Sleep Under the Stars: Scenic Camping Spots in Maryland

Camping under the stars at Assateague Island in Maryland. Photo Courtesy of Mike Ver Sprill.



From the mountains of Western Maryland to the sandy beaches of the Eastern Shore, Maryland is home to a diverse selection of camping spots with breathtaking views. Picture yourself waking up in a tent surrounded by towering trees or snuggling up in your sleeping bag under the stars on a beach as wild horses neigh in the distance. Whether you seek solitude in the state’s spectacular forests as the autumn leaves begin to turn or adventure near the coast, Maryland is where you should pencil in your next camping trip.

Pack your tent, and grab your hiking boots – it’s time to disconnect from the outside world and reconnect with nature.

Wild Horses and White Beaches in Assateague State Park

Horse grazing at Assateague State Park in Maryland. Photo Courtesy of Maryland GovPics.

Two miles from the only ocean park in Maryland, Assateague State Park is home to an array of water sports activities to fill your itinerary. From kayaking to fishing, surfing to swimming – this camping spot comes with its own catalog of adventures.

The real treasure at this destination is the wild horses. These horses roam the white sandy beaches and are pretty comfortable with tourists. However, don’t be surprised if a few curious spectators wander up to your tent. Keep any food items securely packed; you never know when a horse may be looking for a nibble.

There’s nothing like experiencing a night under the stars on the beach. From the sounds of the crashing waves to the crystal-clear night sky, this experience will be one to remember.

Lace-up your hiking boots for an adventure in Catoctin Mountain Park

Chimney Rock in Catoctin Mountain Park in Thurmont, Maryland. Photo Courtesy of MudflapDC.

If you are looking for a sense of adventure and the opportunity to hike, Catoctin Mountain Park in Thurmont is the place to be. Boasting 26 miles of trails, this camping area is perfect for those who love the outdoors and staying active. While the park is home to 50 traditional camping sites to pitch your tent (Owens Creek), visitors can also rent historic cabins at Camp Misty Mount – the views of the mountains and clear streams are breathtaking.

Chimney Rock is the claim to fame at Catoctin Mountain Park. Standing at 1,500 feet, this is one of the best places to view the entire Thurmont area – on a clear day, you can even see Baltimore city in the distance. Are you looking to explore the Maryland wilderness by horseback? The park is also home to six miles of horse trails maintained throughout the year.

Nearby is a highly-rated Wine, Beer, and Spirit Tour in Frederick. What better way to unwind and take a break from all that hiking? There are also picnic areas throughout the park where you can dine beneath the shade of the forest canopy.

Family-Friendly Camping Spot in Rocky Gap State Park

Fall foliage at Lake Habeeb in Rocky Gap State Park, Maryland. Photo Courtesy of Nathaniel Gonzales.

When looking for places to camp in Maryland, Rocky Gap State Park in Flintstone is an idyllic choice, especially in autumn. Hike through fall foliage and bring your camera to capture the leaves bursting in a kaleidoscope of color, from rich reds to bright yellows. There’s also an excellent selection of amenities and features at the park’s campsites, from bathhouses and a snack shake to a private swimming pool and playground. There’s also an accessible fishing dock available, but don’t forget to get your fishing license!

History Comes to Life at Point Lookout State Park

Point Lookout State Park in Maryland. Photo Courtesy of Chesapeake Bay Program.

History buff? This is the spot for you. Nestled on a peninsula between the Chesapeake Bay and Potomac River, Point Lookout State Park is home to scenic vistas and a wealth of history and offers 143 campsites.

After you’ve pitched your tent, it’s time to explore the area. The park is home to not only the remains of a historic prisoner’s war camp from the American Civil War but the Civil War Museum and Point Lookout Lighthouse. Did you know that Point Lookout was the landing site of the infamous Captain John Smith? He was the first Englishman to explore the Chesapeake Bay, and you can learn about his voyage when you visit.

Beyond the historical sites, campers can rent canoes for adventures on the water. There is also a 710-foot fishing pier if you’re looking to cast a line (a valid coastal sport fishing license is required).

Trails, Waterfalls, and More in Patapsco Valley State Park

A waterfall in Patapsco Valley State Park. Photo Courtesy of F. Delventhal.

Ellicott City’s Patapsco Valley State Park is Maryland’s largest state park, with over 16,043 acres to explore. Hike more than 200 miles of trails that offer impressive river valley views. Wander awe-inspiring nature trails and hike to amazing waterfalls that will have you reaching for your camera. Other activities in the park include canoeing, picnicking, and horseback riding, to name a few.

Are you ready to pack your camping gear and go on the ultimate outdoor adventure? Then make sure to add these Maryland camping spots to your list! With so much to do and explore, you really will be spoilt for choice.

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