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  1. #1
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    Default Camping w/ My 6 year old in/near MD

    For my Daughters 6th birthday she asked me to take her on an overnight camping trip. Just the 2 of us. I am looking around at options that are reasonably nearby 1-1.5 hrs or so from Annapolis (SNP prob just a bit too far but maybe. Long Car ride would be her least favorite part).

    I am looking for a place that we can either car camp or be reasonably close if need be. She is a very very energetic girl with a positive attitude but I am going in with realistic expectations. I'd love to find a place to set up camp that isn't overly crowded that we can do some light hikes. I know there is a lot of info around and I have been checking out several sources. Just was wondering if anyone had a similar situation with an awesome recommendation. I've been looking at maybe Catoctin/Cunningham but was worried it may be too crowded. Want to give her a bit of a wilderness experience...

    Any suggestions greatly appreciated. Thanks Guys.

  2. #2

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    Your best bet if SNP is too far is Assateague. Your daughter will love it, but don't waste any time making reservations.

  3. #3
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    Patapsco state park wouldnt be too far away...

    or around Frederick---you could be on the at over there.....Washington monument state park...

  4. #4
    GoldenBear's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Another idea

    If the emphasis is on "outdoor camping" and not on scenery, then check out Dahlgren's Backpacker Camp.
    Completely free, one mile from the highway, and it has both flush toilets, electrical outlets, and hot showers.

    It'd be a nice way to GENTLY introduce the idea of sleeping in a tent after carrying your stuff to a campsite -- but without the problem of using an outhouse for a bathroom.

    Follow up: I'm looking at the map, and Shenandoah is as close (drive-time-wise) as just about anything else that (IMHO) would be worth a drive. If the idea is just to set up a tent and sleep the night inside, then state parks with camping would meet your needs. SNP has the advantage of being able to do that PLUS nice scenery PLUS the opportunity to learn respect for (instead of fear of) bears.

  5. #5

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    First off congrats on having a daughter who asked you to take her camping!

    I will second the vote for Dahlgren. The AT through that area is steeped in history. Washington Monument State Park is uphill and northbound from this location, but an awesome view as a reward. Southbound is civil war era through and through. BONUS get your girl a root beer and yourself an Uncle Brettski at Old South Mountain Inn. Thank me later!

    Don't be overly concerned about that wilderness experience, it doesn't exist on the east coast. You'll see people no matter where you go!

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the recommendations. It is pretty nice to have SNP as a backstop if nothing else seemed to fit better.

    I am sure she would love Assateague. Pretty much same distance to get to the Front Royal area and I think I would rather take her towards the mountains. Selfishly sandy gear sounds like a nightmare too.

    I'll check out Dahlgren. Didn't know much about it. Thanks again for the input. Hope she falls in love with it out there.

  7. #7
    Registered User Studlintsean's Avatar
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    Check out Annapolis Rocks also if that isnt too far of a walk. I think it's about 3 miles and great view, water and I believe a privy.

  8. #8
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    Maryland has a lot of great state parks which are likely to be less crowded that the National Parks. Green Ridge State Forest is a gem. There is a developed campground in the southern end of it where 15 Mile Creek runs into the Potomac which is nice if it isn't a busy holiday weekend. From there, you have access to the C&O towpath and the nice trail system in GRSF itself. There is also a nice network of primative campsites in the northern section of GRSF (north of I70) along 15 Mile Creek. Again, access to nice trails which are not heavily used. Tuckahoe SP on the Eastern Shore also has nice trails and camping areas, and abuts the fabulous Adkins Arboretum. Or, check out Pocomoke State Park - there are 2 campgrounds. Not extensive hiking opportunities, but you can rent canoes/kayaks in Snow Hill and paddle the Pocomoke down to the Nassawango Creek Preserve. Fabulous paddle and good fishing if you're up for that. The Maryland DNR on-line store has a pretty good collection of state forest and park trail guides for very reasonable prices. Check 'em out.

  9. #9
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    Agree above about Dahlgren. Cunningham Falls state park has camping and hiking and that is pretty family friendly.

  10. #10

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    From the parking lot in Caledonia State Park, it is about 1.5 miles to Quarry Gap shelters, which are really nice. There are some campsites beyond as well if the shelters are full. It is a nice hike through rhododendron tunnels. You can make a loop back to the car, or do an easy hike in the park on the Ramble trail. There are also two campgrounds in the park. In summer, there is a swimming pool, but many families just play in the creek. Caledonia is in southern PA, not far from you.

  11. #11
    Saw Man tuswm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FloydBanks View Post
    For my Daughters 6th birthday she asked me to take her on an overnight camping trip. Just the 2 of us. I am looking around at options that are reasonably nearby 1-1.5 hrs or so from Annapolis (SNP prob just a bit too far but maybe. Long Car ride would be her least favorite part).

    I am looking for a place that we can either car camp or be reasonably close if need be. She is a very very energetic girl with a positive attitude but I am going in with realistic expectations. I'd love to find a place to set up camp that isn't overly crowded that we can do some light hikes. I know there is a lot of info around and I have been checking out several sources. Just was wondering if anyone had a similar situation with an awesome recommendation. I've been looking at maybe Catoctin/Cunningham but was worried it may be too crowded. Want to give her a bit of a wilderness experience...

    Any suggestions greatly appreciated. Thanks Guys.
    I am also you age with a daughter ur age. I also live in Annapolis. check out Thomas point park. its so close and you can spend the night by your car and right by your car. we have also spent the night at Annapolis rocks, parked on the AT by the Washington monument, weaver ton cliffs. My kids also like car camping in the back yard, the water fall right by Frederick, yogi bear near SNP and KOA near harpers ferry. The last two sites are like Glamping meets the state fair. pool, trampolines, camping, the Easter bunny...... and so on.
    "you cant grow old if you never grow up" ~TUswm

  12. #12
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    Treehouse Camp, Maple Tree Campground. http://thetreehousecamp.com/
    There are tent sites. Cheaper if you have a group as a I think it is $30 for 8 people/3 tents. Has porta potties and regular restrooms if you are willing to walk farther. Nice outdoor showers. Small commissary. Wood for sale so you can have a nice fire. Lots of hiking nearby on AT. Mt Washington, Weverton Cliffs, Annapolis Rocks.

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