campsite Here

Deep Creek Lake Campground

For those who

Location: Swanton, Maryland
Campground Contact:  (301) 387-5563
Park Hours: 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Campground Website

In brief, there’s a boatload of fish in Deep Creek Lake. As the name would suggest, the campsite is most known for its primo fishing. Nestled inside Western Maryland’s Garrett County, the Deep Creek Lake campground also encompasses over 1,800 acres. The park also offers a sandy lakefront area, fishing areas, and hiking and biking trails. Not to mention, the shoreline here is a mile long and features two swimming beaches for visitors to enjoy.

For anglers, you can also spend your time fishing for trout, walleye, bass, and yellow perch. Moreover, with a 24-hour boat launch, you can get a boatload of water access mornin’, noon, and night. In addition, if you decide to camp, the overnight options range from a primitive campsite to a glamping-style hut.

With 20 miles of surrounding trails, you’ll hardly get bored here. In addition, if you decide not to grill up your catch of the day, there are even a few bars and eateries on the lake’s west shore.

Campground Breakdown:
• 86 Basic Sites: $21.50 per night
• 26 Electric Sites: $27.50 per night
• Two Mini Cabins: Sleeps up to six people: $66.50 per night
• 1 Yurt: Sleeps up to six people: $47.50 per night

Deep Creek Lake Amenities: Potable water, picnic tables, bathrooms, market, firewood available, showers, leashed pets allowed

Reserve a Deep Creek Lake Campsite here

Owens Creek Campground

For those who want to camp during any season

Location: Located inside Catoctin Mountain Park, in north-central Maryland
Campground Contact:  (301) 663-9388
Park Hours: Open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., closed for the season from Jan. 1 to Apr. 29
Campground Website

Tucked away on the northeastern outskirts of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Owens Creek campground offers stunning views, world-class fishing, and also over 25 miles of hiking trails. As a primitive camping area, Owens Creek is ideal for anyone looking for a tranquil, peaceful experience. Additionally, the Deerfield Nature Trail connects directly to the campground and is a 1.5-mile loop with a connection to the park’s western system of trails. In addition, Browns Farm Trail is nearby in the Owens Creek Picnic Area and offers history buffs a peek into the area’s rich past.

The campground is also surrounded by a rolling landscape, which gives visitors opportunities to hike different trails at any level, from easy to strenuous. Owens Creek also runs past the campground giving campers a serene setting beside a babbling brook. The campground is also perfect for any season: you’ll find it covered in snow in the winter, vivid with fall colors during the autumn months, or blooming with native flowers in the spring.

Campground Breakdown:
• 50 Tent Sites: $30 per night
• 3 Pull-Through Sites: $30 per night
• RVs allowed up to 22 feet in length

Owens Creek Amenities: Showers, flush toilets, firewood, staff on site, potable water, restrooms, fire rings

Reserve an Owens Creek Campsite here

Elk Neck State Park Campground

For those who want to be on the water

Location: Located between the Chesapeake Bay and the Elk River 
Campground Contact:  (410) 287-5333
Park Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Campground Website

Established in 1936, Elk Neck State Park is located on a peninsula between the Chesapeake Bay and the Elk River. During their trip, tourists come here for fishing, hunting, canoeing, and kayaking. There are also 12 miles of trails perfect for hikers of all skill levels. Additionally, the park has over 2,370 acres of land and includes 250 campsites, four youth group sites, and 15 cabins. Without a doubt, you’ll get all types of landscapes to explore, including marshlands, densely wooded areas, white clay cliffs, and sandy shorelines.

Altogether, Elk Neck State Park is divided into four areas. Turkey Point Lighthouse is located at the southern tip of the Elk Neck Peninsula while the North East Beach Area and Picnic Shelters is a popular area for visitors coming for the day. Meanwhile, the western portion of the park and features a swimming area, a canoe and kayak launch, multiple picnic shelters, picnic tables, and grills.

Campground Breakdown:
• Wye and Susquehanna Loops: $21.50 per night
• Sassafras Loop and Youth Group: $21.50 per night,
• North East Loop: $36.50 per night
• Choptank, Miles + Elk Loops: $21.50 per night
• Bohemia Loop: $21.50 per night
• Chester Loop: $27.50 per night
• Tred Avon and Rustic Cabins: $55.50 per night

Elk Neck Amenities: Leashed pets allowed, picnic tables, showers, potable water, firewood, market

Reserve an Elk Neck Campsite Here