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We were really nervous because it was going to be her first time. Would she embrace adventure? Or, would she hate it? Considering my husband and I got engaged on a camping adventure, we really wanted to make our daughter’s first experience with the great outdoors… well, great. There are so many fantastic state parks in Maryland. If you want to go camping with your kids, there are so many fantastic options. However, it would be hard to top a camping adventure with your kids at Rocky Gap State Park.
Camping Adventure With Your Kids at Rocky Gap State Park
Rocky Gap State Park is located in the Western Maryland town of Flintstone. The park is pretty big and it encompasses both mountain trails and the sizable Lake Habeeb. Camping at Rocky Gap State Park is very easy for families, even families with young children. There are over 250 campsites, all of which have nearby access to bathhouses with regular toilets, shower facilities, and hot water. Sprinkled among the regular, pitch-a-tent, type of campsites, you can reserve one of 14 mini cabins.
We decided to reserve a mini cabin because we are middle aged and out of shape (true story). These mini cabins are a sweet deal. They sleep either four or six people, have electricity (including lights), and are the perfect home away from home for a family with little kids. Each campsite (including the mini cabin sites) has a fire pit, a grill (very crude), and a picnic table.
The campground area is not remote. You will hear and see your neighbors (there are strict quiet hours though). However, the campground is still located in the woods. If you have young kids, this is perfect because they can scavenge for treasures and still have a short walk to the potty.
One of the biggest advantages to camping at Rocky Gap State Park, as opposed to just using their day use beach, is that you get access to a campground only beachfront. I am sure it can get crowded in the summer… but it won’t be as crowded as the day use public beach.
The entire private beach area is really very nice for families. You can rent kayaks and canoes, the beach front is quite large, and there are walking paths from the campground loops directly to this area. We really liked relaxing on these cute swings too!
There is a nice little nature center in this area that has a few hands on exhibits. In the summer months they schedule demonstrations, kids activities, and crafts.
The playground was a huge hit with Sweet Pea. Next to the playground area there is a camp store and bathroom facilities. Additionally, during summer months, there is a concession stand with good eats for sale.
One of the reasons Rocky Gap State Park is great for a camping adventure with your kids is because there are numerous short hikes/walks that even the smallest of legs can handle.
Lakeside Loop Trail (about 5 miles): This trail basically loops around the lake. Probably a bit long for little kids. However, if you wanted to try part of the trail, it would be a nice way to expose your kids to hiking and outdoor adventures.
Touch of Nature Trail (1/4 mile): This was one of two trails we took our then 2-year old on. As you can see, the path is wide and basically flat. It leads to the edge of the water and you can walk out onto a pier to enjoy the lake, or fish.
Canyon Overlook Trail (1/4 mile): This was definitely our favorite trail. It was not flat, but it also was not terribly difficult for 2-year old legs either. Unlike the Touch of Nature trail, it is actually a trail. You basically walk to a rock outcropping that overlooks a big gorge, and then walk back. It was quite the adventure for a toddler.
And these beautiful mountain lilies were in full bloom.
Of course, we spent quite a bit of time back at our campsite as well. There are so many fun, nature themed activities you can do with even the smallest of kids. For more ideas on camping activities, check out this post.
If you want to plan a camping trip with your kids, I highly recommend checking out Rocky Gap State Park. However, go ahead and snag your reservation now. A place this beautiful won’t have available space for long!
For more information on Rocky Gap State Park, including links to the reservation system, click here.
Thanks and have a great week!
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